The sales-fuel economy for SUVs average is only two miles per gallon apart — 26.83 mpg SUV versus 28.84 mpg sedan — which means SUV owners will only need to pay only another US$3 more to fill up their SUVs compared with a sedan. The SUVs of today have changed from those that ruled the highways in the 1990s, and are now given more car-like driving characteristics, with the engines smaller and lighter.
The current hottest new classes of SUVs are Fiat (NYSE: FCAU) 500X, Toyota’s (TSE: 7203) RAV4, Nissan (TSE: 7201) Rogue, Chevy Equinox, Ford (NYSE: F) Escape, Chevrolet Trax and Honda (TSE: 7267) HR-V. Mini Cooper has pumped up its Countryman crossover, Ford is bringing another SUV, its EcoSport to the US, Mazda (TSE: 7261) has a new CX-5; while Volkswagen (FRA: VOW) showed the seven-seat Atlas to woo American drivers.
Luxury automakers are trying to play catch up in order to woo and win the battle of the SUVs. Alfa Romeo has revealed its first-ever SUV, the sleek Stelvio. Jaguar introduced an electric I-Pace concept, and Mercedes-Benz introduced its GLS. Bentley Motors has introduced the Bentayga, while Italy’s Maserati has begun shipping its Levante to the market.
Of all brans, the top-selling luxury SUV in the US is the Mercedes-Benz GLS, with 21,244 units sold in the first ten months of 2016. In comparison, 478 Levantes were sold in the first nine months of the year, while sales of the Bentayga totaled 363 units for the months of August and September.
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