• Oct 29th 2009 at 5:33PM
  • 23
According to Cadillac's general sales manage Ed Peper, mid-size luxury crossovers like the SRX, Audi Q5, and Land Rover LR3 "are like 26 percent of the luxury market." Perhaps he should have phrased that "are still 26%," because an Edmunds chart reveals that the crossover luxury segment has taken a beating over the past two years, dropping 25% in overall volume among major models.

The BMW X3 has fared the worst, with a 77.7 percent sales drop from 2007 to 2009, but the segment rewards freshness and the X3 is due to be replaced late next year. More telling is that only one of the six models listed escaped with less than a 40 percent decline over 24 months: the Lexus RX 350. The crossover that started the luxury CUV trend, or at least popularized it, has been impervious to substantial changes over its life cycle.

The real question is where are sales of the vehicles going? There is no consensus, with various reps citing model mixes, value, the economy, and what's coming as yet-to-be-determined factors in where that market goes. Some even mentioned the fact that the definition of a "luxury crossover" is still being decided -- are an SRX and ZDX the same thing? No matter. We're putting our money on humpbacked wagons. Make the jump to check out the release.

[Source: Edmunds]


Luxury Crossovers Sales Decrease 25 Percent According to Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Luxury crossovers are not living up to the expectation that they would be the new fad among car buyers, according to a new report published on Edmunds' AutoObserver.com today. Sales of the segment have dropped nearly 25 percent since 2007, despite the fact that four new products were introduced into the segment during this period.

"The luxury crossover segment has taken a beating in sales because most of today's consumers are concentrating on value," says Jessica Caldwell, Senior Industry Analyst at Edmunds.com. "Big profits were anticipated for new models introduced into this segment, and that is just not proving to be the reality for most."

Below is a chart that shows year-over-year sales decrease in the luxury crossover segment for the sales period of January through September:


2009 vs. 2007

2009 vs. 2008

Infiniti EX35

-43.1 %

Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class


Land Rover LR2

-40.8 %
-21.1 %

Acura MDX

-51.2 %
-43.1 %

Audi Q5


Acura RDX

-60.1 %
-47.9 %

Lexus RX 350

-12.8 %
8.9 %

Cadillac SRX

-48.2 %
-31.8 %


-77.7 %
-65.9 %

Volvo XC60


Volvo XC90

-69.1 %
-52.6 %
Grand Total
-25.0 %
-8.8 %

For more information, please visit Edmunds' AutoObserver.com story "Brands Looking to Expand Luxury Crossover Share Dealing with Ruthless Trends" at http://www.autoobserver.com/2009/10/brands-looking-to-expand-luxury-crossover-share-dealing-with-ruthless-trends.html.

About Edmunds Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/)

Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is the drop in sales because people don't like these kind of vehicles anymore or because these vehicles were mostly all leased and leasing has gone away?

      Every vehicle on that list were lease kings except for the LR2. They all had highly subsidized leases from the manufacturer.

      The XXC90 and the X3 in particular were huge lease deals where probably 3/4s of the vehicles sold were leased cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's surprising to me is the data on the MDX; they're about as ubiquitous in my area as Honda Accords (which is to say, extraordinarily popular).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never really understood the purpose of the CUV segment. It was a station wagon that pretended to be more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It was a kind of pointless idea to begin with, IMO.

      *Compared with SUVs, less space, so about the same overall interior space as a car
      *Yet does not offer any additional high ground clearance and hauling capabilities as a SUV
      *Yet does not offer the exterior compactness, handling abilities, and looks of a car

      It offers all the disadvantages of every vehicle niche and none of the advantages.

      I think the only reason these sold was because people weren't quite ready to mentally let go of their SUVs and go to cars, so they got something that looked in between.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even if most, if not all luxury crossovers lack useable ground clearance, isn't there still the matter of the higher vantage point that has also influenced conventional cars? It's not a particularly compelling reason IMO, but it's also one of the most common I've received from individuals who otherwise have little use for SUV or SUV-esque vehicles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only the very biggest SUVs have any more interior room than these things. SUVs devote their bulk to off-road hardware and ladder frames, not interior room. The place to get interior room is minivans, but it seems most people think if they drive a minivan they will instantly gain 30 pounds and forget how to wear anything but mom jeans.

        Crossovers are packaged more or less like SUVs, except that you give up most of the truck capabilities and get back mostly carlike handling and fuel economy.

        Cars and vans have vastly more interior space per unit of weight than either crossovers or SUVs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The real problem is that so many of these vehicles have these stupid problems because they were hacked together just to try and jump on this supposed trend of everyone wanting a luxury CUV instead of a car. So you basically get garbage like the X3 and EX where the vehicles are heavier but crazy cramped and aren't exactly going to be doing the rubicon trail anytime soon.

        This also explains why the RX350-the vehicle that started it all and wasn't just slapped together to try and jump on the bandwagon suffered the smallest drop even with overall auto sales down so much from 07 to 09, and even gained from 08 to 09. A luxury CUV that actually has some increased interior and cargo room and yet still gets decent mileage at a relatively reasonable price actually makes some sense compared to the crap that other companies have been churning out just to proclaim that they have a luxury CUV.

        All this chart shows it that after the first bunch of idiots bought X3's everyone else realized what an idiotic idea it was.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Large SUVs do have comparable cargo capabilities as minivans; though there are select models that are faux-pas, such as the Audi Q7.

        What you pay for a luxury crossover is the extra cargo space over a luxury car. You lose out on power and speed, and possibly fuel economy in select cases, but
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dunno the LR2 offers decent off-roading, which is something you can't do in a car or in a CUV. Then again how often do you see a LR2 off-road?

        If I am not mistaken the newer XC90 comes with a third row seat, which is something you can find in a car nor is offered in the other SUVs listed(the previous gen SRX offered I don't think the new model offers it). And if I am not mistaken the XC90 is the only one to still offer a V8(again old SRX use to have it, but newer model is using a 2.8T V6 motor last I heard).

        I would like to think the only exception here would be the XC90 and the GLK as they both have decent cargo room with a decently high roof-line and decent hauling abilities.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are only 2 luxury CUVs that I have noted as successful, through personal experience, and what I see on the road. Those are the Lexus RX and Lincoln MKX. Those are everywhere. They look good and sell quite well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ooops...shoulda-coulda-woulda station wagon
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its just a wagon that rides a little taller and to me thats a perfect all 'rounder.

      ^------Loves driving the X3
      • 5 Years Ago
      In Canada .. small cars account for 40% of cars on the road (I don't have the numbers, but I guess 30% are huge trucks for aggressive or bad drivers, and 30% vans and midsized cars for families).

      My Dad .. not by his own choice but via a bad financing deal with a family member .. end up with a Pontiac G5 .. and sold his Grand Prix. I was giving him my sympathy, and he said he actually has really enjoyed the smaller car and that he would choose this type of vehicle -- true we talk about buying a truck to fill in some needs -- but he said it does a lot of the cargo carrying very well.

      They say American's "don't get" the small car pleasure thing .. I wonder if the driving has become almost too much like an aggressive sport -- so lots of protective pads like in football -- and you see the playing field as more a battlefield.

      Don't know, just thinking out loud.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The LR2 is a SUV,not a crossover. It has quite good off-road ability.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Perhaps people are starting to realize that they're overpriced, less efficient, handle more poorly, and offer not much more (if not less) cargo space than stationwagons. And now many wagons offer AWD which I think is unnecessary in 95% of the cases when the base car is FWD.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This means 25% of prospective buyers test drove a Chrysler Pacifica.
    • Load More Comments