It’s time to recalibrate. Bear in mind when the posh car market was outlined by nameplates such because the Lincoln Continental and Cadillac de Ville? What in regards to the Jaguar XJ6 and Mercedes-Benz 500E, or the BMW 3 Sequence and Lexus ES?
Right here’s the issue. These are four-door automobiles: comparatively low with an enclosed trunk and, most of the time over the course of historical past, two pushed wheels. In 2021, automobiles barely account for greater than one-quarter of all gross sales in Canada’s luxurious automotive, ahem, luxurious car showrooms.
Sport-utility automobiles and crossovers – SUVs and CUVs as they’re usually labelled – now outline the premium car market. Nevertheless, it’s not as a result of their gross sales are rising so quick (and they’re), neither is it as a result of sure corners of the mainstream automotive press determined they had been cool (normally fairly the other). Quite, automakers have created a market and are actually feeding it with an more and more broad number of items that buyers need.
Because of this, 72 per cent of the automobiles offered by premium manufacturers in Canada through the first quarter of 2021 had been utility automobiles. Whereas general auto gross sales are capturing out of 2020’s Q1 doldrums with 15 per cent year-over-year progress, luxurious automotive gross sales are up lower than 2 per cent. Luxurious SUVs and crossovers, alternatively, are up 27 per cent, progress of greater than 7,000 gross sales in comparison with the primary three months of 2020.
That is the place all the motion’s at. On the excessive finish, automobiles such because the Cadillac Escalade (up 112 per cent), Land Rover Vary Rover (up 62 per cent), and Mercedes-Benz G-Class (up 88 per cent) mixed for 1,450 gross sales in January, February, and March. That’s a interval throughout which Mercedes-Benz offered a grand complete of fifty copies of the S-Class, BMW managed 42 of their 7 Sequence gross sales, and Audi offered a grand complete of 18 A8s. On the low finish, as soon as fashionable automobiles such because the Audi A3 are hanging on for pricey life with fewer than 50 gross sales per thirty days whereas its stablemate, the Q3, finds 14 instances as many consumers.
There is no such thing as a margin of error right here. Tastes have undeniably modified. Demand has shifted at each value demographic. Who’re the ringleaders? These are the ten best-selling premium model SUVs and crossovers in Canada by way of 2021’s first quarter.
10. Cadillac XT5: 1,181, up 84 per cent
Cadillac is flying excessive. Gross sales throughout the model are up 85 per cent this 12 months, a 1,723-unit achieve in solely three months. Modest success from Cadillac automobiles helps. Cadillac’s different SUVs are doing simply superb, too, thanks very a lot (complete Escalade, XT4, and XT6 quantity is up 74 per cent). However the actual driver is, not surprisingly, the model’s prime vendor. The XT5 accounts for slightly below one-third of Cadillac gross sales, and the XT5 has already added over 500 gross sales to the corporate’s ledger this 12 months.
9. BMW X3: 1,264, up 7 per cent
In a category now managed by the BMW X3’s compatriots – specifically the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC – the BMW X3 stands out because the phase’s authentic participant that may’t fairly measure up within the market. X3 quantity is powerful, in fact. It’s one of the best vendor at Canada’s No.2 premium model. However having laid the groundwork in 2003 for all kinds of opponents, the X3 has lengthy since been outmoded by these exact same opponents.
8. Acura MDX: 1,264, up 161 per cent
Amongst premium model automobiles that come commonplace with a 3rd row, none produce the form of quantity Acura generates with the MDX. Newly launched this 12 months for the 2022 mannequin 12 months, the fourth-generation MDX is extra performance-oriented, extra aggressively designed, extra evidently premium, and fairly all of a sudden extra fashionable. MDX gross sales exploded within the first-quarter, rising by a mean of 260 items per thirty days in 2021’s first quarter.
7. Lexus NX: 1,456, up 11 per cent
How essential is the NX to the Lexus model? Put it this manner: the ES, GS, IS, LC, LS, and RC mixed for 867 gross sales through the first three months of 2021. The NX produced 68 per cent extra quantity than all of these automobiles mixed. Relative to the remainder of the posh area, it additionally means the NX outsells the whole Lincoln model, produces greater than twice as many gross sales as Genesis, and generates almost triple the quantity of Jaguar.
6. Acura RDX: 1,559, up 13 per cent
With reasonably priced automobiles such because the Integra serving as a key element in Acura’s youth, the model’s standing as an outright premium marque has usually been referred to as into query. The latest success of Acura’s two SUVs, and particularly the model’s No.1-selling RDX, is actually elevating the status of Honda’s premium division. The RDX goes toe-to-toe with automobiles such because the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Lexus NX
5. Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class: 1,595, down 10 per cent
Two years in the past, previous to the pandemic, the Mercedes-Benz GLC was Canada’s top-selling premium model utility car. 2020 hit the GLC arduous; gross sales fell 36 per cent in a market that was down solely 20 per cent. Quick ahead to the first-quarter of 2021 and the Canadian auto industry’s rapid recovery – the GLC isn’t taking part. Gross sales are down 10 per cent in comparison with 2020’s first-quarter; down 34 per cent in comparison with the identical interval in 2019.
4. Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class: 1,697, up 6 per cent
Now the best-selling car in Mercedes-Benz’s sprawling lineup, the Mercedes-Benz GLE is the one car within the prime 10 with a base value over $60,000 (the entry-level GLE really nudges $70K). As a result of its ML-Class lineage, the GLE can be the longest-running car among the many 10 luxurious SUV leaders in Canada. The Lexus RX is the one different member of the group launched within the Nineties.
3. Audi Q3: 1,727, up 37 per cent
Though it’s sized like a Subaru Crosstrek, it’s priced like a Subaru Ascent. That’s the method behind a premium badge, and it’s working wonders for the second-generation Audi Q3. The primary-gen Q3 arrived in Canada within the latter levels of its lifecycle but produced significant gross sales quantity regardless of the quite a few methods by which it felt outdated. The most recent Q3 performs a unique, extra fashionable sport, and on this sport it’s completely crushing its rivals. BMW offered a complete of 725 X1s and X2s within the first quarter, for instance, whereas Volvo offered 694 XC40s.
2. Lexus RX: 1,780, up 6 per cent
The Lexus RX is a straightforward No.1 south of the border. By way of 2021’s first three months, the RX outsold its next-best-selling rival by 64 per cent. The truth is, People made the RX the twenty first best-selling SUV/crossover general in Q1. Undeniably, the RX is a well-liked car in Canada, as effectively, however because the No.2 luxurious SUV on this nation, it isn’t broadcasting its affect fairly so strongly. Gross sales within the U.S. market, which is 10 instances the dimensions, are 16 instances stronger.
1. Audi Q5: 1,947, up 37 per cent
Except for a one-year lapse in 2019, the Audi Q5 has been Canada’s favorite premium model utility car since 2015. Even with out help from Audi’s different fashionable crossovers – together with the third-ranked Q3, surging Q7, and more and more fashionable Q8 – the Q5 outsells Audi’s complete automotive lineup. When it comes to general SUV reputation, the Q5’s 1,947 first-quarter gross sales place it simply outdoors the highest 30, forward of automobiles such because the Dodge Durango, GMC Terrain, and Hyundai Palisade however behind the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Toyota 4Runner, and Kia Sorento.