There are many considerations to take when purchasing an SUV. Most SUV shoppers are searching for function, practicality, and affordability. Others value power, amenities, or versatility. But as sales numbers from Honda and Toyota prove, it apparently isn’t an SUV’s speed that buyers are most concerned about.
Honda and Toyota dominate in the SUV segment
As popularity in the SUV segment soars, Honda and Toyota’s massive SUV lineup help the two brands to dominate. According to a report by the New York Times, SUVs accounted for “47.4 percent of U.S. sales in 2019,” with Toyota and Honda selling more SUVs than any other brand.
The Toyota RAV4 was the top-selling SUV and passenger vehicle in 2019, and the fourth-highest-selling overall (just behind three pickup trucks), with nearly 450,000 unit sales. The Honda CR-V had more than 384,000 sales for 2019, landing in the second-best-selling-SUV spot.
Honda, on the other hand, sold around 750,000 SUVs in 2019. To put these numbers into perspective, General Motors sold more than one million SUVs in 2019, but that accounts for SUV sales from four total brands: Buick, Cadillac, GMC, and Chevrolet. Both Honda and Toyota near this record-breaking number, but as individual brands.
The most-popular SUVs aren’t necessarily the fastest
Edmunds experts recently compiled a list of the fastest SUVs available to buyers by the end of 2019, and out of the 21 total crossovers and SUVs that made the cut, not one of them belongs to the Toyota or Honda brand.
By combining manufacturer specs and testing from the experts, Edmunds listed many SUVs that deliver on power and acceleration. For example, the 2020 Chevy Equinox is one of the fastest small SUVs, offering 252 hp and a 0-60 miles per hour time of 6.4 seconds.
The midsize 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, on the other hand, gives owners an astounding 707 hp and an acceleration of time 3.7 seconds (0-60 miles per hour). Even large SUVs like the 2020 Chevy Tahoe, can hit speeds of 60 miles per hour in 6.2 seconds, with 420 hp.
But specs on SUVs from Honda and Toyota don’t quite seem to match up with the fastest SUVs today. The popular 2020 Honda CR-V offers just 190 hp and a 0-60 time of 7.6 seconds, while the 2020 Toyota RAV4 takes even longer to get to 60 miles per hour, at 9.1 seconds with 203 hp.
While Toyota and Honda may be the brands SUV shoppers are choosing most, they certainly aren’t the fastest. If speed and power aren’t bringing in buyers, what is?
Why buyers keep choosing Honda and Toyota
There are many reasons buyers keep choosing to buy Honda and Toyota vehicles, even if speed isn’t one of them. But let’s be honest: most shoppers that value speed won’t be shopping for an SUV.
Both brands are known for making reliable, dependable vehicles that offer low cost of ownership and high resale values. But buyers don’t have to spend a ton of money to purchase a Honda or Toyota SUV, as both brands offer some of the most competitive entry prices in their segments.
In addition to an affordable price, Toyota and Honda offer some of the longest lists of standard features and safety tech in the industry. Their SUV lineups offer practicality and affordability to buyers, without having to sacrifice performance, technology, or safety.
All Honda and Toyota vehicles continue to stand the test of time as some of the world’s most popular, not for their speed, but for their tremendous overall value to buyers.