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The subcompact SUV segment has seen an influx of new models, but two brands have risen to the top of the pack. Hyundai and Kia are dominating the market with their subcompact SUVs. They offer a winning combination of affordability, fuel efficiency, practicality, and style.

Top subcompact SUVs in Q1 2023 sales

Hyundai and Kia subcompact SUVs
Hyundai car dealership sign | Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The subcompact SUV segment saw significant growth in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. According to the GM Authority, the Subaru Crosstrek secured the top spot with 41,562 units sold, representing an 11% sales increase. The Chevrolet Trailblazer followed closely with 27,951 units, experiencing a staggering 225% surge over the previous year. In terms of market share, they both topped the charts, with the Crosstrek accounting for 15% and the Trailblazer at 10%.

As for overall car sales in the subcompact SUV segment, Q1 2023 recorded 280,412 units sold, marking a 6% increase over Q1 2022, which saw 263,622 units sold. This uptick reflects the growing popularity of subcompact SUVs, which balance practicality, fuel efficiency, and agility. The top-selling models, the Crosstrek and Trailblazer, demonstrate that consumers are interested in the versatility and affordability of smaller SUVs.

Despite not having the best-selling models, Hyundai and Kia dominate the subcompact SUV segment with a combined market share of 25% among their five subcompact SUVs.

Hyundai and Kia subcompact SUVs dominate market share with notable sales growth

The subcompact SUV segment is highly competitive, and the fact that Hyundai and Kia have grabbed a 25% market share is a testament to their vehicle quality.

In Q1 2023, Hyundai’s and Kia’s subcompact SUVs continued to perform well, with all five models seeing sales increases over the previous year.

The Hyundai Kona saw the highest sales, with 19,220 units sold in Q1 2023, a 24% increase over the same period in 2022. The Kia Seltos also saw a significant rise, with sales of 13,894 units in Q1 2023, a 25% increase over Q1 2022. While the Kia Soul saw a 20% increase, with 16,984 units sold in Q1 2023, the Kia Niro experienced a 6.5% rise, with 9,827. And the Hyundai Venue saw the greatest percentage increase of 31%, with 8,603 units sold.

How Hyundai and Kia are shaking things up with their lineup

It’s impressive for Hyundai and Kia to find such success in the subcompact SUV segment, considering the stiff competition and high standards in today’s automotive market. Both brands have distinguished themselves by producing a diverse range of subcompact SUVs that meet the needs of a broad spectrum of consumers, from those seeking sporty performance to those looking for maximum fuel efficiency.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting the subcompact SUV segment is particularly challenging because it requires manufacturers to balance numerous competing priorities. On the one hand, subcompact SUVs must be small and agile enough to navigate urban environments. On the other hand, they must also be spacious and comfortable to accommodate families and cargo.

Despite those challenges, Hyundai and Kia have produced an excellent lineup of subcompact SUVs that consistently rank among the top performers in the segment. Not only do these vehicles offer excellent performance and fuel efficiency, but they also have cutting-edge safety and infotainment features that make them compelling choices.

Ultimately, Hyundai and Kia’s dominance in the subcompact SUV segment speaks to their success in meeting consumer demand. As competition in the automotive market continues to grow, it will be interesting to see whether these two brands can continue to innovate.


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