The Porsche 911 Outsold a Practical BMW SUV This Year

Generally speaking, we don’t think of sports cars as regular best sellers. They’re usually left to the bottom of “top sellers” charts and that’s just the way things are. People just aren’t going out and buying a sports car to drive every day of the week. However, Porsche has a knack for eschewing this concept. Now, the German brand has done it again with the Porsche 911.

The Porsche 911 deserves to be a top seller

A lineup of three Porsche 911 Turbo models on a runway
Peak 911: The Turbo S at its launch in Sydney | Porsche AG

It’s really not hard to see why the Porsche 911 is such a killer in the marketplace. It’s the thinking person’s sports car. Frankly, it has been for the better part of nearly 60 years. Moreover, the model range is consistently expanding to do more with the same legendary rear-engined format. Journalists live for the handling dynamics, and owners praise the Porsche 911 for its usability every day.

I personally know four people who daily drive 911s. They love it. People even take them camping. Of course, this level of usability, (general) reliability, and excellent driving dynamics comes at a cost. The new 2021 911 starts at just a hair over $99,000. It sells like a six-figre sports car too. In 2021, Porsche has only sold 5,107 units. However, that was still more than enough to beat out a large, practical SUV.

The X6… not so much

The BMW X5 M50i in blue outside the brand's factory
BMW has nailed the coupe roofline | BMW

The BMW X6, especially the coupe model shown above, is at an odd place in the market. Perhaps that explains why it doesn’t sell well. Just like the 911, you’ll rapidly outpace the $65,000 starting price as the options pile up. It’s quite possible to end up with a $100,00 super SUV. Hell, there’s even a BMW M variant with 617 hp. The roofline on some models limits practicality, despite it being more spacious than the Porsche. It’s also trying to break into a market wholly dominated by Range Rover.

Honestly, the BMW X6 just isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Consumers can feel that, and it shows in the market. As of the writing of this article, BMW has only sold 4,612 units in North America, per GoodCarBadCar. So how is it that a small German sports coupe has managed to outsell what is normally a semi-practical luxury SUV? Well, part of it has to do with the pandemic. The wealthy people stuck at home with nothing to do won’t be caught dead saying “Yes dear, perhaps we ought to buy the X6 for the weekends instead.”

Greatest hits

The coupe-esque roofline of the blue BMW X5
A little lower to the ground and you’ve got a killer sedan look | BMW

No, they’ll buy the 911. Probably because they’ve got another large SUV sitting in the garage for the weekly shopping. And perhaps that’s the BMW X6’s problem. It’s got no place in the market due to the coupe-esque roof and the price. If people want luxury at the $65,000+ price point, they’ll be buying a Range Rover much sooner than an X6. And they’ll want a Porsche 911 to go along with it.

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