Toyota Has Had a Notoriously Difficult Time With 1 SUV Segment
Toyota is one of the best-selling automotive companies in the world. With a proud history of reliability and longevity, consumers choose Toyota time after time. However, Toyota, with all of its top-selling vehicles, has an issue with one segment in particular; the subcompact SUV segment.
With the success across the rest of the Toyota lineup, why has this company had difficulty selling subcompact SUVs? Here is everything you need to know about the one SUV segment that Toyota has a tough time selling.
Toyota has big winners in the compact and midsize SUV segments
While the subcompact SUV segment has been difficult for Toyota, the rest of its SUVs lead their class in sales and reputation. For example, the 4Runner sold 144,696 units in 2021 alone, according to CarFigures. The Highlander, on the other hand, sold over a quarter of a million units in 2021, with 264,128 units sold in 2021. Finally, the RAV4 topped nearly every sales chart with 407,739 units sold in 2021 according to GoodCarBadCar
These three SUVs are long-running nameplates with a history of longevity, capability, and high resale value. With these vehicles being some of the best-selling vehicles in the world, Toyota definitely doesn’t struggle with SUV sales.
Subcompact SUV success has alluded to Toyota
Toyota’s most recent subcompact SUV offering was the Toyota C-HR. The C-HR took a dramatic approach to styling, unlike the RAV4, which is fairly basic and utilitarian in design. The C-HR was one of the few Toyota vehicles that aimed to stand out in the crowd.
Sadly, this design philosophy failed to catch the appeal of consumers, with Toyota reporting that the C-HR was discontinued after the 2022 model year, with only 35,707 units sold in 2021.
While the C-HR did have an interesting exterior design, great safety features, and solid fuel economy, it simply wasn’t enough to compete with the affordable Nissan Kicks, Sporty CX-30, and other quirky competition like the Kia Soul.
Every successful subcompact SUV needs an angle, and unfortunately, the C-HR was a little too “in the middle” to appeal to a wide range of consumers.
What are some of the best subcompact SUVs?
Even though the Toyota C-HR is no longer offered, there are still plenty of other great subcompact SUVs on the market today. Models like the Mazda CX-30, Kia Niro, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, and Volkswagen Taos are all great places to start.
If you are still looking for a small SUV from Toyota and the RAV4 doesn’t appeal to you, Toyota also produces the Corolla Cross. This Corolla Cross gives consumers a Corolla-like feel in a crossover body.
While Toyota has not been overly successful in the subcompact crossover SUV marketplace, the Corolla Cross is a step in the right direction. Toyota consumers seem to want a safe, straightforward subcompact SUV, and the Corolla Cross is about as straightforward as it gets.