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Toyota and Honda tend to hog the limelight when it comes to many lists, but that may have just changed. The Nissan Rogue has been slowly working its way up the SUV rankings, and the unthinkable has happened. The Rogue has beaten out the Honda CR-V to become the second best-selling SUV behind the RAV4, and GoodCarBadCar has the year-to-date numbers to prove it.

A close up of a 2023 Nissan Rogue, which is one of the best compact SUVs.
2023 Nissan Rogue | Nissan Motor Corporation

The Honda CR-V has had great numbers for years

Some people absolutely adore their Honda CR-V, and even choose to get a second or third one to add to their fleet. That doesn’t seem to have changed for the past year. In fact, GoodCarBadCar’s year-to-date numbers show it is still showing some growth.

For example, in March, the CR-V sold 31,084 vehicles, which is very impressive given the current economy. This is a growth of 3.81% since last March when Honda sold 29,943 CR-Vs. The year-to-date numbers show a growth of 14.79%, as the CR-V sold 58,579 last year, and 67,241 so far this year. 

The new CR-V has been hit with a recall, which may be causing some consumers to turn elsewhere for their SUV needs. The frame and rear suspension components are prone to rust. The models affected are the 2007-2011, so this doesn’t apply to the newer models.

The Nissan Rogue passed the CR-V to become the second best-selling SUV

The Nissan Rogue has defied expectations by overtaking the Honda CR-V. In March 2023, it sold 27,177, a growth of 66.88% from March 2022 when it sold only 16,285 vehicles. The YTD numbers are 76,499, which is a massive increase of 69.11% from 2022 when it sold 45,235 models. The Nissan Rogue sold 9,258 more vehicles than the Honda CR-V YTD.

There is likely not a single reason for this dramatic jump. Some of it might be due to updates like the addition of the Midnight Package, which gives the Rogue something new to discuss. Higher trims like the Rogue Platinum also add Amazon Alexa. The Rogue comes in several bright colors that help make sure the Nissan Rogue gets noticed, such as Sunset Drift, Scarlet Ember, and Caspian Blue. Small changes like these can add up.

To be fair though, the jump likely has more to do with factors like increased supply. There is still a surprising amount of demand for new SUVs. So if Nissan can meet that supply better than Honda and Toyota, consumers will likely flock to the Rogue.

The Rogue has a long way to go before it has a chance of knocking the RAV4 off its throne. There’s still a strong chance this could happen, however.

The Toyota RAV4 is the king of the segment

The Toyota RAV4 remains the undisputed best-selling SUV, according to GoodCarBadCar. In spite of this, its numbers have actually taken a bit of a hit. In March 2022, it sold 37,328 vehicles. For 2023, that number dropped by 16.26% to 31,258. 

The YTD numbers aren’t looking much better. Its most recent numbers are 84,704, which is a drop of 16.29%, as it sold 101,192 last year to date. The reason for this decline is unclear because other vehicles like the Ford F-Series and Tesla Model Y have seen a boost.

One reason may be a recent lawsuit Toyota is getting hit with. The roof rails are allegedly allowing water to seep into the cabin, thanks in large part to cheap materials used in production. One couple had all the wiring in their RAV4 ruined, and Toyota refuses to repair it as it’s not covered under warranty.

The lawsuit is aimed at 2019-2021 models, but many consumers may be fearful that the issue has not been resolved.

The Nissan Rogue has had a major burst in sales, while the RAV4 is dipping at an alarming rate. Only time will tell if this Nissan SUV has what it takes to become the best-selling SUV in the future.


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