US: small SUVs are the norm for 2015 image

While the recovery of the American auto industry is in full swing and gas prices are falling to levels never seen since 2010, the booming SUV market also caters for those who want a smaller subcompact or compact crossover.

There’s one prediction that could very well turn golden – compact and subcompact SUVs are getting ready for skyrocketing deliveries and automakers seem to be thinking the same: there’s an outstanding level of new model introductions in the segment. “A lot of new small SUVs are coming, ” adds IHS Automotive senior analyst Stephanie Brinley. “People will pay more for an SUV than a hatchback or sedan. That makes them very attractive to automakers.” Chevrolet is finally bringing the smallish Trax to the US, Jeep has unveiled its smallest SUV to date – the Renegade – and its Italian sibling – the Fiat 500X – has just been unveiled. The Japanese are not staying idle as well – Honda presented the HR-V and Mazda recently introduced the new CX-3. Even older models – such as the Buick Encore (Opel’s Mokka in Europe) should benefit from the increased attention and have better sales results.

The small SUV segment is already the sector with the highest growth in Europe and is proving more popular by the day in Asia as well. Such cars are more attractive than their traditional brethren because of better looks, higher ride position, cargo capacity and optional all-wheel drive. They’re more convenient than a small hatchback but also not as bulky as a traditional off-roader, allowing for increased city versatility.