Says Crossover Interest Growing as SUV Interest Declines

The gap in consumer interest between crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) continues to widen, according to a report released by The company, a vehicle pricing and information website, says consumer interest in crossovers increased 14.8% in April 2008 compared to April 2007, while SUV interest was down at almost the same rate of 15.9% during that same timeframe.

The company defines "consumer interest" as the number of in-market vehicle shoppers at its website,, who accessed pricing information for a specific vehicle. Crossover utility vehicles are defined as vehicles that have characteristics of both SUVs and cars.

Three out of the top ten CUVs showing the greatest increase in consumer interest last month compared to April of last year were hybrids, with interest in the Mercury Mariner Hybrid growing 165.3% and interest in the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid increasing 73.8% and 50.9% respectively.

"The fact that three of the top ten CUVs showing the greatest increase in interest were hybrids demonstrates that fuel efficiency is a serious concern," said Tara Baukus Mello, senior writer and lead market analyst at "Consumers are not only interested in the styling and handling characteristics of a CUV, they're also interested in saving money at the gas pump."

Following is a complete list of the CUVs showing the greatest increase in consumer interest at in April 2008 compared to April 2007.

  • Hyundai Veracruz: 343.9% increase
  • Mercury Mariner Hybrid: 165.3% increase
  • Buick Enclave: 125.0% increase
  • Subaru Forester: 115.1% increase
  • Porsche Cayenne: 90.4% increase
  • Saturn VUE: 83.5% increase
  • Ford Escape Hybrid: 73.8% increase
  • Chevrolet HHR: 51.5% increase
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 50.9% increase
  • Mazda 5: 44.6% increase

Coming off the heels of a 30.7% sales increase in 2007 compared to 2006, the mid-size CUV market remains strong and continues to grow, according to Baukus Mello.


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