How to do you define a large crossover? That definition includes models that offer seating for at least six or seven, are powered by V-6 engines and offer generous storage room. GM builds more large crossovers than any other manufacturer, but it divides that production among three brands. Chrysler sells both the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but only the former is in this category as it is an extended wheelbase model with seating for seven. The Grand Cherokee is considered a midsize crossover.
Large Crossover Models
A number of crossover models once were sold as traditional body-on-frame models. As customers have shown a preference for car-based models, the transition to the new platform is nearly complete with just a few holdovers such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia present. As long as there is a market for such models we’ll likely see them produced for years to come.
1. Ford Explorer. During its hay day, Ford sold more than 400,000 Explorers. Sales trailed off sharply through the 2000s until a new crossover model was rolled out in 2010. That model has been a strong seller, a vehicle that also is marketed for police duty. In 2013, Ford sold 178,311 Explorers, up from 158,344 the year before, a 12.6 percent increase. Add in the 14,086 sales for the Police Interceptor Utility and the total comes to 192,397 units. Ford still offers the Expedition, a traditional SUV that added an additional 38,350 units to the mix.
2. Toyota Highlander. Like Ford, Toyota offers several crossover/SUV models. The Highlander at 127,572 units sold is a distant second in this segment, a model that is smaller than the Sequoia and Land Cruiser, vehicles that contributed an additional 17,000 sales in 2013. An all-new 2014 model should help the Highlander enjoy even greater gains than the 5.4 percent rise it had in 2013.
3. Honda Pilot. It was close, but there is no No. 2 position for the Honda Pilot. In 2013, Pilot sales rose by 10.3 percent, trimming the Highlander’s lead to just 864 units. Like the Highlander, the Honda Pilot is one of the more established large crossovers. Its place in the Honda line up seems assured, a vehicle like the Odyssey van that offers generous cabin room.
4. Chevrolet Traverse. The Traverse is the top seller among the three large GM crossovers. There was a fourth model, but it is gone. Can you name it? That would be the Saturn Outlook. The Chevrolet Traverse was updated for 2013, a move that helped push sales up by 12.7 percent to 96,467 units sold. Traditional SUVs are still popular among Chevrolet products with the Suburban adding another 51,260 units sold and the Tahoe with sales of 83,502 vehicles in 2013.
5. GMC Acadia. Most Buick and GMC dealerships are united. And that means both the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave are sold under the same roof. The Enclave targets the luxury segment; the Acadia the premium segment. Even still, the Acadia Denali provides a level of luxury that rivals the Enclave, giving GMC shoppers one more option to consider when buying one. In 2013 Acadia sales were 89,793 units, up 14.7 percent for the year.
Larger Crossovers: Best of the Rest
Sales of the Nissan Pathfinder rose by more than 100 percent as a new model replaced the previous truck-based SUV. The Pathfinder represents the fastest growing model in this segment and its rapid growth puts it just outside of the top five. Premium models in this segment include the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60; the Mazda CX-9 and Ford’s Flex are other models to consider.