Sales of Nissan’s Rogue, its mid-sized crossover, rose 47% in the first quarter of the year. The improvement was the greatest among the country’s 20 best-selling cars, and it put the car’s total sales for the period at 101,421, which made it the fourth best-selling car in America.
The Rogue has benefited from the surge of sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossovers. All crossover sales rose 11.4% in the first quarter of the year to 1,198,436. In January through March sales, crossover sales led all the major vehicle categories, which also include SUVs, sedans, coupes and pickups.
The Rogue competes in a crowded sector. Its base price is $22,820. That can rise to $36,000 with a full set of available features. Fuel consumption is stingy. The Rogue gets 33 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 35 MPG on the highway because of a four-cylinder 2.5 liter engine. Among the vehicles that compete with the Rogue are Toyota Motor Corp.’s (NYSE: TM) RAV4 (first quarter unit sales: 80,533), Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) CR-V (94,057) and the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) Escape (76,338). All three are among the country’s best-selling vehicles for the first quarter, another sign of the category’s popularity.
Rogue sales have been essential to the success of Nissan. Its sales have risen 4.2% in the first quarter to 416,891. That makes the Rogue 24% of all Nissan’s U.S. sales.
The Rogue’s success is largely due to the popularity of the category it is in. However, it has bested all competitors by a wide margin.