Awful weather isn’t all bad news – SUV sales are on the up

Time 6:00 am, January 23, 2015

nissan qashqaiYOU can’t beat the good old British weather to give car sales a helping hand.

The first snow of the year, thick early-morning frosts and severe cold-weather warnings from the Met Office have prompted a lift in demand for SUVs, according to

The popular vehicle classifieds network compared search volume across last weekend to the weekend before, and SUV search impressions saw a lift of 35 per cent.

Not surprisingly, the strongest regions were Scotland, the north-east of England and the Midlands.

The Nissan Qashqai held top spot for demand, retaining almost double the interest of any competitor. Runner-up, the Land Rover Freelander, was up 38 per cent, while its stable mates, the Range Rover Sport (+49 per cent) and Range Rover Evoque (+66 per cent), also gained significant ground.

The top three positions in search growth, however, went to the Mazda CX5, with demand more than doubling at +108 per cent, the Mitsubishi Outlander (+75 per cent) and the Dacia Duster (+69 peer cent).

Andy Coulthurst, the managing director of, said: ‘The snow on the ground prompted an immediate spike in demand for SUVs. Across one weekend alone, we saw our top 15 SUV models soar well above one million search impressions on the core site.

‘Forecasters predict we have more bad weather on the way and dealers should be on the hunt for SUV stock that can be prepped, imaged and advertised quickly to meet consumer demand.

‘Taking into account some of the models in our data set also have two-wheel-drive derivatives, it is likely falling fuel prices also have their part to play in the increased demand for larger and more fuel-hungry models, including the SUV market.

‘With industry bodies calling for further cuts in fuel duty and the price of oil continuing to fall, there is every chance consumers will have less concern for fuel running costs when making a purchase decision in the coming weeks.’

The Top 20 Most Searched for SUVs on

  1. Nissan Qashqai
  2. Land Rover Freelander
  3. Honda CRV
  4. Land Rover Discovery
  5. Toyota RAV4
  6. BMW X5
  7. Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  8. Ford Kuga
  9. Land Rover Range Rover
  10. Kia Sportage
  11. Volkswagen Tiguan
  12. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
  13. Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  14. Nissan X-Trail
  15. BMW X3
  16. Suzuki Grand Vitara
  17. Hyundai ix35
  18. Volvo XC60
  19. Kia Sorento
  20. Volvo XC90

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Colin Channon's avatar

Colin is a former editor of Car Dealer. He left the magazine in August 2015.

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