Despite two recent recalls and a warning from the American automaker to not drive the crossover due to a fire risk, the Ford Escape is a hot seller. Consumers seem to be sure that Ford will fix any issues that arise and are sweeping up the CUV in droves, with 21,572 leaving dealer lots in July.
But the Escape isn't the only crossover that is selling well this summer. Several others are enjoying healthy sales as Americans choose them for their versatility, style and fuel economy.
Recent spikes in gas prices over the past three years have been driving down demand in gas thirsty full-size SUVs like Chevy Suburbans and Ford Expeditions, and driving up demand for lighter-weight, thriftier vehicles that also have a large degree of utility for families.
Several automakers have replaced some of their SUV models with lighter weight crossovers. The old truck-based Ford Explorer, for example, has been replaced with a car-based crossover Explorer that is selling much better than the old one. GM's Equinox has replaced the old discontinued Chevy TrailBlazer in the driveways of a lot of former SUV buyers.
Check out the best sellers for the month by clicking through the gallery.
July 2012 Sales: 4,911
Change vs. July 2011: +18.8%
MSRP: $35,985 - $49,585
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 24 mpg Hwy
The Cadillac SRX is a mid-size luxury crossover vehicle that offers all the features Cadillac customers expect, as well as the utility of a five-passenger CUV. The SRX is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, and is powered by a new 3.6-liter, direct-injection V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.
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July 2012 Sales: 5,746
Change vs. July 2011: -59.8%
MSRP: $29,660 - $41,035
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 24 mpg Hwy
The Chevrolet Traverse crossover utility vehicle combines the smooth ride and responsive handling of a car with the cargo capability and high seating position of a traditional truck-based sport utility vehicle. The well-equipped interior features two front bucket seats and two different seating configurations for the second and third row seats, accommodating a maximum of eight passengers. An efficient, direct injection 3.6-liter V6 engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.
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July 2012 Sales: 6,186
Change vs. July 2011: +28.9%
MSRP: $39,310 - $47,000
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 25 mpg Hwy
The Lexus RX was one of the first sedan-based, luxury utility vehicles, and it remains one of the most flexible when it comes to hauling people or cargo. The RX 350 is powered by a 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission delivering performance, and fuel efficiency. It is available with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
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July 2012 Sales: 6,453
Change vs. July 2011: +3.8%
MSRP: $21,295 - $29,995
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 27 mpg Hwy
The Subaru Forester is a compact crossover vehicle that blends many of the best attributes of a sport-utility vehicle with the ride and driving dynamics of a car. It offers the capability of Symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive, as well as a versatile rear cargo area with liftgate, underfloor storage and up to 68 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Forester is available in six trim levels: 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5X Touring, 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Touring. All trim levels are equipped with a 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine.
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July 2012 Sales: 7,051
Change vs. July 2011: +68.7%
MSRP: $18,995 - $30,795
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 26 mpg Hwy
The Dodge Journey is a midsize crossover based on a car-like structure. It's capable and versatile enough to compete with large truck based sport utility vehicles. The Dodge Journey is offered in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. The trim lineup includes SE, SXT, Crew, and R/T. Available engine choices are either a 173-hp 2.4-liter engine with a four-speed automatic transmission, or a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
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July 2012 Sales: 7,390
Change vs. July 2011: -29.1%
MSRP: $32,835 - $46,810
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 24 mpg Hwy
The GMC Acadia crossover utility vehicle combines the smooth ride and responsive handling of a car with the cargo capability and high seating position of a traditional truck-based sport utility vehicle. The interior features two front bucket seats and two different seating configurations for the second and third row seats, accommodating a maximum of eight passengers. A direct injection 3.6-liter V6 engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Acadia is available in five trim levels: SL,SLE, SLT-1,SLT-2 and Denali.
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July 2012 Sales: 7,595
Change vs. July 2011: +4.0%
MSRP: $25,835 - $36,275
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 32 mpg Hwy
The 2013 GMC Terrain is a boldly styled five-passenger crossover SUV engineered with excellent fuel economy in mind. The Terrain is built alongside its sister vehicle, the Chevrolet Equinox at the CAMI assembly plant. The Terrain is powered by either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 182-hp, or a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 292-hp. Both all-aluminum engines include direct injection and are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that helps to maximize efficiency.
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July 2012 Sales: 9,177
Change vs. July 2011: -5.7%
MSRP: $27,525 - $39,060
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 27 mpg Hwy
The Ford Edge is a five-passenger crossover sport utility that answers the call for a roomy vehicle with utility and style. It isn't a truck. Nor is it a minivan. Yet it's more than a car. The front-, or all-wheel drive Edge is powered by a 285-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, while the Edge Sport adds a 305-hp 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6; both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission, the Sport adds steering wheel shift paddles.
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July 2012 Sales: 10,045
Change vs. July 2011: -24.3%
MSRP: $23,150 - $33,400
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 29 mpg Hwy
The Sorento is Kia's entry into the cross-over utility vehicle (CUV) segment. The Sorento features unibody construction and a streamlined, modern appearance. The Sorento is available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or four-wheel drive (4x4) in five- or seven-seat configurations. A 175-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 191-hp direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 276-hp 3.5-liter V6 are the available engine choices. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the wheels.
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July 2012 Sales: 10,669
Change vs. July 2011: +11.7%
MSRP: $28,240 - $37,195
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg City, 25 mpg Hwy
The Toyota Highlander is a mid-size sport utility vehicle, engineered with Toyota's legendary quality and designed to stand out. A smooth performer, the Highlander also boasts progressive safety technologies and a spacious, flexible interior that seats seven in comfort; an available flip-up rear liftgate window provides quick access to the cargo area. The Highlander is offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, with a choice of three trim levels: Base, SE and Limited.
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July 2012 Sales: 13,193
Change vs. July 2011: +17.2%
MSRP: $22,310 - $29,950
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 28 mpg Hwy
The Rogue is Nissan's entry into the hotly contested crossover segment. The Rogue offers similar styling to the iconic Nissan Murano, in a slightly smaller package. Available in S or SV trim, with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. All Rogues are equipped with 2.5-liter, 170-hp, four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Rogue seats up the five passengers in its well appointed interior.
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July 2012 Sales: 15,248
Change vs. July 2011: +73.0%
MSRP: $22,650 - $28,650
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 28 mpg Hwy
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the compact SUVs that created the class. It has become bigger in recent years and includes more outstanding features that make it an even more useful family vehicle. The RAV4 seats five and has an available third-row seat (that folds flat into the cargo floor) that increases its capacity to seven. The RAV4 is a four-door, compact sport utility vehicle, available in three trim levels: Base, Sport and Limited.
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July 2012 Sales: 19,906
Change vs. July 2011: +16.5%
MSRP: $23,530 - $30,970
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 32 mpg Hwy
The Chevrolet Equinox is a competitively priced mid-sized SUV that offers exceptional versatility, distinctive design and high practicality. The Equinox is available in four trim levels, LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ, and can be had in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The standard drivetrain is a 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. A 3.0-liter direct injection V6 is optional on the LT and LTZ trims.
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July 2012 Sales: 20,554
Change vs. July 2011: +47.4%
MSRP: $22,495 - $28,495
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 31 mpg Hwy
The Honda CR-V is a compact crossover SUV that delivers a balance of style, versatility and comfort. It enters its fourth generation in 2012 with revised interior and exterior treatments, enhanced power and a host of new equipment and innovative technologies. The five-passenger CR-V is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, each with a choice of three trim levels: LX, EX and EX-L. All trim levels are powered by a 185-hp 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
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July 2012 Sales: 21,572
Change vs. July 2011: -11.6%
MSRP: $22,470 - $32,120
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 31 mpg Hwy
The Ford Escape is a mid-size sport-utility vehicle, which now incorporates the latest technology and style; setting a new standard in the SUV category. Completely redesigned for 2013 the Escape features an athletic looking exterior, with a much improved interior. The five-passenger Escape is available in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trims, in either front or four-wheel drive. Engine choices start with the 168-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Also, a 173-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is available. For even more power a 237-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is offered.
The 2013 Ford Escape has been very popular with consumers, despite being recalled twice in the past month. Heavy incentives placed on the outgoing 2012 model have also helped lift the Escape into the number one spot for the month of July.
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