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Most Popular SUVs in Canada

Most Popular SUVs in Canada

SUVs have become an increasingly popular choice for Canadian drivers, now making up over a third of vehicles on the road. Their versatile capabilities and practical benefits make SUVs a natural fit for Canada’s varied terrain and climate. As SUV options expand, more models cater to urban commuters and outdoor adventurers alike. Understanding the most popular SUVs provides insight into what Canadian buyers prioritize when selecting these versatile vehicles.


This article explores the top-selling SUV models, leading brands, and reasons behind their popularity. By examining what drives Canadian buyers to SUVs, you can make an informed decision for your next SUV purchase. Keeping factors like reliability, efficiency, capability and safety at the forefront will lead you to an SUV you’ll enjoy for years to come.

 

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#1 – Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 has been the best-selling SUV in Canada for 7 years straight. In 2022, Toyota sold 55,921 RAV4s, which was 10% fewer than the previous year but still far ahead of any other model. The RAV4 first debuted in 1994 and was one of the original compact crossover SUVs. Its reputation for reliability, efficiency, and versatility has made it a go-to choice for Canadian SUV buyers year after year.

The current fifth-generation RAV4 arrived in 2019 with a bold new look and improved hybrid option. The RAV4 Hybrid makes up over 30% of RAV4 sales in Canada, appealing to those looking to save on gas. Overall, the RAV4 manages to blend the comfort and drivability of a car with the utility of an SUV. For anyone needing an urban commuter or a weekend adventure mobile, the perennial popularity of the RAV4 is easy to understand.

 

#2 – Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has been a top-selling SUV in Canada for years. In 2022, it was the runner-up to the Toyota RAV4, with 32,096 units sold. Though sales were down 37% from 2021, likely due to inventory shortages, the CR-V remains wildly popular with Canadian buyers.

There are several reasons behind the CR-V’s success. It offers the right mix of practicality, fuel efficiency and versatility that families seek. The interior is spacious, with clever storage solutions to maximize cargo capacity. It’s easy to drive and comfortable for daily commutes or road trips.

Reliability is another big factor. Hondas have a reputation for low maintenance costs and longevity. The CR-V consistently ranks among the most reliable compact SUVs. Owners report keeping their CR-Vs for years past the average vehicle lifespan, with little need for major repairs. For those seeking peace of mind, the CR-V delivers.

Available as both front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the CR-V provides capability for different conditions. The AWD models offer added traction and control in snowy winters. Fuel economy is impressive as well, with combined city/highway ratings up to 7.4L/100km. There’s a reason why the versatile, dependable CR-V remains so popular year after year.

 

#3 – Ford Escape

The Ford Escape has been a top seller in Canada for years, and 2022 was no exception. Over 30,000 Escapes were sold, cementing its position as the third most popular SUV. The Escape’s popularity stems from its balance of practicality, fuel efficiency, and affordability.

As a compact SUV, the Escape offers a good amount of cargo and passenger space while still being easy to maneuver. It gets decent fuel economy, with FWD models getting up to 8.7L/100km city and 7.7L/100km highway. The Escape also comes with an array of technology features that were once only found in luxury vehicles, like a hands-free liftgate, adaptive cruise control, and a 12.3” digital instrument cluster.

Ford offers the Escape in a variety of trim levels to fit different budgets. Even the base models come well-equipped with the latest safety features like automatic emergency braking. Higher trims add leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, and more premium touches. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version that offers up to 50km of electric range.

The Ford Escape hits the sweet spot between practicality, efficiency, and value. This balanced crossover SUV continues to attract Canadian buyers year after year. Its combination of usable space, smart technology, and reasonable pricing make it a popular choice for families and commuters alike.

 

#4 – Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson has cemented itself as a top choice for Canadian SUV buyers. In 2022, the Tucson was the 4th best-selling SUV in Canada with 26,994 units sold. This midsize crossover saw a 7% increase in sales from the previous year, thanks to its combination of style, technology, and value.

The Tucson’s sleek exterior design stands out in the segment, with its cascading grille and futuristic lighting elements. Inside, the Tucson impresses with its roomy cabin and user-friendly tech like a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Active safety features like forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control come standard.

Powering the Tucson is a choice of gas and hybrid powertrains. The base engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder with 187 horsepower, while the Hybrid model boasts 226 total system horsepower for increased efficiency. Available all-wheel drive provides capability in inclement weather.

With its eye-catching looks, generous standard features, fuel-efficient powertrains and competitive pricing, the Hyundai Tucson hits the sweet spot for many Canadian families and adventurers. Its sales growth shows Canadians continue to be drawn to this stylish and sensible crossover SUV.

 

#5 – Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is the fifth best-selling SUV in Canada. In 2022, Nissan sold over 42,000 Rogue SUVs in the Canadian market. The Rogue’s popularity stems from its combination of style, efficiency, and value.

On the road, the Rogue provides a smooth and quiet ride. Its 2.5L 4-cylinder engine delivers good power while maintaining respectable fuel economy. The Rogue comes loaded with tech like a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, and available safety features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

For families, the Rogue shines with its flexible cargo space and family-friendly seating. With its affordability and long list of standard features, the Rogue presents strong value to shoppers. Nissan’s strong reputation for reliability gives buyers confidence in the long-term ownership experience.

With its mix of practicality, efficiency, and affordability, it’s no surprise the Nissan Rogue continues to attract buyers seeking an uncomplicated, well-rounded compact SUV.

 

#6 – Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is the 6th best selling SUV in Canada. This midsize crossover SUV has been a strong seller thanks to its sleek styling, fuel efficiency and driving dynamics. In 2022, Mazda sold over 20,000 CX-5 models in Canada.

The CX-5 first launched in 2012 and has been updated over the years, including a refreshed exterior look for 2022. It features Mazda’s signature Kodo “Soul of Motion” design language, with a flowing silhouette and aggressive front grille. Available amenities like a sunroof, leather seats and advanced safety technologies make the CX-5 a well-rounded package.

Under the hood, the CX-5 offers efficient four-cylinder engines. Fuel economy is a selling point, with combined city/highway ratings up to 8.7L/100km. The CX-5 also delivers responsive handling thanks to its tight chassis, precise steering and balanced suspension tuning. This gives it a fun-to-drive character that outpaces some rivals.

With its sleek styling, impressive fuel economy and engaging driving experience, it’s no surprise the Mazda CX-5 continues to attract Canadian buyers looking for substance and style in their small SUV.

 

#7 – Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox has been a top-selling SUV in Canada for years. In 2022, Chevrolet sold over 30,000 Equinox models, making it the 7th best-selling SUV in the country. The Equinox offers a balance of style, versatility, and value that appeals to many Canadian buyers.

The Equinox is available in several trim levels, including the base LS, mid-level LT, sporty RS, and top Premier trims. Standard features include a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a 1.5L turbocharged engine. Higher trims add amenities like heated seats, a power liftgate, and a more powerful 2.0L turbo engine. With seating for up to 5 and 63.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Equinox provides ample passenger and storage room.

Overall, the Equinox’s combination of affordability, fuel efficiency, tech features and flexible interior make it one of the most sought-after compact SUVs in Canada. Its consistent spot among the top sellers demonstrates the Equinox’s widespread appeal to Canadian buyers.

 

#8 – Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback has been a popular SUV choice in Canada for many years. In 2022, it was the 8th best-selling SUV in the country with over 20,000 units sold. The Outback provides the perfect combination of car-like handling and SUV capability that Canadian drivers love.

The Outback first launched in Canada back in 1996 and has grown to become Subaru’s best-selling model. Buyers appreciate the Outback for its rugged styling, ample cargo room, and standard all-wheel drive. Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system provides traction and control in all weather conditions, which is a key selling feature in snowy parts of the country.

For 2022, the Outback saw a sales increase of 5.2% over 2021, cementing its spot among the top SUVs. With seating for up to 5 passengers, up to 2,144 liters of cargo capacity, and an efficient 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine option, it offers practicality and versatility for everyday use. Whether commuting, running errands, or venturing off-road, the Outback remains a popular SUV choice for Canadians seeking an adventure-ready vehicle.

 

#9 – Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is an icon of off-roading that continues to have a strong presence among Canada’s top-selling SUVs. In 2022, Jeep sold over 20,000 Wrangler models in Canada. While sales were down compared to previous years, likely due to production issues, the Wrangler still claimed the 9th spot for best-selling SUVs.

What makes the Wrangler so popular, especially in Canada? Its body-on-frame construction and solid front and rear axles make it one of the most capable stock off-road vehicles you can buy. The Wrangler’s removable doors and roof panels also let owners enjoy open-air driving during warmer months. Available in 2-door and 4-door versions, the Wrangler offers a unique driving experience focused on freedom and adventure.

For 2023, Jeep has updated the Wrangler with new technology like a digital gauge cluster display, more standard safety features, and a new off-road focused Willys model. Power still comes from a 3.6L V6 or 2.0L turbocharged engine. Four-wheel drive with low range gearing comes standard across the lineup for maximum capability when going off the beaten path.

With its iconic styling and off-road prowess, it’s no surprise the Jeep Wrangler continues to attract buyers looking to explore Canada’s wilderness in a true 4×4 SUV.

 

#10 – Kia Sportage

Rounding out the top 10 best selling SUVs in Canada for 2022 is the Kia Sportage with 27,279 units sold. The Sportage saw a 1.7% increase in sales from 2021, showing the continued popularity of this compact crossover SUV. Known for its value pricing, sleek styling, and generous warranty coverage, the Sportage appeals to budget-conscious buyers seeking an affordable, well-equipped SUV.

Redesigned for the 2023 model year, the latest Sportage features a bold exterior design and upgraded interior materials. Available in front or all-wheel drive configurations, it comes well-equipped even at base trim levels. Higher trims add amenities like a 10.25” touchscreen, heated seats, and a panoramic sunroof. Power comes from a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower, or an available turbocharged 2.5L making 277 hp. With its mix of style, features and warranty value, the Sportage remains a compelling choice in the compact SUV segment.

 

Reasons for Popularity

When looking at the top SUV models in Canada, it becomes clear why this vehicle type has gained such popularity among Canadian drivers. Several key factors make SUVs well-suited for Canada’s climate and lifestyles:

 

All-Weather Capability

SUVs tend to perform better than sedans in snow, ice, and other challenging winter conditions. Their higher ground clearance, available AWD/4WD systems, and traction control help them grip slick roads and plow through deep snow. For Canadians facing long winters, SUVs provide confidence and safety.

 

Cargo and Passenger Space

With their boxy shapes and larger frames, SUVs offer more interior room and cargo capacity compared to cars. Families appreciate the ability to haul kids, pets, sports gear, groceries, and other cargo. SUVs range from 5-seater to 7-seater configurations to accommodate different needs.

 

Improved Fuel Efficiency

While SUVs were once notorious gas guzzlers, modern models have made great strides in fuel efficiency. Lighter materials, smoother aerodynamics, turbocharged engines and hybrid powertrains all contribute to better MPG ratings. Canadian drivers can now enjoy an SUV’s benefits without the pump pain.

 

Leading SUV Brands in Canada

When looking at the best-selling SUV models in Canada, a few brands stand out as the leaders in the SUV market:

 

Toyota

Toyota has dominated the SUV segment in recent years thanks to the runaway success of the RAV4. As the best-selling SUV in Canada for over 7 straight years, the RAV4 demonstrates Toyota’s expertise in building reliable, efficient and versatile SUVs at an affordable price point. Beyond the RAV4, Toyota SUVs like the Highlander, 4Runner and the hybrid RAV4 demonstrate the brand’s strengths.

 

Honda

Honda has long been a go-to brand for Canadians looking for a compact SUV. The Honda CR-V has been one of the top choices thanks to its practical size, fuel efficiency, safety ratings and reputation for low maintenance costs. Honda offers SUVs to suit different needs, like the mid-size Pilot for families and the compact HR-V for urban use.

 

Hyundai

Hyundai has made major inroads in the SUV segment in recent years. The South Korean brand has attracted buyers with bold styling, high-tech interiors and extensive warranty coverage. Hyundai SUVs like the Kona, Tucson and Santa Fe provide great value without sacrificing comfort or capability. Hyundai’s growth shows no signs of slowing down.

 

Best SUVs by Category

When looking for the most popular SUV in Canada, it helps to break it down by vehicle categories based on size and intended use:

 

Compact SUV

For a versatile compact SUV, the Toyota RAV4 is the top choice. Its car-like handling and fuel efficiency makes it a smart daily driver, while its available all-wheel drive and ample cargo space allow weekend adventure. The RAV4 has ranked first in compact SUV sales for years.

 

Subcompact SUV

The subcompact SUV category prioritizes maneuverability and efficiency. The Hyundai Kona excels here with its nimble size, thrifty fuel economy and extensive tech features. Available all-wheel drive gives the Kona an edge in winter driving.

 

Midsize SUV

Families and outdoor enthusiasts turn to midsize SUVs for three-row seating and towing ability. The Kia Telluride is a rising star, praised for its refined ride, upscale interior and value pricing. Strong safety scores and ample standard features make it a well-rounded choice.

 

Luxury SUV

Luxury SUV shoppers want refinement, prestige and the latest technology. The Genesis GV80 delivers with its sophisticated styling, premium cabin materials, and standout driver assists like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning. Owners rave about the GV80’s comfort and quality.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, we’ve seen that SUVs dominate the Canadian automotive market, making up a third of vehicles on the road. The versatile Toyota RAV4 has remained the most popular SUV in Canada for over 7 years running. Its reliability, fuel efficiency and all-around versatility make it a top choice for urban commuters and outdoor adventurers alike.

Other top sellers like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Rogue also offer that winning blend of cargo space, passenger room, safety ratings and improved fuel economy that Canadian buyers seek in an SUV.

Leading brands like Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Honda have focused on perfecting the small and midsize SUV segment, giving buyers no shortage of options. Whether you need a compact runabout like the RAV4, a subcompact crossover like the Hyundai Kona or a midsize family hauler like the Kia Telluride, there’s an SUV to fit your needs.

As SUVs only continue to grow in popularity across Canada, keeping these bestselling models in mind will lead you to a reliable, efficient and safe SUV that you’ll enjoy driving for years to come.

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Questions About The Most Popular SUVs in Canada

The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV in Canada for 2023. This compact SUV has been Canada’s best-selling SUV for seven consecutive years. The RAV4 is praised for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and versatility. In 2022, Toyota sold 55,921 RAV4 SUVs in Canada.

The top 10 best-selling SUVs in Canada for 2022 are:

 

  1. Toyota RAV4
  2. Honda CR-V
  3. Ford Escape
  4. Nissan Rogue
  5. Mazda CX-5
  6. Hyundai Tucson
  7. Jeep Wrangler
  8. Chevrolet Equinox
  9. Subaru Outback
  10. Kia Sportage

According to 2022 sales figures, the automotive brands that sell the most SUVs in Canada are:

 

  1. Toyota
  2. Hyundai
  3. Honda
  4. Ford
  5. Nissan
  6. Mazda
  7. Jeep
  8. Chevrolet
  9. Subaru
  10. Kia

There are several key features that contribute to the Toyota RAV4’s popularity in Canada:

 

– Reliability – Toyota has a reputation for building very reliable vehicles.

 

– Fuel efficiency – The RAV4 offers good fuel mileage for an SUV.

 

– Safety features – It comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense collision avoidance technology.

 

– All-wheel drive options – Available AWD makes the RAV4 capable in Canadian winters.

 

– Cargo space – The RAV4 offers a good amount of cargo room for its size.

 

– Affordability – The RAV4 is priced competitively compared to rival compact SUVs.

The Toyota RAV4 compact SUV has been the single best-selling SUV model in Canada for the past 7 years running. The versatile and reliable RAV4 first claimed the top spot in 2016 and has held onto it ever since. No other SUV comes close to matching the RAV4’s sales dominance in Canada over the past decade.

According to insurance rate data, some of the most affordable SUVs to insure in Canada are:

 

– Nissan Qashqai

– Subaru Forester

– Mazda CX-5

– Hyundai Tucson

– Toyota RAV4

– Honda CR-V

– Mitsubishi Outlander

– Buick Encore

– Chevrolet Equinox

– Hyundai Kona

 

These models tend to have lower insurance premiums thanks to good safety ratings, affordable replacement parts, and availability of trim packages with more safety tech.

 

Honda experienced the biggest drop in Canadian SUV sales compared to 2021. Honda’s SUV sales, led by the CR-V and Passport models, were down 37% year-over-year. Industry-wide microchip shortages severely limited Honda’s inventory. As supply recovered, Honda posted improved SUV sales in late 2022.

The Lexus RX is consistently the top-selling luxury SUV in Canada. The midsize RX outsells rivals like the BMW X5, Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC, Acura MDX, and Cadillac XT5. Lexus sold over 8,000 RX SUVs in Canada in 2022. The brand has luxury car buyers choosing the refined, comfortable and reliable RX over other premium SUV options.

A few automakers managed to grow their Canadian SUV sales last year despite parts shortages and supply chain issues, including Genesis, Subaru and Volkswagen. Genesis set SUV sales records in Canada on the strength of its new GV70 and GV80 models. Subaru was up 6% thanks to its popular Outback, Forester and Crosstrek SUVs. Volkswagen Tiguan deliveries rose 15% year-over-year.

 

The Tesla Model Y is currently Canada’s top-selling electric SUV. Tesla delivered over 17,000 Model Y crossovers to Canadian customers in 2022. The much-anticipated made-in-Canada Model Y is poised to greatly expand Tesla’s SUV sales reach in the country when production from its Ontario gigafactory begins ramping up in 2023 and beyond.

There are good reasons why the Honda CR-V consistently ranks among the top SUVs in Canada:

 

– Spacious interior with lots of passenger and cargo room

– Available turbocharged engine option provides brisk acceleration

– Comfortable ride quality and responsive handling

– Excellent fuel economy for an SUV

– Top safety scores and advanced driver assistance features

– Proven long-term reliability and durability

– High resale value retention

– Reasonable pricing and low ownership costs

Kia and Hyundai are widely praised for their exceptional new vehicle warranty coverage in Canada. All new Kia SUVs come with a 5-year/100,000 km comprehensive warranty, while Hyundai SUV warranties span 5-years with no mileage limit. Genesis SUVs also get impressive 6-year/110,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranties in Canada, reflecting parent company Hyundai’s confidence.

The Ford Edge is Canada’s top-selling midsize SUV, outselling rivals like the Chevrolet Blazer, Honda Passport, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Murano. The Edge combines generous passenger space, ample cargo room and fuel-efficient turbocharged engine options. Ford sold over 13,000 Edges in Canada last year. Its combination of flexibility, technology and value resonates with Canadian midsize SUV shoppers.

 

Brands that are highly regarded for their advanced AWD systems that excel in Canadian winter conditions include Subaru, Audi, Volvo, BMW and Land Rover. Subaru’s full-time symmetric AWD is considered the benchmark for foul weather traction. Audi, BMW and Land Rover also have sophisticated AWD systems with adjustable torque distribution. Volvo SUVs feature Haldex AWD coupling for enhanced grip.

The Subaru Forester is considered the most spacious compact SUV you can buy in Canada. Despite its compact exterior footprint, the Forester provides exceptional rear seat legroom and headroom. It offers more passenger space than key rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5. Abundant interior room makes the Forester a great compact SUV pick for Canadian families.

Honda and Toyota sustained the largest declines in Canadian SUV deliveries in 2022, mainly due to short supply amid the ongoing microchip shortage. Honda SUV sales plunged 37% while Toyota SUV volumes contracted by 10%. Industry-wide parts scarcity restricted inventory for these brands. By contrast, Genesis, Subaru and Volkswagen managed to grow their Canadian SUV sales year-over-year.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is considered the top hybrid SUV in Canada thanks to its blend of fuel efficiency, performance and value. The RAV4 Hybrid pairs an efficient 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with Toyota’s proven hybrid system for combined city/highway fuel economy of 6.0 L/100 km. This compact SUV also offers generous cargo capacity and available all-wheel drive capability.

 

The cheapest subcompact SUV in Canada is the Nissan Kicks. With a starting price around $18,500, the Kicks undercuts rival subcompact SUVs like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul, Toyota C-HR and Mazda CX-30 on affordability. Designed primarily as a city runabout, the Kicks appeals to budget-minded buyers seeking high fuel economy, nimble handling and a modern infotainment system.

Many automakers have new electric SUVs slated to launch in Canada through 2025, including:

 

– Ford – Mustang Mach-E, Explorer EV

– GM – Chevrolet Equinox EV, Blazer EV

– Hyundai – Ioniq 5

– Kia – EV6

– Nissan – Ariya

– Subaru – Solterra

– Toyota – bZ4X

– Volkswagen – ID.4

 

So Canadian drivers will have lots more all-electric SUV options hitting showrooms in 2023-2024.

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