The return of the SUV: Demand, new models hit record levels

May 13, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by Luxury Auto Mall.

Talk about an extinction prediction that didn’t come close to coming true.

Remember all the speculation that SUVs would be phased out? While Sioux Falls drivers have never shied away from larger vehicles, SUVs now are becoming the go-to auto industrywide, often outpacing sedan sales.

“The manufacturers are producing things at speeds we’ve never seen before, and it’s based on consumer demand,” said Mike Chaplin, general manager of Luxury Auto Mall.

“They’re demanding the latest and greatest, and manufacturers are keeping up with technology.”

In Sioux Falls, easy access to parking and drivers’ comfort with the height and weight of an SUV lead many to own them, he said.

“And we’re hobbyists. People have children, go biking and need to be able to put things in their cars.”

2020 arrives

It’s already 2020 at Mercedes-Benz, which has next year’s model on the show floor at Luxury Auto Mall.

It’s a Mercedes GLE, which is among the most popular SUVs from the luxury automaker.

“The 2020 GLE is very nice because they made the backseat bigger,” Chaplin said. “There’s tons of technology in it. The screen is giant. That’s something started by Tesla that we’re now starting to see from others.”

The slightly smaller GLC also has plenty of fans, he said, with a crossover style that also will see a new infotainment system for 2020. It’s scheduled to arrive in late 2019.

Cadillac go-to models

SUVs are so popular from Cadillac that they represent about eight in 10 vehicles sold, Chaplin said.

“Our go-to model for Cadillac is between the Escalade and the XT5,” he said. “We have a big population that wants the Escalade, even if it’s just for one person.”

Cadillac’s newest SUV is the XT4, a crossover with a compact feel that starts at less than $35,000.

The new XT6 is expected to arrive in September.

“It will be similar to a Ford Explorer and have three rows,” Chaplin said. “It will be a luxurious, spacious model that will be smaller than an Escalade but with many similar features.”

BMW’s latest is a hit

Chaplin had a hunch that BMW’s new X7 would go over well with Sioux Falls-area drivers, and it quickly proved true.

“For BMW drivers who have always driven an X5, it’s an opportunity to get a larger vehicle,” he said. “It drives awesome. We’ve sold a number of them, and people are loving how they drive.”

BMW’s largest-ever SUV includes a third-row seat that folds down and the option of a massage seat for the driver.

“The X5 is still the go-to SUV from BMW, and we think that will continue,” Chaplin said. “We’re seeing a spike in the X7, but the X5 will continue to be the volume leader.”

To browse Luxury’s inventory, click here.


The return of the SUV: Demand, new models hit record levels

Remember all the speculation that SUVs would be phased out? Well, they’re now becoming the go-to auto industrywide. Here’s a look at the latest and greatest.

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