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Automakers are learning that small is big — at least when it comes to SUVs.

Combined sales of compact and subcompact SUVs have nearly doubled since 2008, from 10 percent to 18 percent of the U.S. market, according to AutoTrader.com. Analysts predict the market will grow for at least the next few years, as young, affluent buyers are drawn to likes of the Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox and the even smaller Buick Encore.

IHS Automotive predicts the compact SUV segment — now at 2 million vehicles — will grow to 2.2 million in the U.S. by 2017. The compact segment includes the Escape, Equinox, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

The forecaster believes the subcompact SUV category — including smaller offerings such as the Nissan Juke, Buick Encore and the soon-to-be introduced Jeep Renegade — will hit 500,000 in sales by 2019. In 2005, the subcompact SUV market was nonexistent.




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Small SUV Sales Are On Fire - But Why Did It Take So Long To Catch On?

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