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Upside: Compact SUVs
Upside: Compact SUVs
Compact SUVs are one segment that has been selling relatively well, having gained the most in market share in the last couple of years, according to Jesse Toprak, a sales analyst with the automotive Web site Edmunds.com.

But in this market, doing relatively well often means barely holding on.

The Ford Escape is one of the top selling vehicles in the segment, but even its sales are off from last year. From January through September, Ford reported it sold 126,000 Escapes, including the Escape Hybrid, for a drop of 1.6% compared with last year.

Sales of the similar Mercury Mariner are down more, so far running 6.9% behind last year. (Mechanically re-engineered 2009 versions are just now getting to dealers.)

Honda CR-V sales are down about 5.5% so far this year, and sales of the Toyota Rav4 are down about 19%

As with cars, SUV sales have been on a "smaller is better" trend. Sales of Ford's larger Taurus X crossover SUV are running 35.6% behind last year.

NEXT: Downside: Luxury SUVs

Last updated October 01 2008: 4:58 PM ET
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