Sales of compact cars have zoomed past midsize cars in the first nine months of 2017 by a hefty margin — 1,546,791 to 1,378,336. If that lead holds for the rest of the year, it will be a first time compacts have bested their bigger brothers.
But all car segments are in decline, including compacts. So why are compacts doing better than the midsize category?
It comes down to the fact that there are no winners among the midsize class so far this year, yet there are five compacts tracking well ahead of 2016: the Subaru Impreza (up 43 percent), Volkswagen Golf (up 35 percent), Kia Forte (up 16 percent), Volkswagen Beetle (up 12 percent) and Chevrolet Cruze (up 8.1 percent).
The difference between midsize and compact sales could narrow in the fourth quarter now that redesigned Toyota Camry and Honda Accords are on the market. The two perennial leaders in the midrange class are down for the year but were up in September.