END OF AN ERA: The new Chevrolet Equinox, unveiled at the 2015 Chicago auto show, isn’t equipped with a CD player but instead features a dock and shelf for smartphones. Image: AP/ Andrew Nelles
CHICAGO, Illinois - For years mid-size sedans such as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Cruze have been the best-selling automotive segment.
In 2015 however, that's begun to change as the relatively compact SUV segment has shot past mid-sized cars to become the new "family" car.
The once-criticised 'Chelsa Tractor' SUV of the 1990's has adapted to the changing tastes of US buyers and not only survived but thrived. In Britain, they've been adopted to meet the now-frequent severe winters/consequent flooding there.
RISE OF THE COMPACT SUV
At the 2015 Chicago auto show automakers such as Honda, Kia and Chevrolet launched compact SUV's.
With updated family-friendly features such as 4G LTE connectivity to create a wi-fi hotspot in the vehicle, and multiple storage compartments, compact SUV's such as the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox are outselling mid-size sedans.
Other improvements making compact SUVs incredibly popular include space, versatility and high-seating position.
VIDEO: End of the CD-player era?
The availability of all-wheel drive and active safety features, among them blind-spot alerts, are also helping to make this new generation of vehicle a family favorite.
Improvements in technology means future vehicles might not be equipped with a CD Player. That's right, the 2016 Equinox will be one of the first vehicles in years without a compact disc player option.
Chevrolet marketing manager Betsy Flegg said: "Today's customers are using their smartphones to stream music so we removed the CD player for 2016 and replaced it with a little shelf on which you can put your smartphone."