The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is 23 cents cheaper today than it was a month ago, according to AAA. It's a whopping 51 cents cheaper than it was a year ago. Slumping oil prices in November set energy analysts abuzz and consumers charging toward pickup trucks and SUVs.
Shoppers snapped up the restyled Honda CR-V like it was the last slice of pumpkin pie. It was among the fastest-selling cars in November, and sales gained 37.7 percent to make Honda's crossover the most popular non-pickup for the month. That's a seismic shift in popularity for an SUV that didn't make the top 10 list as recently as February.
Indeed, small SUVs were in Rogue — er, vogue — all month long. The Jeep Cherokee, now heavily incentivized versus its just-introduced period in November 2013, gained 66.6 percent to become Fiat Chrysler Automobile's second most popular model behind the Ram pickup. With gains from major players like the CR-V, Nissan Rogue (up 43.7 percent) and Ford Escape (up 21.6 percent), compact SUVs tacked on more than 20 percent in year-over-year sales. That's despite most of the segment's major players having similar cash incentives compared to a year-ago.