Percent change: +37 percent
Starting price: $17,390
Why it's a winner: Decent mileage (four-cylinder model), low sticker
Like the Kia Sedona among minivans, the Kia Sportage is the only model in its segment -- small, traditional truck-based SUVs -- with higher sales in 2009. The much bigger-selling Jeep Wrangler dominates the small-SUV segment, with year-to-date sales down 1.5 percent through October. The segment is losing customers to car-based crossovers like the Toyota RAV4. The Kia Sportage gets better gas mileage than many SUVs, up to 25 mpg with a four-cylinder engine. Rebates and other special promotions have also helped Sportage sales.