The 30 Best-Selling Vehicles of Last Year
Overall vehicle sales for 2018 were up slightly, but they didn’t reach record-breaking levels. Having said that, there were a few surprises for automakers. While it has been a trend for a couple of years now, automakers were still taken aback by just how many crossovers and SUVs consumers gobbled up.
So many vehicles have been sold in this segment, in fact, that marques are forgoing sedans altogether and ending production on those types of cars. Ford, for example, will only be selling the Mustang as its single car offering by 2020. Even more surprising, at least to us, is that a minivan is still ranked in the top 30 best-selling vehicles! The lowly Dodge Grand Caravan came in at an impressive #29.
On the other hand, there are some resoundingly familiar names that remain unchanged. Ford’s F-150 is, yet again, the best-selling vehicle in America for the 32nd year in a row. And yes, you read that right. It’s not just the best-selling truck; it’s the best-selling overall vehicle of any that are sold in the U.S. Honestly, that should tell you all you need to know about America’s driving sensibilities. Only 3 of the top 10 are passenger cars.
30. Mazda CX-5
Mazda cracked the top 30 in 2018 after not making the list last year. The CX-5 is by far the brand’s best-performing vehicle when it comes to sales numbers. In fact, it sold more than the combined totals of all of Mazda’s other vehicle offerings. Having a single model make up more than 50% of your sales may not be the soundest business bet, but they are certainly riding the wave.
29. Dodge Grand Caravan
(image via Facebook)
Just when you thought minivans were dead, here comes the Dodge Grand Caravan selling nearly 152,000 units. The Grand Caravan may not be our top choice in the segment, but its price undercuts the competition and surely helped propel it onto last year’s list of best-sellers.
28. Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai has a couple of models on the list, but unlike other automakers, their top-seller isn’t an SUV. Still, their Tucson managed to ship an impressive number of units two years after a major redesign.
27. Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is one of our favorite mid-size crossovers, so it’s not surprising to find it at #27 on this list. In fact, Honda has four different models in the top 30, tied for second place among automakers.
26. Jeep Compass
Jeep is one of those two other automakers tied with Honda for having 4 models in the top 30 best-selling of the year. The Compass was a particularly bright point for the automaker. Year-over-year sales grew a whopping 108%.
25. Subaru Forester
Subaru’s Forester is nipping at the heels of the formidable Outback when it comes to sales. This compact crossover SUV underwent a complete overhaul for the 2019 model year, so expect to see the Forester on next year’s best-seller list as well.
24. Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion is the best-selling passenger car from an American automaker. That distinction, however, still isn’t good enough to keep Ford from axing production by 2020.
23. Subaru Outback
After many years, the Outback is still Subaru’s top-selling vehicle. Technically, it’s a station wagon (and the only station wagon on the list), but don’t tell the masses! They’ve convinced themselves that the Outback is a “short” crossover. Whatever works; the sales numbers don’t lie.
22. Hyundai Elantra
While a number of automakers are struggling with their passenger cars, Hyundai’s Elantra managed to increase sales year-over-year. In fact, it’s the automaker’s top-selling model.
21. Nissan Altima
Nissan has three cars overall on last year’s list of top 30 best-sellers, and, surprisingly, two of them are cars! For 2018, the Altima and Sentra have swapped places from the year before. The mid-size Altima is down 18% from last year.
20. Nissan Sentra
(image via Facebook)
The Sentra is also down from last year’s sales numbers, but only by 2%. That was enough for it to leapfrog it’s larger sibling (the Altima) when it comes to total sales for the year.
19. GMC Sierra
The Sierra trail’s the big 3’s truck models by a considerable margin, but GMC is hoping to make up ground in 2019 with a completely redesigned model and an innovative tailgate.
18. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Get ready for a triple dose of Jeep. It takes up the next few spots on the list, as three of its models duke it out for the automaker’s top-seller crown. As a mid-size SUV, the Grand Cherokee is on the losing side of that battle for now, but don’t expect it to be down for long if gas prices remain low.
17. Jeep Cherokee
Jeep Cherokee sales are on a tear, as are nearly every other compact crossover SUV’s numbers. Sales rose 41% year over year, almost beating out Jeep’s most storied model.
16. Jeep Wrangler
Jeep’s iconic boxy off-roader was the brand’s top-selling vehicle last year, but that doesn’t really come as a surprise. The 2018 model was completely redesigned, and buyer’s snatched it up in droves.
15. Toyota Highlander
Even though it’s due for an update sooner rather than later, the Toyota Highlander still has impressive sales numbers. Get used to seeing Toyota on this list. Even though this is their first entry so far, they have five different models among America’s top 30 best-sellers—the most of any other automaker.
14. Toyota Tacoma
We told you to get ready to see Toyota’s name. Much like compact crossovers, mid-size pickup trucks also saw big sales gains in 2018. The Tacoma, however, is the only mid-size truck that makes this list.
13. Ford Explorer
Ford, with 4 models, is tied for second for the automaker with the most vehicles on this list. Three of the four are SUVs or trucks, including the Explorer. With a completely redesigned 2020 model releasing soon, sales are expected to jump.
12. Ford Escape
The Ford Escape fits squarely in the compact crossover segment that is booming, and its sales numbers reflect that. However, the model didn’t surpass its all-time sales record set in 2017.
11. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord just misses out on the top 10 even though we prefer it over its competitor, the Toyota Camry. Regardless, it’s still a top seller for the brand.
10. Toyota Corolla
The Corolla is one of the few passenger cars to have passed 300,000 units sold in 2018. Its great reliability and superb price point are probably the reasons why. A new 2020 model that releases a few months into 2019 (including a brand-new hybrid offering!) will surely entice more buyers.
9. Honda Civic
The new aggressively sporty design language that Honda has chosen for its latest generation of the Civic has pushed the compact car ahead of its competitors (including the Toyota Corolla).
8. Chevrolet Equinox
Chevy only has 2 models on this list of top 30 best-sellers, but they are both within the top 10. The Equinox is the top-selling SUV by an American automaker.
7. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is still the best-selling car in America, but it has fallen from higher positions in recent years as buyers move toward crossover SUVs.
6. Honda CR-V
Honda’s top-selling vehicle in 2018 was the CR-V. Since 2014, this crossover and the Civic have battled it out, flipping back and forth as buyers’ preferred Honda offering.
5. Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue doesn’t finish near the top of our compact SUV rankings, but that doesn’t matter because the Rogue consistently puts up stellar sales numbers.
4. Toyota RAV4
The #1 SUV and #1 non-truck in the U.S. is the Toyota RAV4, which underscores just how important the 2019 redesign was for the RAV4. Toyota didn’t want to mess with a good thing. Thankfully, we still find it one of the best bets in the segment.
3. Ram Pickup
The top 3 have remained unchanged for some time. Ram Trucks finds itself in a familiar third-place position with the Ram pickup line, although we found the 2019 model to be the best of the current full-size truck offerings. That might bode well for next year’s rankings.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
Like this year’s Ram 1500, Chevy released a completely redesigned Silverado 1500. We didn’t find it quite up to snuff, and the exterior aesthetics didn’t leave us enthused. But one thing’s for sure: people will buy a Chevy truck regardless.
1. Ford F-Series
There should be no surprise here. Ford’s F-Series of trucks tops the best-seller’s list for the 32nd year in a row. We’ll see you at the top again next year, Ford.