The 30 Best-Selling Vehicles of Last Year

the tailgate of a black 2018 ford f-150

Overall vehicle sales for 2020 were down around 15%, but that’s not exactly surprising considering the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted production with plant shutdowns and scared away shoppers from dealerships.

Particularly in the 2nd quarter of the year, things seemed to look dire. Once we got to the end of the year, however, things seemed to have rebounded somewhat. It wasn’t exactly rosy, but it was a far cry from the freefall that happened earlier in the year.

Ford’s F-150 is, yet again, the best-selling vehicle in America for the 34th 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 2 of the top 10 are passenger cars.

One passenger car that is selling like hotcakes, however, is the Tesla Model 3. Can you believe that a fully electric car is in the top 30 sold last year? That’s definitely some progress.

30. Subaru Crosstrek

a dark slate gray 2020 subaru crosstrek

(image via Facebook)

119,716 sold

While sales numbers across the industry were down, Subaru actually had a pretty good year. The automaker had 3 models on the top 30 list in 2020, one more than last year. While we think the Crosstrek is just a lifted wagon, but all of the sporty plastic cladding draws buyers to this “crossover.”

29. Hyundai Tucson

a blue 2020 hyundai tucson

(image via Facebook)

123,657 sold

In past years, Hyundai’s top seller was the Elantra. Now Hyundai has caught up with the rest of the industry by having a compact crossover as its #1 model. With a spunky redesign on the way in 2021 (for model year 2022), the sales of the Tucson may keep climbing higher and higher.

28. Honda Pilot

a black 2020 honda pilot

(image via Facebook)

123,813 sold

The Honda Pilot squeaks onto the top 30 list at #28. While its CR-V crossover sibling is in the top 5, the much larger Pilot lags behind. But since large SUVs are selling up a storm, and these sales numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

27. Chevrolet Traverse

a silver 2019 chevrolet traverse

(image via Facebook)

125,546 sold

Chevy Traverse sales numbers were basically flat year over year. And while that may not sound too stellar, it was good enough to keep other competitors like the Honda Pilot at bay.

26. Toyota 4Runner

a red 2020 toyota 4runner

(image via Facebook)

129,052 sold

The Toyota 4Runner is overdue for a redesign, but buyers don’t seem to care. This is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And Toyota isn’t going to mess with a good thing if its 10-year-old design sells enough to land at #26 on this list.

25. Ford Transit Vans

a white 2019 ford transit van

(image via Facebook)

131,557 sold

Yes, you read that correctly. The commercial Ford Transit van was the 25th best-selling vehicle in 2020. We are thinking that the ever-growing popularity of online shopping (and delivery) is driving the increased demand for these vans. It’s even higher on the list than in 2019.

24. Jeep Cherokee

a black 2018 jeep cherokee at an auto show

135,854 sold

Jeep Cherokee sales were on a tear at one time, but they have since tapered off. The number sold dropped 29% compared to 29, but it’s still the #3 seller for the brand.

23. Nissan Altima

a red 2019 nissan altima

(image via Facebook)

137,988 sold

As with many sedans, the Nissan Altima had a bad 2020. Sales were depressed thanks to the pandemic, but buyers are also turning away from passenger cars in droves. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to affect the Altima. It still managed to crack the top 30, however.

22. Mazda CX-5

a red 2018 mazda cx-5 at an auto show

146,420 sold

Mazda cracked the top 30 again for the third year in a row. It is by far the brand’s best-performing vehicle when it comes to sales numbers. This single model makes up more than 50% of all Mazdas sold in the U.S.

21. Subaru Outback

a white 2018 subaru outback at an auto show

153,290 sold

After many years, the Outback slipped to Subaru’s second best-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.

20. Subaru Forester

a blue 2018 subaru forester at an auto show

176,996 sold

Subaru’s Forester leapfrogged its formidable sibling, the Outback, when it came to sales in 2020. This compact crossover SUV underwent a complete overhaul for the 2019 model year, so expect to see the Forester on the best-seller list for years to come as compact crossovers become the class to beat.

19. Ford Escape

a maroon 2018 ford escape

178,495 sold

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. Part of the blame can be laid on the humdrum year that car sales had in 2020.

18. Honda Accord

a black 2018 honda accord

199,458 sold

The Honda Accord just made it to the top 20 even though we prefer it over its competitor, the Toyota Camry. The pandemic really put a damper on sales, but it’s still surprising that the Accord could barely get to 200,000 units sold. Regardless, it’s still a top seller for the brand.

17. Jeep Wrangler

a white 2018 jeep wrangler

228,032 sold

A couple of years ago, Jeep’s iconic boxy off-roader was the brand’s top-selling. Sales were down somewhat, but it was most likely due to the pandemic and excitement dying down from a redesign released a couple of years ago. A new plug-in electric version is now on the way.

16. Tesla Model 3

a dark blue 2019 tesla model 3

(image via Facebook)

206,500 sold

The Tesla Model 3 is selling like hotcakes, and it is the only purely electric vehicle. In fact, in 2019 it crossed the threshold to become the all-time best-selling vehicle that features a plug. This is the highest ranking ever for an electric vehicle.

15. Jeep Grand Cherokee

a white 2018 jeep grand cherokee at an auto show

209,786 sold

Jeep’s Grand Cherokee lept to the top of Jeep’s pack of models. It’s no coincidence that Jeep’s largest model is on a sales high with low gas prices. With bigger SUVs in vogue, Jeep is releasing its biggest model yet, the Wagoneer. So keep your eyes peeled next year to see if it makes the list.

14. Toyota Highlander

a white 2018 toyota highlander

212,276 sold

The Toyota Highlander has impressive sales numbers thanks to a new redesign for 2020. In a battle of the 3-row SUVs, the Highlander still falls short of the Ford Explorer but not by much. Having the best fuel economy numbers in its class probably helps.

13. Ford Explorer

a blue 2018 ford explorer

226,215 sold

Ford bungled the rollout of the redesigned 2020 Explorer when it released in calendar year 2019. With production issues and low availability, the Explorer dropped a stunning 28% year over year. Once Ford got a handle on things, sales rebounded, and the Explorer once again found itself within the top 15 for the year.

12. Nissan Rogue

the front grille of a red 2018 nissan rogue

227,936 sold

The Nissan Rogue doesn’t finish near the top of our compact SUV rankings, and a dated design didn’t help it in the sales department either. Numbers for the Rogue tumbled year over year, causing it to fall a whopping six places in the rankings. Good thing a complete redesign is on the horizon for 2021! Even with the drop, it still placed a respectable 12th.

11. Toyota Corolla

a blue 2019 toyota corolla

(image via Facebook)

237,179 sold

The Corolla is one of the few passenger cars to have passed 200,000 units sold in 2020. A redesigned 2020 model was released last year (including a brand-new hybrid offering), and that helped to entice more buyers. Still, it fell just outside the top 10, a place where it had been firmly entrenched during the previous decade.

10. Toyota Tacoma

a red 2018 toyota tacoma

238,805 sold

We told you to get ready to see Toyota’s name. Much like compact crossovers, mid-size pickup trucks also saw big sales gains. The Tacoma, however, is the only mid-size truck that makes this list. It’s up two spots from last year, and sales show no signs of slowing as a redesigned model is on the horizon.

9. GMC Sierra

a white 2019 gmc sierra

(image via Facebook)

253,014 sold

The Sierra trail’s the big 3’s truck models by a considerable margin, but GMC is making up ground since its 2019 redesigned with an innovative tailgate. While most carmakers saw sales decline during the pandemic year of 2020, the Sierra actually sold more units than it did in 2019. It jumped up to #9 from a lowly 16th-place last year.

8. Honda Civic

a gray 2018 honda civic at an auto show

261,225 sold

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 compact competitors (including the Toyota Corolla). It still lags behind America’s best-selling car, the Camry, however.

7. Chevrolet Equinox

a red 2018 chevrolet equinox on the street

270,994 sold

Chevy only has 3 models on this list of top 30 best-sellers. That’s one more model than in 2019, but just barely. The Equinox is the top-selling SUV by an American automaker and is consistently Chevrolet’s second-best performer.

6. Toyota Camry

a white 2018 toyota camry

294,348 sold

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. But in 2020, it actually moved up two spots from #8 last year.

5. Honda CR-V

a blue 2018 honda cr-v

323,502 sold

Honda’s top-selling vehicle in 2020 was the CR-V. It squeaked ahead of the Toyota Camry. Since 2014, this crossover and the Civic have battled it out for the brand’s top spot. In recent years, buyers have preferred SUVs to sedans. A new CR-V Hybrid model added even more to the sales column!

4. Toyota RAV4

the interior of a 2019 toyota rav4

(image via Facebook)

430,387 sold

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

a dark gray 2019 ram pickup

(image via Facebook)

563,676 sold

After a surprise second-place finish in sales last year, Ram finds itself back in familiar third place territory. It’s clear that buyers appreciate the relatively new design of the fifth-generation Ram 1500 (or maybe just the good deals that can be readily found at dealerships). Ram didn’t slide by much, though. They’re basically running neck-in-neck with Silverados.

2. Chevrolet Silverado

a red 2019 chevrolet silverado

(image via Facebook)

593,057 sold

Chevy and Ram both released redesigned models in 2019. And in a surprising win for Ram, it helped them hop into 2nd place above Chevy. The trend didn’t continue last year, as Chevrolet’s Silverado squeaked out a few more sales to win back the 2nd place spot behind perennial leader Ford.

1. Ford F-Series

a blue 2018 ford f-150

787,372 sold

There should be no surprise here. Ford’s F-Series of trucks tops the best-seller’s list for the 34th year in a row. We’ll see you at the top again next year, Ford.