Best-Selling Cars of 2020 . . . So Far

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBest-Selling Cars
The first three months of auto sales in 2020 are now on the books, and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken its toll on the auto industry. Some manufacturers won’t be reporting sales until later in April, but overall sales are estimated to be down 12.5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2019, at a total of approximately 3.4 million vehicles sold. Almost every car company experienced declining sales during the first quarter, with many dealerships forced to close and factories suspending operations as the country tries to contain the Coronavirus. A few brands had sales strong enough at the beginning of the year to buck the trend — Kia, Lincoln and Ram all had slight sales increases versus a year ago. What follows are the best-selling cars in America during the first quarter of 2020, according to numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports.

© FCA US25. Jeep Cherokee
2020 Sales: 33,675
Vs. 2019: –31.9 %
Sales of the Jeep Cherokee were on the decline at the end of last year, and the current situation has not helped turn that around. Cherokee returned to the lineup as a 2014 model after a 12-year hiatus and, like all Jeep products, this popular SUV delivers legendary off-road capability with available features including a lifted off-road suspension with skidplates, tow hooks, Selec-Terrain traction control, Jeep Active Drive Lock with rear locker and Selec-Speed Crawl Control. The 2019 Cherokee received updated styling as well as an upgraded interior, increased cargo room and a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. For 2020 the Cherokee gets a range of new features as well as color options that include Sangria and Spitfire Orange.

© Mazda North America24. Mazda CX-5
2020 Sales: 35,211
Vs. 2019: –6.1 %
Mazda CX-5 sales were up slightly last year, posting the fourth consecutive year of record sales. That trend continued into 2020 until March, which was down 42 percent compared with a year earlier. Once again, CX-5 sales exceeded the combined sales of all other Mazda models. Adopting the styling of the larger CX-9 when it was redesigned a few years ago, the CX-5 is refined in nearly every way. The CX-5 is the first Mazda to feature G-Vectoring Control, which enhances vehicle responsiveness and stability while reducing the sideways sliding of occupants during spirited driving. Last year Mazda added the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels, both powered by the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine rated at 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium fuel and i-ACTIV all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

© General Motors23. Chevrolet Malibu
2020 Sales: 35,283
Vs. 2019: 3.2 %
A surprise success story amid declining auto sales comes from one of the oldest nameplates in the Chevrolet lineup. Thus far in 2020, Malibu sales have increased over the first quarter of 2019 — one of the few vehicles to have an upward trend. Four years ago Chevrolet introduced the current-generation Malibu. This 9th generation has front-wheel drive and available engines include a 250-horsepower turbo as well as a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. In 2019 Chevrolet gave the Malibu fresh new styling, a range of upgraded features and introduced the Malibu RS, which stands out with a black sport grille, black bowtie emblems, a rear spoiler, dual exhaust and 18-inch machined wheels.

© Ford Motor Company22. Ford Transit
2020 Sales: 36,836
Vs. 2019: 15.7 %
Although there aren’t many full-size vans available in America, the Transit outsells all others. According to Ford, the Transit is available in almost 60 different configurations, including two wheelbases, three roof heights as well as 150, 250 and 350 variants. The Transit can seat up to 15 passengers, or as a cargo van the space is immense — the largest Transit features a space 172.2 inches long, 70.2 inches wide (54.8 inches between the wheels) and 81.5 inches high for a total of 487.3 cubic feet. With the high-roof option, a person 6 feet 5 inches can stand upright. The impressive versatility and considerable commercial use have helped keep this big van in positive sales.

© Ford Motor Company21. Ford Fusion
2020 Sales: 36,937
Vs. 2019: –11.4 %
In 2019 Ford announced it will eventually end production of all passenger car models, including the best-selling American passenger car — the Fusion. Despite its imminent demise, Fusion continues to remain popular with American shoppers. Fusion was refreshed for the 2019 model year with subtle exterior design changes, interior improvements and standard Co-Pilot360, which includes automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot information system, lane-keeping assist and a rearview camera. Fusion is available with a variety of powertrains including hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants–.

© Subaru of America20. Subaru Forester
2020 Sales: 39,080
Vs. 2019: –3.9 %
All new for the 2019 model year, Forester sales certainly reflected the model’s improvement — after strong sales in 2019 the Forester was trending up for the first two months of 2020. The new fifth-generation Forester is the roomiest version ever offered with a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase, more rear-seat legroom and rear cargo capacity. The Forester also offers improvements in crash protection, comfort, quietness and driving dynamics; power comes from an updated direct-injection 2.5-liter Boxer engine that produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technology is now standard on the Forester, as is the new Rear Seat Reminder.

© FCA US19. Jeep Wrangler
2020 Sales: 39,668
Vs. 2019: –20.6 %
An all-new Jeep Wrangler premiered for the 2018 model year, helping the iconic off-roader achieve its best sales ever; however, Wrangler sales slowed slightly in 2019. This trend has continued amid the current pandemic. The updated model retained its 7-slot grille and round headlights but is more aerodynamic than the previous generation. Two hardtops, a new Sunrider soft-top and a new Sky One-Touch power top are offered. Both 2- and 4-door versions are available in Sport, Sport S, Rubicon and Sahara trim levels. The new Wrangler is much improved, offering a more comfortable ride on-road while retaining its legendary off-road capability. For 2020 Jeep adds a fuel-efficient diesel powertrain to the Wrangler, as well as the new luxurious High Altitude edition.

© American Honda Motors18. Honda Accord
2020 Sales: 47,125
Vs. 2019: –26.8 %
Although still one of the best-selling passenger cars in America, the Honda Accord has not had great sales success since its redesign for the 2018 model year. Sales of this long-lived sedan were down almost 15 percent by the end of February compared to a year earlier, and the current state of the world has not helped it recover. Accord is available in a range of trim levels and is one of the last midsize sedans on the market to offer a manual gearbox. Two turbocharged engines are available, offering great performance and fuel economy. For 2020 the company has made the Honda Sensing suite of safety features standard on all Accord variants.

© Nissan North America17. Nissan Altima
2020 Sales: 47,347
Vs. 2019: –8.0 %
Once Nissan’s best-selling car, the Altima had experienced a decline over the last few years, allowing the hot-selling Rogue to claim its position as the top-selling Nissan in America. The automaker seemed to be reversing that trend with the all-new Altima introduced for the 2019 model year, but the current situation brings sales down a bit for the first quarter. The new Altima features updated styling inside and out as well as a range of new features. Two powertrains are offered, including the first production engine that uses variable compression — a lower compression ratio provides more power, while a higher ratio gets better fuel economy. Nissan also offers the new Altima with all-wheel drive for the first time.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience16. Toyota Highlander
2020 Sales: 47,890
Vs. 2019: –9.0%
The Toyota Highlander is all new of the 2020 model year and it appears sales were trending upwards until March, which had a drop of almost 50 percent versus a year earlier. The fourth generation of this popular crossover is built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture. The new Highlander gets fresh styling with a bold black grille, available premium projector headlights and a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a plentiful 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque — enough power to provide a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. A Highlander Hybrid is also offered with a fuel-efficient gas-electric powertrain.

© Ford Motor Company15. Ford Escape
2020 Sales: 48,117
Vs. 2016: –20.7 %
This small 5-seat crossover from Ford had been the best-selling American-brand SUV for many years, but a sales drop last year and a slow start for 2020 has dropped the Escape down the list. This may improve later in the year since Escape is all new for the 2020 model year. The new model is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, with a look that is quite a departure from the current generation. The front end features an all-new grille surprisingly similar to those on the Focus and Fusion passenger cars, rather than Ford SUVs. The new 2020 Escape is available with a choice of four engines, with the standard unit being a 3-cylinder 1.5-liter EcoBoost producing 180 horsepower. Ford is also bringing back the Escape Hybrid — the 2020 model is available as a standard hybrid as well as a plug-in version.

© FCA US14. Jeep Grand Cherokee
2020 Sales: 50,083
Vs. 2019: –13.3 %
The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to lead the sales charge at Jeep with record sales in 2019 — this trend would have likely continued if the pandemic had not affected sales. The 5-seat Grand Cherokee continues its tradition of offering impressive off-road capability in an attractive package. Available in several trim levels and 4WD systems, the Grand Cherokee line ranges from the off-road-focused Trailhawk to the luxurious Summit. Jeep also offers the high-performance Trackhawk, boasting a staggering 707 horsepower. For 2020 Jeep adds more standard equipment across the Grand Cherokee lineup, as well as the latest advanced safety features now available on the base-level Laredo.

© General Motors13. GMC Sierra
2020 Sales: 53,009
Vs. 2019: 30.7 %
The best-seller in the GMC lineup, the Sierra’s 2019 sales ended on a high note and have continued that upward trend in 2020 as America still has an appetite for trucks. Like its Silverado sibling, the Sierra was completely new for the 2019 model year. Larger in practically every dimension, the new Sierra boasts a range of new comfort, convenience and safety features. One of Sierra’s standout features is its MultiPro Tailgate, which offers six positions for easier loading, as well as use as a standing workstation. A range of engine / transmission options are available, including a new 2.7-liter turbo and a new turbodiesel powertrain. For 2020 GMC adds the AT4 CarbonPro Edition with a composite bed, unique grille surround and 18-inch wheels.

© Toyota Motor Sales, USA12. Toyota Tacoma
2020 Sales: 53,636
Vs. 2019: 7.8 %
Toyota’s popular midsize pickup truck finished 2019 with record numbers, marking two consecutive years of best-ever sales. Based on robust sales in early 2020 this trend would have likely continued were it not for the pandemic. The midsize pickup had its last full redesigned for the 2016 model year, featuring a more aggressive design, a new V6 engine, a smoother ride and stellar off-road capability. The Tacoma is available in several configurations with two cab styles, two bed lengths, five trim levels and a choice of 2WD or 4WD. For 2020 the Tacoma gets a new grille and wheel designs for most trim levels, as well as an upgraded audio system with a larger touchscreen and Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience11. Ford Explorer
2020 Sales: 56,310
Vs. 2019: –9.1 %
The Ford Explorer remains a fixture on this list for almost 30 years, and while sales were down for 2019, the arrival of the all-new 2020 Explorer helped bolster sales initially in the new year. The 2020 Explorer is built on an all-new rear-wheel-drive flexible architecture designed to improve ride and handling as well as the vehicle’s overall capability. As part of the complete redesign, Ford has added two new variants to the Explorer lineup — the Hybrid and the ST; the latter boasts a 400-horseower EcoBoost engine. One of the new features for the 2020 model is a suite of safety features called Co-Pilot360. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, post-impact braking, automatic high-beam headlights and a rearview camera with a built-in lens washer.

© Nissan North America10. Nissan Rogue
2020 Sales: 59,716
Vs. 2019: –36.3 %
Nissan’s small crossover sales were down 15 percent for 2019 and that downward trend is continuing for 2020; however, the Rogue still remains the best-selling vehicle in the Nissan lineup. Rogue features a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with an advanced Xtronic transmission with Eco mode, boasting an EPA fuel-economy rating as high as 33 mpg. Rogue is available in three trim levels, and also comes as a smaller model called Rogue Sport. All Rogues are now available with ProPILOT Assist — Nissan’s first step toward building autonomous vehicles — as well as Nissan Safety Shield 360.

© American Honda Motors9. Honda Civic
2020 Sales: 63,944
Vs. 2019: 18.2 %
With sales down more than 45 percent in March versus the previous year, the Civic remains the best-selling car in the Honda lineup. The tenth generation Civic debuted early in 2017 featuring fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Fuel economy also is impressive, rated as high as 42 mpg with a new turbocharged powerplant. Standard equipment on the Civic now includes Honda Sensing, which has automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Last year Honda added the Civic Sport and gave the entire lineup a minor styling refresh inside and out.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA8. Toyota Corolla
2020 Sales: 69,214
Vs. 2019: -12.0 %
Corolla is one of the most time-honored names in the Toyota lineup, and recently the company celebrated the 1 millionth Corolla built in the brand’s Mississippi assembly plant. Although sales were off in March by 22 percent, Toyota is hoping things will improve now that an all-new Corolla has begun arriving in showrooms. The 2020 Corolla — along with a Corolla Hybrid — gets updated styling and a wider stance, as well as signature LED headlights and a range of new features. Three powertrains are available, including a very efficient hybrid system that has a U.S. EPA rating of more than 50 mpg.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience7. Honda CR-V
2020 Sales: 71,186
Vs. 2019: –18.4 %
The Honda CR-V achieved record sales for 2019, and prior to March 2020 the popular crossover was selling at the same pace as the year earlier. Still the best-selling vehicle in the Honda lineup, the CR-V’s success lies in its ability to offer consumers a comfortable, small crossover with great utility and excellent fuel economy. For 2020 Honda has refreshed the CR-V’s exterior styling and is adding the first hybrid to the CR-V lineup. Similar to the Honda Accord Hybrid, the all-wheel drive CR-V Hybrid uses a 2-motor hybrid powertrain that teams two electric motors with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine for a combined output of 212 horsepower, making it the most powerful variant in the CR-V lineup.

© General Motors6. Chevrolet Equinox
2020 Sales: 73,453
Vs. 2019: –17.0 %
Chevrolet’s second-best-selling vehicle after the full-size Silverado pickup, the Equinox had record sales in 2019, marking the second year in a row for this feat. Equinox stands out with projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, wider horizontal taillights and LED taillights for upper trim levels. Inside, the new Equinox features a down-and-away instrument panel with a low windshield base for improved outward visibility. Two engine choices for Equinox are a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo or a 252-horse 2.0-liter turbo teamed with a 9-speed automatic transmission. For 2020 Chevrolet adds a Midnight Edition Equinox to the lineup.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA5. Toyota Camry
2020 Sales: 77,188
Vs. 2019: –5.5 %
Even though sales of the Camry were down slightly last year, the popular sedan continues its reign as best-selling car in America, with 2019 marking the 17th year in that top position. As was the case with most vehicles on this list, the Camry had a steep decline in sales for March versus a year earlier. A few years ago, Camry received a redesign including an updated grille, integrated headlights and sculpted lines that give the sedan a more engaging presence, as well as a completely new interior and choice of fuel-efficient, powerful engines. For those seeking even more performance, a Camry TRD with performance suspension and brakes — as well as a cat-back exhaust system — has joined the lineup.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience4. Toyota RAV4
2020 Sales: 97,631
Vs. 2019: 16.5 %
Toyota’s RAV4 experienced record sales in 2019 and this popular crossover is on track to continue this upward trend for 2020. While sales were down in March by 25 percent year over year, sales were strong enough at the beginning of the year for an overall increase. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the RAV4 was completely redone for the 2019 model year. With bold new styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features, this fifth-generation RAV4 is likely to remain popular with American car shoppers. In addition to the updated styling and efficient powertrains, the RAV4 now has automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane departure alert as standard equipment. Toyota has also announced that the 2021 RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid will be arriving this summer, which will be not only more fuel efficient but also the second-quickest vehicle in the Toyota lineup.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience3. Ram Truck
2020 Sales: 128,805
Vs. 2019: 7.3 %
Ram introduced an all-new 1500 pickup for 2019 and followed shortly thereafter with the Ram Heavy Duty. These two offerings have done wonders for Ram truck sales. Last year the brand achieved its fourth consecutive year of record sales and the big truck is continuing on that trajectory for 2020. The new Ram features updated exterior styling, and the interior is one of the nicest on the market. Six trim levels are available, as well as a new lineup of powertrains that includes a powerful diesel and will eventually feature a hybrid system. A new Ram Heavy Duty that boasts a new diesel with 1,000 lb-ft of torque helped Ram hold onto this sales position.

© General Motors2. Chevrolet Silverado
2020 Sales: 144,738
Vs. 2019: 26.6 %
Chevrolet introduced an all-new Silverado for the 2019 model year, and while sales were down slightly last year, the Silverado is certainly going strong for 2020. The new Silverado is longer and wider than its predecessor, which means more passenger space as well as more cargo room. Through an extensive use of mixed materials, engineers were able to lighten Silverado by an impressive 450 pounds, with 88 pounds of that coming off the body. Silverado received updated styling inside and out as well variety of powertrains, ranging from a new turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant to V8 options with dynamic fuel management.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1. Ford F-Series
2020 Sales: 186,562
Vs. 2019: -13.1 %
Thanks to strong sales in 2019, the Ford F-Series extended its streak as the best-selling vehicle in America to 38 years — 43 years as best-selling truck. Sales in 2020 are down slightly from last year, but certainly enough to keep Ford’s large truck offering at the top of this list. The F-150 drives strong numbers with a wide range of configurations, fresh styling, and the latest safety and convenience features. Six engines are offered for the F-150, ranging from the standard 3.3-liter V6 that generates 290 horsepower to the high-output 450-horsepower EcoBoost unit. Ford has also introduced a revised 2020 F-Series Super Duty that boasts a class-leading towing capacity of 37,000 pounds.

Data: Automaker sales releases

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