Best-Selling Vehicles in America . . . So Far

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBest-Sellers
The first nine months of 2019 auto sales are in the books, and some wind has faded from industry sails. Overall sales are down about 1.6 percent compared to the same time period in 2018, with a total of 12.7 million vehicles sold so far this year. Passenger car sales continue to trend downward, their ranks supplanted by popular crossovers and SUVs. And as it has been for years, the top three best-selling vehicles in America are all pickup trucks — however, the ranking has changed. Several major brands experienced healthy sales increases during the first three quarters of 2019, including Ram, GMC, Volkswagen, Subaru and Hyundai. General Motors continues to lead all other manufacturers in the U.S. with almost 17 percent market share, followed by Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Sales, and Chrysler / FCA group. What follows are the best-selling models in America during the first three quarters of 2019, according to numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports. Note: General Motors, Ford and FCA report only quarterly sales with no monthly data.

© Hyundai Motor America25. Hyundai Elantra
2019 Sales: 125,469
Vs. 2018: -15.7 %
Over the last few years, Elantra has gained enough momentum to become the best-selling model in the Hyundai lineup — surprising, given the general popularity of crossovers over passenger cars. Even though the Elantra is all new for the 2019 model year, sales were down more than 26 percent in September compared to a year earlier. With a new hood, front fascia, grille and headlights, the Elantra has a more chiseled look than its predecessor. Three engine options are available, including a 201-horsepower unit for the Elantra Sport. Hyundai also offers Elantra with the latest high-tech safety features including automatic emergency braking.

© Subaru of America24. Subaru Forester
2019 Sales: 131,447
Vs. 2018: 7.8 %
All new for the 2019 model year, Forester sales certainly reflect the model’s improvement. Although the popular crossover ended 2018 with a slight sales dip, this year is looking quite good. 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 new Forester also offers improvements in crash protection, comfort, quietness and driving dynamics, powered by 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.

© Ford Motor Company23. Ford Fusion
2019 Sales: 133,908
Vs. 2018: 7.2 %
Ford has announced that it will be ending production of all passenger car models, including the best-selling American passenger car — the Fusion. Despite its imminent demise, Fusion is actually bucking the downward U.S. trend with an increase in sales versus one year ago. Fusion has been 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.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience22. Ford Explorer
2019 Sales: 135,777
Vs. 2018: -31.0 %
The Ford Explorer remains a fixture on this list; in 2017 the pioneering SUV had its best annual sales since 2005 and was only slightly off that figure for 2018. Although sales are down dramatically for the first three quarters of 2019, this is likely to improve as the all-new 2020 Explorer begins to arrive in showrooms. The new Explorer features updated styling and an all-new platform that returns to rear-wheel drive. Ford will also offer a hybrid version as well as a powerful Explorer ST boasting 400 horsepower. The 2020 Explorer has many new features and improvements throughout.

© Subaru of America21. Subaru Outback
2019 Sales: 140,530
Vs. 2018: 1.8 %
One of the vehicles that helped define the crossover segment, the Outback is Subaru’s best-selling model. In fact, the company recently celebrated the 2 millionth Outback sold in America. Sales of this wagon / SUV were down approximately 13 percent in September versus a year earlier; however, the all-new 2020 Outback is starting to arrive in showrooms, which should be positive for future sales. The latest Subaru to be built on the company’s new global platform, the Outback gets updated exterior styling, many new features, a greatly improved interior, updated powertrains and the latest version of EyeSight — Subaru’s suite of advanced safety technology. All Outbacks feature Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring, vehicle dynamics control, X-Mode with hill descent control and a generous 8.7-inches of ground clearance.

© Nissan North America20. Nissan Sentra
2019 Sales: 148,150
Vs. 2018: -10.3 %
As with other manufacturers, Nissan continues to experience a general decline in passenger car sales compared to a year ago, and the Sentra has succumbed to this trend as well. A member of the Nissan lineup for more than 35 years, Sentra is currently in its seventh generation. Available in a wide range of trims with two powertrain choices, Sentra receives several upgrades for the 2019 model year, including standard Apple CarPlay / Android Auto on all but the base S trim.

© FCA US19. Jeep Cherokee
2019 Sales: 149,349
Vs. 2018: -16.9 %
Jeep updated the Cherokee for 2019, and based on record sales in 2018 the redesign has been a success. That said, Cherokee numbers were down around 20 percent in the third quarter of 2019 — perhaps due to record numbers a year earlier — so overall the SUV is down for the year. 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 receives updated styling as well as an upgraded interior and increased cargo room. A new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is added, and a lightweight hands-free power liftgate is now available.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience18. Nissan Altima
2019 Sales: 159,969
Vs. 2018: -4.0 %
Once Nissan’s best-selling model, the Altima has experienced a decline over the last two years, allowing the hot-selling Rogue to claim its position as the top-selling Nissan in America. The automaker seems to be reversing that trend with the all-new Altima introduced for the 2019 model year; sales in September are up almost 50 percent compared to a year earlier. 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.

© General Motors17. GMC Sierra
2019 Sales: 163,601
Vs. 2018: 7.5 %
The best-seller in the GMC lineup, the Sierra ended 2018 with a positive gain, although 2019 sales started slowly. GMC’s big truck makes a nice comeback with a 30 percent increase in sales for the third quarter of 2019. Like its Silverado sibling, the Sierra is 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.

© FCA US16. Jeep Wrangler
2019 Sales: 176,020
Vs. 2018: -7.8 %
An all-new Jeep Wrangler premiered last year, helping the iconic off-roader achieve its best sales ever; however, Wrangler sales are slowing in 2019. The updated model retains 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.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA15. Toyota Highlander
2019 Sales: 180,169
Vs. 2018: -0.3 %
Toyota’s 7-passenger crossover had impressive sales in 2018 when it recorded its best sales year ever. Although sales are down 17 percent in September, overall sales are even with last year. Highlander benefitted from a major update a few years back that included performance upgrades, refreshed styling and a new SE trim level. The SE stands out as a sportier version with 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, dark paint for the front grille, dark headlight housings and dark roof rails. A fuel-efficient Highlander Hybrid is also available, which features a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 gas engine teamed with an electric drive motor-generator to produce a total of 306 horsepower while delivering a combined 29 mpg. Look for an all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander to arrive later this year.

© FCA US14. Jeep Grand Cherokee
2019 Sales: 185,040
Vs. 2018: 11.0 %
The Jeep brand had considerable success last year — which makes sense, given the overall popularity of SUVs in America. In fact, Jeep experienced record sales last year, and for 2019 the Grand Cherokee is leading the charge with an 8 percent increase versus Q3 of 2018. 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 2019 Jeep adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment, and introduces the new Grand Cherokee Limited X.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA13. Toyota Tacoma
2019 Sales: 187,622
Vs. 2018: 2.0 %
Toyota’s popular midsize pickup truck finished 2018 with record sales, and 2019 is continuing this upward momentum. Toyota’s midsize pickup was all new 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. Toyota also offers the off-road-ready Tacoma TRD Pro, featuring 2.5-inch inch Fox shocks front and rear, combined with a larger front sway bar and TRD-tuned front springs that provide an additional 1 inch of lift. Look for a refreshed Tacoma with updated styling and new features to arrive later this year.

© Ford Motor Company12. Ford Escape
2019 Sales: 193,801
Vs. 2016: -7.7 %
This small 5-seat crossover from Ford has been the best-selling American-brand SUV for many years, as well as the second-best-seller in the Ford lineup. Escape had its best sales year ever in 2017 and has dropped off since hitting that peak. Redesigned for the 2017 model year, Escape is available with front or all-wheel drive in addition to updated styling and an array of new features. For 2018 Ford added a higher-end SEL trim to the Escape lineup that includes leather seats, a power liftgate and the latest version of SYNC, Ford’s high-tech infotainment and connectivity system. Ford recently took the wraps off an all-new 2020 Ford Escape with fresh styling and new powertrains, including the return of the Escape Hybrid. Look for the new model line to arrive in showrooms this fall.

© American Honda Motors11. Honda Accord
2019 Sales: 204,463
Vs. 2018: -5.0 %
Honda introduced an all-new Accord late in 2017 that is better than the previous generation in nearly every way; surprisingly, sales have not reflected these improvements. Although the numbers were more optimistic earlier in 2019, at this point sales are down compared to last year. Available in a variety of trim levels as a two door or four door, Accord can even be equipped with a manual transmission — a nod to driving enthusiasts. The Accord is built on a lighter, more rigid body structure designed to improve handling and comfort. Honda offers this popular sedan with various power options that include two new turbocharged engines, a 10-speed automatic transmission and a new generation of Honda’s 2-motor hybrid system.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA10. Toyota Corolla
2019 Sales: 233,978
Vs. 2018: -0.5 %
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. Sales are down slightly for the month and the year, but this could change as an all-new Corolla begins to arrive 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.

© General Motors9. Chevrolet Equinox
2019 Sales: 253,956
Vs. 2018: 8.4 %
Chevrolet’s second-best-selling vehicle after the full-size Silverado pickup, the Equinox had record sales in 2018 and the upward movement continues in the first three quarters of 2019. 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. Three engine choices for Equinox are a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo, a 252-horse 2.0-liter turbo combined with a new 9-speed automatic transmission, and a 136-horsepower 1.6-liter turbodiesel.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience8. Honda Civic
2019 Sales: 255,484
Vs. 2018: 0.2 %
The all-new Civic had its difficulties in 2018, and ultimately this small Honda was unable to retain the best-selling-car crown. Despite September sales declining 10 percent compared to last year, the 2019 Civic remains the best-selling passenger car in the Honda lineup. The tenth generation 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. For 2019 Honda adds the Civic Sport and gives the entire lineup a minor styling refresh.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience7. Toyota Camry
2019 Sales: 258,456
Vs. 2018: -1.7 %
Even though sales of the Camry were down last year, the popular sedan continued its reign as best-selling passenger car in America, with 2018 marking the 16th year in this top position. Camry experienced a slow start to 2019, and September sales are down 15 percent compared to 2018. The Camry was redesigned a few years ago with 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 looking for even more performance, a Camry TRD with performance suspension and brakes — as well as a cat-back exhaust system — will come to market later this year.

© Nissan North America6. Nissan Rogue
2019 Sales: 272,300
Vs. 2018: -12.2 %
Small crossovers are clearly among the most popular vehicles with American shoppers, and Nissan has capitalized on this with the versatile Rogue. Although sales this year are trending downward, the Rogue continues to hold onto its position as the best-selling model in the Nissan lineup. Rogue has 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 also is available as a hybrid and as a smaller model called Rogue Sport. All Rogues are now available with ProPILOT Assist — Nissan’s first step toward building autonomous vehicles.

© American Honda Motors5. Honda CR-V
2019 Sales: 280,739
Vs. 2018: 1.1 %
With a strong finish to 2018, Honda’s popular CR-V continues to hold its own for the first nine months of 2019, although sales were down more than 15 percent in September compared to a year earlier. Completely redesigned a few years back, the CR-V remains the best-selling model 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. Available with front or all-wheel drive, the CR-V can now be equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine producing an impressive 190 horsepower. Higher trim levels also come with Honda Sensing — the brand’s suite of high-tech safety features — as standard equipment.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA4. Toyota RAV4
2019 Sales: 324,622
Vs. 2018: 1.7 %
Toyota’s RAV4 crossover experienced impressive sales in 2018, and the momentum is holding for the first nine months of 2019. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the RAV4 has been 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.

3. Chevrolet Silverado
2019 Sales: 412,259
Vs. 2018: -2.9 %
Chevrolet introduced an all-new Silverado for the 2019 model year, and the new truck is starting to recover, thanks to a third-quarter sales increase of almost 17 percent compared to a year earlier. This perennial runner-up to the Ford F-Series has dropped below the Ram pickup in overall sales. 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 gets 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.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2. Ram Truck
2019 Sales: 461,115
Vs. 2018: 22.8 %
Ram ended 2018 with a strong showing — posting record sales for the third year in a row — and it seems as if the big truck is on its way to setting a new record in 2019. With third-quarter sales up almost 14 percent compared to a year earlier, Ram has moved up to being the second-most-popular vehicle in America. 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 will eventually include a hybrid system. Ram also announced that the previous generation will continue to be sold as Ram 1500 Classic to fill demand as the company ramps up production of the new model. A new Ram Heavy Duty that boasts a new diesel with 1,000 lb-ft of torque is likely to help Ram hold onto this sales position.

© Ford Motor Company1. Ford F-Series
2019 Sales: 662,574
Vs. 2018: -2.4 %
Thanks to strong sales in 2018, the Ford F-Series extended its streak as the best-selling vehicle in America to 37 years — 42 years as best-selling truck. Sales in 2019 are relatively flat so far, but certainly enough to keep Ford’s large truck offering at the top. The F-150 drives strong numbers with updated styling, additional safety and convenience features, and a new 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 290 horsepower joining Ford’s lineup of potently turbocharged EcoBoost powerplants. To further maintain the top-seller position, Ford has announced a revised 2020 F-Series Super Duty, which boasts a class-leading towing capacity of 37,000 pounds.

Data: Automaker sales releases

The post Best-Selling Vehicles in America . . . So Far appeared first on

More from Our Auto Expert