Best-Selling Cars in America — By Brand
Although auto sales in America dropped by more than 14 percent in 2020 due to pandemic-fueled uncertainty, in 2021 sales are experiencing a rebound compared to a year earlier. And a surprising fact remains — almost one-third of total vehicle sales in the U.S. can be accounted for by 10 top-selling models. However, not every automaker has a high-volume model such as the Ford F-150 (almost 800,000 sold last year). So which vehicles are popular with consumers but sell in fewer numbers? The following vehicles represent the best-selling cars in America from nearly every major auto brand. Figures are compiled from manufacturer sales reports based on total volume in the first nine months of 2021. Note: Many exotic or boutique car companies do not report individual model sales figures.
Total Sales: 47,814
Honda’s luxury brand introduced an all-new MDX for the 2022 model year and it seems the new model is resonating well with consumers. MDX sales have increased almost 50 percent in the first three quarters of 2021 versus a year earlier. The MDX is built on an all-new platform with bold styling, a spacious interior and a wide range of new high-tech features. Powering the 2022 Acura MDX is a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine producing 290 horsepower, teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and paddle shifters. All Acura MDX trims are equipped with the brand’s suite of advanced safety and driver-assist features called AcuraWatch, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist and road departure mitigation.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Total Sales: 8,004
Named after Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps — considered by many to be one of the greatest driving roads in the world — the Stelvio arrived in the U.S. for the 2018 model year. The third vehicle in the Alfa Romeo lineup, Stelvio quickly became the best-selling model for the brand by outselling the 4-door Giulia. The front-end appearance of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio takes design cues from the Giulia sport sedan, and the overall shape of this new 5-passenger SUV looks incredibly sporty. With standard full-time all-wheel drive, Stelvio is available with two powerful engines including a 2.9-liter V6 producing 505 horsepower in the top-level Quadrifoglio.
Aston Martin DBX
Total Sales: NA
DBX is the first SUV to wear an Aston Martin nameplate in the company’s 106-year history, and one look at the vehicle confirms its lineage. Since American drivers clearly prefer SUVs over passenger cars, it’s also no surprise that this new SUV has become the brand’s best-seller in America, accounting for about 50 percent of the brand’s total sales. With a classic DB grille that flows into the vented, sculpted hood, the new DBX is pure Aston Martin. Inside, the SUV’s sport seats can be wrapped in available full-grain leather from Bridge of Weir, and Alcantara covers the headliner as well as the roof blind. Although luxurious surroundings remain important, Aston Martins are all about performance, and the DBX certainly doesn’t disappoint. Power emanates from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that generates 542 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Total Sales: 49,919
Small crossovers continue to dominate sales in America, and nearly every car company has hopped on that bandwagon. The Audi Q5 is an excellent example as the best-selling vehicle of a company that until 10 years ago didn’t even offer an SUV. Outselling every other Audi by a large margin, the Q5 received an updated look for the 2021 model year featuring a slimmer and wider octagonal Singleframe grille with taller side air intakes that have sporty trapezoidal inserts. Last year Audi added its first plug-in hybrid Q5 SUV, which features a 2.0-liter gas engine with an electric motor positioned between the engine and the 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission for a combined system output of 349 horsepower. The Q5 55 TFSI e gets an electric-only range of 19 miles and receives a U.S. EPA combined rating of 50 MPGe.
Total Sales: 53,994
The most popular player in BMW’s lineup, the X3 had a full update for the 2018 model year. Since that time, the German company expanded the X3 line with a high-performance X3 M, which stands out with more aggressive styling and up to 510 horsepower on tap. Last year BMW added a plug-in hybrid to the X3 family via the X3 xDrive30e PHEV, sporting a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. This translates to a 40-horsepower boost over the non-hybrid X3. According to the U.S. EPA, the electric-only range of the X3 PHEV is 18 miles with a rating of 60 MPGe.
Buick Encore GX
Total Sales: 61,181
Buick added the all-new GX to its Encore lineup for 2020, and the small crossover is already the brand’s best-selling model by a wide margin. The GX features premium styling both inside and out, as well as a more spacious cabin and improved cargo-carrying capacity versus the standard Encore. Two turbocharged engines are offered, including a 155-horsepower 1.3-liter unit with available all-wheel drive. In addition to its long list of standard equipment — which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — the Encore GX gets the latest in advanced safety and driver-assist technologies.
Total Sales: 30,841
Last year Cadillac took the wraps off an all-new Escalade, the brand’s flagship SUV. This fifth generation of the iconic vehicle comes to market with fresh styling, new powertrains and a range of innovative high-tech features. Sales of this bold-looking, full-size luxury SUV more than doubled in the first nine months of 2021 versus a year earlier — clearly the new model has been popular among Cadillac shoppers. One of the many innovations in the new Escalade is a curved OLED display screen in the dashboard that sets this luxurious SUV apart from the competition. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade gets built with new architecture on a new chassis that helps increase interior space, which translates to 40 percent more legroom in the third row and almost 70 percent more cargo space behind that row.
Total Sales: 414,389
Chevrolet introduced an all-new Silverado 1500 for the 2019 model year; although sales were down at the start of 2020, the pickup finished the fateful year as one of the few vehicles showing positive growth year over year. The updated Silverado can be configured in hundreds of ways with different cab sizes, bed lengths, drive systems and trim levels that range from the basic Work Truck to the luxurious and powerful High Country. With seven different engine / transmission combinations, the Silverado 1500 can be set up for whatever task necessary — including towing up to 13,400 pounds when the need arises. For those who require additional towing power, the Silverado 3500 HD bumps up to a max tow rating of 36,000 pounds for the 2021 model year.
Total Sales: 59,502
The Pacifica premiered a few years back to replace the aging Town & Country minivan in the Chrysler lineup, and for 2021 the minivan gets a complete refresh. Pacifica has a new visage designed to give the minivan more of a sport-utility vibe. The primary grille is much larger than the previous version, while the lower grille mimics the style of the upper. All-new headlights incorporate a new LED running light style; LED headlights and taillights are standard on all versions of the 2021 Pacifica. All-wheel drive is available for the first time; Pacifica’s seamless system requires no driver interaction, and it can transfer up to 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels. Chrysler designed the AWD system so it wouldn’t interfere with one of the Pacifica’s most popular features: Stow n’ Go seats.
Total Sales: 61,498
Despite being one of the older models in the Dodge lineup, the Charger continues to evolve with innovations and big power options. In fact, the big sedan passed the Durango to become the brand’s best-seller. Replete with plenty of high-tech features, Charger is available with an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, electric power steering, a pushbutton start and a high-end audio system. In keeping with tradition, Charger has powerful engine choices including the R/T Scat Pack with a 485-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8, or the latest entry: the SRT Hellcat Redeye with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 producing a mind-blowing 797 horsepower. With a top speed of more than 200 mph, the Hellcat Redeye is the most powerful mass-produced sedan in the world.
Total Sales: 980
With the announcement that Fiat is ending production of the sporty 124 Spyder, the 500X is the only model left in the Italian brand’s lineup — so by default it is the best-selling Fiat. Riding on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade, the 500X is a 4-door hatchback with available all-wheel drive. The 500X is available in four trim levels with 177 horsepower emanating from its 1.3-liter turbocharged powerplant.
Total Sales: 534,831
With annual sales that far outpace the competition, the Ford F-Series extended its streak in 2020 as the best-selling vehicle in America for 39 years — 44 years as best-selling truck. Based on strong sales so far in 2021, Ford’s large truck offering should easily retain its No. 1 spot since the new model year ushers in a completely new 2021 F-150. With fresh styling, an updated interior, a new hybrid powertrain, a range of innovative and versatile new features and a class-leading 14,000-pound towing capacity, the 2021 Ford F-150 will likely continue the F-Series juggernaut. Earlier in 2021 Ford introduced the first all-electric F-150 Lightning, which is expected to arrive in showrooms early next year.
Total Sales: 15,473
Genesis expanded its line for the 2021 model year with the brand’s first SUV, the GV80. This luxurious sport-utility vehicle has quickly become the Korean automaker’s best-seller, possessing a luxurious interior as well as exterior styling that complements the Genesis portfolio. Joining the G70, G80 and G90 sedans, the new SUV features the brand’s large Crest Grille with quad narrow headlights for a unique look. The quad light motif of the 2021 Genesis GV80 continues at the rear of the vehicle, where wraparound LED taillights echo the lighting style up front. Motivation comes from a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine producing 375 horsepower, teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The second SUV in the Genesis lineup — the GV70 — is coming to market and will likely overtake the GV80 in sales.
Total Sales: 191,186
The best-seller of the GMC lineup, the Sierra’s 2020 sales ended on a high note that bucked the overall decline of U.S. auto sales. That upward trend continues into the first nine months of 2021. Like its Chevrolet Silverado sibling, the Sierra pickup 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 standout is the truck’s MultiPro Tailgate that offers six positions for easier loading, as well as use as a standing workstation. A range of engine / transmission options are available, including new 2.7-liter turbo and turbodiesel powertrains. For 2021 GMC expanded Sierra’s standard features and increased the trailer-towing capability to 36,000 pounds on properly equipped 3500 HD variants.
Total Sales: 290,140
Still the best-selling vehicle in the Honda lineup, the CR-V is having great success so far this year, with overall sales up more than 20 percent compared to the first three quarters of 2020. Last year Honda refreshed the CR-V’s exterior styling and added the first hybrid to the lineup. Similar to the Honda Accord Hybrid, the all-wheel-drive CR-V Hybrid uses a 2-motor 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.
Total Sales: 116,047
Tucson sales in the U.S. were down last year, although they have rebounded well in the first three quarters of 2021, and should improve even more with the arrival of a redesigned 2022 model. The new Tucson is longer, wider and taller than the previous version, and the compact SUV has lower, wider headlights and daytime running lights that seem to be an extension of the grille. The profile reveals a chrome accent that begins at the mirror and follows the shape of the roof. Tucson’s standard powertrain is a 161-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. An available hybrid drivetrain pairs a turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine with a 44.2 kW electric motor and 1.49 kWh battery pack for an estimated total system output of 226 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Total Sales: 16,991
Infiniti introduced an all-new QX50 last year, and the updated model has experienced a commendable sales increase in the first nine months of 2021 versus a year earlier. The updated premium crossover received a sportier look with a sculpted hood and character lines that run along the sides to the wraparound rear taillights. The large grille and stylish headlights match the rest of the Infiniti lineup. Infiniti also added a new infotainment system to the QX50 that uses dual HD touchscreen displays so multiple functions can be accessed and viewed simultaneously. An innovative a 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine powers the QX50; Infiniti says this is the first production engine that adjusts compression ratio to optimize both power and efficiency.
Total Sales: 6,738
About five years ago, Jaguar joined the burgeoning cadre of luxury SUVs when it introduced the F-PACE. The F-PACE quickly became the brand’s best-selling model and now outsells all Jaguar passenger cars combined. For 2021 the F-PACE received a major refresh with updated styling inside and out, improved performance and a range of high-tech features. Although the exterior changes to the 2021 Jaguar F-PACE are certainly notable, the interior of the new version got a complete makeover. One of the most significant highlights is an all-new 11.4-inch curved glass touchscreen display encased in magnesium alloy mounted at the center of the dashboard. This HD display is three times brighter and 48 percent larger than the previous unit.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Total Sales: 189,727
Jeep’s time-honored SUV is experiencing a significant recovery after a difficult 2020. In the first nine months of sales in 2021, the Grand Cherokee squeaked by the popular Wrangler. The 5-seat Grand Cherokee retains 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 that possesses a staggering 707 horsepower. Recently Jeep introduced an all-new Grand Cherokee with a host of new features and fresh styling. Also joining the lineup is the all-new Grand Cherokee L, the first-ever 3-row Grand Cherokee.
Total Sales: 90,148
Completely redesigned in 2019 with updated features and a fresh new look, the stylish Kia Forte is powered by a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter 147-horsepower engine matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox. According to the U.S. EPA, the base-level Forte FE is rated at 37 mpg on the highway. Standard equipment on this small sedan includes air-conditioning, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera with dynamic parking guide, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, forward collision avoidance, lane-departure warning and driver attention warning.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Total Sales: 13,241
Land Rover has earned a reputation for building vehicles with true off-road capability; however, with the Range Rover Sport the company added excellent on-road performance to the package. Outselling the larger Range Rover as well as the smaller Evoque, the Range Rover Sport features full-time 4-wheel drive with electronic traction control, an 8-speed automatic transmission and an extensive list of safety features. A number of engines are available, ranging from a fuel-efficient diesel to a 550-horsepower supercharged V8 in the Range Rover Sport SVR. Not only can the Range Rover Sport top 150 mph, it can also claw its way through three feet of water — not at the same time of course.
Total Sales: 84,625
The popular RX tops Lexus charts once again, boasting sales considerably higher than all other models in the luxury brand’s lineup. One of the first luxury crossovers when it debuted as a 1998 model, the RX combines the utility of an SUV with the ride and comfort of a luxury sedan. A few years ago Lexus upped the utility of the RX with the addition of the RX L, which is slightly larger and offers seating for up to seven via a new third row. Both the original and L versions of the RX are available as the RX 350 or the RX 450h, the latter featuring a powerful and fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. The RX is also the first Lexus to offer Android Auto connectivity in addition to existing Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration.
Total Sales: 19,176
Responding to an American market that favors crossovers over passenger cars, Lincoln now sells SUVs exclusively. One of the newest models is the five-passenger Nautilus, which resides between the Corsair and Aviator. Sales of the Nautilus have been strong so far this year, with a 20 percent increase versus the same period last year. Nautilus sets itself apart from other crossovers via the signature Lincoln grille flanked by full LED headlights with Lincoln Dynamic Signature Lighting. For the 2021 model year the Nautilus was upgraded to a 13.2-inch touchscreen display running the latest version of SYNC, Ford’s communication and infotainment system.
Total Sales: 137,343
The Mazda CX-5 seems to be making a big comeback after a slow-selling 2020 — thus far this year, sales of the sporty crossover are up more than 30 percent compared to the first nine months of 2020. When redesigned a few years ago, the CX-5 adopted the refined styling of the larger CX-9 and comes in a range of trim levels including the luxurious Signature as well as the new Carbon Edition. For 2021 Mazda added a new 10.25-inch center display as standard equipment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also available is Mazda’s 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.
Total Sales: 47,577
The Mercedes-Benz GLE offers premium levels of luxury with the latest high-tech features and safety equipment in an attractive three-row SUV. Last updated a few years ago, the GLE features a dual power-dome hood, large air intakes and an LED Intelligent Light System with an ultra-wide beam — the brightest allowed on a motor vehicle. Mercedes gives the GLE impressive capabilities off-road with E-Active Body Control that can smooth the ride as well as deliver up to 100 percent of the torque to either axle as needed. For those requiring a bit more power, the AMG GLE63 S sports a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine producing 603 horsepower.
Total Sales: 14,264
The MINI Cooper may be one of the smallest cars available in America, but it still offers a premium ride with excellent performance. Sales are up slightly for the first nine months of 2021 versus a year earlier, and this trend is likely to continue with updates for the new model year. For 2022 the MINI gets a larger grille that stretches to the bottom of the car, framing an inner hexagon trimmed in chrome. A body-color bar stretches across the grille, housing the license plate and giving the MINI a wider-looking stance. At the rear, are a new bumper and standard Union Jack taillights. Powertrains for 2022 remain the same — the Cooper sports a 134-horsepower engine, while the Cooper S bumps up to 189 horses. The top-level JCW makes 228 horsepower.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Total Sales: 28,721
Mitsubishi’s compact Outlander Sport surpassed its larger sibling as the best-selling model in the automaker’s lineup so far this year. The Outlander Sport received styling updates last year including a new grille and front bumper, an updated hood, reshaped fenders, new LED headlights and taillights, LED daytime running lights and a new rear bumper. All trim levels are offered with all-wheel drive, starting with the Outlander Sport ES at $23,995 and powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque combined with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The Outlander Sport GT draws motivation from a 2.4-liter engine producing 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque.
Total Sales: 234,647
Nissan’s small crossover sales have bounced back from a slow 2020, and Rogue remains the best-selling vehicle in the Nissan lineup. The automaker hopes to continue this trend with an all-new 2021 Rogue. Built on a new platform with fresh styling, advanced safety features and a family friendly interior, the latest Rogue features a long list of standard equipment across all trim levels including LED headlights and taillights and alloy wheels, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Access to the rear seat improves for 2021 thanks to rear doors that open nearly 90 degrees — much wider than the previous generation.
Total Sales: 16,578
The compact premium SUV market is undeniably crowded, but the Macan certainly stands out from said scrum. The second crossover to join the Porsche lineup, Macan has experienced strong sales since its introduction in 2014. Styled after the larger Cayenne, Macan still embodies all qualities expected from the iconic German sports car brand. The compact SUV has full-time all-wheel drive and is available in four high-performance trim levels, including the Macan GTS with its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine producing 375 horsepower.
Total Sales: 434,772
Ram introduced an all-new 1500 pickup in 2019 and followed shortly thereafter with the Ram Heavy Duty. Sales continue to show strong results — the big truck has overtaken Chevrolet to become the second-best-selling vehicle in America thus far in 2021. The Ram features bold exterior styling, and the interior is one of the nicest on the market. Multiple trim levels are available, as well as a new lineup of powertrains that includes a powerful diesel and eventually a hybrid system. The updated Ram Heavy Duty now boasts a new diesel with 1,075 lb-ft of torque providing a 37,100-pound towing capacity. For 2021 Ram added the high-performance 702-horsepower TRX, designed for tackling off-road terrain at high speeds.
Total Sales: 132,254
Subaru introduced an all-new Forester in 2019, and it is one of the few models that had some success during a difficult 2020. However, sales are down slightly in 2021 due to the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage. The 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 a 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 well as a new safety feature called rear seat reminder. For the 2022 model year the Forester gets updated styling as well as the addition of the new, more capable Forester Wilderness.
Tesla Model Y
Total Sales: 121,228
As the newest vehicle line at Tesla, the Model Y not only represents the best-seller of the brand, it’s also the most fuel-efficient crossover sold in America. Smaller than Model X, Model Y offers optional third-row seating that enables the vehicle to carry up to seven occupants. The dual-motor system provides torque to both the front and rear axles for full-time all-wheel-drive capability. According to Tesla, the Model Y can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 145 mph. The Model Y can recharge up to 158 miles in 15 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger location.
Total Sales: 313,447
Toyota’s RAV4 experienced a slight sales decline last year, although overall sales are positive for 2021 thus far, helping RAV4 retain its spot as the best-selling SUV in America. One of the original compact crossovers on the U.S. market, the RAV4 underwent a complete redesign in 2019 with bold new styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features. In addition to the updated styling and efficient powertrains, the RAV4 features automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane departure alert as standard equipment. For 2021 Toyota added the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid to its lineup, offering better fuel efficiency as well as much higher performance.
Total Sales: 85,000
The Tiguan premiered in the U.S. more than 10 ten years ago when Volkswagen entered the compact crossover market for the first time. Although initial sales were slow, the small VW grew in popularity when the second generation arrived in 2016, and eventually the Tiguan blossomed into one of the brand’s best-selling models — in the U.S. and worldwide. Although sales are down slightly year over year, Volkswagen is hoping to reverse that trend when an updated 2022 Tiguan comes to market this fall. The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan gets fresh styling, new technology and advanced driver-assistance features.
Total Sales: 31,853
For most European car companies conducting business in the U.S., a midsize SUV represents the most popular model of the maker’s lineup — a truth for Volvo as well. Last year the Swedish automaker added the more powerful Polestar Engineered version of the stylish XC60. Based on the XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid, the Polestar Engineered version gets a bump to 415 horsepower and 494 lb-ft of torque, making it the sportiest model in the Volvo crossover lineup. The XC60 is also safely equipped with extensive features includes oncoming lane mitigation with automatic steering, which detects if the car drifts over a lane marker and automatically steers it back into the proper lane. The automatic emergency braking system also detects pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.