Best-Selling Cars of 2020 . . . So Far

© Ford Motor CompanyBest-Selling Cars of 2020
The first nine 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. Although some recovery occurred during the third quarter with a few models showing strong gains, overall sales are estimated to be down around 18 percent compared with the first three quarters of 2019, at a total of approximately 10.3 million vehicles sold. Almost every car company has experienced declining sales this year, with many dealerships forced to close and factories suspending operations as the country tries to contain the Coronavirus. What follows are the best-selling cars of 2020 during the first nine months of the year, according to numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports.

© Hyundai Motor America25. Hyundai Tucson
2020 Sales: 91,139
Vs. 2019: –11.4 %
On the heels of a downward sales trend at the end of 2019, Tucson sales continue in negative territory for the first three quarters of 2020. Hyundai introduced the latest version of the Tucson in 2018 when it received updated styling as well as a range of new features and powertrains. This 5-occupant crossover comes well equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display, multiple USB chargers, a rearview camera and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Forward collision-avoidance assist and lane-keeping assist are both standard as well, with additional safety and technology features available such as blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Two engines are available, including a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit producing 181 horsepower.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience24. Ford Transit
2020 Sales: 93,670
Vs. 2019: –19.9%
Like most every other model on this list, the Ford Transit sales are down compared to last year; however, the full-size Transit is still the best-selling van in America, outselling the most popular minivans by a considerable margin. Much of its success can be attributed to its versatility — Transit comes in almost 60 different configurations, including two wheelbases, three roof heights as well as 150, 250 and 350 variants. The Transit seats 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 inside.

© Nissan North America23. Nissan Altima
2020 Sales: 97,082
Vs. 2019: –39.3 %
Once Nissan’s best-selling car, the Altima had experienced a decline over the last few years, allowing the hot-selling Rogue small crossover to claim its position as the top-selling Nissan model in America. The automaker seemed to be reversing that trend with an all-new Altima introduced for the 2019 model year, but the current situation brings sales down a bit for the first three quarters of 2020. One of only a few passenger cars left on this best-sellers list, the Altima received major styling updates last year with a look that fits with the rest of the Nissan lineup. Two engines 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 now offers Altima with all-wheel drive.

© FCA US22. Jeep Cherokee
2020 Sales: 97,919
Vs. 2019: –34.4 %
Sales of the Jeep Cherokee were declining at the end of 2019, 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. Last year 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 exciting color options that include Sangria and Spitfire Orange.

© Mazda North America21. Mazda CX-5
2020 Sales: 104,277
Vs. 2019: –8.3 %
Mazda CX-5 sales were up slightly in 2019, posting the fourth consecutive year of record sales. That trend continued into 2020 until the pandemic struck, and then CX-5 sales took a downturn along with most new vehicles. Although overall sales are still down, the CX-5 had a 31 percent increase in September sales versus 2019. When redesigned a few years ago, the CX-5 adopted the refined styling of the larger CX-9. 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.

© Subaru of America20. Subaru Outback
2020 Sales: 106,346
Vs. 2019: –24.3%
Despite the premiere of a new Outback for the 2020 model year, its sales are not immune to the current slump. That said, September was a strong sales month for this crossover wagon, posting a 50 percent increase versus a year ago. The latest Subaru built on the company’s global platform, the 2020 Outback received 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. EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist. All Outbacks feature Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring, vehicle dynamics control and a generous 8.7-inches of ground clearance.

© Ford Motor Company19. Ford Escape
2020 Sales: 131,753
Vs. 2016: –32.0 %
This small 5-seat crossover from Ford had been the best-selling American-brand SUV for many years, but a sales decline last year and a slow start for 2020 has dropped the Escape down the list. Once overall U.S. vehicle sales begin to recover, the Escape should experience a sales bump since it is all new for the 2020 model year. Lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, the new model has looks that are quite a departure from the previous 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 2020 Escape is available with a choice of four engines; the standard unit is a 3-cylinder 1.5-liter EcoBoost producing 180 horsepower. Ford also brings back the Escape Hybrid — the 2020 model is available as a standard hybrid as well as a plug-in version.

© Subaru of America18. Subaru Forester
2020 Sales: 134,082
Vs. 2019: 2.0 %
Subaru introduced an all-new Forester last year, and it is one of the few models showing some sales success during this difficult year. Sales of the Forester were up more than 16 percent in September versus a year earlier, helping the brand to a new sales record last month. 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 a new safety feature: Rear Seat Reminder.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA17. Toyota Highlander
2020 Sales: 141,301
Vs. 2019: –21.6%
All new for the 2020 model year, the Toyota Highlander had upwardly trending sales until March — since then sales continue to decline versus a year earlier. The fourth generation of this popular crossover gets built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture. The new Highlander has 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. Also available is a The Highlander line also offers a Hybrid possessing great performance via a fuel-efficient gas-electric powertrain.

© American Honda Motors16. Honda Accord
2020 Sales: 145,291
Vs. 2019: –28.9 %
Although still one of the best-selling passenger cars in America, the Honda Accord has not experienced great sales success since its redesign for the 2018 model year. However, there are signs of recovery — September 2020 sales were almost even with sales from September 2019. Available in a range of trim levels, Accord is now in its tenth generation and one of the last midsize sedans to offer a manual gearbox. Two turbocharged engines are available for Accord, delivering both great performance and fuel efficiency. For 2020 the company made the Honda Sensing suite of safety features standard on all Accord variants.

© FCA US LLC15. Jeep Wrangler
2020 Sales: 150,202
Vs. 2019: –14.7%
Like most vehicles on this list, the iconic Jeep Wrangler has experienced a sales decline when compared with last year; however, with sales down only 8.4 percent for the quarter versus a year earlier, that number could almost be considered a success given the current conditions. The current-generation Wrangler premiered for the 2018 model year — the first redesign of this iconic off-roader in 10 years. Jeep stayed true to the original, retaining the 7-slot grille and round headlights, although the grille is taller and wider, and the big headlights have a stylish LED halo around the outer bezel. For 2020 Jeep added a fuel-efficient diesel powertrain to the Wrangler, as well as the new luxurious High Altitude edition.

© FCA US14. Jeep Grand Cherokee
2020 Sales: 152,856
Vs. 2019: –17.4 %
The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to lead the sales charge at Jeep with record sales last year — this trend would have likely continued if the pandemic had not affected sales. 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, 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 all trims, including the base-level Laredo.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience13. Ford Explorer
2020 Sales: 160,209
Vs. 2019: 18.0%
The Ford Explorer continues as a fixture on this best-seller list for almost 30 years; although sales were down for 2019, the arrival of the all-new 2020 Explorer helped bolster numbers this year — in fact, Explorer is one of the few vehicles in America posting positive gains for the year. The updated 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 added two new variants to the Explorer lineup — the Hybrid and the ST; the latter boasts a 400-horseower EcoBoost engine and is responsible for almost 20 percent of total Explorer sales. 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.

© Toyota Motor Sales, USA12. Toyota Tacoma
2020 Sales: 163,619
Vs. 2019: -12.9 %
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 redesign for the 2016 model year, featuring a more aggressive look, 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.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA11. Toyota Corolla
2020 Sales: 166,213
Vs. 2019: -29.0 %
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. Toyota introduced an all-new Corolla for the 2020 model year; however, the current situation has kept this updated model from having much positive effect on sales. The 2020 Corolla — along with a Corolla Hybrid — features updated styling with 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. Toyota equips all levels of the new Corolla with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This suite of advanced safety features includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high-beam headlights and road sign recognition.

© Nissan North America10. Nissan Rogue
2020 Sales: 167,401
Vs. 2019: –38.5 %
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. An all-new Rogue has been introduced for the 2021 model year and is expected to arrive in showrooms in soon.

© General Motors9. GMC Sierra
2020 Sales: 174,645
Vs. 2019: 6.8 %
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, bucking the overall downward direction for U.S. auto sales. 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.

© General Motors8. Chevrolet Equinox
2020 Sales: 191,727
Vs. 2019: –24.5 %
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 in the crowded crossover market with projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, wider horizontal taillights and LED taillights for upper trim levels. Inside, the 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 added a Midnight Edition Equinox to the lineup.

© American Honda Motors7. Honda Civic
2020 Sales: 200,941
Vs. 2019: -21.3 %
Although sales are down for the year, Civic had a glimmer of recovery with a 0.2 percent increase in September sales compared with a year earlier. The tenth generation Civic debuted early in 2017, built on a new vehicle architecture with improved driving dynamics and a more spacious interior. Last year Civic received a light refresh and a range of new features, as well as the new Civic Sport trim. The Honda Sensing safety system is now standard on all trims, which includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA6. Toyota Camry
2020 Sales: 204,945
Vs. 2019: –20.7 %
Even though sales of the Camry were down slightly last year, the popular sedan continued its reign as best-selling car in America, with 2019 marking the 17th year in that top position. As with most vehicles on this list, Camry has been experiencing a steep decline in sales this year; however Q3 sales were off only 4 percent compared to a year earlier. Toyota introduced the eighth-generation Camry a few years ago, giving the popular sedan a more engaging appearance with a more comfortable interior and a range of fuel-efficient and powerful engines. For those seeking even more performance, Toyota adds the Camry TRD to the lineup with performance suspension and brakes, more aggressive styling and a cat-back exhaust system.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience5. Honda CR-V
2020 Sales: 237,334
Vs. 2019: –15.5 %
The Honda CR-V achieved record sales for 2019, and prior to March 2020 the popular crossover was selling on 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 refreshes the CR-V’s exterior styling and adds 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.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA4. Toyota RAV4
2020 Sales: 302,574
Vs. 2019: -6.8 %
Toyota’s RAV4 experienced record sales in 2019 and this popular crossover was on track to continue this upward trend for 2020 until the pandemic changed that direction. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the RAV4 was completely redone last year 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 now has automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane departure alert as standard equipment. Earlier this year Toyota added the 2021 RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid to its lineup, offering better fuel efficiency as well as much higher performance.

© FCA US3. Ram Truck
2020 Sales: 402,410
Vs. 2019: -12.7 %
Ram introduced an all-new 1500 pickup last year 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. 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. Ram recently introduced the TRX, which has a supercharged 702-horsepower V8 engine under the hood.

© General Motors2. Chevrolet Silverado
2020 Sales: 414,650
Vs. 2019: 0.6%
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 as one of the few vehicles showing positive growth year over year. The updated Silverado launched with fresh styling as well as improved performance and capability. Chevrolet’s best-seller 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 can be set up for whatever task necessary — including towing up to 13,400 pounds when the need arises.

© Ford Motor Company1. Ford F-Series
2020 Sales: 589,034
Vs. 2019: -11.1 %
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 in the No. 1 spot. 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. Look for an all-new F-150 with a range of innovative features, class-leading towing capability and a new hybrid powertrain arriving later this year.

Data: Automaker sales releases

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