Best-Selling Passenger Cars in the U.S.

© Toyota Motor Sales; American Honda Motor Company; Nissan North America; Hyundai Motor AmericaTop-Selling Cars
Every year trucks top the list of best-selling vehicles in America, and while SUVs continue to grow in popularity, four of the top 10 and eight of the top 20 vehicles sold in 2017 were traditional passenger cars. Although total year-over-year sales for most of the top 20 passenger cars dropped last year, two of the top 10 posted sales increases and three dipped less than 5 percent, and within the latter 10 of the top 20 two up-and-coming models had double-digit sales increases. What follows are the best-selling passenger cars in America, according to 2017 data from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports and

© FCA US LLC20. Dodge Charger
2017 Sales: 88,351
Vs. 2016: -7.4%
A full-size rear-wheel-drive 4-door sedan, the Charger is a sporty-looking sedan with retro styling cues that make it a rare bird in the passenger car market. Charger offers a spacious interior and is available with a variety of high-performance powertrains, ranging from a 292-horsepower V6 to the extreme 707-horsepower supercharged HEMI V8 in the Charger Hellcat. Charger sales peaked about 10 years ago; however, demand for this large car increased again over the last few years. Charger finished 2017 with a sales decline of 5.6 percent in December and a total drop of 7.4 percent for the year compared to a year ago.

© Nissan North America, Inc.19. Nissan Versa
2017 Sales: 106,772
Vs. 2016: -19.2
Starting at just $12,110, the Nissan Versa sedan is one of the least expensive cars sold in America. Even with its low price, the Versa is much more than a bare-bones econobox; standard equipment includes air-conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a trip computer. Powered by a fuel-efficient 109-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Versa is EPA rated at 39 mpg highway with Xtronic continuously-variable transmission. Offered in S, S Plus and SV trim levels, the optional SV Special Edition Package includes 15-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 5-inch color audio display and a RearView Monitor. The larger 5-door Versa Note hatchback was added in 2014 and is now offered in S, SV and SR trim levels. Versa sales were down 20 percent in December and finished the year 19 percent lower than 2016.

© Kia Motors America18. Kia Optima
2017 Sales: 107,493
Vs. 2016: -13.5%
Kia’s midsize sedan is now in its third model year since its redesign, and while the updated model brought attractive styling and the latest in high-tech features, Optima sales have dropped in the last year. Sales surged a bit in September but were down almost 44 percent in December and dropped 13.5 percent overall year over year. For 2018 there is a new Optima S powered by the 185-horsepower 2.4-liter engine that includes a sport front bumper, a rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, LED taillights, a 10-way power driver’s seat and optional panoramic roof. The Optima SX 2.0L Turbo now includes LED fog lights, a panoramic roof, 10-way power front passenger seat and heated / ventilated front seats.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.17. Toyota Prius
2017 Sales: 108,662
Vs. 2016: -20.5%
One of the first hybrid models offered in America, the Toyota Prius is now entering the third model year of the fourth-generation model. Last year the Prius celebrated the 20th anniversary of its introduction in Japan, and the current-generation Prius is better in practically every way. With more hybrid models entering the American market, Prius sales dropped in 2017 for the second straight year. Earning one of the highest EPA ratings for a vehicle without a plug, the 2018 Prius Eco is rated at 58 mpg city / 53 mpg highway / 56 mpg combined.

© Kia Motors America16. Kia Soul
2017 Sales: 115,712
Vs. 2016: -20.6%
The Kia Soul is unique in the market — a 5-passenger hatchback with a funky design that Kia describes as an urban vehicle. The Soul had a redesign back in 2014 that resulted in a healthy sales boost to a level that remained steady until this year, ending it with a 20 percent drop in sales. The base-trim Soul is powered by a 130-horse 1.6-liter engine combined with either a 6-speed manual or an automatic transmission, and the Soul Plus receives a 161-horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder. The top-of-the-line Soul Exclaim is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter that produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Exclaim is also the fuel-economy leader with an EPA rating of 26 mpg city / 31 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined.

© Volkswagen of America, Inc.15. Volkswagen Jetta
2017 Sales: 115,807
Vs. 2016: -4.4%
The Jetta continues to be Volkswagen’s top-selling model, despite a steady drop in sales since 2011. Early in 2017 Jetta sales were improving, and September sales were up more than 45 percent compared to 2016, but things dropped off at the end of the year and total figures for 2017 were down 4.4 percent compared to 2016. The Jetta offers great value in a fun-to-drive 4-door sedan with prices starting below $19,000. The base-level Jetta S has a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that produces 150 horsepower while delivering up to 40 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in the city with its 5-speed manual transmission. The Wolfsburg Edition is added for 2018 with a sport front bumper, fog lights, heated seats and other features. The Jetta SE Sport is powered by a 1.8-liter engine producing 170 horsepower. The all-new 2019 Jetta debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January and is coming to market later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience14. Subaru Impreza (includes WRX / STI)
2017 Sales: 117,401
Vs. 2016: 32.6%
Subaru finished 2017 with 73 consecutive months of monthly sales increases (compared to the previous year) and Impreza finished strong with December sales up 30 percent over December 2016, with total Impreza sales up 32.6 percent year-over-year. The highest percentage sales increase in the Top 20 moved the Impreza from No. 23 at the end of 2016 all the way up to No. 14 for 2017. Completely new for the 2017 model year, the updated Impreza offers a roomy interior, fresh styling, excellent handling and — of course — Subaru’s full-time all-wheel drive. The Impreza also is available with Subaru’s innovative EyeSight suite of safety features.

© Kia Motors America13. Kia Forte
2017 Sales: 117,596
Vs. 2016: 13.8%
Riding the second-highest percentage increase in the Top 20, the Kia Forte moved up from the No. 18 position at the end of 2016, which was also a record sales year for Forte. The entry-level model in the Kia lineup, Forte is the brand’s best-selling model. Kia made several updates to the car for the 2017 model year — a new front bumper, a revised tiger nose grille, redesigned headlights with available Xenon HID, and new available LED taillights. While the current model has been well received, Kia looks to continue the momentum with the debut of the 2019 Forte in January at the Detroit Auto Show. The 2019 Forte receives updated features and a fresh look that draws styling cues from the sporty Kia Stinger. Updates include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, high-tech safety features and all-new Intelligent Variable Transmission expected to improve fuel economy.

© Hyundai Motor America12. Hyundai Sonata
2017 Sales: 131,803
Vs. 2016: -33.9%
Sales of the Hyundai’s midsize sedan have continued to drop since they peaked in 2012, and the Sonata receives a major refresh for the 2018 model year. Sales were down 38 percent in December and nearly 34 percent for the year, dropping Sonata from the No. 10 position at the end of 2016. The new Sonata sports a bold new front end that features a new “cascading grille” that will become a signature look for future Hyundai models. The front fenders and narrow headlights (with optional LEDs) taper forward to the grille. The updated Sonata receives a new rear suspension and revised steering calibration designed to improve ride, handling and steering response, as well as a suite of high-tech safety features.

© Ford Motor Company11. Ford Focus
2017 Sales: 158,385
Vs. 2016: -6.2%
The Focus has been hovering near the top of the best-selling American cars on the market for years, but sales have been slowly declining since they peaked in 2012 when Focus ranked No. 6 in the Top 20. Focus sales were up nearly 10 percent in December 2017 compared to the previous year and ended 2017 with a modest decline of 6 percent, moving up to No. 11 for the year. Focus is offered as a sedan or hatchback with numerous configurations and several engine options, ranging from a fuel-efficient 2.0 liter to a full-electric version. For performance enthusiasts, the sporty Focus ST is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder powerplant producing 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 6-speed manual transmission.

© General Motors10. Chevrolet Cruze
2017 Sales: 184,751
Vs. 2016: -2.2%
Sales of Chevrolet’s stylish Cruze compact dropped off at the end of 2017 after sales were up by 8 percent through the third quarter of the year but dropped off 22 percent in December to end the year with a slight decrease of 2.2 percent. Despite the sales drop, Cruze moved up from No. 11 at the end of 2016. Cruze was redesigned for the 2016 model year when Chevrolet added a hatchback version. Powered by a turbocharged 153-horsepower 1.4-liter direct-injection engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or an available 6-speed automatic, Cruze achieves 40 mpg on the highway. Start-stop technology improves efficiency in stop-and-go driving. The Cruze sedan diesel delivers up to 52 mpg highway, and for 2018 the Cruze hatchback is also offered with the diesel engine.

© General Motors9. Chevrolet Malibu
2017 Sales: 185,857
Vs. 2016: -18.4
A familiar name in the Chevrolet lineup off and on for more than 50 years, the latest version of Malibu debuted for the 2016 model year and represents the ninth generation of this iconic vehicle. With sleek new styling, more space, lighter weight and a host of new features and technologies, the Malibu had record sales in 2016. Sales surged in September 2017 with an 11 percent increase over 2016, but dropped again with sales decreasing 27 percent in December to end 2017 down 18.4 percent over the previous year. Malibu is available in multiple trim levels and can even be configured with a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.

© Hyundai Motor America8. Hyundai Elantra
2017 Sales: 198,210
Vs. 2016: -4.9%
Since its redesign at the beginning of 2017, the Elantra surged ahead of Sonata to become the best-selling model in the Hyundai lineup — surprising, given the general popularity of crossovers versus passenger cars. Elantra sales were down slightly compared to a year ago, but the model moved up to No. 8 on this top 20 list with strong December sales up more than 9 percent compared to a year earlier. Available as a sedan or sportier GT, the Elantra features a signature hexagonal grille that closely ties it to the current Hyundai lineup. The Elantra comes well equipped with entertainment and convenience features, as well as the latest high-tech safety equipment.

© Ford Motor Company7. Ford Fusion
2017 Sales: 209,623
Vs. 2016: -21.1%
Ford’s best-selling passenger car has experienced a sales decline over the last few months compared to a year earlier, but continues to be the best-selling passenger car in the U.S. from an American brand. The entire Ford car lineup was down 14 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, and Fusion was down 21 percent for the year, dropping one position to No. 7 on this top 20 list. Fusion was refreshed for the 2017 model year with subtle exterior design changes, interior improvements, new driver assistance technologies and two new trim levels. Fusion is available with a range of powertrains that includes the fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi as well as two turbocharged EcoBoost engines.

© Nissan North America, Inc.6. Nissan Sentra
2017 Sales: 218,451
Vs. 2016: 1.7%
As with other passenger car models, Sentra sales were down earlier in 2017 but September sales were up almost 40 percent over 2016, helping Sentra finish 2017 with a slight sales increase. A member of the Nissan lineup for more than 35 years and now in its seventh generation, Sentra was revised for the 2016 model year with updated styling, retuned suspension and a refreshed interior. Available high-tech features include Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. For 2017 Nissan added both the Sentra SR Turbo and the high-performance Sentra NISMO edition.

© Nissan North America5. Nissan Altima
2017 Sales: 254,996
Vs. 2016: -17.0%
Nissan Altima has experienced a sales decline over the last two years but continues to be the top-selling car in the Nissan lineup, although the hot-selling Rogue crossover is now the top-selling Nissan model in America. While Altima sales dropped 17 percent overall for 2017, Nissan’s midsize sedan holds onto the No. 5 position on this top 20 list. Altima was updated for 2016 with new interior and exterior styling, enhanced technology and connectivity, a new Altima SR sports trim and new available safety features. For 2018, Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning become standard equipment on all Nissan Altimas.

© American Honda Motors4. Honda Accord
2017 Sales: 322,655
Vs. 2016: -6.5%
Always one of the top-selling cars in the U.S., Honda Accord sales were off by almost 35 percent in December and dropped 6.5 percent for the year. That said, an all-new 2018 Accord is just coming to market and that trend is expected to change. The year started off strong with the 2018 Accord being named North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show. The new Accord is completely redesigned with fresh styling, an updated interior and a suite of high-tech safety features. The Accord is built on a lighter, more rigid body structure and power options include two new turbocharged engines, a 10-speed automatic transmission and a new generation of Honda’s 2-motor hybrid technology.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.3. Toyota Corolla
2017 Sales: 329,196
Vs. 2016: -13.0%
Corolla sales were off by 36 percent in December and 13 percent for 2017 overall, dropping Corolla behind its top competitor, the Honda Civic. Over 40 million Corollas have been sold worldwide since 1996, and the current eleventh generation debuted as a 2014 model. For 2017 exterior styling was updated for a sportier appearance and Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) was added as standard for all Corolla trims. TSS-P includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. In 2016 the Corolla iM (formerly the Scion iM) joined the Corolla lineup.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.2. Honda Civic
2017 Sales: 377,286
Vs. 2016: 2.8%
Demand for the all-new Civic had its ups and downs in 2017, with a strong surge in sales for September: up 26 percent over the previous year to take the overall sales lead as the best-selling passenger car in America for September, October and November. As sales cooled in December, this small Honda could not achieve the best-selling car crown, finishing the year in the No. 2 position — up one notch from last year. The tenth generation of the popular Civic premiered early in 2017 and features fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Fuel economy is also impressive — rated as high as 42 mpg with a new turbocharged powerplant. Two new high-performance versions, Civic Si and Civic Type R have created a lot of buzz.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.1. Toyota Camry
2017 Sales: 387,081
Vs. 2016: -0.4%
Camry has held the title of best-selling passenger car in America for 15 years, and with a strong push in December, the popular Toyota retained its crown. Sales in December were up almost 30 percent compared to year ago, thanks to the arrival of the all-new eighth-generation Camry redesigned to create a more exciting character with sporty performance and aggressive styling. Lower and wider than the previous generation, the new Camry has an updated front grille, integrated headlights and sculpted lines to give the sedan a more engaging presence, as well as a completely new interior and choice of fuel-efficient, powerful engines. Three new powertrains are offered: a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder producing 206 horsepower; a 3.5-liter V6 producing 301 horsepower; and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System. Both the 2.5-liter and the 3.5-liter are paired with a new direct-shift 8-speed automatic transmission.


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