Best-Selling Vehicles in America — First Three Quarters

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBest-Sellers . . . So Far
With the first three quarters of 2017 complete, U.S. vehicle sales are still trending below last year’s record numbers, but a strong September slowed the decline. Current sales stand at 12,853,970 units — about 1.7 percent below the previous year. Aside from a few exceptions, most of these declines are within the passenger car segment, while at the same time many manufacturers are having record sales for trucks and SUVs. However, of the 20 top sellers in September, only three models showed a decline versus the same month in 2016. Several brands had strong sales in September, including Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford. General Motors continues to lead all other manufacturers in the U.S. with a 16.98 percent market share, followed by Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation and Chrysler / FCA Group. Here are the best-selling vehicles in America after the first three quarters of 2017, according to numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports and

© FCA US LLC20. Jeep Wrangler
YTD Sales: 150,142
Vs. 2016: 1.0%
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most recognized vehicles in the world — the basic shape hasn’t changed much since its introduction as the CJ in the 1940s. Although sales in September were up more than 10 percent compared to a year ago, overall sales have remained basically flat for the year. Throughout its storied history, the Wrangler has evolved to include the latest features and amenities while remaining loyal to its off-roading roots. With one of the highest resale values of any vehicle in America, the Wrangler is available in a variety of trim levels as well as with two or four doors.

© General Motors19. GMC Sierra
YTD Sales: 154,476
Vs. 2016: -6.1%
The GMC Sierra had a strong showing throughout most of last year; however, sales have dipped in the last few months and overall sales are now down for 2017. Virtual twin to the Chevrolet Silverado, the Sierra features GMC IntelliLink with a new 7-inch touchscreen display, an available remote-locking tailgate, wireless phone charging and available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For those seeking a luxuriously appointed pickup truck, GMC also offers the fully-equipped Sierra Denali with leather seats, magnetic ride control, a powerful V8 engine and LED headlights.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.18. Toyota Highlander
YTD Sales: 158,196
Vs. 2016: 24.5%
Toyota’s 7-passenger crossover has experienced impressive sales since January and the trend continued in September. Highlander sales were up 36 percent this month versus 2016, making it the crossover’s ninth record month in a row. This success can be attributed to Highlander’s major update for the 2017 model year, including performance upgrades, refreshed styling and a new SE trim level. The SE stands out as a sportier version with 19-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, dark paint for the front grille, dark headlight housings and dark roof rails. Also new is the fuel-efficient Highlander Hybrid, 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.

© Ford Motor Company17. Ford Fusion
YTD Sales: 159,742
Vs. 2016: -24.1%
Ford’s best-selling passenger car has experienced a sales decline over the last few months compared to a year earlier; however, September sales had some positive movement with a 3.3 percent increase over the same month in 2016. That said, the entire Ford car lineup is down around 17 percent compared to this time last year. Fusion has been refreshed for the 2017 model year with subtle exterior design changes, interior improvements, new driver assistance technology and two new trim levels. Fusion remains the best-selling passenger car in the Ford lineup.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience16. Nissan Sentra
YTD Sales: 165,711
Vs. 2016: -2.2%
As with other manufacturers, Nissan is experiencing a general decline in passenger car sales and Sentra sales are following suit. However, September was a bright spot for the compact Nissan, with sales up almost 40 percent compared to September of 2016. Last year Nissan introduced a new Sentra 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. Joining the Sentra lineup this year is a new high-performance NISMO edition.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience15. Jeep Grand Cherokee
YTD Sales: 181,245
Vs. 2016: 17.7%
The Jeep brand had considerable success last year, and that trend continues in 2017 largely due to America’s love affair with the SUV. The flagship Grand Cherokee leads the Jeep procession, posting a 20 percent sales gain compared to September 2016. The Grand Cherokee continues its tradition of offering impressive off-road capability in an attractive SUV package. Available with several 4WD systems and trim levels, the Grand Cherokee line added the off-road-focused Trailhawk and the luxurious Summit to the lineup to bolster sales momentum. Later this year the high-performance Trackhawk will join the Jeep family — with a staggering 707 horsepower as its calling card.

© Ford Motor Company14. Ford Explorer
YTD Sales: 199,034
Vs. 2016: 5.6%
Although Explorer experienced sales fluctuations last year, this family-size SUV remains a fixture on the best-sellers list with sales up about 10 percent for September versus a year ago. The 2017 Explorer offers many high-tech convenience and safety features including the latest version of SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated infotainment system. Two EcoBoost engines are available, including a powerful 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 365 horsepower. Note: Explorer figures include sales of the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, which is reportedly the most popular vehicle for law enforcement officers; current sales reveal a 5.6 percent increase this year versus 2016 for the Interceptor.

© Nissan North America, Inc.13. Nissan Altima
YTD Sales: 199,861
Vs. 2016: -17.5%
Once Nissan’s best-selling model, the Altima experienced a decline in 2016, allowing the hot-selling Rogue to claim its position as the top-selling Nissan in America. This sales dip has continued into 2017 and is part of an overall decline in the popularity of passenger cars — Nissan passenger car sales are down almost 13 percent compared to last year. However, Altima is still one of the best-selling passenger cars in the U.S., and is holding its own thanks to an update last year with new interior and exterior styling, enhanced technology and connectivity, a new Altima SR sports trim and new available safety features.

© General Motors12. Chevrolet Equinox
YTD Sales: 212,735
Vs. 2016: 22.4%
Chevrolet introduced an all-new 2018 Equinox earlier this year, and the numbers indicate this refreshed crossover is a big hit. Sales of the Equinox are up more than 80 percent compared to September of 2016, solidifying the SUV’s position as one of Chevrolet’s best-selling models. In addition to its updated styling and comfortable interior, the new Equinox is equipped with the latest high-tech safety technology and now offers an optional fuel-efficient diesel powertrain.

© Ford Motor Company11. Ford Escape
YTD Sales: 233,878
Vs. 2016: -0.4%
This small 5-passenger crossover from Ford has been the best-selling American-brand SUV for a long time. September sales were up slightly vs. a year ago, so the small crossover appears to be holding onto this best-sellers distinction. Ford introduced a redesigned Escape for the 2017 model year that features a new exterior look, updated interior, new fuel-efficient engines and advanced safety technology. The most obvious change is the new raised trapezoidal grille that ties Escape’s look more closely to other Ford SUVs.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.10. Honda Accord
YTD Sales: 250,802
Vs. 2016: -3.0 %
Although Accords may not be rolling off dealer lots at the same phenomenal rates as years past, the popular family car is still selling quite well. Early 2017 sales had been in decline over the first few months, but September showed a healthy increase of almost 10 percent compared to 2016. Available as a coupe or sedan in a variety of trim levels, the Accord is available with a number of high-end features and the latest safety technology. Honda may likely see a sales boost later this year when an all-new 2018 Accord begins arriving in showrooms.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA9. Toyota Corolla
YTD Sales: 265,273
Vs. 2016: -8.2%
Corolla is one of the most time-honored names in the Toyota lineup; although the name connotes longevity, the iconic small car was all new last year. Sales of the compact sedan have declined slightly in the last few months, allowing the Corolla’s direct competitor — the Honda Civic — to overtake it. The new Corolla iM (formerly the Scion iM) makes up a very small percentage of total Corolla sales, but Corolla’s continued success can be attributed in part to its impressive fuel economy, roomy interior and extensive list of standard features.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.8. Honda CR-V
YTD Sales: 280,933
Vs. 2016: 6.6%
All new for the 2017 model year, the redesigned Honda CR-V has been quite successful with strong sales thus far this year. Sales have declined a bit over the last few months versus a year ago; however, this seems to be a result of low supply rather than low demand. The CR-V continues to offer consumers a comfortable, small crossover with great utility and excellent fuel economy. In fact, CR-V’s 2.4-liter 185-horsepower engine teamed with a new continuously variable transmission makes it one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers on the market.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience7. Toyota Camry
YTD Sales: 282,507
Vs. 2016: -5.0%
Camry has held the title of best-selling passenger car in America for 15 years, but with sales in slight decline compared to a year ago and the popularity of the new Honda Civic, the Camry has relinquished its crown — at least temporarily. However, we won’t be surprised if Toyota takes back this top spot thanks to the all-new 8th-generation Camry that recently began arriving in showrooms. 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. Sales are certainly reflecting high interest in the new model —September numbers are up more than 13 percent compared to a year ago.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.6. Honda Civic
YTD Sales: 284,380
Vs. 2016: 0.2%
Demand for the all-new Civic had decreased slightly in 2017, but a strong September showed a 26 percent increase versus a year ago, putting the compact car back in the lead as the best-selling passenger car in America. The tenth generation of this popular car 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. Civic has a lot of buzz thanks to new high-performance variants: the Civic Type R and Civic Si.

© Nissan North America, Inc.5. Nissan Rogue
YTD Sales: 296,927
Vs. 2016: 22.9%
Small crossovers are clearly among the most popular vehicles with American shoppers, and Nissan has capitalized on this with the versatile Rogue. A strong showing over the last several months has helped Rogue become Nissan’s best-selling model for the first time, and while sales were up an impressive 47 percent in September versus 2016, it wasn’t quite enough to unseat the equally-popular Toyota RAV4. In the latter part of 2016, Nissan introduced an updated 2017 Rogue with fresh styling and new features. The new 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. The 2017 Rogue is also available as a hybrid, and is now joined by a smaller model called Rogue Sport.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.4. Toyota RAV4
YTD Sales: 312,230
Vs. 2016: 19.9%
Toyota’s RAV4 crossover experienced impressive sales in 2016, and with a redesigned model that trend continues into the new year. The RAV4 started 2017 with its best first half ever — impressive considering it had record sales in 2016 – and September continued the trend with a 44 percent increase versus the same month in 2016, making it the ninth consecutive record month. for the small crossover. The updated RAV4 features edgier styling and is available in several trim levels. Also available with front- or all-wheel drive, the RAV4 can be powered by a 2.5-liter gas engine or a more powerful and more efficient hybrid powertrain.

© FCA US3. Ram Truck
YTD Sales: 374,901
Vs. 2016: 3.8%
Ram continues to take advantage of America’s love affair with the pickup truck, posting a strong showing so far in 2017, following the best annual sales the pickup has experienced in the last decade. Sales were down slightly in September compared to 2016, but good enough to keep this full-size truck locked into the third-place position. With many body styles and powertrains available, Ram continues to iterate special editions that keep customers coming back to the brand. The latest to join the Ram lineup is the Limited Tungsten Edition, billed as the most luxurious Ram pickup ever.

© General Motors2. Chevrolet Silverado
YTD Sales: 418,590
Vs. 2016: -1.6%
The perennial runner-up to the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet’s Silverado had a strong showing in September with a 22 percent increase in sales versus a year ago. Silverado is available in many configurations with different cab and trim-level options, ranging from a basic work truck to the ultra-luxurious High Country. Silverado also is available with many advanced safety technologies, including a Teen Driver feature that allows parents to view the vehicle’s maximum speed, distance driven and the number of times active safety features were engaged during a drive.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1. Ford F-Series
YTD Sales: 658,636
Vs. 2016: 10.6%
The Ford F-Series pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America for 35 years, and 2016 marked its 40th year as America’s best-selling pickup truck. The F-Series shows no signs of slowing, kicking off 2017 with its best sales start since 2004, underscored by September sales that were 21 percent higher than September 2016. Another contributing factor to this year’s F-Series sales juggernaut was the arrival of an all-new Super Duty, boasting plenty of innovative features and impressive capability. Also adding to the truck’s success is the introduction of an updated 2018 F-150, which is on sale now.

Data: Automaker sales releases,


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