Best-Selling Vehicles in America — September Edition

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBest-Sellers . . . So Far
The first eight months of 2018 are now in the books, and auto sales continue to hold steady in America. At the end of July 2018, U.S. numbers are estimated at 11.5 million vehicles sold — about 1.1 percent than the same period a year earlier. The total sales number is an estimate because General Motors no longer reports monthly sales figures, instead moving to quarterly releases. With this change, the ranking will not include vehicles from General Motors. While overall sales are somewhat flat, sedan sales continue to drop while SUV sales, especially midsize models, continue to grow. Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion are all down 11 percent or more for August and year-over-year compared to 2017. Several brands are having strong sales in 2018, including Jeep, Mazda, Volkswagen and Toyota. Here are the best-selling vehicles in America (excluding General Motors) after the first eight months of 2018, according to numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports and

© Mazda North American Operations25. Mazda CX-5
2018 Sales: 106,190
Vs. 2017: 32.6 %
Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 accounts for nearly half of Mazda’s total sales and continues to maintain strong pace with an 11.5 percent increase in sales for August compared to 2017. Already the top-selling model in Mazda’s lineup, the 2018 CX-5 went on sale early last year and finished 2017 with a 13.7 percent increase for the full year. Adopting the styling of the larger CX-9, the CX-5 is refined in nearly every way, with a revised chassis, an updated SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine, a new interior design and many available features. The CX-5 is the first Mazda to feature G-Vectoring Control, which enhances vehicle responsiveness and stability while reducing sideways sliding of the occupants for a more comfortable ride.

© FCA US LLC24. Dodge Grand Caravan
2018 Sales: 107,106
Vs. 2017: 2.5 %
A descendant of the original minivan, the current Dodge Grand Caravan offers more style, versatility and technological innovation than any other time in its 30-year history. Grand Caravan sales were down 23.8 percent in August compared to the previous year and are down 2.5 percent for the year. The future of the Grand Caravan is unclear with the new Chrysler Pacifica now on the market; however, sales continue to stay strong. The Grand Caravan lineup has been simplified down to four trim levels: SE, SE Plus, SXT and GT. The standard engine for all trim levels is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 producing 283 horsepower, combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission to deliver EPA fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg city / 25 mpg highway / 20 mpg combined.

© Subaru of America23. Subaru Forester
2018 Sales: 108,471
Vs. 2017: -8.7 %
After flat sales for 2017, Subaru Forester sales were down about 9 percent in August versus a year earlier, but Subaru is hoping to reverse that trend with a redesigned 2019 Forester scheduled to go on sale later this year. The current Forester was updated for 2017 with revised exterior styling, new driver-assistance technologies, added interior comfort and improved fuel economy. The new fifth-generation 2019 Forester debuted earlier this year at the New York Auto Show and will be the roomiest version ever offered with a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase, more rear-seat legroom and expanded rear cargo capacity. The new Forester 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.

© Ford Motor Company22. Ford Fusion
2018 Sales: 109,086
Vs. 2017: -21.2 %
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 21.3 percent in August and 16.4 percent for the year, and Fusion continues to decline with a sales drop of 21.2 percent for the year through August compared to a year earlier. 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.

© FCA US21. Jeep Compass
2018 Sales: 116,149
Vs. 2017: 172.8 %
Jeep introduced an all-new Compass for the 2017 model year and based on sales it is a much better fit within the lineup than the previous generation. Compass sales were up 75 percent in August compared to a year earlier and over 170 percent for the year. Taking full advantage of the enduring success of the Grand Cherokee, the redesigned Compass has obvious influences from its older sibling, looking very much like a mini Grand Cherokee. Offered in four trim levels (Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk), Compass features a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine producing 180 horsepower. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk offers proper off-road capability with Active Drive Low, Selec-Terrain with Rock mode, increased ride height, skidplates, red tow hooks, unique fascias for increased approach and departure angles, hill-descent control and 17-inch off-road tires.

© Subaru of America20. Subaru Outback
2018 Sales: 125,097
Vs. 2017: 0.8 %
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 are flat for the year compared to a year earlier, but this was the 54th consecutive month with more than 10,000 Outback sales and that contributed to it being Subaru’s best sales month ever in the U.S. market. The last extensive redesign was for the 2015 model year, and for 2018 Outback receives revised exterior styling and interior updates with more premium materials. Chassis suspension and steering updates target a smoother ride with a more direct driving experience. New multimedia features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Nuance voice recognition, and Steering Responsive LED Headlights are offered.

© Hyundai Motor America19. Hyundai Elantra
2018 Sales: 128,956
Vs. 2017: 0.2 %
Since its redesign last year, 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. Elantra had a strong start to the year and although overall sales are flat, had a slight increase of 2.3 percent in August compared to a year ago. Available as a sedan or sportier GT, the Elantra features a signature hexagonal grille that closely ties it to the current Hyundai lineup. With a starting price below $17,000, Elantra is well equipped with entertainment and convenience features and available with the latest high-tech safety equipment.

© FCA US LLC18. Jeep Grand Cherokee
2018 Sales: 147,341
Vs. 2017: -7.3 %
The Jeep brand had considerable success last year which stands to reason, given the overall popularity of SUVs in America. This success for the brand continues in a big way with 2018 sales up 20 percent through August; however, numbers for the flagship Grand Cherokee are down a bit compared to 2017. 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 a high-performance version called the Trackhawk — with a staggering 707 horsepower as its calling card.

© Nissan North America, Inc.17. Nissan Sentra
2018 Sales: 148,352
Vs. 2017: 1.2 %
As with other manufacturers, Nissan continues to experience a general decline in passenger car sales. Even though Nissan’s passenger cars are selling at lower levels than last year, Sentra is clearly bucking the trend with a slight overall sales increase. A member of the Nissan lineup for more than 35 years, Sentra is currently in its seventh generation. Available in a wide trim range with two powertrain choices, Sentra has several upgrades for the 2018 model year. Most noteworthy: Automatic Emergency Braking is now standard on all Sentras equipped with an automatic transmission.

© Nissan North America16. Nissan Altima
2018 Sales: 154,732
Vs. 2017: -15.6 %
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. Altima’s sales dip is part of an overall decline in the popularity of passenger cars, with Altima numbers down 15 percent in 2018 through August. Nissan hopes to reverse that trend with the all-new 2019 Altima that debuted at the New York Auto in March. Slated to arrive later this year, the 2019 Altima is lower and wider than the current model, with a more dynamic design taking inspiration from the Vmotion 2.0 concept that debuted at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The new Altima will offer two engine choices: a standard 2.5-liter and an optional 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine with variable compression ratio. All-wheel drive will also be available for the first time on Altima.

© FCA US LLC15. Jeep Cherokee
2018 Sales: 155,907
Vs. 2017: 48.4 %
Jeep Cherokee sales struggled a bit last year with a decrease of nearly 15 percent compared to the previous year, but with the arrival of the updated 2019 model, 2018 sales are taking off. Cherokee sales were up 85 percent in August compared to 2017, and sales for the year through August are up nearly 50 percent. Cherokee returned to the lineup as a 2014 model after a 12-year hiatus. 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 gets 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.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA14. Toyota Highlander
2018 Sales: 158,713
Vs. 2017: 15.1 %
Toyota’s 7-occupant crossover had impressive sales last year, and it appears the Highlander’s popularity continues into 2018. Sales were up more than 23 percent in August compared to a year earlier. Highlander benefitted from a major update for 2017 including 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. Also available 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.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.13. Toyota Tacoma
2018 Sales: 161,644
Vs. 2017: 25.0 %
After experiencing a significant sales increase last year, Toyota’s compact pickup continues where it left off — August sales had a jump of more than 35 percent versus the same month in 2017. Toyota’s compact 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. A new off-road-ready Tacoma TRD Pro was introduced earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show, 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 one inch of lift.

© FCA US LLC12. Jeep Wrangler
2018 Sales: 174,968
Vs. 2017: 30.0 %
The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler is now rolling into showrooms, and production of the previous-generation model have ended. Sales of this iconic off-roader have never been better with August numbers up 20 percent compared to a year earlier, making Wrangler the best-selling model in the Jeep lineup. The 2018 Wrangler 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-door 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.

© Ford Motor Company11. Ford Explorer
2018 Sales: 175,523
Vs. 2017: -1.3 %
The Ford Explorer remains a fixture on this list; last year the pioneering SUV had its best annual sales since 2005. This family-size SUV offers many high-tech convenience and safety features including the latest version of SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated infotainment system. For 2018 SYNC Connect is available with 4G connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices. 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 of the Interceptor are 13 percent of total Explorer sales for 2018.

© Ford Motor Company10. Ford Escape
2018 Sales: 189,652
Vs. 2016: -9.0 %
This small 5-seat crossover from Ford has been the best-selling American-brand SUV for many years. Escape turned in strong numbers over the last few months of 2017, helping the popular SUV achieve its best sales year ever. Although Escape started 2018 down a bit compared to the previous year, August sales were up 3.2 percent compared to 2017. 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 adds 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.

© American Honda Motors9. Honda Accord
2018 Sales: 189,942
Vs. 2017: -14.1 %
Honda introduced an all-new Accord late last year, and it’s better than the previous generation in nearly every way. However, even Honda is not immune to the decline in passenger car sales and the new model doesn’t seem to be attracting as many new consumers as anticipated. Sales were down 11 percent in August versus the same month in 2017, and total sales for the year are down 14.1 percent. The new model features fresh styling, an updated interior, a suite of high-tech safety features as well as a lineup of new engines. Honda even added the new Accord 2.0T, which gives this popular four door a turbocharged 252-horsepower engine.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.8. Toyota Corolla
2018 Sales: 214,371
Vs. 2017: -7.8 %
Corolla is one of the most time-honored names in the Toyota lineup, and last year the company celebrated the 1 millionth Corolla built in the brand’s Mississippi assembly plant. Sales of the compact sedan have declined during the last few months, following the trend of most passenger cars. For 2018 Toyota equips all Corollas with Toyota Safety Sense-P, which includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. Now on sale, Toyota adds the 2019 Corolla Hatchback to the Corolla lineup — a sporty design for drivers looking for the versatility of a hatchback.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience7. Honda Civic
2018 Sales: 230,230
Vs. 2017: -7.5 %
The all-new Civic had its ups and downs in 2017, and ultimately this small Honda was unable to retain the best-selling-car crown. Even Civic is feeling the pressure of increasing SUV sales, with August sales down 24 percent and year-to-date sales through August down 7.5 percent. Civic remains the best-selling passenger car in the Honda lineup. The tenth generation of this popular car debuted early last year 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. Civic can be more than basic transportation thanks to new high-performance variants: the Civic Type R and Civic Si.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.6. Toyota Camry
2018 Sales: 235,247
Vs. 2017: -5.1 %
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 for 2017. But even sales of the top-selling passenger car are falling, with Camry sales down 18.6 percent in August compared to 2017 and total sales through August off by 5 percent. The all-new eighth-generation Camry is lower and wider than the previous version, the new Camry has 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. This new generation Camry also has some of the highest performance numbers ever in the lineup, including more than 300 horsepower.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.5. Honda CR-V
2018 Sales: 247,034
Vs. 2017: -1.2 %
All new for the 2017 model year, the redesigned Honda CR-V has been quite successful, posting its best numbers ever last year. Sales started slowly for 2018, but CR-V numbers were up almost 11.8 percent in August versus a year earlier, helping the CR-V remain one of the best-selling crossovers in America. The CR-V’s success lies in its ability 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.

© Nissan North America, Inc.4. Nissan Rogue
2018 Sales: 275,137
Vs. 2017: 6.7 %
Small crossovers are clearly among the most popular vehicles with American shoppers, and Nissan has capitalized on this with the versatile Rogue. Redesigned for the 2017 model year, Rogue has made a strong showing over the last several months, helping it become Nissan’s best-selling model for the first time. A strong start in 2018 put the Rogue at the top of the best-selling SUV list; despite an August sales increase of 11.9 percent, Rogue dropped to number four on this list as the second-best-selling SUV. 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. For 2018, the Rogue is available with ProPILOT Assist — Nissan’s first step toward building autonomous vehicles.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.3. Toyota RAV4
2018 Sales: 281,707
Vs. 2017: 4.4 %
Toyota’s RAV4 crossover has experienced impressive sales since the redesigned model premiered for the 2016 model year, and it seems like the sales trend has been continuing into 2018. Although August sales were down 2.4 percent compared to 2017, RAV4 sales are up 5.5 percent for the year, moving RAV4 past Rogue as the best-selling SUV. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the current RAV4 features edgy styling and is available with front- or all-wheel drive. RAV4 can be powered by a 2.5-liter gas engine or a more powerful and efficient hybrid powertrain. Several trims are available, including a new Adventure Grade with more rugged styling, raised ground clearance and other special features. An all-new RAV4 recently rolled out at the 2018 New York Auto Show; look for the new model to appear in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2. Ram Truck
2018 Sales: 323,727
Vs. 2017: -1.2 %
Ram ended 2017 with a strong showing, posting record sales for the second year in a row. Sales started 2018 down slightly compared to a year earlier, but sales have improved as the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 began arriving in showrooms. Ram sales for August were up 32.7 percent compared to 2017. Ram sales for the year have caught up to 2017 and expect Ram sales to remain stronger through the end of the year. Styling on the 2019 Ram 1500 has been updated and the interior is one of the nicest on the market. Six trim levels will be 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.

© Ford Motor Company1. Ford F-Series
2018 Sales: 603,926
Vs. 2017: 4.8%
The Ford F-Series pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America for 36 years, and 2017 marked its 41st year as America’s best-selling pickup truck. The F-Series shows no signs of slowing — last month’s sales were up 6.3 percent compared to a year earlier, with sales for the year up 4.8 percent. This also marks 16 consecutive months of sales gains for the big truck. The 2018 F-150 is driving strong numbers thanks to updated styling, added safety and convenience features, and a new 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 290 horsepower joining Ford’s lineup of powerful turbocharged EcoBoost powerplants.

Data: Automaker sales releases,


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