Popular, Not Always Prolific
For the last few years, automobile sales in America have been robust and consistent, with more than 17 million new vehicles sold each year. The surprising fact is that more than 25 percent of total sales can be accounted for by 10 top-selling models. But not every automaker has a high-volume model such as the Ford F-150 (more than 900,000 sold last year) or the Toyota RAV4 (more than 400,000 sold last year). So which vehicles are popular with consumers but sell in lesser numbers? The following vehicles represent the best-selling models from nearly every car company offering vehicles in America. Another compelling statistic — less than 10 of these brands have a passenger car as their top seller. Figures are compiled from auto manufacturer sales reports, based on total volume in the first six months of 2019. Note: Many exotic or exclusive car companies do not report individual model sales figures.
Total Sales: 30,181
Honda’s luxury brand introduced an all new RDX last year that quickly became the best-selling model in the Acura lineup. The RDX features a prominent Acura Diamond Pentagon Grille flanked by new Jewel Eye headlights that now include seven LED lighting elements, making them among the brightest on the road. Power for the 2019 Acura RDX comes from a new VTEC Turbo 2.0-liter direct-injection engine that produces 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system also receives updates. The system delivers up to 70 percent of available torque to the rear axle, and it employs dynamic torque vectoring to sharpen performance and handling in all weather and road conditions.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Total Sales: 4,600
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 puts the “sport” in sport-utility vehicle. 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 is very sleek. 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.
Total Sales: 32,046
Small crossovers continue to gain popularity in America, and nearly every car company has hopped on that bandwagon. The Audi Q5 is an excellent example as the best-selling vehicle offered by a company that until 10 years ago didn’t even offer an SUV. The Q5 was all new for the 2018 model year, designed with styling cues taken from its larger Q7 sibling, including the Singleframe grille flanked by stylish LED headlights. In addition to the updated styling, the Q5 is larger in nearly every dimension, while at the same time weighs about 200 pounds less. With improved aerodynamics, an updated quattro all-wheel-drive system and a stronger chassis, the Q5 delivers even better driving dynamics than its predecessor.
Total Sales: 500 (est.)
It may not sell in large numbers, but Bentley’s SUV became the marque’s best-seller after barely a year on the market. Not unexpectedly, the Bentayga offers the ultimate in luxury with full leather seating in a choice of 15 different hides, air suspension, LED active headlights, a panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors, Wi-Fi connectivity and an 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, voice control and a 60-gigabyte hard drive. The big SUV is quick as well, thanks to its full-time all-wheel drive and choice of powerful V8 or twin-turbo W12 engines under the hood.
Total Sales: 32,127
The most popular model in BMW’s lineup, the X3 was all new for 2018. The updated model stands out with more aerodynamic styling, a “three-dimensional” kidney grille, available full LED headlights and a roof spoiler at the rear. The interior also received a complete refresh, centered around a large 10.25-inch touchscreen display. And for those seeking the utility of the X3 but with extreme performance, this small crossover is the latest M variant from BMW, featuring outstanding handling and a powertrain producing as much as 510 horsepower. The X3 is manufactured alongside the rest of the BMW X lineup in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Total Sales: 48,897
Encore is the smallest vehicle in the Buick lineup, and with a starting price below $25,000 it’s a great entry into the luxury crossover segment. Encore comes well equipped with features such as a power driver’s seat, a 7-inch color display with backup camera and built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection. Encore is available in four trims ranging from the base level to the well-equipped top-of-the-line Essence, all powered by a fuel-efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Decent fuel economy and a low starting price contribute to making this small Buick the most popular model in the lineup by far.
Total Sales: 26,396
As the replacement for the SRX crossover, the XT5 was an all-new model for Cadillac in 2017, and it quickly became the brand’s best-seller. In fact, the XT5 made up more than one third of Cadillac’s sales last year. With a unique chassis and structure, the XT5 is lighter and stiffer than the model it replaced while offering a roomier interior. With Cadillac’s trademark styling inside and out, the XT5 is well equipped with the newest high-tech features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the latest version of Cadillac’s CUE interface. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the XT5 is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 310 horsepower.
Total Sales: 256,777
The perennial leader of the Chevrolet lineup, the Silverado will easily hold onto that position thanks to the introduction of the all-new 2019 Silverado 1500. The new Silverado is longer and wider than its predecessor, which means more passenger space as well as more cargo room. Through an extensive use of mixed materials, engineers were able to lighten Silverado by an impressive 450 pounds, with 88 pounds of that shed from the body. Silverado gets updated styling inside and out, as well as a variety of powertrains ranging from a new turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant to V8 options with dynamic fuel management.
Total Sales: 48,527
An all-new minivan for the 2017 model year, Pacifica replaced the Town & Country in the Chrysler lineup. Since that time this modern-day minivan has moved up the sales charts to be the second-best-selling minivan in America — eclipsed only by the Dodge Grand Caravan. With contemporary styling and a slew of innovations, Pacifica is arguably the best minivan Chrysler has built since it created the category more than 30 years ago. Pacifica can be equipped with seating for up to eight occupants, which still leaves plenty of cargo space in the rear. Passengers enjoy an available Uconnect Theater featuring a 10-inch high-res touchscreen display with a variety of inputs and integrated games. A plug-in hybrid version of the Pacifica is also available, making this the first hybrid minivan ever sold in America.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Total Sales: 71,947
The original minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan now offers more style, versatility and technological innovation than any other time in its 30-year history. The lineup has been simplified down to four trim levels: SE, SE Plus, SXT and GT. The standard engine for all trims 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. The future of the Grand Caravan is unclear with the new Chrysler Pacifica now on the market.
Total Sales: 1,692
The modern version of the 500 was launched in 2007, and 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the original 500. Fiat’s subcompact 500, which combines Italian styling with efficiency and technology, is offered in both coupe and convertible versions, as well as the all-electric 500e, 5-passenger 500L and all-wheel-drive 500X crossover. The Fiat 500 gets motivation from a 135-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic. Fiat also offers the high-performance fun-to-drive Abarth variant, which bumps the 500’s grunt to 160 horsepower.
Total Sales: 448,398
After another year of impressive sales, the Ford F-Series extends its streak as not only the top-selling model in the Ford lineup, but as the best-selling vehicle in America for 37 years — 42 years as best-selling truck. With more than 900,000 sales last year, Ford’s full-size truck sold about as many as the top three passenger cars combined. The F-150 is still driving strong sales 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.
Total Sales: 5,715
Genesis spun off as an entirely new brand for the 2017 model year, launched by parent company Hyundai to move its clientele upscale. The luxury brand now offers three models, with the new G70 — introduced for 2019 — quickly becoming the brand’s best-seller. Earlier this year the G70 was named the North American Car of the Year. Well equipped with features such as power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch color touchscreen display and 18-inch wheels, the G70 also features the latest advanced safety tech as standard equipment across the board. This includes forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist and driver attention warning.
Total Sales: 97,403
The best-seller in the GMC lineup, the Sierra is completely new for the 2019 model year. Larger in practically every dimension, the new Sierra 1500 boasts a roomier cabin as well as a range of new comfort, convenience and safety features. One Sierra standout 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 as well as a new turbodiesel powertrain.
Total Sales: 176,944
With strong sales last year, Honda’s popular CR-V continues to hold its own for the first six months of 2019, although sales were down almost 9 percent in June compared to a year earlier. Completely redesigned a few years back, the CR-V remains the best-selling model 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. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the CR-V can now be equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine producing an impressive 190 horsepower. Higher trim levels also come with Honda Sensing — the brand’s suite of high-tech safety features — as standard equipment.
Total Sales: 84,971
Over the last few years, 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 in the U.S. Although sales are down compared to last year, Hyundai is hoping to turn this around as the updated 2019 Elantra begins arriving in showrooms. With a new hood, front fascia, grille and headlights, the Elantra has a more chiseled look than its predecessor. Three engine options are available, including a 201-horsepower unit for the Elantra Sport. Hyundai also offers Elantra with the latest high-tech safety features including automatic emergency braking.
Total Sales: 22,836
The QX60 — Infiniti’s family-friendly 3-row luxury crossover — received revised exterior styling for the 2018 model year that reflects Infiniti’s contemporary design language, including a new signature grille, headlights, turn signals and new wheel designs. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the QX60 gets power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. For 2019 Infiniti added forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, predictive forward collision warning and blind-spot warning as standard equipment for all trim levels of the QX60.
Total Sales: 7,309
When Jaguar introduced the all-new F-PACE there was clear demand for such a vehicle — the sporty crossover is not only Jaguar’s best-selling model, it makes up almost half the brand’s sales and outsold all of Jaguar’s passenger cars combined. With styling that keeps with the rest of the Jaguar lineup — certainly a good thing — the F-PACE puts the “sport” in sport-utility vehicle. Engine options range from a 247-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder to the 550-horsepower supercharged V8 energizing the new high-performance F-Pace SVR. With Jaguar’s Lightweight Aluminum Architecture and an advanced torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system, the F-PACE offers the performance expected from a Jaguar SUV.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Total Sales: 123,272
The Jeep brand had considerable success last year which makes sense, given the overall popularity of SUVs in America. In fact, Jeep experienced record sales last year, and for 2019 the Grand Cherokee is leading the charge with a 10 percent increase versus June of 2018. 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 the high-performance Trackhawk boasting a staggering 707 horsepower. For 2019 Jeep adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment, and introduces the new Grand Cherokee Limited X.
Total Sales: 55,583
The Kia Soul is entering its third generation with the introduction of a completely new 2020 model, featuring all-new styling and an array of new equipment. Even as the Soul retains its iconic shape, it gets a modern look with slim headlights, LED daytime running lights and boomerang-shaped taillights that frame the rear window. Available in multiple trim levels, the Soul LX is the entry-level version with standard equipment that includes cloth seat trim, a trip computer, a 7-inch color touchscreen display, Android Auto / Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, one USB outlet, a split-folding rear seat and 16-inch steel wheels. These changes to the Soul certainly increased its popularity, helping it surpass last year’s sales leader, the Kia Sorento.
Total Sales: 2,693
Yes, even Lamborghini has deviated from sports cars to join the SUV scrum by creating the all-new Urus. Comprising almost half of the Italian marque’s sales this year, the Urus features a sleek design that gives props to the Huracan and Aventador. The front end is unique to Urus; however, the taillights and quad exhaust also fit with the look of the brand’s two supercars. With performance on par with the highest-end sports cars on the road, the Urus draws power from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 650 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque as low as 2250 rpm. The leap to 100 km/h (62 mph) happens in a supercar-like 3.6 seconds. Power gets delivered to tarmac or dirt via a custom 4-wheel-drive system with active torque vectoring as well as 4-wheel steering.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Total Sales: 12,132
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 and new Velar, 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 feature acronyms. 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 — just not at the same time.
Total Sales: 48,061
The popular RX tops the Lexus charts once again, boasting higher sales than all of the brand’s car offerings combined. 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. Last year Lexus upped the utility of the RX with the addition of the RX L that is slightly larger and offers seating for up to seven with 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.
Total Sales: 16,022
The midsize MKX crossover has been the best-selling model in the Lincoln lineup for the last few years. The new Nautilus is the MKX successor, and has assumed the brand’s best-selling mantle. The new Nautilus draws strongly on styling cues from the flagship Continental sedan and the full-size Navigator SUV, including the bold signature grille and beltline trim. Acoustic glass reduces wind noise and Ultra Comfort seats can be adjusted up to 22 ways. Standard power for this new luxury SUV comes from a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and an available 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 produces 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Both engines get combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission and include auto stop-start. New driver assistance technologies include lane centering and evasive steer assist.
Total Sales: NA
The first SUV in the 100-year history of Maserati, the Levante made its U.S. debut for the 2017 model year. This luxurious high-performance SUV is based on the same architecture as the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, and shares design elements with other Maserati models including the grille and its prominent trident logo, portholes in the front fenders and taillight shape. The sloped roofline creates a more coupelike profile. Full-time all-wheel drive is standard, and powerplants range from a 345-horsepower V6 to the 3.8-liter 590-horsepower V8 in the all-new Trofeo.
Total Sales: 74,387
Mazda’s compact CX-5 is coming off three years of record sales — in fact, current CX-5 sales are higher than the combined sales of all other Mazda models. Adopting the styling of the larger CX-9 when it was redesigned a few years ago, 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 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 occupants. For 2019 Mazda turns up the heat by adding the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels, both powered by the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine producing 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque; i-ACTIV all-wheel drive is standard.
McLaren Sports Series
Total Sales: NA
This contemporary yet iconic British automaker builds some of the sexiest high-performance exotic sports cars available, and most of the vehicles the company sells fall under the Sports Series. The series consists of the 570GT, 570S and the new 570S Spider. All three models are powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine generating 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Power gets directed to the rear wheels via a quick-shifting 7-speed gearbox. Performance numbers are in line with some of the fastest production cars on the road: 60 mph comes up in 3.3 seconds and 100 mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed in excess of 200 mph. McLaren doesn’t sell a lot of these vehicles, but sales continue to increase every year as new models get rolled out.
Total Sales: 33,906
Mercedes-Benz introduced the GLC crossover in 2016 when it replaced the GLK. Since that time the luxury crossover has experienced impressive sales success — 2018 was the GLC’s second year of record sales. The GLC is available as a standard crossover or as the GLC Coupe, which is sleeker and sportier than its crossover sibling. For those seeking more performance, Mercedes-AMG added to the GLC lineup with the high-performance GLC63, which boasts as much as 503 horsepower. Look for an all-new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC arriving in showrooms later this year.
Total Sales: 6,385
MINI is not so mini anymore when it comes to the Countryman. The largest MINI on the market, the Countryman is a four door offering reasonable cargo space, ALL4 all-wheel drive and an impressive list of standard equipment. All trim levels come with a panorama sunroof, a 6.5-inch high-resolution display, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, leatherette upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels. A variety of powertrains are available, ranging from an efficient and powerful plug-in hybrid system to the high-performance John Cooper Works edition with a 228-horsepower turbocharged engine.
Total Sales: 25,589
Outlander is Mitsubishi’s midsize 7-passenger crossover that was refreshed for the 2016 model year. Sales of the Outlander have never been stellar, but the refresh seems to have helped since sales have increased dramatically over the last three years. The Outlander starts below $25,000 and can range up to the GT with Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system. Two engines are available, including the 3.0-liter MIVEC V6 engine that produces 224 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque. Mitsubishi also offers the Outlander as a plug-in hybrid that has the same 224 horsepower but gets 22 miles of electric-only range and impressive fuel economy.
Total Sales: 175,267
Small crossovers are clearly among the most popular vehicles with American shoppers, and Nissan has capitalized on this with the versatile Rogue. Although sales this year are trending downward, the Rogue continues to hold onto its position as the best-selling model in the Nissan lineup. 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. All Rogues are now available with ProPILOT Assist — Nissan’s first step toward building autonomous vehicles.
Total Sales: 10,031
One of the first high-performance SUVs when it came to market in 2003, the Cayenne promised to deliver the performance and handling expected from a Porsche. After more than 15 years, Porsche is still producing the high-performance, all-wheel-drive Cayenne — which is all new for the 2019 model year. Designed more for pavement than mud, the Cayenne is available in a range of high-performance variants including the 541-horsepower Cayenne Turbo as well as the powerful and efficient Cayenne E-Hybrid.
Total Sales: 299,481
Ram ended 2018 with a strong showing, posting record sales for the third year in a row, and it seems as if the big truck is on its way to setting a new record in 2019. With a June sales increase of more than 56 percent versus a year earlier, Ram has moved up in position as the second-most-popular truck in America. 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 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. A new Ram Heavy Duty that boasts a new diesel with 1,000 lb-ft of torque is likely to help Ram hold onto this sales position.
Total Sales: Not Released
Rolls-Royce has seen strong sales growth during the first half of 2019, likely due to the introduction of the brand’s first SUV, the Cullinan. Cullinan is built on Rolls-Royce’s new all-aluminum platform, dubbed the Architecture of Luxury. First used for the flagship Phantom, this aluminum spaceframe is higher and shorter for Cullinan, accommodating a first for Rolls-Royce — a tailgate. Easily recognizable as a Rolls-Royce with the iconic grille and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, the new Cullinan is designed to take its passengers through any terrain while cosseting them in the lap of luxury.
Total Sales: 93,711
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 were up about 9 percent in June versus a year earlier, helping to make it the company’s best June ever and the 91st consecutive month of yearly month-over-month growth. The last extensive redesign of the Outback was for the 2015 model year, and last year Outback received 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. Look for an all-new 2020 Subaru Outback to begin arriving in showrooms this fall.
Tesla Model 3
Total Sales: 43,000
The third model in the Tesla lineup, the Model 3 is more affordable than the higher-end Model S and Model X offered by the American car company. With a bold level of standard equipment and sleek styling that befits the rest of the Tesla lineup, the more economical Model 3 was designed for high-volume sales. Although the Model 3’s standard battery delivers a 220-mile range, the Long Range trim features a larger battery that bumps range up to 310 miles. Performance is quite impressive — the dual-motor all-wheel-drive Model 3 sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
Total Sales: 200,610
Toyota’s RAV4 crossover experienced impressive sales in 2018, and the momentum is holding for the first six months of 2019. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the RAV4 has been completely redone for the 2019 model year. With bold new styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features, this fifth-generation RAV4 is likely to remain popular with American car shoppers. 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.
Total Sales: 57,009
Volkswagen’s compact Tiguan crossover was redesigned in 2018 specifically for the U.S. market, and to say it has hit the mark is an understatement. Sales doubled in 2018 versus the previous year, and sales in 2019 are continuing to grow. Based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix architecture, the Tiguan features a roomy interior with available third-row seating. Adopting Volkswagen’s current design language, the exterior includes sharper, stronger lines and a lower, wider stance. Motivated by an updated version of Volkswagen’s turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, the Tiguan delivers power to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. 4Motion all-wheel drive with Active Control is optional and offers four drive modes to maximize traction in varying driving conditions.
Total Sales: 16,035
As the Swedish brand’s flagship model, the 7-seat XC90 SUV was the first Volvo built on its Scalable Product Architecture platform — now used for all 90 and 60 series Volvo products. Like the S90 and V90 models, the XC90 carries classic design cues including T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights, a grille with the large Volvo Iron Mark, and large VOLVO lettering across the liftgate. Three powertrains are offered: T5 with a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine; T6 with a 316-horsepower turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter engine; and T8 with a 390-horsepower turbocharged, supercharged hybrid 2.0-liter engine — all employ an 8-speed automatic transmission.