Special Report

Top-Selling Cars of 2018

Courtesy of Honda

2018 was another near-record year for the car industry in the United States. Sales rose to 17.3 million vehicles, which includes cars, pickups, SUVs, and crossovers. This is the fourth straight year the total has topped 17 million. Only just over 20 models sold more than 200,000 units each last year, demonstrating how much the auto industry is concentrated on a few products.

Two trends were the story in the industry in 2018. The first was that the sales of mid-sized and small cars have plunged. Ford decided it will kill almost all of its models in these two segments. What had been the heart of its car lineup — Focus, Fiesta, and Taurus — will no longer be available in the U.S. market. Other car makers will thin out these sections of their model lines as well. Americans, who used to buy millions of high gas mileage, low-priced cars, have turned to other vehicles.

The second trend was the spike in sales of SUVs, pickups, and crossovers. The top three selling vehicles in America have traditionally been the only full-sized pickups — Ford’s F-Series, GM’s Chevy Silverado, and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram. While these vehicles have continued to sell well, SUVs led by the Jeep and Explorer have become the fastest-selling segment. Every major manufacturer, and some smaller ones, have SUV brands that sometimes have several models. The “crossover,” invented as a cross between a car and SUV, has also become a tremendous growth area for most manufacturers.

Click here to see the top-selling cars of 2018.

The 20 top-selling models in the U.S. are made by only a few manufacturers. These include GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and Nissan. Unit sales increases and decreases across these 20 models in 2018 show just how much the shift away from cars and toward SUVs, pickups, and crossovers has changed the entire industry.


24/7 Wall St. compiled a top-selling vehicle list for 2018 from individual manufacturers’ sales totals and the Reuters summary of this data. Analysis includes December totals for 2017 and 2018, and year-to-date numbers for the 12 months of both years. We have only used the annual data. All base prices for vehicles are for 2019 where available.

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

20. Nissan Altima
> 2018 Sales: 209,146
> 2017 Sales: 254,996
> Base price: $23,750

Altima is Nissan’s mid-priced, mid-sized sedan priced between Sentra and Maxima. Its slide in sales — the largest of any vehicle on the list of top-selling vehicles — illustrates the shift away from cars and toward SUVs and crossovers.

Source: Courtesy of Nissan

19. Nissan Sentra
> 2018 Sales: 213,046
> 2017 Sales: 218,451
> Base price: $17,790

Sentra is Nissan’s low-end sedan. Its primary competitors are the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra.

Source: Courtesy of Chevrolet

18. Chevrolet Impala
> 2018 Sales: 219,554
> 2017 Sales: 217,943
> Base price: $28,020

Impala is Chevy’s highest-end sedan. With a a long list of features, the price for an Impala can rise as high as $40,000.

Source: Courtesy of Jeep

17. Jeep Grand Cherokee
> 2018 Sales: 224,908
> 2017 Sales: 240,696
> Base price: $31,695

The high end of the Jeep model line, the Trackhawk model costs almost $90,000.

Source: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

16. Ford Explorer
> 2018 Sales: 227,732
> 2017 Sales: 238,056
> Base price: $32,365

Explorer sits in the middle of the Ford SUV/crossover models. Below it, Escape and Edge are priced less than $30,000. Above it, the huge Expedition has a base price of $52,130.

Source: Robert Hradil / Getty Images

15. Jeep Wrangler
> 2018 Sales: 240,032
> 2017 Sales: 190,522
> Base price: $27,945

Wrangler is the best selling of Jeep’s five models and had the biggest sales increase, 26%, of any of the cars on the list. Jeep brand sales rose 17% to 973,227.

Source: Courtesy of Toyota

14. Toyota Highlander
> 2018 Sales: 244,511
> 2017 Sales: 215,775
> Base price: $31,330

Highlander is Toyota’s lowest-priced SUV. It offers a hybrid model that has a base price of $36,970.

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

13. Toyota Tacoma
> 2018 Sales: 245,659
> 2017 Sales: 198,125
> Base price: $25,550

The Tacoma is part of a category called mid-sized pickups that do not compete with the better-selling Ford F-Series or Chevy SIlverado. Its primary competitors are the Nissan Frontier and Chevy Colorado. Tacoma had a sales increase of 24% in 2018, the second-biggest sales gain of any vehicle in the list.

Source: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

12. Ford Escape
> 2018 Sales: 272,228
> 2017 Sales: 308,296
> Base price: $24,105

The Escape is Ford’s entry-level crossover. Escape comes with the option for three different engine sizes so people who want a sporty version can pay extra for more horsepower.

Source: Courtesy of Honda

11. Honda Accord
> 2018 Sales: 291,071
> 2017 Sales: 322,655
> Base price: $23,720

The Accord is Honda’s mid-priced, mid-sized sedan. Sales plunged last year because of heavy competition with other manufacturers and the shift away from certain car models, many of which have been on the market for decades.

Source: Courtesy of Toyota

10. Toyota Corolla
> 2018 Sales: 303,732
> 2017 Sales: 329,196
> Base price: $18,700

The Corolla is Toyota’s entry-level car. To expand its appeal, the car comes in six versions, each of which has a different price point.

Source: Courtesy of Honda

9. Honda Civic
> 2018 Sales: 325,760
> 2017 Sales: 377,286
> Base price: $19,450

The Civic sits in the middle of the Honda car line based on price. Honda offers a sedan version, a hatchback, and a coupe.

Source: Courtesy of Chevrolet

8. Chevrolet Equinox
> 2018 Sales: 332,618
> 2017 Sales: 290,458
> Base price: $23,800

Equinox is Chevy’s small SUV crossover. Equinox is another vehicle with multiple engine choices for people who want more speed and will spend more money for it.

Source: Courtesy of Toyota

7. Toyota Camry
> 2018 Sales: 343,439
> 2017 Sales: 387,081
> Base price: $23,845

Camry is Toyota’s mid-priced, mid-sized sedan. It has been one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. for years. Its sales drop — second-largest among top 20 selling vehicles — shows the extent to which American car buyers are abandoning sedans for crossovers and SUVs.

Source: Courtesy of Honda

6. Honda CR-V
> 2018 Sales: 379,013
> 2017 Sales: 377,895
> Base price: $24,350

The CR-V is Honda’s horse in the low-end crossover race. The CR-V comes in four versions, the most expensive of which has a base price of $32,750.

Source: Courtesy of Nissan

5. Nissan Rogue
> 2018 Sales: 412,110
> 2017 Sales: 403,465
> Base price: $24,920

The Rogue is the low-priced crossover from Nissan. The Japanese car manufacturer added a number of tech-based driving assistance packages in the 2019 model.

Source: Courtesy of Toyota

4. Toyota RAV4
> 2018 Sales: 427,170
> 2017 Sales: 407,594
> Base price: $25,500

The RAV4 is an example of the move by consumers to crossovers. The RAV4 is at the low end of prices for crossovers, which run as high as $80,000 for models made by German manufacturers.

Source: Courtesy of Ram Trucks

3. Ram Pickup
> 2018 Sales: 536,980
> 2017 Sales: 500,723
> Base price: $27,295

This vehicle routinely finishes behind the Ford F-Series and GM Chevy Silverado, the

Ram is part of the brands controlled by Fiat Chrysler. Because of its sales growth,

Ram is picking up market share from its two rivals.

Source: Courtesy of Chevrolet

2. Chevrolet Cruze
> 2018 Sales: 585,581
> 2017 Sales: 585,864
> Base price: $ 17,995

Cruze is Chevy’s mid-sized sedan. It is priced between the Sonic and Malibu.

Source: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

1. Ford F-Series Pickup
> 2018 Sales: 909,330
> 2017 Sales: 896,764
> Base price: $28,155

The Ford full-size pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades.Sales of the F-Series were 36% of all Ford vehicle sales in 2018.

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