Special Report

Cars So Hot They’re Out of Stock

Courtesy of Toyota

New models and long-time favorites share the list of the 26 quickest-selling vehicles in the United States last year. The level of demand is based on the number of days it takes for a dealer to sell a car, also known as days to turn, with top movers taking from 19.9 days to 46.6 days to find buyers.

Though consumers show a preference for familiar models that have been refreshed multiple times over decades, there are some surprises at the top of the list, where there are a trio of brand-new models.

With consumers preferences shifting to crossovers and SUVs in the last decade, it comes as no surprise to find these types of vehicles dwarfing competitors in sales and sales speed. A mere handful of sedans are represented here compared with 17 SUVs and crossovers. Perhaps surprisingly, only one pickup appears in the lineup, the Toyota Tacoma. A coupe and a pair of hatchbacks round out the roster.

The demand list also skews toward the high end, evidenced by 15 luxury models versus 11 mass-market vehicles. International brands are strongly represented, with models including three American, seven European, and 16 Asian models.

High demand does not necessarily indicate a high volume of sales. Some models on this list sell well into the hundreds of thousands, but others do not even hit five digits. Tracking how long it takes for units to sell helps manufacturers decide how many vehicles to produce the following year.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average number of days each model sat on a dealer lot before being sold in 2018 in the United States, based on data provided by Kelley Blue Book. These are the 26 cars that sold in less than 50 days in 2018.

CorrectionA previous version of this piece incorrectly stated that the Subaru Crosstrek’s first generation debuted in 2016. In fact, the Crosstrek is currently on its second generation, which debuted in 2018.

Click here to see the cars so hot they’re out of stock.

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

26. Toyota Tacoma
> Avg. days on lot: 49.6
> 2018 sales: 245,659
> 2017 sales: 198,124
> Starting at: $25,700

The only pickup on the list, the third-generation Toyota Tacoma is a midsize old-school workhorse known for its off-road capabilities. Introduced in 1995, Tacoma sales last year in the U.S. climbed to more than 245,000, up from below 200,000 in 2017.


Source: Navigator84 / Wikimedia Commons

25. Lexus ES
> Avg. days on lot: 49.5
> 2018 sales: 48,482
> 2017 sales: 51,398
> Starting at: $39,600

Now in its seventh generation, the entry-level luxury sedan Lexus ES remains popular after nearly three decades in production. The ES is among five Lexus models on this list, along with two models from Toyota, the Lexus parent company.

Source: toyota.com

24. Toyota Camry
> Avg. days on lot: 49.4
> 2018 sales: 343,439
> 2017 sales: 387,081
> Starting at: $23,945

The Toyota Camry, a mass-market midsize sedan, was introduced in 1982, and is now in its eighth generation. Completely redesigned in 2018, the perennial best-seller does not stay on dealers’ lots for long waiting for a buyer — just 49.5 days on average in 2018.

Source: Robert Hradil / Getty Images

23. Subaru Forester
> Avg. days on lot: 49.0
> 2018 sales: 171,613
> 2017 sales: 177,563
> Starting at: $24,295

The Subaru Forester, a compact mass-market SUV, appeared on our list in the number 10 slot last year. Now in its fifth generation, the Forester underwent a complete redesign, yielding more room for passengers and cargo, plus more tech as standard gear. Introduced in 1997, the Forester is one of four Subarus on our list this year.


Source: Robert Hradil / Getty Images

22. Lexus RC
> Avg. days on lot: 49.0
> 2018 sales: 3,358
> 2017 sales: 7,363
> Starting at: $41,145

The only two-door luxury coupe on our 2019 list, the Lexus RC is a spinoff of the maker’s IS sedan. Introduced in 2014, the RC is still in its first generation. This year’s model has a refreshed look, with a redesigned grill, headlights, taillights and wheels.

Source: Courtesy of Subaru

21. Subaru Outback
> Avg. days on lot: 48.9
> 2018 sales: 178,854
> 2017 sales: 188,886
> Starting at: $26,345

One of four Subarus on the list this year, the midsize mass-market crossover Outback is now in its fifth generation since its 1995 model year debut. Sales declined somewhat in 2018 from the previous year, but buyers are still flocking to this car, which does not linger on dealers’ lots for long.


Source: 37147296@N03 / Flickr

20. Hyundai Kona
> Avg. days on lot: 48.8
> 2018 sales: 47,090
> 2017 sales: N/A
> Starting at: $19,240

The Kona, Hyundai’s mass-market subcompact SUV, could be on a roll. The model was introduced in 2018, and this year’s first generation not only has been popping up on 2019 “best of” lists, but also has been moving off the lot in a respectable 48.8 days on average last year.

Source: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

19. Lexus LS
> Avg. days on lot: 45.8
> 2018 sales: 9,301
> 2017 sales: 4,094
> Starting at: $75,300

Sales for the Lexus LS flagship luxury sedan more than doubled in 2018 over the previous year. Now in its fifth generation, the LS has built a following over almost 30 years of production, with models of this high-end sedan finding new homes in just over 45 days on average. New standard features include upgraded multimedia and safety systems, plus new color choices inside and out.

Source: 116071498@N08 / Flickr

18. Mercedes-Benz GLC
> Avg. days on lot: 45.8
> 2018 sales: 69,729
> 2017 sales: 48,643
> Starting at: $40,700

The Mercedes GLC compact luxury crossover is the first generation of this popular model, which was introduced in 2016. Sales in 2018 sales spiked to almost 70,000 from fewer than 50,000 in 2017.


Source: Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

17. Lexus GS
> Avg. days on lot: 45.5
> 2018 sales: 6,604
> 2017 sales: 7,773
> Starting at: $46,710

The GS, which has been in production since 1993, evolved into its current fourth generation in 2013. Characteristics include a huge trunk and a plethora of standard tech and safety features. Now in its fourth generation, demand continues for the GS, which has been in production since 1993.

Source: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

16. Chevrolet Traverse
> Avg. days on lot: 45.1
> 2018 sales: 146,534
> 2017 sales: 123,506
> Starting at: $29,930

The manufacturer may call the Chevrolet Traverse a midsize SUV, but the mass-market vehicle’s three rows of seats will accommodate eight people. In the second year of its second generation, the Traverse is one of three American vehicles on the in-demand list for 2019.


Source: Robert Hradil / Getty Images

15. Audi Q5
> Avg. days on lot: 45.0
> 2018 sales: 69,978
> 2017 sales: 57,640
> Starting at: $42,950

Audi’s best seller, the Q5 midsize luxury SUV, was introduced in 2009 and is now in its second generation. This is the model’s second consecutive year on the list of rapid-selling models. An extensive redesign in 2018 may be behind Q5’s increased sales over 2017.

Source: Oscar Siagian / Getty Images

14. BMW X3
> Avg. days on lot: 44.5
> 2018 sales: 61,351
> 2017 sales: 40,691
> Starting at: $41,000

The BMW X3 luxury compact crossover is one of two models on our list this year from the German manufacturer. Now in its third generation, the 2019 X3 is virtually unchanged from the in-demand 2018 model, which posted a more than 30% boost in sales over 2017.

Source: Courtesy of Honda

13. Honda CR-V
> Avg. days on lot: 44.0
> 2018 sales: 379,013
> 2017 sales: 377,895
> Starting at: $24,350

Now in its fifth generation, the Honda CR-V mass-market compact crossover is making its second consecutive appearance on this list. In production for more than two decades, the CR-V is a perennial top seller across categories, and even had a long reign at the head of the SUV ranks.


Source: TTTNIS / Wikimedia Commons

12. Lexus NX
> Avg. days on lot: 43.5
> 2018 sales: 62,079
> 2017 sales: 59,341
> Starting at: $36,485

Introduced in 2014 and still in its first generation, sales of the entry-level Lexus NX compact luxury crossover increased following a refresh in 2018. The NX is the highest ranking of the five Lexus models that made our list this year, with two additional slots going to its parent company, Toyota.

Source: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

11. Mercedes-Benz GLS
> Avg. days on lot: 42.9
> 2018 sales: 21,973
> 2017 sales: 32,248
> Starting at: $70,150

The full-size second generation Mercedes GLS, the maker’s feature-laden flagship luxury SUV, is one of two Mercedes models to make the list this year. While there are no significant changes from the previous year’s model, the units continue to sell quickly.


Source: Courtesy of Audi USA

10. Audi Q7
> Avg. days on lot: 42.5
> 2018 sales: 37,417
> 2017 sales: 38,346
> Starting at: $53,550

Sales of the full-size Audi Q7 took off in 2017, with the introduction of the feature-laden second generation of this luxury crossover, which appeared in the No. 2 slot of the list last year. Demand and sales stayed strong in 2018.

Source: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

9. Acura RDX
> Avg. days on lot: 41.0
> 2018 sales: 63,580
> 2017 sales: 51,295
> Starting at: $37,400

The Acura RDX luxury crossover SUV has been redesigned inside and out for 2019. In production since 2006, the midsize RDX is now in its third generation. Sales climbed more than 10% in 2018 over 2017, and the vehicles sold within 41 days of reaching the dealer lot, on average.

Source: 30474136@N07 / Flickr

8. Nissan Kicks
> Avg. days on lot: 40.4
> 2018 sales: 23,312
> 2017 sales: N/A
> Starting at: $18,540

The new Nissan Kicks mass-market crossover SUV is finding a following since it debuted in 2018, replacing the Nissan Juke. Priced below other vehicles in the same class, the Kicks carries a nice array of safety and tech gear.


Source: Jens Schlueter / Getty Images

7. BMW i3
> Avg. days on lot: 39.9
> 2018 sales: 6,117
> 2017 sales: 6,276
> Starting at: $44,450

It is the sixth model year for BMW’s luxury compact mini-hatchback i3 hybrid. This niche auto isn’t gathering dust on the lot, selling in under 40 days. The new i3, which had an update in 2018, is green not just because of its hybrid engine, but also because much of its interior is built using recycled material.

Source: Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images

6. Honda Insight
> Avg. days on lot: 31.9
> 2018 sales: 12,510
> 2017 sales: N/A
> Starting at: $22,930

The mass-market midsize sedan category is not exactly booming, but Honda has generated interest with its Insight hybrid. Though Honda used the Insight moniker on hybrid vehicles twice before (in 1999 and 2010), the model name is the same, but that’s about it. The new fuel-wise hybrid, introduced late last year, has earned the 2019 Green Car of the Year award.


Source: Courtesy of Lincoln

5. Lincoln Navigator
> Avg. days on lot: 30.6
> 2018 sales: 17,839
> 2017 sales: 10,523
> Starting at: $73,205

Sometimes it is the velocity, not the volume, that impresses. In 2018, fewer than 18,000 of the Lincoln Navigator full-size luxury SUV were sold, which was a big jump from the previous year’s sales of below 11,000. With that said, they sold quickly, each unit flying off the lot in an average of 30.6 days in 2018, no mean feat for a vehicle starting at over $73,000.

Source: Courtesy of Subaru

4. Subaru Crosstrek
> Avg. days on lot: 25.6
> 2018 sales: 144,384
> 2017 sales: 110,138
> Starting at: $21,895

The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek, a mass-market subcompact SUV, debuted in 2018 and sold well. The new Crosstrek, which features upgrades in safety, infotainment, and navigation systems, lingered on the lot only about 25 days last year.

Source: Jason Koerner / Getty Images

3. Cadillac XT4
> Avg. days on lot: 22.6
> 2018 sales: 7,785
> 2017 sales: N/A
> Starting at: $34,795

The XT4, Cadillac’s first compact luxury crossover, made its debut in 2018. Garnering praise for its stylish design, this entry-level luxury vehicle is considered a competitor to other in-demand models, including the Acura RDX, Audi Q3, and Lexus NX.


Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

2. Volvo XC40
> Avg. days on lot: 20.2
> 2018 sales: 12,427
> 2017 sales: N/A
> Starting at: $33,700

The Volvo brand has a reputation of attracting mainly the over-50 set, so perhaps the manufacturer is hoping to attract younger buyers with its appealing brand-new XC40 luxury subcompact crossover. Reviews laud the newbie’s luxury interior, smooth handling, good looks, and turbo-charged engine, and the cars cruise off the lot in fewer than three weeks.

Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

1. Subaru Ascent
> Avg. days on lot: 19.9
> 2018 sales: 36,211
> 2017 sales: N/A
> Starting at: $31,995

The Subaru Ascent, which had a strong debut in late 2018, is the maker’s largest model ever. It is the first time Subaru has produced a vehicle sporting three rows of seats since 2014’s Tribeca. Bigger than the popular Subaru Outback, there is room for eight in this full-size mass-market crossover, and each row of seating has its own climate-control zone.

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