Special Report

This List Of Best Selling GM Vehicles Of All Time Is Full of Surprises

Shutterstock

General Motors, better known as GM, is one of the “Big Three” largest automakers in the U.S., along with Ford and Chrysler. Founded by William C. Durant (the largest seller of horse-drawn vehicles at the time) after the merger of his Durant-Dort Carriage Company and Buick in 1908, the Detroit-based GM doesn’t actually sell cars under its own brand name; its current brands include Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. There are plenty of discontinued GM brands as well, including Geo, Hummer, LaSalle, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn. 

GM remains a massively successful company, ranked 25th in total revenue out of all American companies on the Fortune 500 with more than $156 billion in 2022. GM was the largest global automaker by vehicle sales from 1931 to 2008 (when it was surpassed by Toyota), longer than any other automaker. The company has had its ups and downs over the years (including a 2009 Chapter 11 bankruptcy and bailout), but it remains nothing less than a behemoth, and there’s a decent chance that you drive one of its best-selling vehicles of all time. 

And if you prefer other brands, read about the best selling Ford vehicles of all time here.

#25 GMC Acadia

  • Year Released: 2006
  • Units Sold: Over 1 million

A crossover SUV, the Acadia was GMC’s first front-wheel drive passenger vehicle when released in 2006. It has three rows of seating, and a slightly larger third-generation Acadia, to be released in 2024, was introduced at the 2023 North American International Auto Show. 

#24 Buick Century

  • Year Released: 1936
  • Units Sold: Over 1 million

The Century was an upscale full-size car from 1936 to 1942 and from 1954 to 1958, and then it was re-introduced as a midsize car from 1973 to 2005. The first-generation was a streamlined beauty, and one model, the Limited, was Buick’s longest and most luxurious vehicle. It went through many different evolutions and models over the years, and it was replaced in 2005 by the LaCrosse. 

#23 Chevrolet Cavalier

  • Year Released: 1982
  • Units Sold: Over 6 million

The compact Chevy Cavalier was released in 1982, with three generations sold in North America. One of GM’s first “world cars” (cars designed to easily be sold in many international markets), it was briefly sold in China as the Toyota Cavalier. The second Chevy model to adopt front-wheel drive, it’s been primarily sold in China since 2016. 

#22 Chevrolet Cobalt

  • Year Released: 2005
  • Units Sold: Over 2 million

A compact car first sold in 2005, the Cobalt was available in both 2- and 4-door configurations. The Cobalt was famously subject to several recalls, including ones for power steering problems, potential fuel leaks, and faulty ignition switches. It was phased out in 2010 and replaced by the Cruze, and it’s currently only produced in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. 

#21 Chevrolet Sonic/Aveo

  • Year Released: 2002
  • Units Sold: Over 3 million

Called the Chevy Sonic in some markets (including the Americas) and the Aveo in others, this subcompact car was initially developed by South Korean manufacturer Daewoo and was sold under 7 brands in 120 countries. Aveo is the most common nameplate, however. Production was discontinued in South Korea in 2019, as well as in the U.S. in 2020 due to declining sales and because the plant was being converted for EV use. 

#20 Chevrolet Traverse

  • Year Released: 2008
  • Units Sold: Over 1 million

A full-size crossover SUV with three-row seating, the Chevy Traverse is built on the same platform (the term for shared design, engineering, and production) as the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. It received its most recent facelift in 2022, with upgrades including an 8-inch infotainment display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

#19 Cadillac Escalade

  • Year Released: 1999
  • Units Sold: Over 1 million

Cadillac’s first entry into the SUV market, the full-size luxury Escalade was introduced in 1999 amid a wave of new luxury SUVs entering the market including the Lincoln Navigator and Range Rover. From 2002 to 2006 the Escalade EXT, which combined the Escalade with a pickup truck, was sold. A longer Escalade Stretch is also sold in some markets, and an all-electric Escalade IQ will be available in late 2024. 

#18 Chevrolet S-10

  • Year Released: 1982
  • Units Sold: Over 6 million

The first domestically-built compact pickup truck to be sold by the Big Three, the S-10 hit the market in 1982. Alternately known as the GMC Sonoma and the Isuzu Hombre as well as SUV versions named Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and the GMC S-15 Jimmy, the entire line of pickups was collectively referred to as the S-series. The series was replaced in North America by the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Isuzu i-Series in 2004. 

#17 Buick Regal

  • Year Released: 1973
  • Units Sold: Over 1 million

Buick’s premium mid-size offering since its 1973 introduction, the Regal began its life as a personal luxury coupe but was later expanded to a full model line. It was the first GM vehicle to be sold in China, and production was shifted there. GM stopped importing the Regal to North America in 2020 and even though Buick stopped manufacturing nad marketing cars in North America in that year, it’s still sold in China. 

#16 GMC Yukon

  • Year Released: 1992
  • Units Sold: Over 2 million

Originally sold as the full-size SUV GMC Jimmy until its rebadging in 1991, the GMC Yukon has evolved in tandem with the identical Chevy Tahoe. While the Tahoe is sold in a variety of markets including parts of Asia, the Middle East, and South America, however, the Yukon is only sold in North America and the Middle East. A full-size SUV, it’s differentiated from the similar Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL primarily by the length of the passenger and cargo area.

#15 Chevrolet Caprice

  • Year Released: 1966
  • Units Sold: Over 3 million

A full-size Chevy produced in North America from the 1965 to 1996 model years, the Caprice was introduced as the automaker’s top-line full-size, and the 1971 to 1976 models are the largest Chevrolets ever built. From 2009 until 2017, the Caprice was only sold to law enforcement, as an Australian import. 

#14 Chevrolet Blazer

  • Year Released: 1969
  • Units Sold: Over 2 million

GM’s smallest full-size SUV, the Blazer was introduced in 1969 and replaced by the Tahoe in 1995. From 1970 to 1991, it was also sold at the GMC Jimmy. It was very similar to the Suburban, with the primary difference being the Suburban’s longer wheelbase. The Blazer returned as a mid-size crossover in 2019. 

 

#13 Chevrolet C/K 

  • Year Released: 1960
  • Units Sold: Over 12 million

A series of trucks manufactured from 1960 to 2002, the C/K competed directly with the Ford F-Series and the Dodge Ram (the “C” connoted 2-wheel drive and “K” 4-wheel. The line was primarily composed of pickup trucks, but also included chassis-cab trucks and medium-duty trucks. The final vehicles rolled off the line in 2022, after being replaced by the Silverado nameplate. 

 

#12 Chevrolet Cruze

  • Year Released: 2008
  • Units Sold: Over 4 million

The Chevy Cruze was introduced as a compact world car in 2008, a four-door sedan (later available as a hatchback and station wagon) that replaced the Chevy Cobalt in North America. It’s been gradually phased out as sales declined and the market has shifted toward SUVs. 

#11 Cadillac DeVille

  • Year Released: 1949
  • Units Sold: Over 4 million

Produced over 8 generations, the Cadillac DeVille is most fondly remembered for its 1959 model, which had huge sharp tailfins with dual bullet tail lights. A full-size sedan, the last model to have the DeVille nameplace rolled off the line in 2005, when it was slightly modified and renamed the DTS in line with new naming conventions. At the time, it was Cadillac’s largest model.

#10 Chevrolet Equinox

  • Year Released: 2004
  • Units Sold: Over 3 million

Chevy’s primary crossover SUV, the Equinox was first sold in 2005 as replacements for the Tracker and Blazer. Unlike the Tahoe and Trailblazer, it’s not intended for off-roading. A battery electric version was introduced in 2022.

#9 Chevrolet Suburban

  • Year Released: 1935
  • Units Sold: Over 5 million

In production since 1935 and currently in its 12th generation, the Suburban is the longest-named car nameplate in the world. One of the first metal-bodied station wagons upon its release, it was the forebear of modern full-size SUVs. One of GM’s most profitable vehicles, it’s also sold as the GMC Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade ESV. It’s actually had its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 2019, with appearances in more than 1,750 shows and movies. 

#8 Chevrolet Tahoe

  • Year Released: 1995
  • Units Sold: Over 3 million

Sister to the GMC Yukon, the Chevy Tahoe is regularly the best-selling full-size SUV in the United States. An electric hybrid model was introduced in 2007 but phased out in 2013. The Tahoe is the preferred SUV of many police departments and other law enforcement agencies.

#7 Buick LeSabre

  • Year Released: 1959
  • Units Sold: Over 6 million

Buick’s mid-level full-size sedan, the LeSabre was available as a 2-door convertible, sedan, or hardtop; a 4-door sedan or hardtop, and station wagon. At the time of its 2005 discontinuation it was America’s best-selling full-size car, but it was replaced by the Lucerne, Buick’s new flagship. 

#6 Chevrolet Corvette

  • Year Released: 1953
  • Units Sold: Over 1.5 million

One of the most iconic luxury sports cars of all time, the Corvette was hugely influential upon its 1953 release and is currently in its eighth generation. The most successful concept car and the most popular sports car in history, it also has a long and lustrous history as a racing car. Dubbed Chevrolet’s “halo car” for its positive effect on selling other Chevys, the Corvette is currently the only two-seat sports car produced by a major United States auto manufacturer.

#5 Chevrolet Camaro

  • Year Released: 1966
  • Units Sold: Over 5 million

A sporty mid-size dubbed a “pony car” for its performance-oriented image, the Chevy Camaro was released as a competitor to the Ford Mustang and shared its platform with the Pontiac Firebird. The Camaro has appeared in films including the Transformers movies, and went through four distinct generations before production stopped in 2002. It was revived in 2009 as a fifth generation, but it will be discontinued once again after the 2024 model year. 

#4 GMC Sierra

  • Year Released: 1999
  • Units Sold: Over 7 million

Nearly identical to the Chevrolet Silverado but with its own styling and unique features, the GMC Sierra is a range of trucks that competes against similar trucks including the Ford F-Series, Ram, and Toyota Tundra. It’s sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East. 

#3 Chevrolet Malibu

  • Year Released: 1964
  • Units Sold: Over 10 million

Manufactured from 1964 to 1983 as a rear-wheel drive car and revived in 1997 as a front-wheel drive car, the mid-size Chevy Malibu has been the only sedan offered by Chevrolet since the full-size Impala and subcompact Cruze were both discontinued in 2020. A hybrid version was released in 2016. 

#2 Chevrolet Impala

  • Year Released: 1958
  • Units Sold: Over 14 million

Introduced as a top-of-the-line two-door Bel Air in 1958 and made available as a 4-door sedan the following year, the full-size Impala was available in model years 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and 2000 to 2020. The Impala was Chevrolet’s flagship passenger car and one of the best-selling American-made cars, but it was phased out in 2020 to make room for production of more crossover SUVs. 

#1 Chevrolet Silverado

  • Year Released: 1999
  • Units Sold: Over 12 million

A range of trucks introduced in 1999 and currently in its fourth generation, the Silverado is GMC’s top-selling vehicle of all time and one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. It’s sold as full-size pickup trucks, chassis cab trucks, and medium-duty trucks, and it was most recently refreshed in 2022, when it received a new front-end design and a revised interior, and a new heavy-duty off-road model called the ZR2 2500HD was released in 2023. For years the Silverado and Ford’s F-150 have gone toe to toe for best selling truck. 

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.