With more than 13 million cars sold in 2022, the US is the second-largest automotive market in the world. Today, let's take a close look at which models remained the most popular with American buyers in 2022.
Despite all the eco-consciousness and the push for electric vehicles, of the 40 best-selling cars, only two are electric, and like in the last decade, the first three positions are still occupied by pickup trucks. What's more? Let's see.
Ford F-Series - 653,957 Units
According to Ford's official press release, "the Ford truck team's ability to anticipate customer needs, continuously innovate, and provide best-in-class levels of capability and performance has helped make F-Series the sales leader time and time again."
But, as a matter of fact, the founding fathers made it clear that you cannot be a God-Fearing patriotic American if you do not have a pickup truck, preferably American-Made, and bonus points for a Big-Honking V8 under the hood.
Chevy Silverado - 520,936 Units
Coming in at second place, beating the Ram Pickup by a considerable margin, we have the Silverado, basically Chevy's answer to the F-Series. Well, there's a catch with these trucks' sales numbers. The figure is not just for the F-150 or the Regular Duty Silverado, you and I know.
These numbers include everything from the F-150 to the monstrous F-650 and likewise the Heavy Duty Silverado. One could argue that it is not a true representation of the numbers, but what you need to keep in mind is that they are all pickup trucks; some are just more obnoxious than others.
Ram Pickup - 484,344 Units
Ram has taken a slightly different approach when it comes to pickup trucks. These are more suited to the suburbs and are posed more as 'premium trucks' than work trucks.
Still, it appears there are plenty of construction executives (and patriots) who are willing to pay the premium for these trucks. This number includes the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500, just like the previous two. The sales were, however, 18% down from last year, pushing the Silverado ahead.
Toyota RAV4 - 366,741 Units
The first thing on this list that is not a pickup truck is a crossover SUV. The RAV4 is the best-selling passenger car in the US as of now, and despite the 10% decline in sales as compared to the last year, it still has a considerable lead over the next entry on our list.
The RAV4 is liked by people due to being extremely reliable, fuel-efficient, and comfortable, along with having sufficient off-road capabilities for anyone who does not race in Baja 1000 for a living.
Toyota Camry - 295,201 Units
Now we are getting into the realm of "gentlemen's cars," and unsurprisingly, the first one you find is the Camry, a tried and tested veteran that has been taking mid-level white-collar professionals and stay-at-home moms to and from work and errands for as long as it has existed.
A no-nonsense car meant for traveling from point A to point B, with a sufficiently powerful engine, impeccable reliability, and low cost of ownership, the Camry deserves this spot.
GMC Sierra - 241,521 Units
If you want your work truck to be as luxurious as it can get, this is the one that you want. Sales figures suggest there are a lot of Americans who have a knack for luxurious pickup trucks, 241,521 of them at least.
Like the other American trucks on the list, this number also includes the sum of all light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks under this brand name sold over the last year.
Honda CR-V - 238,155 Units
Next up, we have another Japanese car on the list. This can be thought of as Honda's answer to the CR-V, only more refined and fuel efficient. Honda has managed to maintain a very close lead behind the Sierra with this car.
The CR-V's top selling points include a comfortable ride, a choice of turbo-charged and hybrid powertrains, up to 1000lb towing capacity, and the option of an AWD system.
Tesla Model Y - 225,799 Units
Well, seeing the first EV on the list so down below might paint a bleak picture for the future of this new breed of vehicles (and a green future), but there is one more stat that tells a totally different story.
The Model Y is the first car in this list so far that has shown a positive variance in sales numbers as compared to the last year. Tesla sold 39.7% more of these, while all the cars above and most of the gas-powered cars below have shown a 5-40% decrease in sales.
Jeep Grand Cherokee - 223,344 Units
After the big trucks, the suburban crossovers, the EVs, and the Typical Sedans, the first 'Proper' SUV on the list is this midsize offering from Jeep. Seeing a midsize SUV in this place on the list is unusual.
The Jeep has made it this high on the list due to the combination of driving comfort and off-road capabilities it provides, which are very rare to be found in one car.
Toyota Highlander - 222,805 Units
The Highlander has managed to squeeze itself into the top 10 this year, making it another of the unusual vehicles on this list. This is because the Highlander offers all that the Grand Cherokee does, only with more reliability and lesser maintenance costs.
Another of the reasons the Highlander has become so popular is that it offers 11 trim options with hybrid and non-hybrid powertrains, making it possible for buyers to mix and match and pick the one that exactly suits them.
Toyota Corolla - 222,216 Units
Corolla made it just past the top 10; one could say that is not impressive, but it becomes so if you look at the variance in sales numbers compared to the last year. This car has shown only a 0.45% variance.
That proves that no matter what the rest of the world is doing, there will always be a set of people who will buy a car that can get them from A to B reliably, and such a car will always have more or less the same sales.
Toyota Tacoma - 215,853 Units
Americans buy a lot of trucks, that's for sure, but the Constitution, luckily, does not state that Patriotic American citizens can only buy American-made trucks; the Tacoma is the first choice of people who want a Japanese truck.
The Tacoma is a great work truck and even better for off-roading and hitting the trail on the weekends. It has a trim for everyone; if you want one for city driving, there are the TRD Pro and Limited models, and if off-roading is your style, you can always go with the TRD off-road packages.
Chevrolet Equinox - 212,072 Units
One of the reasons this compact crossover made it this high on the list is that it has a lot of standard options, a capable chassis and powertrain, a fuel-efficient engine, and a reputation for reliability.
The Equinox is an attractive proposition with its 175hp engine and the ability to go with FWD or AWD configuration. The most important indicator of this vehicle's (in general and this class in particular) rising popularity is the fact that Chevy sold 28% more of these as compared to the last year.
Ford Explorer - 207,763 Units
The Explorer has not been keeping up with the immensely competitive bunch of midsize SUVs lately. This year has seen the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander climb up the bestseller ranks while the Explorer is down a few slots.
The declining popularity of the Explorer can be attributed to lackluster interior materials, uncomfortable third-row seating, and less than stellar engine performance of the basic 4-cylinder models.
Tesla Model 3 - 195,698 Units
Take this number with a grain of salt, as Tesla does not break down its sales into US and global sales. Still, it can be said with certainty that the sales of the Model 3 are up at least 60% as compared to the last year.
The Model 3 is the most affordable of the company, and in Elon Musk's words, Tesla does not make slow cars, so even this one has performance figures that can give much more expensive gas-powered cars a run for their money.
Nissan Rogue - 186,481 Units
The sales of this compact crossover have seen a sharp decline over the last year, 37%, to be exact. That is mainly because the Rogue, despite its name, is an overly tamed and docile SUV with no particular driving fun. And Nissan's warranty packages are not the most attractive ones.
Another reason for lower sales is that the top-of-the-line Rogue will cost you just shy of $39,000. And if you can just add $2k more, you can go for a much more luxurious Infiniti QX50, which has the same chassis and powertrain.
Jeep Wranlger - 181,410 Units
The Wrangler might be Jeep's pride and joy, but it is surely not the best-seller in their lineup. That award has been going to the Grand Cherokee for a long time now. There has been an 11% decline in the sales of this model over the last year, part of which can be attributed to the increased popularity of the Ford Bronco.
Still, if you want a car with impeccable off-road performance, sick looks, and rich trail heritage, there can hardly be a better option than the Wrangler.
Hyundai Tucson - 175,307 Units
Hyundai sold 24% more units of the Tucson as compared to the last year, and that is thanks to the 2022 redesign of the car as well as the introduction of plug-in hybrid models. It can be safely said that the Tucson is one of the top competitors in the compact crossover category.
Hyundai does offer a bunch of attractive features to attain all those sales. These include a 187hp engine as the basic option and the ability to upgrade up to 260hp (some of the most impressive numbers for this segment).
Subaru Crosstrek - 155,142 Units
The Crosstrek might not be the most capable rock-crawling off-roader, but it does offer a fairly attractive package, given the price and capability. This small crossover has seen 21% more sales than the last year, again indicating the increasing interest people have in this class of cars.
With a 152hp in-line 4-cylinder engine standard and the option to go to 182hp or a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, the Crosstrek offers a healthy competition in the segment.
Honda Accord - 154,612 Units
The Accord, after a 24% drop in sales numbers as compared to the last year, is no longer trading blows with the Camry to be the best non-SUV vehicle on the market. Still, the Accord has a loyal fanbase, people who would select one of these over a Camry any day of the week.
One might say that the new Accord looks too much like the Civic, leaving next to no difference between these cars of different classes, but both are still distinct.
Mazda CX-5 - 151,594 Units
It is a surprise that the CX-5 made it so down in the list, especially below the likes of the Rogue and CR-V. This unique compact crossover from the Land of the Rising Sun offers looks and features that are unheard of at this price.
Mazda has developed greatly over the last few years, making some of the most handsome cars in the market that not only look great but also have the abilities to back that up.
Subaru Outback - 147,262 Units
The Outback has sort of a cult following. Those who like it would say it offers the capabilities of an off-roader with the practicality of a station wagon, while antagonists of this vehicle argue that this is one of the ugliest-looking cars ever produced.
Apart from the 5% decline in its sales over the last year, the Outback has also sold lesser units than the Crosstrek, making it not a very popular vehicle even in Subaru's own lineup.
Nissan Altima - 139,956 Units
Thanks to its big cabin, great fuel economy, and advanced features, the Altima has managed to sell 24% more units than in 2021. Part of the reason is that it is one of the very few non-luxury cars in the segment with an AWD option.
Other distinctive features of the Altima include a turbocharged power plant option and a CVT that compromises performance but offers better fuel economy than the likes of the Camry, which uses 8-speed auto.
Ford Escape - 137,370 Units
The Escape has seen a 5% drop in sales over the last year's figures, mainly because of the introduction of the Bronco Sport, a competitor from the same company that is stylish and classy in its own way.
Still, the distinctive exterior design, the standard driving assistance features, and the wide choice of drivetrain options make the Escape a worthy competitor in the cluttered small SUV market. The fact that this SUV has held its own against the likes of the Tiguan and CX-50 speaks to the credibility of Ford.
Honda Civic - 133,932 Units
What started as a no-nonsense commuter car back in the 1970s has now attained the 'business in the front, party in the back status. Contemporary Civics are stylish, fun to drive, roomy, and reliable cars.
Civic is to Corolla like Accord is to Camry. The fact that Honda does not sell as many of these as Toyota does can be attributed to the 10-15% higher price of these cars as compared to the Toyotas.
Kia Sportage - 124,244 Units
The Koreans are coming, and they are coming fast. This compact SUV has earned a name for itself, not only in the US but also worldwide. The latest generation Sportage saw a 49% increase in sales as compared to 2021.
That is mainly because of the fact that this car has the most distinctive shape among any of the compact SUVs we have seen so far, maybe a bit like the Tucson, but, again, aren't they the same?
Toyota 4Runner - 121,023 Units
The 4Runner is not like most other mid-size SUVs in the market. Unlike those pavement princesses of suburbs, this truck of an SUV has some serious trail capabilities and the looks to go with that.
Also, you don't find a lot of mid-size crossovers that can tow 5,000 lbs, so that is also a plus for this offering from Toyota. Still, if you intend on keeping the 4Runner in the city, the TRD Pro package makes it LOOK tamed.
Hyundai Elantra - 117,177 Units
With Elantra and Sonata, Hyundai has developed lineups of cars that can serve as anything from an Uber to a serious track car. With the Elantra, you can get a docile 1.6L naturally aspirated engine or go all the way to a 2.0L turbocharged monster.
Other than that, the futuristic styling, a number of interior, safety, and driver assistance features, and a spacious cabin make the Elantra the choice of people looking for a comfortable and safe car on a budget.
Ford Bronco - 117,057 Units
This car has seen more increase in the sales number as compared to the last year than any other car on the list, yes, even the EVs. Ford sold a whopping 234% more of these cars this year than they did the last.
That is because it offers a lot of improvement over the Wrangler. The Bronco is actually the sweet spot between the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler; it is neither too uncomfortable to use as a family car nor too much of a pavement princess.
Chevrolet Malibu - 115,468 Units
One could almost be fooled by the 193% increase in the sales of the Malibu over the last year, but that number is not significant without background. The Malibu has sold so many units because if you want to buy a Chevy sedan, there is no other option.
Other than being the only sedan being offered by Chevy, the Malibu does not have anything noteworthy to its credit. If brand loyalty is not your thing, you'd be better off with a Camry, Accord, Sonata, or even Civic.
Honda HR-V 115,416 Units
The HR-V is not only based on the same platform as the Civic, but it also shares the same engine and price tag, approximately. Basically, it is a crossover for people who love Civics but want to take their cars off-road.
The HR-V has seen a slight decline in sales at 15% less compared to the last year, which can be attributed to a small engine, CVT transmission, or the fact that there are just too many compact crossovers to compete with.
Hyundai Santa Fe - 115,226 Units
The Santa Fe might not be the most popular among Hyundai's SUV lineup, but it offers what none of its sisters do. The Santa Fe is bigger than the Tucson (still not as big as the Palisade) but offers up to a V6 engine, making it the choice for people who want more power in a smaller package.
The Santa Fe has sold almost the same number of units (+2.4%) compared to the last year, indicating that it is the SUV of choice for a set of people who will just choose this one.
Subaru Forester - 114,096 Units
The third and the last Subaru to make this list is the compact SUV Forester. While most crossovers in this class hardly even offer an AWD option, the Forester is a fully-fledged off-road machine that looks and acts the part.
The Forester has AWD (as standard across all trims), rugged looks, a practical cabin, and offers a surprisingly pleasant ride quality given its off-road abilities and looks. That combination makes it great for urban, highway, as well as for trail use.
Chevrolet Tahoe - 105,754 Units
With a delta of just 0.25% (basically a rounding error), the Tahoe has maintained practically the same volume of sales as the last year. That's because even though this tank of a car weighs as much as an apartment, it drives and handles unlike any of the SUVs of this size.
With a 420hp 6.2L V8, the size of a postal code, and the driving manners of a sports car, it's no wonder the Tahoe is the best-selling large SUV in the US.
Honda Pilot - 99,567 Units
This three-row SUV is the best option if you want to take your family on a trail trip in a Honda. With a 3.5L V6, loads of standard safety features, and an improved overall design, the Pilot has become one of the most desirable offerings from Honda.
The latest model borrows styling hints from the latest CR-V and Civic, but the inside is still as family-friendly as it always used to be.
Kia Telluride - 99,564 Units
With handsome styling, adequate power, impressive towing capacity, and a bargain price, the Telluride is one of the most unique offerings on the SUV market right now. If you want the features of a luxury SUV for the price of a regular one, go for the top-of-the-line Telluride.
All that comes with 5,500lbs of towing capacity, 10% more than even the 4Runner, and a long list of standard comfort and safety features.
Ford Bronco Sport - 99,547 Units
If the regular Bronco is too big or too expensive for your taste, the baby Bronco is here. It offers the same looks, off-road abilities, and performance but in a smaller, more affordable, more maneuverable, and arguably more 'cute' package.
It doesn't matter if you are planning a casual trip to the desert or a serious trail weekend with your mates; the Bronco Sport will not disappoint you. All that, and it is still fairly comfortable on paved roads.
Ford Transit - 99,382 Units
For regular drivers and car guys, the Transit might not be a familiar name, but it is the bread and butter of delivery services, cargo companies, and small businesses. The best-seller in its class, the Transit is a reliable vehicle that can get the job done day-in and day out with no issues.
It has a choice of V6 engines with or without turbocharging, a fairly comfortable ride quality, an optional AWD system, and a 7500 lbs towing capacity.
Chrysler Pacifica - 98,624 Units
Another only-on-the-list is the favorite minivan of soccer moms and Uber drivers. Competing with the Kia Carnival, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna, the Chrysler is not only the best-selling minivan in the US but also the best-selling Chrysler vehicle too.
With available AWD, PHEV powertrain, and a clever second-row design that allows for insane cargo storage capability, the Pacifica does deserve the title of the best-selling minivan in the States.
Kia Forte - 97,303 Units
Coming between the Rio and K5, the Forte is an interesting offering from this Korean manufacturer. You can get up to 201 horsepower, a large cabin, and a minimalist design with good-quality materials.
Like any other Kia, the best thing about this is that it offers excellent value for money. While belonging in the same class as them, the Forte is a full 20% cheaper than the Civic and Toyota.