While automobiles are an important part of the life of people around the world, what the people of different countries drive depends on a number of factors. From average income to societal and cultural preferences, there are a ton of things that influence the taste of people when it comes to choosing their rides.
Someone in the US might prefer having a V8 Raptor to drive every day, but a person with a similar income in India might go with a Maruti (Suzuki) Swift instead. Stay with us as we go through what the people of these 40 countries have as their go-to vehicle.
Papua New Guinea - Toyota Land Cruiser 70-Series
Papua New Guinea is one of the most difficult places to travel through, given the terrain and the lack of a well-developed road structure. So it is natural for the people of this country to have cars that can travel regardless of there even being a road.
The reason this 70-Series Land Cruiser is the most popular here and not the new one is because, this is the most rugged and dependable moving thing ever made, and that people of this nation can't afford the new models like the Sheikhs of Kuwait.
Norway - Audi E-Tron
Norway, just like the Netherlands, is very serious about climate change... only the people here are much more well-off than those in the Netherlands. So, if you have lots of money and want to buy an electric car, the E-Tron just makes a lot of sense.
As long as you keep eating Norwegian Salmon and Norway keeps making money on it, the people of this ice-cold nation can afford to drive the best electric cars there are and be environmentally responsible.
Canada - Ford F-Series
People often say why doesn't the US just take over Canada, I mean, they would just be nice and let them. But, it's more beneficial to have a neighbor that buys everything from you (less maple syrup) instead of defending half a planet's worth of frozen wasteland.
Canadians tend to copy their Southern neighbors in anything and when trucks are the way of life for Americans, what's preventing Canadians from doing just that? Unsurprisingly, the Ford F-Series is hot in demand there.
Pakistan - Suzuki Alto
For a country that performs poorly in all economic indicators, it is no surprise that the masses cannot afford a good car. So, the most popular car in this country is simply the one that is the cheapest.
What this car gives you is just the ability to get from one place to another. Safety features are practically non-existent and only luck is what gets you to your destination in one piece. To make matters worse, it's a family hauler and not a one-person car!
Iceland - Toyota RAV4
When ice, snow, and rugged pathways are the way of life in the country you live in, you better have an off-roader that can tackle all kinds of roads and is reliable through countless winters. All those qualities and affordability are found in the RAV4.
This crossover SUV from the Japanese manufacturer is not only the best-selling car in Iceland but also the best seller in its segment in the US too.
Morocco - Dacia Dokker
The fact that the most popular car in Morocco is from a French company has to do with the colonial past of this African country. This minivan is a best seller in Morocco for many reasons, but it's mainly due to its tourism sector.
Morocco gets a lot of tourists and these vehicles are often used by private contractors to transport tourists from attraction to attraction, hence making them the most popular vehicle in the country.
China - Wuling Mini Truck
The most popular vehicle in the People's Republic of China is this truck... if you can agree to call this abomination of everything that's Holy and Sacred a 'truck.' Now, the reason behind this thing being the best seller is deeply rooted in Chinese culture.
Chinese people only get a vehicle when they need it, not when they want it, and in a production-based economy, this miniature truck can serve the needs of families and goods transport for most people, hence its popularity.
Germany - Volkswagen Golf
That is just logical. VW is one of the things Germany is known for and Golf is their best-selling model so it just makes sense for the majority of German people to buy the Golf.
One could argue that Audi, BMW, and Mercedes are also made in Germany so why they aren't the most popular? Well, they are considerably more expensive than VW and not everyone in Germany wants to enjoy the full potential of the literally limitless Autobahn.
Belarus - Lada Vesta
When you have been a part of the Soviet Union for many decades, it's just natural to have a taste for Russian things. Or maybe you did not develop your auto industry enough and now have to depend on Russia.
The Vesta is the car of choice for Belarus' population, and it does deserve the title as it has been the car of the year in Russia for most of the years since it entered production and is still among the top 5 best sellers in Russia.
Thailand - Isuzu D-Max
The people of Thailand have a knack for pickup trucks as much as, if not more than, the Americans. This is probably why all Japanese manufacturers including Toyota and Isuzu have plants to assemble trucks there.
The best-seller in Thailand is this Isuzu because it offers the same features as Toyota's iconic Hilux but at a much lower price. Also, it comes with the same reliability and cheap maintenance, so it is a win-win!
Austria - Skoda Octavia
Even though the most popular automaker in Austria is Volkswagen, (what else would you expect, they live next to Germany), the single best-selling model in this Central European Republic is the Octavia.
This Czech vehicle is the most popular here because of the luxury and convenience it offers at a lower price than its German counterparts such as the Audi. The stable drive of this car is also well-suited for the mountainous terrain.
Kuwait - Toyota Land Cruiser
Blessed with plenty of oil, Kuwait is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and also happens to be situated in a vast desert. What would you do if you had a ton of money and wanted to buy a car to go off-roading? You'd buy a Land Cruiser.
That's what the Sheikhs of Kuwait have been doing for the last few decades. They could also go for the more extravagant off-roaders, but life is too short to waste fixing Range Rovers and G Wagons.
France - Peugeot 208 II
It's only natural for the overwhelming majority of the French population to buy a car that is designed, engineered, and manufactured by a French Company. That also applies to Bugatti, but not everyone in France is Bernard Arnault.
The 208 is a compact hatchback and sedan made by Peugeot that gets the job done for most of the people who need a car in France and hence the same is the best seller over there.
India - Maruti Swift
Suzuki Swift, known as Maruti Swift in India, is the best-selling car there and the reason is simple. It offers the best value for money for the price tag in the Indian market. Also, India has congested roads and small cars are more manageable in city traffic.
The Swift has a small footprint but has a potent engine for its size and good creature comforts inside, so it kinda ticks all the boxes for a typical Indian car buyer.
Mexico - Nissan Versa
Mexico is a diverse nation with a lot of disparity in the economical status of the citizens. On one hand, we have the drug lords and crime bosses who can afford absolutely anything imaginable and on the other extreme, there are people who struggle to put food on the table.
Personal cars are still considered a luxury and privilege in Mexico and people tend to stick with reliable and affordable options that get the job done, hence the Versa.
New Zealand - Ford Ranger
With farming, livestock, and nature being the most important parts of the economy and culture of New Zealand, people need to have vehicles that can not only help them with personal commutes but also haul stuff.
Ford Ranger is the most popular vehicle in New Zealand because it is comfortable for personal travel while offering ample cargo hauling capacities and impressive off-road capability... just the kind you need in the rugged land of the kiwis.
Brazil - Chevrolet Onix
Chevrolet has an overall market share of 17.4% in Brazil, with the Onix being the best-selling car. The reason for the popularity of this subcompact sedan in this South American nation is mainly the economic owning and operating costs that it offers.
Also, due to the proximity of Brazil to the US and its advanced automobile industry, having an American car as the best seller makes total sense in Brazil.
Egypt - Chevrolet Tank T-Series
I'm still wondering where in the Saharan wasteland that's called Egypt, Chevy was able to capture that truck in a pasture... but what's more impressive is that they have this American truck as the best-selling vehicle and not a chariot (as most of us would imagine).
Egyptians might have ruled the world before anyone you've heard of was born but now they only make money on the Suez Canal and the little farmlands near the Nile and what's a better vehicle to haul the agricultural produce than this truck?
Singapore - Honda Vezel
Singapore is a serious no-nonsense country where people want cars that can just take them where they want to. But, why is the best seller not an Accord? Well, Singaporeans might be professional and boring... but they kind of have a thing for crossovers.
Also, since the Vezel is a real low-maintenance hybrid vehicle (after all, it is a Honda), it fits in perfectly with the busy lifestyle of the masses in Singapore.
Australia - Toyota Hilux
When you live in a country of continental scale that is a predominantly barren wasteland that extends for infinity, you ought to have a vehicle that does not need pavement to drive.
Then, there's the fact that Australia thinks of herself as mini-USA so trucks seem attractive to them. Add 2 and 2 and you can figure out why most of the Aussies prefer a Toyota Hilux as their vehicle of choice.
Georgia - Renault Duster
First of all, we are talking about the country Georgia here and not the US state of Georgia. Situated on the border of Asia and Europe, this country imports goods from both continents, and when it comes to cars, it seems France is their location of choice to buy them.
For a country with mountainous terrain like Georgia, AWD cars make sense and Renault Duster is the perfect match given the affordability and performance it offers.
Italy - Fiat Panda
Mafia was not the only thing that came to the US from Italy. Fiat was also one of the exports of Italy that finally made the US its home to the point that people tend to think it is originally American when it is actually from Italy.
Just like the most affordable Volkswagen is the most popular car in Germany and the majority of French people prefer Peugeot, most Italian people tend to be inclined towards Fiat when it comes to buying cars.
Hungary - Suzuki Vitara
This landlocked country is one of the most peaceful ones in Europe (other than being a catalyst of the second world war). And if you haven't noticed so far, the people of peaceful countries tend to go with reliable all-rounder cars.
Vitara is a compact SUV made by Japanese automaker Suzuki. It is an extremely reliable and highly capable vehicle... and if you want a car that can go anywhere and won't break for a million miles, this is the one.
Spain - Dacia Sandero
The French automaker Renault's subsidiary Dacia is the maker of the most popular car in Spain. It's because if you are given the option between SEAT and literally any other car on the planet, you tend to gravitate towards the other option, even if it is a Dacia.
The Sandero is a simple car that gets the job done for people who need a car for everyday use. The fact that Spain is a high-income country is reflected in this car being more expensive than most of the other ones on the list.
Iraq - Kia Frontier
If you think this vehicle is used in Iraq just for hauling cargo, you are mistaken. These medium-sized trucks are used for anything from taking agricultural produce to the markets to transporting people in what can only be described as the most unsafe form of public transport.
That's what war does to a country. They don't have enough resources for developing proper networks for anything and people use the vehicles that they get their hands on for anything and everything.
Ecuador - Chevrolet Spark
Ecuador might be a major exporter of petroleum but it is still a medium-income country, as is the case with most former colonies. Medium-income people need a car that can take them from point A to point B reliably for the foreseeable future.
That's why the Spark, an American-made subcompact car available as a hatchback and sedan, is the best-selling one in this South American country. It could be a Japanese hatch too, but South Americans just have a knack for US-made things.
Liechtenstein - Volkswagen Golf
That's the difference between being rich and appearing rich. Liechtenstein's citizens are way richer than those of Dubai, Kuwait, or Qatar but they don't care about flaunting that wealth and prefer being more low-key.
Plus, what's the point in buying the most expensive McLaren if your neighbor can just get the latest custom Bugatti and get it coated in diamonds or God knows what? So, these filthy rich people just stick with average cars.
Malaysia - Perodua MYVI
Perodua might not be very well-known outside of Malaysia but it is the second-largest car brand in the country following Proton. While Proton is considered a 'premium' brand, Perodua is more of an economy automaker for the masses.
For an average Malaysian, the routine commute consists of getting to and from work and the MYVI is the perfect car for that... as this subcompact hatchback gets the job done in the cheapest, most efficient way.
United Arab Emirates - Nissan Patrol
Extravagance is the theme of the UAE as a country and what can be more extravagant than the flagship vehicle from one of the major global automakers? The Patrol is the best Nissan makes and the Sheikhs never settle for anything less than the best.
Part of the reason for this being the most popular car in the UAE is also that most of this country is a desert and this just happens to be one of the most capable off-roaders.
Bangladesh - Toyota Corolla
For this South Asian country's people, cars are nothing more than a mode of transport and they want something reliable, efficient, and comfortable. The Corolla is unarguably the best option when you are looking for all of those qualities.
It's also worth noting that Bengali people can afford better cars than in Pakistan where Suzuki Alto is the best seller and in India where Suzuki Swift is the favorite of the masses. That's the beauty of mass-scale industrialization!
Netherlands - Volkswagen ID.3
No country is pushing climate change regulations as aggressively as the Netherlands, which already has a higher ratio of electric cars than any other nation on the globe. Obviously, if the climate does change, these polar people will be the most affected ones.
Now, Tesla and Audi's electric cars are not within the range of everyone so the most affordable and reliable electric vehicle available on the market just makes sense to be the best-seller in this country.
Greece - Toyota Yaris
The Greeks tasted world domination and all manners of fine things in life way before any other nation could have thought of that and now they just want to lay low, ride Toyotas, and spend a peaceful life.
You could also say that being one of the poorest nations in present-day Europe, the cheapest Toyota is the only car most Greeks can reasonably afford but let's just say that these people are humble and like keeping things simple.
Vietnam - Toyota Vios
The Toyota Vios is in fact the Toyota Yaris sedan, as this vehicle is named differently around the world. With a GDP per capita of just over $2,000, Vietnamese people cannot afford expensive cars and hence this subcompact sedan is the best seller over there.
Also, the dependability and durability that Japanese cars offer is the reason why people in many low-income countries, including Vietnam, tend to go for inexpensive cars of Japanese origin.
Oman - Nissan Sunny
Oman is one of the oil-rich countries and people here can afford much nicer cars than the Sunny. The reason Sunny is so popular here is that most people in this country are expatriates working minimum wage jobs.
It's one of the cheapest cars on the market and provides all the basic features an average user can look for. If you look at the car buying patterns of just the Omani nationals, the most popular one would be a much more expensive car.
Russia - Lada Granta
Russians are a proud people. They will never give up Vodka for Whiskey or Lada for Ford or GMC. So, the fact that Lada Granta is the favorite car of people here is just logical.
Plus, Russia often remains sanctioned by different nations, so people tend to go for a car that is locally produced for ease of availability of parts and cheap maintenance.
Sweden - Volvo S/V60
Volvo is one of the things Sweden is known for and the patriotic people of this country make sure to buy locally-made cars in huge numbers. That and the fact that Sweden is a rich nation and Volvo is a luxury brand add up to the result that most Swedish people drive a Volvo.
In case you don't know, the S60 is the sedan version, while the V60 is the station wagon version of the same chassis and drivetrain.
Tunisia - Renault Clio
Tunisia might be famous for its gorgeous people but it is not exactly a rich country so the masses resort to an affordable option. And the fact that the most popular car here is an affordable French car has to do with history.
Back in the mid to late 19th century, Tunisia was a French colony and the thing with colonialism is that the occupying nation might leave you but their impact remains... and this Renault is one of those impacts.
Angola - Toyota Land Cruiser
What else can be better suited for someone living in Central Africa than the best off-road machine ever created? That's why the people of this nation go with the Land Cruiser.
Other Toyota vehicles are also popular in Angola because of their durability and the ability to tackle the harsh climatic conditions this region has. The fact that there are a lot of oil fields in far-off locations in the country that need off-road vehicles for access also contributes to the high market share of the Land Cruiser.
Syria - Hyundai Tucson
Not accounting for the Syrian militant groups who are more inclined towards Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara with machine guns mounted on top... but for a regular everyday Syrian citizen, this is the car of choice.
Syria is a desert country and people are not very rich, so crossovers are the best option when you have this combination. The Tucson works as a perfect city car but if the need arises, you can take it off-road too.
Venezuela - Toyota Fortuner
Venezuela actually has more oil than Saudi Arabia and Russia but political unrest, corruption, and lawlessness have turned it into a miserable state. Still, fuel is cheap and there are not a lot of taxes so people can afford big cars.
The Fortuner is a mid-range SUV from Toyota that is fairly capable and highly reliable and dependable. Venezuelans use this because they can get fuel cheap and maintenance is practically non-existent with Toyotas.
United States - Ford F-Series
It makes perfect sense that the most popular vehicle in the US is nothing but an obnoxious truck. Americans love to stand out... and what's a better vehicle than this truck that appears like it's going to eat your Camry?
Another reason people love the Ford F-Series in the US is the liberty it offers. A sedan can only transport your family but these pickups come handy even if you have to haul half the local home depot to the middle of nowhere!