Top 25 Bestselling Cars, Trucks, and SUVs of 2021


Car and Driver

2020 was a weird year for new-car sales, but 2021 might have been even weirder. Many factors were at play, including inventory constraints due to a semiconductor shortage and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, buyers flocked to dealerships to snap up the limited inventory, meaning overall volumes outperformed 2020 numbers. It was more of a mixed bag on a model-by-model basis, and we’ve tallied up the top 25 cars, trucks, and SUVs in order of their sales numbers. This list now includes numbers from the full 2021 calendar year.

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25. Honda Pilot (143,062 units sold)

Honda’s three-row SUV is within top 25 thanks to its strong numbers that were up 16 percent over last year. It’s due for a replacement soon, as the current generation has been around since the 2016 model year.

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24. Toyota 4Runner (144,696 units sold)

It may be dated, but Toyota’s body-on-frame SUV continues to sell in big numbers, posting a 12 percent increase over last year.

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23. Ford Escape (145,415 units sold)

Now that its more stylish and exciting Bronco Sport sibling is on sale, it’s no wonder that the somewhat anonymous Escape has fallen in the ranks. Sales were down 19 percent, and the Bronco Sport is charging hard with its 108,169 units sold throughout the year.

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22. Hyundai Tucson (150,949 units sold)

The new 2022 version of Hyundai’s compact SUV has a bold look, and it seems customers are loving it. Sales were up 22 percent over last year.

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21. Subaru Outback (154,623 units sold)

The Outback has the market cornered on station wagons, as it’s the only one of its kind that sells in significant numbers in the U.S. Its sales were up 1 percent over last year, and there’s a new off-road-oriented Wilderness model for the 2022 model year.

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20. Subaru Forester (154,723 units sold)

You’re more likely to see a new Forester on the road than any other Subaru, as it’s the brand’s bestselling model. Sales were down 13 percent percent compared with last year.

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19. Chevrolet Equinox (165,323 units sold)

The Equinox has seen better days, as it was one of the few compact SUVs to experience a sales decline last year. A refreshed model for the 2022 model year might start to turn that around, but not if inventory remains a challenge.

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18. Mazda CX-5 (168,383 units sold)

The CX-5 may not be the top-selling compact SUV, but it occupies the top spot in our book. As a 10Best winner, it’s our favorite of the bunch, and sales were up 15 percent compared with last year.

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17. Tesla Model Y (172,700 units sold, est.)

The Model Y is the bestselling electric vehicle in the country, and it made its way onto the overall list of top sellers this year. But these sales numbers come with a caveat, as they’re an estimate from Automotive News; Tesla doesn’t release its own U.S. sales figures.

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16. Honda Accord (202,676 units sold)

The 10Best-winning Accord mid-size sedan isn’t the top seller it once was, as it’s fallen far behind its rival the Toyota Camry and behind Honda’s own compact Civic. Updates for the 2021 model year are minor, but it still saw a 2 percent increase over last year.

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15. Jeep Wrangler (204,610 units sold)

The Jeep Wrangler’s lineup is more diverse than ever, now that it features an optional diesel, a V-8, and even a plug-in-hybrid model. Its popularity remains high, too, with sales up 2 percent.

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14. Ford Explorer (219,871 units sold)

The Explorer and the Toyota Highlander were duking it out for the three-row-SUV sales crown earlier this year. But the Ford has now decisively losing the race, with sales down 3 percent; for comparison, the Highlander’s sales were up 24 percent.

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13. GMC Sierra (248,924 units sold)

Sales of both the light-duty and heavy-duty Sierra models fell this year, with the 1500 model down 0.5 percent and the HD trucks down 4 percent.

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12. Toyota Corolla (248,993 units sold)

Toyota’s compact sedan and hatchback continue to cash in on their strong reputation for reliability. Sales were up 5 percent but it finished the year behind its rival the Honda Civic.

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11. Toyota Tacoma (252,520 units sold)

Mid-size trucks are in these days, and the Tacoma outsells all its competitors by a wide margin. Its sales rose 6 percent compared with 2020.

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10. Honda Civic (263,787 units sold)

The Civic was languishing in the first quarter of the year, but sales have risen since the redesigned 2022 Civic went on sale. Numbers were up 1 percent over last year.

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9. Toyota Highlander (264,128 units sold)

The Highlander three-row SUV continues its ascent through the sales ranks in 2021 with a strong year. Sales were up 24 percent over last year.

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8. Jeep Grand Cherokee (264,444 units sold)

A new generation of the Grand Cherokee is now on sale, starting with the three-row L model, but the current two-row version is still available. A new two-row model is coming soon, but for now sales were up 26 percent compared with last year.

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7. Nissan Rogue (285,602 units sold)

The redesigned 2021 Rogue is far better than its predecessor, and the numbers are reflecting a similar improvement so far this year. Sales were up 25 percent compared with last year.

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6. Toyota Camry (313,795 units sold)

If there’s one thing that’s certain in the auto sales hierarchy, it’s the Camry’s place on top of the passenger-car ranks. The mid-size sedan experienced a 7 percent increase over last year, enough to beat out all of the entries on this list that are neither trucks nor SUVs.

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5. Honda CR-V (361,271 units sold)

The CR-V is Honda’s bread and butter, and its sales are up 9 percent over last year. A hybrid model joined the lineup recently, and we added one to our long-term test fleet.

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4. Toyota RAV4 (407,739 units sold)

Ever since it achieved the title of bestselling non-truck in the country, the RAV4 has been extending its lead over its compact-crossover rivals. Sales were down 5 percent compared with last year.

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3. Chevrolet Silverado (519,774 units sold)

Results for the Silverado were not great in 2021. It was outsold by the Ram truck lineup, and sales declined, with the light-duty model down nearly 13 percent and the HD version down nearly 8 percent.

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2. Ram Pickup (569,388 units sold)

Ram’s truck lineup continues its ascent with a strong year that saw sales rise 1 percent. That was enough to beat the Silverado, which typically occupies the second-place sales ranking.

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1. Ford F-Series (726,004 units sold)

Bestselling Vehicles of 2020

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