Car Buying

Safety in Numbers: Today's Most Popular Cars

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author photo by Doug DeMuro September 2015

If you're interested in finding out what cars everyone else is buying, we have the dirt. We've rounded up a list of today's most popular cars, trucks and SUVs to help show you the market trends. Although we certainly like some of these models better than others, industry trends may help you determine what cars are worth a look, and that's why we say there's safety in numbers.

Trucks

Today's top-selling truck is the Ford F-150, as it has been for decades. The pickup moved an amazing 71,000 units in August, which is a whopping 16,000 more than its closest rival, the Chevy Silverado. Other popular trucks included the RAM 1500, the GMC Sierra and, in a distant fifth place, the Toyota Tacoma.

Why is the F-150 popular? The truck's decades of strong sales have created legions of loyal customers, but the pickup was also recently redesigned with the latest in technology, equipment and powertrains, including two new fuel-efficient turbocharged V6s. You can't discount the pickup's new aluminum body, which lowers the curb weight and boosts gas mileage.

Cars

The most popular car on the market in August was the Honda Accord, which beat out its archrival Toyota Camry by a few thousand sales, but the Camry is leading the overall year-to-date numbers by a comfortable 60,000 units. Other popular new models include the Nissan Altima, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fusion and Hyundai's Elantra and Sonata.

What makes the Accord and Camry so popular? Simple. These two cars offer a wide variety of trim levels, powertrain options and equipment appealing to a huge number of car shoppers. Want a cheap model with few options? Both cars start around $24,000. Want extra equipment? Both models offer an amazing level of features, rivaling some high-end luxury models. Want fuel economy? They have that, too with hybrid and (in the Accord's case) plug-in hybrid varieties. It doesn't hurt that they're big enough to carry most families.

SUVs

Today's most popular SUV is the Honda CR-V, which boasts almost as many sales as the leading car models. In fact, compact crossovers take up the top-five most popular SUV spots, with second through fifth going to the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox and Nissan Rogue.

Why are these models popular? For many of the same reasons the Camry and Accord have earned so many sales, they offer excellent gas mileage, a wide array of trim levels and roomy, versatile interiors. All five of these SUVs appeal to a huge number of car shoppers, whether you're a parent buying a car for a young driver, a family or an older driver who wants a commanding view of the road.

Our Take

Although some of today's most popular cars aren't always the best cars, there's something to be said for knowing what other people are buying. Not only does it help validate your decision, but it ensures you'll always have access to a steady supply of parts, technical help and mechanical support in case something goes awry.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Safety in Numbers: Today's Most Popular Cars - Autotrader