There’s a well-reported decline in Americans’ interest in sedans. Many buyers favor crossovers, SUVs and pickups. That doesn’t mean cars are dead, though. The top 10 cars still represented 14.1 percent of the 16.2 million light vehicles sold in the United States in 2018.
The top five sellers for 2018 were all from Japanese manufacturers. In order, they were the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord and the Nissan Sentra. Rounding out the top 10 were the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Outback, Ford Fusion and the Chevrolet Malibu.
Here is our look at the top sellers overall and in various categories.
1. Overall Best-Selling Car: Toyota Camry
The 2018 Toyota Camry continues to be the top-selling sedan in the U.S. It was all new for 2018, which probably helped keep it in the top spot overall and in the midsize sedan segment. As our review points out, Toyota’s aggressively styled 2018 Camry offers better performance and efficiency, and a longer list of standard safety and technology features than ever before.
2. Best-Selling Luxury Midsize Sedan: Lexus ES
There are some that suggest the 2018 Lexus ES is an upscale Toyota Camry, which isn’t an insult and could explain why the ES is the top-selling luxury midsize sedan. According to our review, the 2018 Lexus ES is an affordable gateway to the brand. A soft ride and quiet cabin further its appeal, as does a spacious interior that is more like a full-size sedan.
3. Best-Selling Compact Car: Honda Civic
The 2018 Honda Civic was the top-selling compact car in 2018. It continues to be popular because, as our review points out, it has just about everything it needs to remain a customer favorite. The Civic offers many popular safety and connectivity technologies, along with a sporty design, strong EPA ratings and performance models.
4. Best-Selling Luxury Compact Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Luxury compacts are the entry level for most buyers into cars with more features, nicer interiors and heftier engines. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class tops the segment in sales. As our review observes, “Three body styles and a variety of powertrains help the C-Class appeal to a wide audience, and composed driving dynamics and an opulent interior reinforce its standing as a full-fledged luxury car.”
5. Best-Selling Subcompact Car: Ford Fiesta
Frankly, when one thinks subcompact, the mind goes toward import cars, but that’s not the case when it comes to sales. The 2018 Ford Fiesta comes out on top in this segment that’s more about fuel economy than horsepower, except for the Fiesta ST trim with its 197-horsepower, four-cylinder engine. Sales are probably helped somewhat by choice of either sedan or hatchback styles.
6. Best-Selling Full-Size Sedan: Dodge Charger
The 2018 Dodge Charger stands on top among the large sedans on the market. It’s also the eighth best-selling car overall in the U.S. market. The Charger is a diverse car with horsepower ranging from a respectable 292 in a V6 engine to a mind-blowing 707 in the Hellcat trim’s 6.2-liter V8. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive can be found on some used Chargers.
7. Best-Selling Station Wagon: Subaru Outback
Sure, it’s not a popular vehicle thanks to SUVs and crossovers, but there are still station wagons for sale in the United States. As our review of the top-selling 2018 Subaru Outback wagon observes, “Few vehicles are more domesticated than wagons, but the 2018 Subaru Outback is a wagon that adds a dash of ruggedness to the mix. The Outback is polished enough to allow you to cruise suburban streets in comfort, but its standard all-wheel drive and high ground clearance also facilitate treks down trails and fire roads.”
8. Best-Selling Electric Vehicle: Tesla Model 3
The 2018 Tesla Model 3 takes the honors for 2018 as best-selling EV. This electric luxury compact sedan seats five. It is known for both its range and power. Our review points out, “With the standard battery, the Model 3 provides 220 miles of range, and this gets bumped up to 310 miles with the long-range battery. With base and Long Range trims, rear-wheel-drive models produce up to 258 horsepower, while all-wheel-drive models generate up to 346 horsepower.”
9. Best-Selling Pony Car: Ford Mustang
A pony car is one of three classic American sports cars: the 2018 Ford Mustang, which took the top spot, the Dodge Challenger and the Chevrolet Camaro. Most surprising about the results was the Dodge Challenger coming in second for the first time in eight years. Sales may have been helped by the addition of available all-wheel drive, which turned the Challenger into a much better handling sports car. The Mustang, though, received a mid-cycle refresh. The V6 engine was discontinued, the V8 made a considerable jump in power, and a new 10-speed automatic transmission was introduced.