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NewsMost Popular Cars in Canada in 2020

Most Popular Cars in Canada in 2020

No movement on the podium yet again this year.

  • The Honda Civic was the most popular car in Canada in 2020.

  • Kia Forte outperformed in the passenger-car segment, the Tesla Model 3 took a sales plunge.

  • The Nissan Sentra reached the top 10 list, knocking off the Honda Accord.

The passenger-car market is shrinking in favour of pickup trucks and utility vehicles, and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have further accelerated the trend. However, we can still break down the list of most popular cars in Canada during the 2020 calendar year.

But first, some overall numbers. Light-vehicle sales in Canada dropped by 5.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and by 20.0% through the whole calendar year. As expected, passenger-car sales nosedived 25.2% in Q4 and 37.2% in 2020 overall, while trucks and utility vehicles managed a scant 0.4% gain in Q4, but a 13.9% drop in 2020.

10. Nissan Sentra (6,806 units sold)

2021 Nissan Sentra | Photo: Nissan

Canadians have embraced the new-generation Nissan Sentra at the end of the 2020 calendar year, as witnessed by the 30.6% sales increase during the fourth quarter. Through the course of the year, sales dropped by 11.8%, outperforming the industry average and helping the Sentra climb from 15th to 10th place on the list—knocking the Honda Accord off of it.

9. Toyota Camry (10,178 units sold)

2021 Toyota Camry | Photo: Toyota

The Toyota Camry may be the best-selling passenger car in the United States, it currently ranks 9th in Canada, and it maintained that ranking through 2020 compared to 2019. The midsize sedan’s sales increased by 7.2% in the fourth quarter, but fell by 25.5% through all 12 months of the year.

8. Volkswagen Jetta (10,552 units sold)

2021 Volkswagen Jetta | Photo: Volkswagen

Sales of the German compact sedan took a 39.8% percent nosedive in Q4 2020, and a 38.9% hit overall in 2020. Despite the dramatic numbers, the Volkswagen Jetta only fell from 7th to 8th place on the list of the most popular cars in Canada.

7. Tesla Model 3 (11,200 units sold)

2021 Tesla Model 3 | Photo: Tesla

It’s was a rough year for the Tesla Model 3 in Canada, with a 53.3% sales plunge in 2020, including a similar result through the fourth quarter of the year. With that performance on the charts, the EV fell from 4th to 7th place.

6. Mazda3 (12,769 units sold)

2021 Mazda3 Sport GT Turbo | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Sales of the Mazda3 slipped 26.6% in Q4, and dived by 40.0% through the 2020 calendar year. As a result, the compact car dropped a spot on the list, from 5th to 6th.

5. Volkswagen Golf (13,112 units sold)

2021 Volkswagen Golf | Photo: Volkswagen

Switching places with the Mazda3, the Volkswagen Golf saw its sales decrease by 33.3% in 2020, but news of the compact’s demise in the North American market likely contributed to its 57.8% sales plunge during the fourth quarter of the year. Moving forward, only the Golf GTI and the Golf R will be offered in Canada and the United States when the next-generation model rolls in.

4. Kia Forte (14,373 units sold)

2021 Kia Forte | Photo: Kia

The Kia Forte is the overachiever on the list of the most popular cars in Canada, with a sales increase of 19.2% in Q4 2020 and an overall calendar year slide of only 7.6%. This performance helped the Forte shoot up from 8th to 4th place.

3. Hyundai Elantra (22,000 units sold)

2021 Hyundai Elantra | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Sales of the compact sedan dropped by a significant 46.7% in the fourth quarter, and by 44.3% through the entire 2020 calendar year. The Hyundai Elantra nevertheless kept its 3rd place rank on this list.

2. Toyota Corolla (33,181 units sold)

2021 Toyota Corolla SE Upgrade Hatchback | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The Toyota Corolla managed to perform slightly better than the industry average, with a sales drop of 28.7% in Q4 and of 30.3% through the course of 2020.

1. Honda Civic (42,996 units sold)

Honda Civic Coupe
2020 Honda Civic Coupe | Photo: Honda

The Honda Civic is once again the most popular car in the country, despite a sales drop of 28.5% through the 2020 calendar year. Things looked better during the fourth quarter as sales slid by only 5.4%. And although the Civic is the best-selling car in Canada, it’s outsold by three full-size pickup trucks and three crossovers in the country.


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