Thursday, December 1, 2022
News Most Popular Cars in the United States, Third Quarter of 2022

Most Popular Cars in the United States, Third Quarter of 2022

Only five out of 20 nameplates posted sales increases this year.

  • Ford F-Series tops among the most popular cars in the United States after Q3 2022.

  • Strong increases for Chevrolet Equinox and Tesla Model 3 in Q3.

  • Significant sales drop for Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The new-car shopping experience has gotten tougher these days, due to inventory shortages, rising interest rates and ever-increase MSRPs. However, these issues aren’t stopping consumers from buying vehicles, and here’s the latest list of the most popular cars in the United States, ranked by cumulative sales through the first nine months of 2022.

Third-quarter sales were almost identical to those during the same period in 2021, with 3,404,650 units sold against 3,404,535. Through the first nine months of the year, sales were down by 13.0% with 10,236,245 units rolling off dealer lots versus 11,768,255. Here are the top 20 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. so far this year.

20. Subaru Crosstrek

Q3 2022 sales: 45,294 units
Q3 2021 sales: 36,853 units
Difference: +22.9%

YTD 2022 sales: 115,344 units
YTD 2021 sales: 101,067 units
Difference: +14.1%

Thanks to strong third-quarter sales, the Subaru Crosstrek climbed six spots to grab 20th place on the list, knocking the Honda Accord down to 21st. A redesigned Crosstrek is on the way for the 2024 model year.

19. Mazda CX-5

Q3 2022 sales: 34,145 units
Q3 2021 sales: 44,687 units
Difference: -23.6%

YTD 2022 sales: 115,949 units
YTD 2021 sales: 137,308 units
Difference: -15.6%

Mazda CX-5 sales is pursuing its downward slide, but remained in 19th place overall compared to the second quarter of this year. After Q3 2021, the crossover ranked 18th on the list, meaning it dropped by just one spot over the last year.

18. Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson

Q3 2022 sales: 41,554 units
Q3 2021 sales: 32,530 units
Difference: +27.7%

YTD 2022 sales: 125,625 units
YTD 2021 sales: 116,047 units
Difference: +8.3%

Only five nameplates out of the 20 most popular cars in the U.S. saw sales gains so far this year, and the Hyundai Tucson is one of them, thanks to a strong third quarter. Thanks to an 8.3% sales jump in the year-to-date column, the Tucson climbed from 22nd to 18th place.

17. Nissan Rogue

2023 Nissan Rogue | Photo: Nissan

Q3 2022 sales: 42,460 units
Q3 2021 sales: 52,358 units
Difference: -18.9%

YTD 2022 sales: 130,135 units
YTD 2021 sales: 234,647 units
Difference: -44.5%

The Nissan Rogue once again took a serious stumble on the charts, with sales dropping by 44.5 percent so far this year. This despite being recently redesigned. We can only blame lack of dealer inventory for this one. After sailing in 6th place after the first half of 2021, the Rogue is now in 17th position.

16. Tesla Model 3


Q3 2022 sales: 47,900 units
Q3 2021 sales: 30,000 units
Difference: +60.0%

YTD 2022 sales: 138,000 units
YTD 2021 sales: 90,200 units
Difference: +53.0%

While most automakers seem to be struggling with production issues and parts shortages, Tesla vehicles seems to be rolling off the assembly line without any major hiccups. Approximate sales were up by a significant amount over both Q1 and Q2 this year, allowing the Tesla Model 3 to climb from 30th to 16th place compared to the same period last year.

15. Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Q3 2022 sales: 47,659 units
Q3 2021 sales: 46,044 units
Difference: +3.5%

YTD 2022 sales: 147,156 units
YTD 2021 sales: 164,710 units
Difference: -10.7%

After climbing the sales charts following its redesign a few years ago, things have cooled down for the Jeep Wrangler. However, it’s still one of the most popular cars in the United States, despite its low eco-friendliness. The 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain did give the SUV a slightly greener image, and many buyers are choosing this option. The Wrangler dropped a spot on the list compared to Q3 2021, from 14th to 15th.

14. Ford Explorer

Q3 2022 sales: 53,326 units
Q3 2021 sales: 41,933 units
Difference: +27.2%

YTD 2022 sales: 156,243 units
YTD 2021 sales: 160,174 units
Difference: -2.5%

Ford Explorer sales were down by 2.5% compared to the first three-quarters of 2021, but the crossover had fine second and third quarters, the latter wrapping up with a 27.2% increase. That’s enough to move the Explorer up a notch, from 15th to 14th—swapping places with the Wrangler.

13. Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Q3 2022 sales: 53,900 units
Q3 2021 sales: 44,700 units
Difference: +20.6%

YTD 2022 sales: 161,900 units
YTD 2021 sales: 134,300 units
Difference: +20.6%

For a manufacturer selling only four nameplates, having two of them ranking among the most popular cars in the United States is quite an accomplishment. And approximate sales of both have risen during that time, too. The Tesla Model Y crossover climbed from 19th to 13th place over the past year.

12. Chevrolet Equinox

2022 Chevrolet Equinox

Q3 2022 sales: 46,646 units
Q3 2021 sales: 32,444 units
Difference: +43.8%

YTD 2022 sales: 163,324 units
YTD 2021 sales: 151,110 units
Difference: +8.1%

The Chevrolet Equinox posted an excellent third quarter, with a 43.8% increase in sales compared to the same period in 2021. Despite that performance, overall 2022 calendar sales resulted in the crossover slipping from 10th to 12th place among the most popular cars in the U.S.

11. Toyota Highlander

2023 Toyota Highlander Turbo | Photo: Toyota

Q3 2022 sales: 47,048 units
Q3 2021 sales: 63,184 units
Difference: -25.5%

YTD 2022 sales: 164,451 units
YTD 2021 sales: 207,564 units
Difference: -20.8%

The Toyota Highlander has always been a popular midsize three-row crossover, but sales have cooled down recently. Blame it on production constraints or just plain competition catching up, the Highlander saw its sales drop by 25.5% in the third quarter, moving it down from 8th to 11th place.

10. GMC Sierra

2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV | Photo: GMC

Q3 2022 sales: 50,169 units
Q3 2021 sales: 52,774 units
Difference: -4.9%

YTD 2022 sales: 169,107 units
YTD 2021 sales: 191,186 units
Difference: -11.5%

Combined sales of the GMC Sierra 1500 and GMC Sierra HD were down again, like the vast majority of the other nameplates among the most popular cars in the U.S. With its 11.5% slide through the first three-quarters of the calendar year, the Sierra dropped from 7th to 10th place compared to the second quarter, but still climbed from the 12th spot compared to the same period last year.

9. Toyota Corolla

Q3 2022 sales: 74,724 units
Q3 2021 sales: 62,196 units
Difference: -12.0%

YTD 2022 sales: 171,556 units
YTD 2021 sales: 217,727 units
Difference: -21.2%

Toyota Corolla sales are sliding, but not as badly as those of its Honda Civic nemesis. The range of sedans and hatchbacks were scooped up by 21.2% fewer buyers compared to Q3 2021, and as a result, the nameplate only slid from 8th to 9th place compared to Q2 2021.

8. Jeep Grand Cherokee

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep

Q3 2022 sales: 38,176 units
Q3 2021 sales: 81,803 units
Difference: -53.3%

YTD 2022 sales: 172,545 units
YTD 2021 sales: 189,727 units
Difference: -9.1%

Following its recent redesign, along with the addition of the extended-wheelbase variant and the plug-in hybrid powertrain, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was flying off dealer lots. However, things slowed down considerably with a 53.3% drop in sales during the third quarter compared to the year before. The crossover climbed from 13th to 8th position on this list, and fell a couple of rungs during the third quarter alone.

7. Toyota Tacoma

2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition 4×4 | Photo: Toyota

Q3 2022 sales: 67,224 units
Q3 2021 sales: 61,335 units
Difference: +9.6%

YTD 2022 sales: 175,872 units
YTD 2021 sales: 200,631 units
Difference: -12.3%

Toyota Tacoma sales are down so far this year compared to the same period in 2021, but managed to post a positive result in the third quarter alone. The best-selling midsize pickup climbed from 12th to 7th place on the list compared to Q2 2022.

6. Honda CR-V

2023 Honda CR-V

Q3 2022 sales: 62,085 units
Q3 2021 sales: 76,941 units
Difference: -19.3%

YTD 2022 sales: 178,687 units
YTD 2021 sales: 290,140 units
Difference: -38.4%

Honda CR-V sales have fallen off a cliff, as the nameplate’s new-generation 2023 edition is reaching dealerships. The numbers were down 19.3% in the third quarter, but that was sufficient to bring the CR-V back up from 11th to 6th place among the most popular cars in the United States. After the third quarter of 2021, the crossover stood in 5th place.

5. Toyota Camry

2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade | Photo: Toyota

Q3 2022 sales: 78,478 units
Q3 2021 sales: 79,098 units
Difference: -0.8%

YTD 2022 sales: 214,403 units
YTD 2021 sales: 256,769 units
Difference: -16.5%

What was once the best-selling vehicle in the United States has been surpassed by crossovers and pickup trucks. Yet the Toyota Camry is still the country’s most popular passenger car, and despite a sales drop of 16.5% through the first nine months of 2022, it actually managed to climb from 6th to 5th place among the most popular cars in the U.S.

4. Toyota RAV4

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition | Photo: Toyota

Q3 2022 sales: 102,456 units
Q3 2021 sales: 92,252 units
Difference: +11.1%

YTD 2022 sales: 303,341 units
YTD 2021 sales: 313,447 units
Difference: -3.2%

With five nameplates among the 12 best-selling vehicles in the country, Toyota is doing well at the moment. Its most popular vehicle is the Toyota RAV4, which is the best-selling utility vehicle overall, surpassed only by a trio of full-size pickup trucks. Despite a slight drop in sales, the RAV4 remains very comfortably in 4th place.

3. Ram Pickup

Q3 2022 sales: 118,106 units
Q3 2021 sales: 121,704 units
Difference: -3.0%

YTD 2022 sales: 363,089 units
YTD 2021 sales: 434,772 units
Difference: -16.5%

Despite Stellantis doing everything it can to keep Ram 1500 and Ram HD production rolling, sales have dropped this year, resulting in the pickup line sliding from 3rd to 2nd place on the list. While still a fine showing, it always stings when it’s one of your direct rivals that knocks you down the charts.

2. Chevrolet Silverado

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 | Photo: Chevrolet

Q3 2022 sales: 114,963 units
Q3 2021 sales: 120,856 units
Difference: -4.9%

YTD 2022 sales: 374,479 units
YTD 2021 sales: 407,266 units
Difference: -8.1%

Adding a third assembly plant for the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado HD production certainly didn’t hurt, and the factory in Oshawa, Ontario is greatly contributing to rolling out more units of the full-size pickup truck. Nonetheless, sales were down by 8.1% through the first nine months of the year, but that’s enough to push the Silverado up from 3rd to 2nd place.

1. Ford F-Series

2022 Ford Super Duty Photo: Ford

Q3 2022 sales: 167,962 units
Q3 2021 sales: 172,799 units
Difference: -2.8%

YTD 2022 sales: 467,307 units
YTD 2021 sales: 534,831 units
Difference: -12.6%

Combined sales of the Ford F-150 and Ford Super Duty remained strong in the third quarter, allowing the full-size pickup line to keep its rivals at a distance on the charts. The F-Series is still tops among the most popular cars in the United States, although statistically, GM currently sells way more pickups than Ford when we add up Silverado and Sierra sales.

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