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Most Popular SUVs and Trucks in the United States, Third Quarter of 2021

A difficult Q3 for many automakers.

  • The Ford F-Series tops among the most popular SUVs and trucks in the United States.

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander back in the top 10, Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Equinox dropped off.

  • Seven out of these 10 vehicles saw sales drops during Q3.

Many new-vehicle shoppers had to make difficult decisions this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a microchip shortage that affected the automotive industry, among other things. The list of the most popular SUVs and trucks in the United States saw some changes because of production cuts in several assembly plants across the globe.

Overall, new light-vehicle sales dropped by 12.8% to 3,414,884 units during the third quarter of 2021, which contrasts with total sales over the first nine months of the year, up by 13.3% to 11,772,441 units compared to the same period in 2020 that was scarred by global production shutdowns and confinements.

10. Jeep Grand Cherokee (189,628 units sold)

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The venerable Jeep Grand Cherokee is getting a redesign for the 2022 model year, but the American brand introduced a three-row variant for the 2021 model year. Despite its age, sales remained strong with 81,704 units (+44.7%) rolling off dealer lots during the third quarter of 2021, and 189,628 units sold (+24.1%) over the course of nine months. The Grand Cherokee pushed the Ford Explorer off the list compared to the period in 2020.

9. GMC Sierra (191,186 units sold)

GM did what it could to keep production of the GMC Sierra 1500 and Sierra HD going. However, sales dropped 22.2% to 52,774 units during the third quarter, although 191,186 units were sold during the first nine months of the year, which represents a 9.5% increase. As a result, the Sierra dropped from 7th to 9th place compared to last year.

8. Toyota Tacoma (200,631 units sold)

Sales of the Toyota Tacoma have been tremendous, dominating the midsize pickup segment this year. With 61,335 units sold (+4.1%) during Q3, and 200,631 units sold (+22.6%) through the first nine months of 2021, the Tacoma moved up one spot among the most popular SUVs and trucks in the U.S.

7. Toyota Highlander (207,563 units sold)

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD Platinum | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Third quarter sales of the Toyota Highlander increased by only 1.5% to 63,184 units, but over the course of nine months, 207,564 units rolled off the showroom floor, which amounts to a massive 46.9% increase year-over-year, moving the Highlander from 13th to 7th place, knocking off the Chevrolet Equinox.

6. Nissan Rogue (234,647 units sold)

2021 Nissan Rogue

Nissan Rogue sales suffered a little during the third quarter, down by 13.4% to 52,358 units. However, sales rose by a significant 40.2% over the first nine months of the year, totalling 234,647 units, allowing the Rogue to move up from 8th to 6th place on this list.

5. Honda CR-V (290,140 units sold)

During Q3 2021, Honda CR-V sales dropped by 21.8% to 76,941 units, but so far this year, 290,140 units have been sold, representing a 22.3% increase compared to the same period last year. As such, the CR-V maintains its 5th place on the list most popular SUVs and trucks.

4. Toyota RAV4 (313,447 units sold)

The Toyota RAV4 is the country’s best-selling SUV or crossover, with 313,447 units sold over the first nine months of the year (3.6%), and 92,252 units sold (-22.6%) in the third quarter alone. The CR-V and Rogue caught up to the RAV4, but the latter is still on top and kept its overall 4th place on the list.

3. Chevrolet Silverado (407,266 units sold)

As is the case with the Sierra, production of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD kept rolling as GM reserved its microchip supply for its more profitable models. The full-size pickup saw its Q3 sales drop by 17.0% to 120,856 units, and its nine-month sales remain stable (-0.7%) at 407,266 units. However, the Silverado lost its 2nd place spot for the time being.

2. Ram Pickup (434,772 units sold)

As with many other vehicles on the list, third quarter sales suffered compared to the same period in 2020, with 121,704 units sold (-22.1%). Over the first nine months of 2021, combined sales of the Ram 1500 and Ram HD amounted to 434,772 units (+8.0%), allowing the pickup to move up one position.

1. Ford F-Series (534,831 units sold)

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Sales of the Ford F-150 and Super Duty were down by 22.0% during third quarter at 172,799 units, and down by 9.2% at 534,831 units after nine months. Despite the negative results caused by the microchip shortage, the F-Series continues to dominate the list of most popular SUVs and trucks in the United States.


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