The Ford F-Series tops the list of most popular trucks, crossovers and SUVs once again.
Ford Explorer and GMC Sierra climb up into the top 10 list, pushing off the Ford Escape and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Toyota RAV4 keeps its best-selling utility vehicle crown.
The 2020 calendar year is finally over, and although 2021 will likely pose its challenges, most automakers have adapted to the new reality after COVID-19 reared its ugly head. However, some manufacturers had to work hard to remain on the list of most popular trucks, crossovers and SUVs.
Before we get to that list, let’s get some numbers out of the way. Overall, light-truck sales in the U.S. dropped by 9.7% in 2020 compared to the year before, this despite a 1.1% increase during the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, passenger-car sales took a 26.4% plunge year over year, and sagged by 12.6% in Q4 2020. Combined, new-vehicle sales in the country were down by 14.4% through 2020.
10- Ford Explorer (226,217 units sold)
Thanks to strong year despite the pandemic, and a stellar 28.7% sales increase in Q4, the Ford Explorer catapulted itself up from 15th to 9th place. It’s worth pointing out that the 2019 calendar year was a difficult one for the midsize crossover, with initial quality problems plaguing the first batch of the new-generation model, so 2020 was simply a return to normal, as evidenced by the 20.9% year-over-year sales hike.
9- Nissan Rogue (227,935 units sold)
The Japanese brand struggled on the sales charts, and so did the Rogue with a 35% drop in 2020 compared to the year before, pushing it three spots down the list of the most popular trucks, crossovers and SUVs in the U.S. The fourth quarter was a little less disastrous with a 22.5% slide, as the next-generation Nissan Rogue arrived in dealerships.
8- Toyota Tacoma (238,806 units sold)
The Toyota Tacoma is not getting any younger, but it’s still very popular in the United States. Sales were down by only 4.0% through 2020, but up by 22.9% in the fourth quarter, helping the pickup consolidate its 8th place on the list.
7- GMC Sierra (253,016 units sold)
Combined sales of the GMC Sierra 1500 and the Sierra HD were up by 14.0% in Q4 2020, and up by 8.9% over the course of the year. That strong performance resulted in a 7th place finish for the full-size pickup, up five spots compared to 2019.
6- Chevrolet Equinox (270,994 units sold)
The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the Chevrolet Equinox, as its sales dropped by 13.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and by 21.7% over the course of the year. Despite those results, the compact crossover managed to move up a spot among the most popular trucks and utility vehicles.
5- Honda CR-V (333,502 units sold)
The Honda CR-V saw its sales slide by 7.0% in Q4 2020 and by 13.2% through the calendar year. The slightly below-average result still helped the crossover retain its 5th place on the list of the most popular trucks and utility vehicles.
4- Toyota RAV4 (430,387 units sold)
Thanks to a 3.5% bump in sales during the fourth quarter of 2020, and only a 3.9% drop during the 2020 calendar year, the Toyota RAV4 distanced itself from its Honda nemesis. Still, it wasn’t enough to topple a pickup truck off the podium.
With an 11.0% slide in sales over the course of 2020, the Ram Pickup would’ve normally managed to keep its 2nd position on the list, which it grabbed in 2019. However, its full-size pickup rival turned up an above-average performance, pushing FCA’s truck down a rung. Combined, the Ram 1500 and Ram HD’s sales dropped by 6.6% in Q4 2020.
2- Chevrolet Silverado (586,675 units sold)
General Motors can thank its assembly line workers for keeping its truck assembly plants running at full capacity and then some. Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD rose by 2.8% year over year, and by 9.5% during the fourth quarter. The Chevy reclaimed the 2nd place rank it had lost to the Ram Pickup last year.
1- Ford F-Series (787,422 units sold)
Of course, the Ford F-150 and Super Duty stand tall once again in #1 place among the most popular trucks, crossovers and SUVs for the 2020 calendar year. Its comfortable lead helped it keep the Chevy at a distance, despite a 15.2% drop in sales during Q4 2020 and a 12.2% decrease through the year.