10 Cars and Trucks That Survived the Polar Vortex
January was a trying month for some of the auto industry’s largest leaders, as extreme cold and weather essentially paralyzed great swaths of the country. There were a couple of standouts, as there so often are, but overall, the intense weather was doing no favors for what is ordinarily one of the year’s slowest months to begin with.
Combined with weather troubles, a few models were going up against tremendous comparable sales periods from January 2013. The Honda (NYSE:HMC) Accord and the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Silverado are two such models, Cars.com‘s Kicking Tires blog reports.
Take a look to see what January’s best sellers were. The usual suspects make up the bulk of the list, but there are a couple of potentially unexpected visitors to last month’s top movers.
10. Ford Escape
This Ford (NYSE:F) is just such a visitor, as it has long lurked just outside the top 10 and will occasionally break its way in. It did so for January, moving 19,459 units, a decline of 2.4 percent over January 2013, and starts the year-to-date comparable in the red — which you’ll find is not uncommon.
9. Honda Accord
Honda’s Accord had a monstrous year in 2013, which set the vehicle up for some tough comparisons come 2014. January was such a month: Sales for the Accord were off by 13.9 percent, as Honda moved 20,604 units during the 31-day period. A Honda Accord can be had for $21,995 at its lowest, the 50 city miles per gallon hybrid Accord costs just shy of $30,000, and the new plug-in variant will cost nearly $40,000.
8. Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion sedan — and its hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants — also had a rather spectacular year during 2013, and with 20,717 units moved in January, the Fusion is starting 2014 off about 7.5 percent down from January of last year. The Fusion starts at $21,970 for the base model, the 47 mile per gallon hybrid costs $26,270, and the Energi plug-in hybrid will run more than $34,000.
7. Honda Civic
In comparison to some of the other vehicles on this list, the Honda Civic didn’t fare too badly — it’s just 0.3 percent down from January 2013, with 21,824 cars sold during the month. The Civic starts at $18,390 for the conventional sedan; the hybrid’s MSRP starts at $24,360 and returns 44 combined miles per gallon. There is also a rather unconventional natural gas model, which offers a unique option for the compact segment.
6. Nissan Altima
Nissan’s (NSANY.PK) popular Altima is more often than not the only Nissan to appear among the best sellers, and it did so for January, with 22,515 units moved, a 4.9 percent increase over January 2013, making it one of just two models to post year-on-year gains. The Altima costs $22,110 on the ground floor and can return up to 38 miles per gallon on the highway, though there is not a hybrid model available.
5. Toyota Corolla
Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) big overhaul of the Corolla seems to be having the intended effect, as Toyota moved 22,753 units for January, which fell 4.5 percent below sales from January 2013. The Corolla offers models starting at $16,800 for the L trim and grows to $19,000 for the S trim before options are included.
4. Toyota Camry
The best-selling car of 2013 hit some setbacks in January, and although it remained the best-selling car of the month, the 23,332 units it moved represented a decline of 26.9 percent versus the the year-ago period. The Camry begins at $22,425 but can quickly approach $29,000 for the range-topping hybrid model.
3. Ram Pickup
Along with the Nissan Altima, the Ram pickup was the only other vehicle listed to actually experience sales growth year-over-year. The Ram saw a 22.5 percent surge in sales versus January 2013, moving 25,071 units during the period. The Ram — which starts at $24,385 for the Tradesmen trim — will likely see its numbers increase throughout the year, as the EcoDiesel option (the first in today’s light-duty trucks) becomes available.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
The 28,926 units of the Chevrolet Silverado that General Motors sold set up the nameplate for a sales decline of 18.4 percent, second only to the Camry in terms of a rate of decrease. It was enough to hold back the surge from Ram, however: The Silverado starts at $23,590 but can easily soar past the $50,000 mark depending on the trim and options.
1. Ford F-Series
The best-selling vehicle of 2013 is back, albeit down 0.7 percent from where it was last January, with 46,536 units moved. That’s somewhat low for the F-Series, which last year routinely posted sales figures of 60,000-plus. Nonetheless, it’s starting the year on top, though with the new model out later this year, it will be interesting to see how sales will reflect that. It starts at $24,445.