For the 34th year in a row, Ford maintained its position on top of the annual best-sellers heap, having moved close to 800,000 F-Series trucks. By now, that’s not really all that surprising, but it’s impressive given the slow rollout of the new aluminum model.
As gas prices remained low for much of the year and the stock market saw waves of volatility, there were few surprises in 2015’s top-10 list of best-selling vehicles. Camry, Accord, Altima, Ram, Silverado — they’re all there, and if you follow our monthly best-sellers coverage at all, than this list should look strikingly familiar.
“What happened? In short, consumers felt good. It’s a little bizarre as to why: Quarterly wage growth slowed versus 2014, according to government figures, and turbulent financial markets wreaked havoc in a lot of stock portfolios and retirement accounts,” Cars.com reported. “In fact, CNN Money reports that almost 70 percent of investors lost money in 2015.”
But what becomes apparent in this past year’s best sellers isn’t necessarily that most cars outperformed (they did), but that automakers are largely set up for a strong 2016. New models of the Civic, Accord, Altima, Silverado, and a lightly refreshed RAV4 all hit markets toward the end of the year, and vehicles like the new CR-V and F-Series still have not found their saturation points just yet.
In all, Americans bought a record-breaking 17.5 million-plus vehicles during the year. Here are the 10 that were most commonly brought home. Data provided by Cars.com.
10. Toyota RAV4
Rounding out 2015’s top 10 is Toyota’s venerable do-all, the RAV4. It sold 315,412 units last year, good for a healthy 17.8% leap over 2014, when it didn’t even place in the leading ranks. A hybrid model new for the 2016 model year should be a boon for RAV4 sales in the coming months.
9. Nissan Altima
Not to let the new Accord and Camry have all the fun, Nissan spruced up the Altima sedan for the 2016 model year, after a mediocre performance in 2015 saw 333,398 vehicles find new homes, down 0.7% from the year prior. Along with a new Sentra and a redesigned Maxima, Nissan’s 2016 is looking bright for its new sedan lineup.
8. Honda Civic
The new Honda Civic is easily the most exciting new car to come from the Honda brand this year. Redesigned from the ground up, it will come in an array of formats (sedan, seen here; hatch, coupe, Type-R), something that neither the Corolla or Civic has offered in some time. Fresh on dealer lots, the Civic hasn’t had time to materially affect Honda’s 2015 unit count, but it still sold a respectable 335,384 units, up 2.9% for the year. 2016 should be interesting.
7. Honda CR-V
The CR-V is Honda’s sales all-star. The Accord and sometimes Civic might post higher numbers here and there, but the CR-V is a reliable stalwart that routinely puts up high numbers in a less volatile manner than the sedans. It finished up a strong 2015 up 3.2%, at 345,647 units sold — comfortably ahead of the RAV4, it’s primary rival.
6. Honda Accord
Honda’s larger sedan also saw changes during the year, but late enough that the refreshed model didn’t have a huge material impact on sales. 355,557 models rolled off dealer lots in 2015, a striking 8.4% drop versus 2014’s numbers. It’s one of only two models on the top 10 to see a decline (the other being the Altima).
5. Toyota Corolla
We’ve written at length about the incursion of small crossovers in the small sedan space, but for 2015, the Toyota Corolla wasn’t feeling the pinch. It picked up at 7% gain in 2015 over 2014, selling 363,362 units over the 12-month span.
4. Toyota Camry
America’s perennially favorite car held on to its lead as, well, America’s favorite car for 2015, having moved 429,355 units. It was unclear how the redesign would affect sales, but it’s apparent now that Toyota needn’t have worried — sales for last year were up, albeit slightly, 0.2%.
3. Ram Pickup
The Ram pickup had an eventful year. We saw the EcoDiesel-powered model maintain its place as the only diesel-powered half-ton on the market, and Ram sweetened the deal for the new Laramie by giving it lots of shiny chrome. We even got the off-road-ready Rebel trim, complete with its bizarre black plastic mustache and tire-tread patterned seats. Ram sold 451,116 trucks last year, good for a 2.6% gain on what was a really tough comparable for the brand.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
Breaking the 600K mark (barely) at 600,544, Chevrolet’s Silverado swept for silver in 2015 after an eventful year that saw a refresh for 2016 and the complete overhaul of its rival, the Ford F-150. The Chevy held its own, however, refusing to cede ground to Ram, and pulled through 13.4% above sales for 2014. Notably, this number doesn’t include the GMC-branded trucks.
1. Ford F-Series
To say that Ford’s line of pickup trucks had a strong end to the year would be an understatement. After a mid-year falter due to facility re-tooling and the rollout of the new aluminum model, sales accelerated and finished by moving over 85,000 units in a single month (December) — the first time sales have reached that high in over 10 years. Ford ended the year moving 780,354 units, a 3.5% gain on 2014 and a firm grasp on the gold medal.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.