As the end of the year draws near, we take a look back to the most popular vehicles of 2020. It’s been a rough stretch of time for the automobile industry, particularly the springtime when COVID19 first led to stay-at-home directives, manufacturing plant shut-downs, and financial uncertainty for millions of Americans.
However, these ten models managed to find success despite the overall difficult year.
The success of the Ford F-series should come as no surprise to truck enthusiasts, as these models have reigned supreme over American sales for more than four decades. What keeps drivers coming back for more? A combination of affordability, performance, and family-friendly features. And Ford shows no sign of becoming complacent; the 2021 F-150 provides the option of a hybrid engine and the company is hard at work perfecting their electric alternative to be released within the next few years.
At the end of Q3, Ford had sold 589,000+ F-series units, a decrease from the previous year. Still, no other vehicle could rival its popularity. These pick-up trucks helped crown Ford as the top-selling manufacturer in America, a trend that continues from the previous year.
Taking the silver medal is the Chevrolet Silverado selling almost 410,000 units by Q3. Also a pickup truck, it’s been well-received by critics for its power and reliability but may lack the appeal or features of the F-150. As noted by TopGear, it’s “Probably the most honest, unpretentious truck you can buy right now.” For this reason, it leapfrogged over the competition for an improved ranking from 2019 to 2020.
Are you beginning to notice a theme? Pickup trucks dominate American sales in both the present and past years. The Ram Pickup sold an estimated 402,410 by the end of Q3. Sliding from second to third, reviewers of the Ram lauded its smooth ride and comfortable interior. However, it fails to best the F-150 regarding price, reliability, safety ratings, powertrain, and hauling capacity. For this and similar reasons, the crown continues to elude the Ram pickup year-after-year.
Finishing Q3 with 302,000+ units sold, the Toyota RAV4 delivered a solid performance in 2020. More importantly, it is the highest-placing non-pickup truck. The compact SUV delivers great gas mileage and a comfortable interior, but its MSRP is higher than some competitors.
Squeaking into the top five is this compact SUV having sold 237,334 units by Q3. Like its Toyota counterpart, it offers respectable gas efficiency and an attractive cabin, but it lacks some of the helpful features of the Toyota RAV4 and its infotainment system is difficult to use.
With almost 205,000 sold by Q3, the Toyota Camry was America’s top-selling mid-size car in 2020. Critics loved the handling, efficiency, infotainment system, and safety features. However, multiple complained about the sluggish acceleration.
Though considered a compact car, the Honda Civic is surprisingly roomy and provides powerful engine options. Plus, drivers gain the advantage of great gas mileage. It sold almost 201,000 units by Q3 of 2020, making it lose by a hair to the Camry. The two models are often compared to one another, with critics favoring the more affordable Civic.
The Equinox sold almost 192,000 units by Q3, a dramatic 25% decline from 2019’s performance. As to be expected, Chevrolet is scrambling to further correct what it considers to be a misstep, resulting in the 2021 release being pushed back to 2022. Do they have reason to be concerned about the vehicle itself? While it boasts a fantastic reliability rating, its engine options and lackluster aesthetics (both exterior and interior) clearly isn’t capturing America’s attention.
Almost 175,000 new GMC Sierras hit the road this year with the first part of the year actually showing improvements compared to 2019. Still, it failed to compete with the above-mentioned pickups. In fact, the Ford F-Series sold more than 3x Sierra’s numbers. If you’re looking for a reason as to why, just turn to its lack of comfort and aesthetics, as well as its lackluster hauling capabilities.
With over 167,000 units sold by Q3, the Nissan Rogue barely beat out contenders like the Toyota Corolla and Toyota Tacoma to rank in the top 10 selling vehicles in America. While its roominess, gas efficiency, and respectable reliability rating may have drawn some shoppers to the compact SUV, others may have been discouraged by the ho-hum acceleration and price tag. As a result, sales declined a shocking 40% from the previous year.
It’s hard to anticipate what 2021 will bring for America and the economy. However, multiple manufacturers are actively seeking to increase hybrid and electric capabilities, as well as ways to increase general efficiency without sacrificing power. You can also expect multiple well-known models to undergo a facelift. Will these changes be enough to shake up the order of popularity? Only time will tell.