The best-selling model this year is lapping the field

2018 has been a big sales year for automakers in the U.S. From January to October 2018, car sales in the U.S. have reached 14,262,604 sold units. That represents a 0.2 percent increase in total sales compared to the first ten months of 2017. If you take it from that perspective, Americans are buying more vehicles this year than they did last year. But there are a lot of pieces involve in this numbers, too. These pieces paint a more accurate picture of the automotive landscape in the U.S. in 2018. Sales of light trucks — these include SUVs and pickups are up 8.3 percent compared to their sales numbers from January to October 2017.

On the other hand, sales of passenger vehicles, including sedans, are down 13.3 percent in the same period. This tells us that more and more American buyers are buying SUVs and pickups compared to sedans. It’s no surprise, then, that when we compiled the top 10 list of best-selling vehicles in the U.S. in the first ten months of the year, the upper half of that list was dominated by, you guessed it, pickups and SUVs.

Ford F-Series - 749,456 units

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
- image 700456
Ford F-150

America’s best-selling model through the first ten months of the year is the Ford F-Series. Granted, this includes the F-150, F-250, and F-350 Series pickups, but it’s indicative of the model’s popularity that sales of the F-Series are close to doubling the sales of the second model on this list. In the first ten months of the year, 749,456 units of the F-Series were sold. That’s more than 300,000 units than the Chevrolet Silverado.

For a bit more perspective, the total number of F-Series models to find new owners this year is more than the sales volume of the top two SUVs — the Toyota RAV4 and the Nissan Rogue — combined.

Likewise, the 325,000-unit gap between the F-Series and the Silverado is more than the total amount of Honda CR-V models — 302,454 units — that found owners this year. By the way, the CR-V is the sixth best-selling model in America in the first ten months of the year. The Ford F-Series’ sales dominance isn’t a one-time thing either. It also topped the sales charts last year with a final sales figure of 896,764 units. Given the 2.02-percent increase in sales of the F-Series this year, don’t be surprised if sales of the pickup line break the 900,000- unit threshold by the time 2019 rolls around. The Ford F-Series is the dominant model in the US in 2018. It’s been that way for 36 years, and it looks like that trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

RAM Pickup - 424,769 units

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 760723
Give the Silverado and F-150 some stout competition

Is this a case of the early bird getting the worm? Just like the Chevrolet Silverado, the all-new RAM pickup made its debut at the North American International Auto Show back in January. But unlike the Silverado, which only started delivering the all-new Silverado in August, RAM did the same much earlier. It rolled out the next-gen 1500 pickup in the first quarter of the year. That gamble seems to have paid off for RAM because, through October 2018, it has outsold the Silverado by the slimmest of margins.

In the first ten months of the year, RAM sold 424,769 units of its pickup, edging out Chevrolet, which sold 424,403 units in the same period.

If recent trends continue, RAM could have enough to maintain its place in the rankings. Since May 2018, sales of the RAM pickup have increased compared to their month-by-month figures from 2017. August 2018 was a particularly hot month for RAM as it sold 11,000 more units compared to its numbers from August 2017. The Ford F-Series is dominating the rankings yet again, but keep an eye out for the battle for second place between the RAM Pickup and the next model on this list.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.

Chevrolet Silverado - 424,403 units

The Best-Selling Cars In America This Year Through October 2018
- image 785432

As it has done for quite some now, the Chevrolet Silverado comes in at third place in this ranking, usurped by the Ram Pickup. It’s still the third best-selling model in America, but it remains stuck in the shadow of the Ford F-Series. That’s not a good feeling for the Silverado, but it is what it is. The good news is that business remains great for the Chevy pickup. This year, a total of 424,403 units of the Silverado were sold, a healthy number for the all-around workhorse.

The bad news is that sales are down for the Silverado in the first ten months of the year compared to where they were in the same period in 2017.

Last year, 471,747 units of the Silverado were sold in the first ten months of the year. Chevrolet has a little bit of ground to make up in the last two months if it wants to reclaim its second-place spot from Ram. It’s going to take a good push in the last two months of the year, but if history is any indication, December is going to be the Silverado’s make-or-break month. If it can replicate this year the 25-percent sales increase it had in December 2017 compared to December 2016, the Silverado could overtake the Ram Pickup for second place on this list in the 11th hour. Here’s something to take note off, too: since the all-new Silverado became available as an early 2019 model last August, sales of the pickup have actually gone down. That trend should correct itself, soon, though.

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.

Toyota RAV4 - 353,149 units

2019 Toyota RAV4 - Driven Exterior
- image 805624

Through October 2018, the king of the SUV market in the U.S. is the Toyota RAV4. So far, Toyota has sold 353,149 units of the RAV4 in the first ten months of the year.

Comparing it to its own run in 2017, sales of the RAV4 have picked up by 1.97 percent.

It’s not a big leap, by any means, but it’s still a noteworthy improvement considering how competitive the SUV market has become. The Nissan Rogue is the RAV4’s closest competitor, and it’s only behind Toyota’s compact crossover by around 15,000 sold units. Looking at its month-per-month sales total, the RAV4’s biggest gains happened in the first quarter of the year. Since then, sales have been right where they were in the same period last year. It’s not that sales of the RAV4 are slowing down, it’s that there’s a good chance that a lot of buyers are just waiting it out for the fifth-generation model to become available. Toyota has said that the all-new RAV4 will hit dealerships in December 2018 as a 2019 model. That could help Toyota finish the year off on a high note before sales of the all-new model go full-swing next year. For now, the looming shadow of the fifth-generation RAV4 hasn’t been enough to dissuade people from buying the current model. That’s helped the model maintain its status as America’s best-selling SUV.

Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

Nissan Rogue - 337,727 units

2017 Nissan Rogue High Resolution Exterior
- image 687963

The Nissan Rogue has had an interesting 2018 sales year in the U.S. On the one hand; it’s already approaching a record sales year with two months left in the current year.

Last year, Nissan sold 403,465 units of the Rogue. Through October 2018, it has sold 337,727 units.

That represents a year-over-year increase of 3.21 percent, the largest in this entire list. If Nissan can keep up its pace and sells the Rogue at the rate it’s going; there’s a good chance that it could pull off the upset of upsets and sneak past the RAV4 to become the best-selling SUV in the U.S. in 2018. That would be an incredible feat for Nissan, which hasn’t had the best of luck in selling its sedan models. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine the Rogue continuing its torrid sales run in 2019, especially with Toyota rolling out the next-generation RAV4 and Honda starting Year 2 of the fifth-generation CR-V. For now, though, the Nissan Rogue deserves a share of the spotlight for what’s shaping up to be another record-setting sales run this year.

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Rogue.

Honda CR-V - 305,454 sold units

2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 699064

The Honda CR-V is the sixth best-selling model in America through the first ten months of the year.

With 305,454 sold models through October, it’s unlikely that the CR-V will surpass either the Toyota RAV4 or the Nissan Rogue in the rankings.

Fortunately, the next model on this list — the Toyota Camry — is well behind at 289,901 sold units, so it’s safe to assume that the CR-V has this spot on lockdown. It will be interesting, though, how it fares in the last two months of the year. Overall sales this year have dipped by 1.27 percent compared to last year. That’s largely because of the downturn in sales volume in the first quarter of 2018. Sales of the CR-V have picked up since then, but with Toyota rolling out the all-new RAV4 this month, the CR-V could have a hard time competing with that. 2019 should be a better year for Honda’s top-selling model as updates come in. For now, though, it looks like the CR-V will remain as the third best-selling SUV in the U.S. in 2018.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda CR-V.

Toyota Camry - 289,801 units

Labor Day Weekend Car Shopping – Is It Worth It? High Resolution Exterior
- image 700682

The next four cars on this are sedans, and it is headlined by the Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling sedan in 2018.

Through the first ten months of the year, Toyota has sold 289,801 units of the Camry.

That’s a healthy enough number to make it on this list, but it also doesn’t paint the entire picture on what the sedan segment is going through in America these days. The total sold Camry units through October 2018 represents a decline of 6.14 percent in sales compared to sales of the model in the first ten months of the year. Back then, Toyota sold 308,759 units of the Camry through October 2017. It’s even more alarming when you consider that the current Camry only arrived last year. Typically, all-new models experience positive sales growths in their first full year in the market. That hasn’t been the case with the Camry, though, to be fair, it’s less of an indictment on the model itself as it is a picture of the downturn in the sedan market as a whole. If this trend continues into 2019, the Camry won’t be the only sedan that’s going to suffer. In fact, a lot of its rivals are already experiencing the crunch this year.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

Honda Civic - 277,486

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 651099

If you thought the Toyota Camry had it bad, the Honda Civic has it worse. Still regarded as the best-selling compact sedan in the U.S., the Civic is experiencing its own sales crunch as only 277,486 units have been sold in the first ten months of the year.

Sure, that’s still a healthy number, but it’s nowhere near the 314,699 sold units in the first ten months of 2017.

Do the math on this numbers, and you’re looking at sales decrease of 11.82 percent, a whopping number for a model that’s supposedly one of the best-selling sedans in America. It hurts that the current-generation Civic is heading into Year 3 of its production cycle so it’s possible that a lot of customers have held off on buying one, content on waiting for the mid-life cycle update, which could happen sometime in 2020. To paint a clearer picture on how bad sales have gotten for the Civic, the year actually started off on a high note for the Honda compact sedan. May and June 2018 were particularly strong months for the Civic. Then things took a dive in July as Honda reported selling 10,000 fewer units compared to its sales volume in July 2017. From there, sales have torpedoed as Honda reported selling almost 40,000 fewer units in the last four months alone. November and December haven’t been particularly strong sales months for the Civic, so it’s worth keeping an eye on if the trend of declining sales continues in the last two months of the year.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic.

Toyota Corolla - 257,188 units

2014 Toyota Corolla High Resolution Exterior
- image 509684

The Honda Civic has taken a sales beating in the last four months. But the Toyota Corolla has had it worse because Toyota has yet to report a month where it increased its sales compared to its numbers in the first ten months of 2017. Through October this year, sales of the Corolla have been down every month.

The Corolla had it really rough in September 2018 when it sold only 20,797 units, a decrease of almost 30 percent compared to the 32,769 units it sold in September 2017.

For the year so far, Toyota has sold 257,188 units. That’s a steep decline of 11.30 percent compared to the first ten months of 2017. Toyota’s hoping that with the arrival of the 12th-generation Corolla — inventory of the model started appearing in U.S. dealerships back in July 2018 — sales of the model will pick up once again once the calendar flips to 2019. It’s still a tall order even for Toyota’s most iconic model. As timeless as the Corolla has become, it’s not immune to the pickup and SUV invasion happening in America now. If this trend continues, this could be the last year we see the Corolla make the list of best-selling cars in America. That’s what’s at stake here for the automaker. You can be sure, then, that it’s everyone in the company will be closely monitoring how the 12th generation model sells in the coming year.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Corolla.

Honda Accord - 239,077 units

2018 Honda Accord High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 735281

Rounding out this list is the Honda Accord, which has taken the biggest beating of all the cars on this list. In the first ten months of the year, sales of the Accord have dropped a staggering 13.86 percent compared to its sales volume in the first ten months of last year.

Through October, Honda has sold 239,077 units of the Accord compared to 277,542 units in the first ten months of 2017.

Unlike the Civic, the Accord didn’t experience a sudden downturn in the middle part of the year. Its decline can be attributed to lower sales in each of the first ten months of 2018 compared to their respective month-by-month sales figures in 2017. Take a more general outlook at the Accord’s sales, and you’ll notice that total sales have declined continuously since Honda posted a record-setting sales year in 2014 with 388,435 sold units of the Accord. At its current pace, it’s highly unlikely that Honda can even reach 300,000 sold units in 2018 with only two months left in the year. If that happens, it would mark only the fourth time since Honda started selling the Accord in 2004 that the company failed to reach 300,000 sold units for an entire year. The Accord is still popular enough to make on this list, but given the way it performed this year, it’s chances of making it on next year’s list is looking very bleak. Here’s to hoping that the 10th-generation Accord makes a sales about-turn in 2019. Otherwise, it could give way to models like the Ford Escape, Ford Explorer, Toyota Tacoma, and Jeep Wrangler, the four models that are nipping at the Accord’s heels.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Accord.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: