These Are the Best-selling Cars of All Time
While most dream of cruising in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, it’s rare for luxury cars to land a spot on automotive bestseller lists. Drivers are opting to purchase more practical vehicles over more expensive models. Sales trends prove that drivers value dependable vehicles that are both safe and sensible.
Wondering where your car stands in comparison? Check out these best-selling cars of all time.
Volkswagen Passat: 15.5 Million Sold
The Passat was first introduced as a family sedan in Europe back in 1973, with styling by the legendary Italian automotive designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. In the United States, this car was known as the Volkswagen Dasher. Over the decades, it has gone through several iterations, as both a sedan and a station wagon, and was named European Car of the Year in 2015.
Fiat Uno: 8.8 Million Sold
This Italian supermini has a big legacy: with more than 8.8 million cars produced during its 30-year run, the Fiat Uno is the eighth-most produced car in the world. Combining aerodynamic design and superior fuel economy with a thoughtfully designed interior, the Uno was considered one of the most innovative cars in the market at the time.
Honda Accord: 17 Million Sold
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Honda Accord was the most frequently purchased Japanese car in the United States, with millions of models sold. At least some of that popularity stems from the fact that Honda was the first Japanese company to transfer some of its manufacturing to American auto plants back in 1982, when its Marysville, Ohio facility began producing second-generation Accord hatchbacks.
Ford Escort: 18 Million Sold
Since the late ‘60s, Ford Motor Company had been selling Escorts as small family cars in Europe. When a problem with the Pinto’s fuel tank sidelined production in 1980, the company introduced the Escort and it quickly became one of the company’s most popular models.
Honda Civic: 16.5 Million Sold
Honda’s first Civic model was extremely popular in the 1970s, during a time when oil shortages compelled drivers to seek out cars with greater fuel efficiency. For this reason, in 1974, Road Test named the Civic its “Car of the Year.” The car has remained constant through multiple redesigns – apart from a dip in the years following the 2008 recession, American car buyers have purchased roughly 300,000 Civics a year since 1997.
Volkswagen Beetle: 21.5 Million Sold
The Beetle, popularly known as the “Bug,” is possibly the single most recognizable automobile of the 20th century. Its unusual shape and features, like a rear-placed engine, often made it the butt of jokes, but its affordable price made it one of the most common cars on the road. The car made “Punch Buggy” a popular, yet bruising, game for entire generations of American youths on family road trips.
Ford F-Series: 34 Million Sold
In its own way, the F-Series truck is as integral to the Ford brand as the original Model T. It’s been the most popular pickup truck in the US for more than four decades. (Over the last three decades, though, it’s the best-selling vehicle of any kind). It’s become one of the most lucrative brands in history, bringing in more in annual revenue than even Coca-Cola.
Toyota Corolla: 44.1 Million Sold
In the early 1970s, the Corolla was the best-selling car in the entire world. The name comes from the Latin word for “little crown,” a reference to the car’s original status as a subcompact version of the Crown sedan. Since then, the Corolla has grown in size to a compact vehicle, and in any configuration remains wildly popular. More than 40 million Corollas were produced in its first half-century of production.
Chevrolet Impala: 14 Million Sold
General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Impala in 1958 as part of its fiftieth-anniversary celebrations, promoting the car as a top of the line vehicle. Chevy went all-in on the Impala, producing more than 175,000 sports coupes and convertibles the first year.
Volkswagen Golf: 30 Million Sold
Although the Beetle may be Volkswagen’s most recognizable automobile, the Golf is actually the best-seller. In fact, with more than 30 million sold, it’s one of the most popular cars in the entire world, rivaling the Toyota Corolla and the Ford F-Series.
Mazda 323: 10 Million Sold
When Japanese car manufacturer Mazda put the 323 into production in 1963, privately-owned cars were just coming onto the market and were considered by many Japanese to be a luxury item. Mazda hoped that their sporty and reasonably priced model would change all that, and over the course of the next 40 years, it became one of their best-selling models.
Mini Cooper: 5.3 Million Sold
Originally manufactured in the 1960s by the British Motor Corporation, Mini Coopers are now produced by BMW (who took over the brand in 1994) and quickly became one of their best-selling models. The Mini’s compact design and sporty style makes them the perfect car for city-dwellers and other drivers who want a smaller car profile.
Chevrolet Cavalier: 423,000 Sold
If you started driving in the ‘80s and ‘90s, chances are good your first car was a Chevy Cavalier. At the time, Japanese imports from Toyota and Mazda were flooding the market and the Cavalier was Chevy’s attempt to compete in terms of style and price. It worked – the small, but powerful, model became one of their best-sellers.
Buick LeSabre: 6 Million Sold
Combining a powerful V8 engine with a sleek design, the full-size LeSabre was both Buick’s entry-level full-size sedan and its best-selling model. The last LeSabre rolled off the manufacturer’s Detroit assembly line in 2005, and have sold millions through its nearly 50-year production run, one of the longest in General Motors history.
Volkswagen Polo: 12 Million Sold
Even though it’s not available in the United States (the closest you’ll get is the similarly-sized Golf), the Polo is one of Volkswagen's best-selling subcompact cars. In 2010, it was even named “World Car of the Year.” Customers love its small design, one that’s perfect for city living, and the fact it comes in hatchback, sedan and estate body styles.
Ford Model T: 16.5 Million Sold
There were other automobiles before the Model T, but this is the car that’s truly at the foundation of America’s driving culture. When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, his reliance on assembly line production and interchangeable parts enabled him to price the car within the range of many middle-class Americans. This was a key turning point in transforming the automobile from an indulgence for the wealthy into an increasingly integral part of ordinary life.
Oldsmobile Cutlass: 11 Million Sold
From its beginnings as Oldsmobile’s entry into the world of compact cars to its eventual reign as one of the best-selling automobiles in the world, the Cutlass occupies an important place in American auto history. Oldsmobile had sold over 11 million units by the time the company ceased production in 1999.
Toyota Prius: 4 Million Sold
In 2018, Business Insider named the Toyota Prius the “most important car of the last 20 years,” and it’s not hard to see why. Since launching in 1997, the game-changing hybrid has sold more than four million units (which doesn’t include the various Lexus models and others that Toyota now makes) and became the de facto symbol of what the 21st century can – and should – be.
Cadillac DeVille: 3.8 Million Sold
Everything about the Cadillac DeVille, which was first introduced in 1949, was designed to give consumers the most luxurious ride possible. Some early standard features included chrome trim, a leather interior and power windows (a rarity at the time). By the time it was discontinued in 2005, the DeVille had become one of Cadillac’s best-selling flagship models.
Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter: 12 Million Sold
Labeled with the factory designation “Type 2” to designate it from VW’s first automobile, the Beetle, the instantly recognizable VW minibus (or as it became known in the ‘60s, ‘the hippie van’) paved the way for an entirely new category of automobile.
Ford Mustang: 10 Million Sold
Ford Mustang is the best-selling sport coupe in the world. This year, Ford celebrated the 55th anniversary of the iconic muscle car. The Mustang was first unveiled by Henry Ford II at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964 – a day now affectionately celebrated each year as “National Mustang Day.” In 2018, the automaker celebrated its 10 millionth Mustang, the best-selling two-door sports car that has been in continuous production since it was first introduced.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 10 Million Sold
In November 1982, the Mercedes-Benz 190E was premiered. With a chassis codenamed W201, this was the first iteration of the C-Class and Mercedes’ answer to the BMW 3 Series. In May 1993, the first generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class, codenamed W202, was introduced as a replacement for the 190.
Toyota Camry: 10 Million Sold
For more than 15 years, the Toyota Camry has earned America’s popular vote as a top-selling car. In the US alone, Toyota sells 350,000 to 400,000 (or more) of its beloved car each year. While it may not be the most exciting sedan on the market, the Camry has always been a competent car with plenty of cabin space for a comfortable ride.
Volkswagen Jetta: 10 Million Sold
With more than 90,000 sold in 2018, the Volkswagen Jetta is the best-selling German car in the US and ranks fifth on the list of the most popular cars in America’s wealthiest zip codes. The Jetta was a 2019 Motor Trend “Car of the Year” contender, losing out to the Genesis G70. This year’s Jetta marks the beginning of the seventh generation of the popular car, Volkswagen’s alternative to the wildly successful Golf model.
Chrysler Town and Country: 12 Million Sold
Since its release in 1990, the roomy Chrysler Town and Country ranked among the most popular minivans sold in the U.S. and worldwide – more than 12 million minivans in Chrysler’s group of minivans around the globe. The Town and Country was replaced in 2017 by the Chrysler Pacifica. Even though it’s no longer in production, the Town and Country remains popular among car buyers looking for a used vehicle.
Ford Focus: 13 Million Sold
The Ford Focus was first introduced in Europe in 1998 and came to America in 2000. Over its 20 year history, the compact car has evolved from a fuel-efficient, budget-friendly vehicle to a more robust hatchback with 350 horsepower. The sleek revamped 2019 model, which was uncovered in Germany and isn’t yet available in the U.S., has an updated exterior and modern interior.
BMW 3 Series: 14 Million Sold
The first BMW 3 Series was introduced to the world at Munich’s Olympic Stadium in 1975. Unmatched in its dynamic performance, the BMW 3 Series was designed as the two-door successor to the legendary BMW 02 Series. The first generation included an innovation that would become standard in all BMW models: a dashboard angled toward the driver.
Ford Fiesta: 16 Million Sold
The supermini Ford Fiesta has been in production since 1976, although there was a gap in North American salesa between 1980 and 2008. Since 1976, more than 16 million Fiesta models have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling Fords behind the Escort and the F-Series.
Chevy Silverado: 12 Million Sold
Chevrolet produced its first pickup truck in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until 1999 that the classic Chevy Silverado was introduced. The name Silverado first appeared on the trim in 1975, but became a stand-alone model with the GMT800 for a more muscular take on previous generations of Chevrolet trucks. The Chevy Silverado introduced innovations like a powerful V8 engine and convenient driver message center.
Ford Taurus: 2.9 Million Sold
Ford Motor Company first presented the Taurus to world markets in 1986, and it has remained a staple in the Ford lineup ever since. In 2006, Ford began its final year of production of the Taurus, which was available until 2007 (only as a fleet or commercial vehicle). Known for its curved shape and oval details in the 1990s, Ford’s flagship sedan was given a second life when it replaced the Ford Five Hundred nameplate in 2008 and returned to the retail market.