The hottest new and used cars in September

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Which vehicles were the fastest sellers in September?

A 2020 Subaru Crosstrek on display at the 2020 Pittsburgh International Auto Show. (AP file/Gene J. Puskar)

  • The Subaru Crosstrek is the fastest-selling new vehicle, taking an average 7.8 days to sell
  • Both new cars and used are selling faster than in August
  • Toyota/Lexus vehicles account for 11 vehicles on the fastest-selling new vehicle list, with hybrids accounting for 6 vehicles
  • Tesla Model 3 is the fastest-selling used car; alternative-fuel vehicles are well-represented on both fastest-selling new and used car lists

The latest iSeeCars.com analysis found the fastest-selling new car during the month of September was the Subaru Crosstrek, which tops the list for the first time and moves up from the fourth position in August. The fastest-selling used car is the Tesla Model 3 for the third consecutive month, on a list that is led by alternative-fuel vehicles.

Analyzing over 900,000 new and used cars sold in September 2021, iSeeCars.com found that overall, the average new car takes 24.6 days to sell and the average used car takes 32.8 days to sell. Both new and used cars are selling faster than in August, where the average for new cars was 26 days to sell and the average for used cars was 34.6 days.

“The microchip shortage is showing no sign of resolution as major automakers continue to halt production, leading to lower and sometimes scarce inventory levels,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Car buyers are willing to pay over MSRP for new cars and highly-elevated used car prices because they have embraced the reality that inventory shortages are here to stay for the next several months.”

Fastest-Selling New Cars

iSeeCars identified the top 20 fastest-selling new cars, which sell 2.1 to 3.2 times faster than the average new vehicle and average 10.1 days on dealers’ lots. SUVs comprise the majority of the top 20 list, and hybrid vehicles account for seven models.  

Top 20 Fastest-Selling New Vehicles In September 2021 – iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage Days To Sell Average Price
1Subaru Crosstrek7.8$29,230
2Chevrolet Corvette8.6$92,366
3Subaru Forester9.5$32,778
4Toyota Sienna9.6$43,331
5Toyota RAV49.8$31,673
6Toyota Highlander Hybrid10.1$47,631
7Cadillac Escalade10.1$99,266
8Toyota C-HR10.2$25,410
9Hyundai Tucson Hybrid10.7$33,494
10Toyota RAV4 Hybrid10.7$36,969
11Kia Seltos10.8$26,720
12Kia Telluride10.9$45,226
13Lexus RX 450h10.9$59,613
14Toyota RAV4 Prime11.0$45,038
15Toyota Corolla Hybrid11.0$25,506
16Kia Carnival11.1$37,639
17Toyota Tacoma11.2$38,266
18Mercedes-Benz GLS11.2$94,568
19Toyota 4Runner11.5$46,676
20Toyota Highlander11.6$44,542
Average For All New Vehicles24.6$40,841

The fastest-selling new car is the Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV, which took an average of 7.8 days to sell in September. It’s joined by a second Subaru model, the Forester in third. “Subaru’s Japanese plant, where the Crosstrek and Forester are produced, was shut down from September 7th through September 22, leading to scarce inventory for these popular models,” said Brauer.

The Chevrolet Corvette is the second-fastest seller. “Demand for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said Brauer. “Dealers stopped taking orders for the 2021 model year in March, and demand remains so high the model consistently sells for over MSRP, with an average price of $92,366 compared to its MSRP range of $59,900-$78,850.”

Ten Toyota vehicles and one from its Lexus luxury division make the list, with hybrid vehicles accounting for six models. The non-hybrid vehicles include four SUVs: the compact RAV4, the subcompact CH-R, the midsize 4Runner, and the midsize Highlander, as well as the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The hybrid vehicles include the Toyota Sienna minivan, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid compact SUV, the Lexus RX 450h midsize SUV, the Toyota RAV4 Prime compact SUV, and the Toyota Corolla Hybrid compact sedan. “Toyota had its first major production cut in September, which led to a 40 percent drop in global production and reduced production of an estimated 70,000 vehicles in the United States,” said Brauer. “Hybrid vehicles have surged in popularity and have grown in sales faster than electric vehicles, and consumers have embraced the hybrid versions of Toyota’s popular cars and SUVs, leading to their rapid sales rate.”

The Cadillac Escalade full-size luxury SUV ranks seventh. “The Escalade was redesigned for 2021 to make the premium SUV even more luxurious and technologically advanced, helping it dominate the full-size SUV segment,” said Brauer. “Additionally, the popular vehicle consistently sells over MSRP and grew in sales by 123 percent in Q3 2021 over the previous year.”

Four models from the Hyundai-Kia automotive group make the list, including the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, the Kia Seltos, the Kia Telluride, and the Kia Carnival. “The popularity of the recently released Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and the Kia Carnival confirms the public perception of Hyundai and Kia vehicles has evolved, from being budget-oriented to competing with more premium mainstream cars, and even luxury brands,” said Brauer. “Demand for the Kia Telluride has outpaced supply since its 2019 launch, and it’s average new car price of $45,226 exceeds its MSRP of $32,190 to $44,390.” 

Rounding out the list is the Mercedes-Benz GLS full-size luxury SUV. “Mercedes-Benz recently cancelled production of V8 versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLS for the 2022 model year due to the chip shortage, which likely increased demand for the 2021 model,” said Brauer.

Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles

iSeeCars also analyzed the top 20 fastest-selling used vehicles. The average used car takes 32.8 days to sell, while the top 20 fastest-selling vehicles average 22.4 days and sell 1.3 to 2.0 times faster than the average used vehicle. The list of fastest-selling used vehicles includes a mix of body styles and drivetrains, led by alternative-fuel vehicles.

Top 20 Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles in September 2021- iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage Days to Sell Average Price
1Tesla Model 316.0$47,453
2Mitsubishi Outlander19.7$20,849
3Toyota Prius20.7$22,463
4Honda Insight21.2$23,964
5Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross21.7$18,603
6BMW 2 Series22.3$31,082
7Toyota Highlander Hybrid22.6$40,581
8Kia Sedona22.9$23,243
9Tesla Model X22.9$80,636
10Nissan Pathfinder22.9$26,717
11Volkswagen Golf GTI23.3$24,636
12Toyota RAV4 Hybrid23.4$32,034
13Chrysler Pacifica23.8$31,555
14Kia Niro24.1$21,678
15Mitsubishi Mirage24.1$13,366
16Toyota Prius Prime24.2$25,455
17Mazda MX-5 Miata24.3$25,760
18Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid24.5$23,504
19Fiat 500x24.7$16,905
20Hyundai Accent24.8$14,020
Average for All Used Vehicles32.8$30,860

The Tesla Model 3 is the fastest-selling used vehicle for the fourth consecutive month. “The Tesla Model 3 has remained popular since its highly anticipated debut, thanks to impressive technology and performance at a relatively affordable price compared to Tesla’s earlier vehicles,” said Brauer. “A new version of the Model 3’s Standard Range Plus variant is sold out for the remainder of 2021 to further add to the already-high demand for used versions, some of which are being sold at higher prices than new versions.” An additional Tesla makes the list, the Model X. “Tesla continues to see record sales growth for its premium SUV, with the sold out Model X not being available until February of 2022, adding to the demand for  used Model Xs.”

Seven hybrid vehicles make the list: the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the Kia Niro, the Toyota Prius Prime, and the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. “Similar to the new car marketplace, Toyota’s hybrid and plug-in vehicles are hot sellers due to their reliability and advanced technology,” said Brauer.  “The Honda Clarity debuted in 2018, while the Honda Insight debuted in 2019, meaning most used versions are just now becoming available, and are in high-demand.”

Three sports cars and performance cars make the list, including the BMW 2 Series, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. “Sports and performance cars were popular throughout the pandemic, and their popularity has continued as consumers have a heightened desire to make purchases that bring them joy,” said Brauer.

Three small SUVs make the list, including the compact Mitsubishi Outlander, the compact Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and the subcompact Fiat 500x. “These small SUVs do not achieve favorable reliability ratings, but likely resonate with consumers because of their affordability, with the 500x and the Eclipse cross having the lowest average used car price of all used SUVs,” said Brauer.

Two additional affordable vehicles make the list in the subcompact car category: the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Hyundai Accent.The Mitsubishi Mirage and the Hyundai Accent are two of the lowest-cost used cars on the market, and appeal to practical buyers who want low-cost transportation.”

Rounding out the list are the Kia Sedona and the Chrysler Pacifica minivans. “The Sedona is the most affordable minivan on the market, while the Pacifica has an upscale interior and a long list of standard features,” said Brauer. “Minivans have seen a bit of a resurgence thanks to more modern versions entering the new car market, and this popularity has extended to the used car marketplace.”

“As demand continues to outpace supply for new cars, consumers should act quickly if they see their desired vehicle for sale, and buyers will have to be flexible on color and trim options for in-demand models,” said Brauer.  

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 900,000 new and used car sales (model years 2016-2020 for used cars) from September 2021. The number of days that each car was listed for sale on iSeeCars.com was aggregated at the model level, and the average days on market for each was mathematically modeled. Heavy-duty vehicles, models not in production prior to the 2021 model year, and low-volume models were excluded from further analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $313 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

This article originally appeared on iSeeCars.com.

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