The most popular new and used cars in 2021

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(iSeeCars) – Pickup trucks are the most popular vehicles for both used and new car shoppers in most of the country, according to a new analysis by car search engine iSeeCars.com.  

The study looked at over 17.4 million vehicle sales in 2021 to determine the most popular used and new cars across the United States nationally, by metro area, and by state. 

“While inventory constraints from the microchip shortage led to decreased sales volume for many popular vehicles compared to previous years, the most popular vehicles remained consistent when compared with 2020,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst, Karl Brauer. “This is because automakers were able to prioritize the production of their most profitable vehicles over their slower sellers.”

Most Popular Used Cars in America

iSeeCars conducted an analysis of the most popular used cars across the country, which include four SUVs, three pickup trucks, and three sedans. These 10 best-selling used cars made up 21.3 percent of all used car sales for 2021.

Most Popular Used Vehicles in the United States- iSeeCars Study
RankVehicle% Share of Total Used Car Sales
1Ford F-1503.6%
2Chevrolet Silverado 15002.6%
3Ram Pickup 15002.4%
4Honda Civic2.0%
5Nissan Rogue1.9%
6Toyota Camry1.9%
7Chevrolet Equinox1.9%
8Ford Escape1.7%
9Toyota RAV41.7%
10Honda Accord 1.6%

The most popular used car is the Ford F-150, which is followed by two additional American full-size pickup trucks: the second-ranked Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the Ram Pickup 1500. “The Ford F-150 has been America’s undisputed best-selling new vehicle for over 40 years, and its popularity among new cars makes it popular in the used car market as well,” said Brauer. “The limited inventory of new pickup trucks led many consumers to purchase them used, and despite pickup trucks being among the top sellers, demand still exceeded supply, leading to dramatic increases in used car prices.”

Four compact SUVs make the list including the fifth-ranked Nissan Rogue, the seventh-ranked Chevrolet Equinox, the eighth-ranked Ford Escape, and the ninth-ranked Toyota RAV4. “Compact SUVs are popular among used car buyers due to their versatility and value, especially as many consumers abandon the sedan segment,” said Brauer. “Because they have been a rapidly growing segment among new car buyers for so long, there are plenty of these small crossovers available in the used car market.”

Rounding out the list are three passenger cars, including the fourth-ranked Honda Civic, the sixth-ranked Toyota Camry, and the tenth-ranked Honda Accord. “These sedans are high-volume sellers among new cars, which makes them popular used cars as well,” said Brauer. “Used car prices increased across all segments, so some buyers who were interested in SUVs may have purchased one of these reliable and more affordable vehicles instead.”

Most Popular New Cars in America

The most popular new cars in the United States include four pickup trucks, four compact SUVs, and two sedans. Seven out of ten vehicles on the list also made the list of the most popular new cars. Collectively, these top 10 best-selling vehicles made up 20.4 percent of all new car sales in 2021. 

Most Popular New Cars in the United States- iSeeCars Study 
RankVehicle% Share of Total New Car Sales
1Ford F-1503.0%
2Ram Pickup 15002.3%
3Chevrolet Silverado 15002.2%
4Honda CR-V2.2%
5Toyota RAV4 1.9%
6Honda Civic1.9%
7Toyota Camry1.9%
8Toyota Tacoma1.8%
9Toyota Highlander1.6%
10Hyundai Tucson 1.6%

The Ford F-150 is the most popular new vehicle in 2021, followed by three additional pickup trucks: the second-ranked Ram Pickup 1500, the third-ranked Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and the eighth-ranked Toyota Tacoma. “Despite a 15.7 percent decrease in sales volume in 2021 over 2020 due to production limitations from the microchip shortage, the redesigned Ford F-150 continued its forty-year reign as the best-selling new vehicle in the United States due to its utility and wide range of customizable options, including an all-new hybrid version,” said Brauer. “Both the Ram 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 outsold the Ford F-150 in the second quarter of 2021, and the Toyota Tacoma maintains its position as the best-selling midsize pickup truck, showing that the popularity of pickup trucks endured despite their limited inventory.”

Three compact SUVs make the list, including the fourth-ranked Honda CR-V, the fifth-ranked Toyota RAV4, and the tenth-ranked Hyundai Tucson. “These compact SUVs are all reliable and affordable vehicles that stand out among their competition in this competitive segment,” said Brauer.

The ninth-ranked Toyota Highlander stands out as the only midsize SUV on the list. “Despite Toyota’s ongoing inventory shortages, the Highlander saw record sales growth, including having its best-ever year-to-date sales through the third quarter of 2021,” said Brauer. 

Rounding out the list are the sixth-ranked compact Honda Civic and the seventh-ranked midsize Toyota Camry. “The Honda Civic and the Toyota Camry have been among the best-selling cars in America for decades,” said Brauer. “These passenger cars have excellent long-term reliability, which is why they remain popular even as the popularity of the sedan segment declines.” 

Most Popular New and Used Cars by City

iSeeCars analyzed the most popular new and used vehicles in the top 50 most populous metro areas.

Most Popular New and Used Car in Top 50 Most Populous Metro Areas
CityMost Popular New Car% Share of Total Metro Area New Car SalesMost Popular Used Car% Share of Total Metro Area Used Car Sales
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NMFord F-1504.8%Ford F-1504.6%
Atlanta, GAToyota Camry4.0%Ford F-1503.2%
Austin, TXFord F-1505.2%Ford F-1504.2%
Baltimore, MDHonda CR-V3.4%Honda Accord2.4%
Birmingham, ALToyota Camry6.1%Ford F-1503.6%
Boston, MA-Manchester, NHHonda CR-V3.0%Toyota RAV43.6%
Charlotte, NCChevrolet Silverado 15003.3%Ford F-1503.2%
Chicago, ILHyundai Tucson2.7%Chevrolet Equinox2.5%
Cincinnati, OHFord F-1503.0%Chevrolet Equinox3.4%
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OHRam Pickup 15005.9%Ford F-1503.2%
Columbus, OHHonda CR-V4.1%Honda Civic3.7%
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TXFord F-1506.3%Ford F-1503.1%
Denver, COFord F-1504.0%Ford F-1503.9%
Detroit, MIChevrolet Blazer4.6%Chevrolet Equinox5.6%
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MIFord F-1505.0%Chevrolet Equinox5.4%
Greensboro-Winston Salem, NCRam Pickup 15004.7%Chevrolet Silverado 15003.7%
Greenville-Spartanburg, SCHonda CR-V3.5%Ford F-1503.8%
Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PAHonda CR-V3.8%Ford F-1504.6%
Hartford & New Haven, CTHonda CR-V3.4%Nissan Rogue3.8%
Houston, TXFord F-1505.1%Ford F-1504.1%
Indianapolis, INChevrolet Silverado 15003.2%Chevrolet Equinox3.7%
Jacksonville, FLToyota RAV43.6%Ford F-1503.6%
Kansas City, MOFord F-1503.7%Ford F-1505.2%
Las Vegas, NVRam Pickup 15002.9%Toyota Camry2.2%
Los Angeles, CAHonda Civic4.3%Honda Civic4.3%
Louisville, KYFord F-1503.9%Ford F-1504.3%
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FLToyota RAV43.8%Toyota Corolla4.1%
Milwaukee, WIFord F-1504.6%Ford F-1504.0%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MNFord F-1504.6%Ford F-1504.9%
Nashville, TNFord F-1504.4%Ford F-1503.7%
New Orleans, LAFord F-1504.1%Ford F-1503.3%
New York, NYHonda CR-V2.7%Nissan Rogue3.4%
Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VARam Pickup 15003.4%Ford F-1502.8%
Oklahoma City, OKFord F-1505.0%Ford F-1506.6%
Orlando-Daytona Beach, FLToyota RAV43.2%Ford F-1503.1%
Philadelphia, PAHonda CR-V3.0%Nissan Rogue2.4%
Phoenix, AZToyota Tacoma3.1%Ford F-1502.6%
Pittsburgh, PAToyota Tacoma3.1%Ford F-1503.7%
Portland, ORSubaru Outback3.4%Ford F-1503.1%
Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NCToyota Camry3.3%Ford F-1502.8%
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CAHonda Civic3.8%Honda Civic3.6%
Salt Lake City, UTFord F-1504.6%Ford F-1506.2%
San Antonio, TXFord F-1505.7%Ford F-1504.5%
San Diego, CAHonda Civic4.9%Honda Civic3.8%
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CAToyota Tacoma2.9%Honda Civic3.3%
Seattle-Tacoma, WAToyota RAV4 Hybrid2.8%Ford F-1503.9%
St. Louis, MOChevrolet Silverado 15005.4%Ford F-1504.7%
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FLFord F-1504.2%Ford F-1503.4%
Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)Toyota RAV42.5%Honda Civic2.7%
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FLToyota Camry3.6%Toyota Camry2.7%

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling used car in 30 of the top 50 metro areas and the best-selling new car in 17. “While pickup trucks are commonly known as work vehicles, they have evolved to become popular family haulers as well, thanks to their abundant cargo room and safety features,” said Brauer.

From a geographical perspective,  the second most popular vehicle among American used car buyers is the Honda Civic, which is the most popular vehicle in six metro areas, while the second most popular new vehicle is the Honda-CR-V in seven. “While the overall popularity of sedans is declining, popular sedans like the Honda Civic remain in high demand in areas of the country with more temperate climates, where all-wheel drive isn’t necessary,” said Brauer. “The compact, yet spacious Honda CR-V is a versatile vehicle that appeals to shoppers buying SUVs for the first time, as well as those who want a family vehicle and don’t require a large SUV.”

Most Popular New and Used Cars By State 

iSeeCars also identified the most popular new and used vehicles by state.

Most Popular New and Used Cars by State
StateMost Popular New Car% Share of Total State New Car SalesMost Popular Used Car% Share of Total State Used Car Sales
AlabamaToyota Camry5.4%Ford F-1504.4%
AlaskaRam Pickup 15007.0%Ford F-1505.8%
ArizonaRam Pickup 15003.1%Ford F-1502.6%
ArkansasGMC Sierra 15005.4%Ford F-1504.3%
CaliforniaHonda Civic3.9%Honda Civic3.9%
ColoradoFord F-1504.1%Ford F-1504.0%
ConnecticutHonda CR-V3.2%Nissan Rogue3.4%
DelawareChevrolet Silverado 15002.8%Ford F-1502.7%
FloridaToyota Rav43.3%Toyota Corolla2.9%
GeorgiaFord F-1504.3%Ford F-1503.8%
HawaiiNissan Frontier4.1%Toyota Tacoma5.2%
IdahoFord F-1506.7%Ford F-1507.9%
IllinoisHyundai Tucson2.5%Ford F-1503.0%
IndianaChevrolet Silverado 15003.2%Chevrolet Equinox3.7%
IowaFord F-1504.7%Ford F-1505.7%
KansasFord F-1505.1%Ford F-1505.6%
KentuckyRam Pickup 15004.2%Ford F-1504.3%
LouisianaFord F-1505.2%Ford F-1505.5%
MaineFord F-1506.0%Ford F-1505.6%
MarylandHonda CR-V3.1%Honda Civic2.5%
MassachusettsToyota RAV43.2%Toyota RAV43.8%
MichiganRam Pickup 15004.7%Chevrolet Equinox6.5%
MinnesotaFord F-1504.6%Ford F-1505.1%
MississippiFord F-1504.9%Ford F-1504.7%
MissouriChevrolet Silverado 15003.8%Ford F-1504.5%
MontanaFord F-1507.7%Ford F-1508.3%
NebraskaFord F-1505.0%Ford F-1505.5%
NevadaRam Pickup 15002.8%Ford F-1502.2%
New HampshireToyota Tacoma2.9%Ford F-1503.4%
New JerseyHonda CR-V2.9%Honda Civic3.2%
New MexicoFord F-1504.6%Ford F-1504.5%
New YorkHonda CR-V2.6%Nissan Rogue3.4%
North CarolinaToyota Camry3.2%Ford F-1503.2%
North DakotaFord F-1506.4%Ford F-1507.6%
OhioRam Pickup 15004.1%Ford F-1503.6%
OklahomaFord F-1505.5%Ford F-1506.3%
OregonToyota Tacoma3.0%Ford F-1503.7%
PennsylvaniaHonda CR-V3.1%Ford F-1503.4%
Rhode IslandToyota Highlander4.1%Jeep Grand Cherokee2.7%
South CarolinaToyota RAV43.5%Ford F-1503.7%
South DakotaFord F-1506.8%Ford F-1508.5%
TennesseeFord F-1503.3%Ford F-1504.0%
TexasFord F-1505.5%Ford F-1504.1%
UtahFord F-1504.6%Ford F-1506.2%
VermontSubaru Crosstrek4.9%Toyota RAV44.7%
VirginiaHonda CR-V2.7%Ford F-1503.2%
WashingtonToyota Tacoma2.8%Ford F-1504.4%
West VirginiaChevrolet Silverado 15004.3%Ford F-1505.9%
WisconsinFord F-1505.2%Ford F-1505.8%
WyomingFord F-1506.3%Ford F-1508.8%

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling new vehicle in 20 states and the best-selling used vehicle in 38 states, echoing national and metro area trends. The Ram Pickup 1500 is the best-selling new vehicle in the second-most states with six. Other pickups to make the best-selling vehicle by state list include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Toyota Tacoma, the GMC Sierra 1500, and the Nissan Frontier. Collectively, pickup trucks account for the best-selling new vehicle in 35 of 50 states.

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 9.8 million used car sales from the last five model years (2016-2020) and over 7.6 million new car sales in 2021. Each model’s share of used car sales and new car sales was calculated nationally, as well as within each metro area and state. Heavy-duty automotive vehicles were excluded from the 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 and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $318 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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