The Truth About The Ten Best-Selling Sedans Of 2010

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Last year, the ten best-selling sedans in America made up some 40% of all passenger cars sold in 2010. Those models, in order of volume, were:


But volume isn’t everything, is it? Let’s look at how many of those vehicles were bought by fleet buyers rather than “regular” consumers.

When ranked in terms of fleet sales, these ten models form a very different list. Below we show fleet volume and fleet mix for last year’s best-selling cars in America.

RankNameplateFleet salesFleet mix1Impala12490572.60%2Fusion6836431.20%3Malibu6393532.20%4Camry5679917.30%5Altima4370719.10%6Focus4288924.90%7Corolla3262212.20%8Sonata2173811.10%9Accord115254.10%10Civic80443.10%

If you took out those fleet sales, in search of greater insight into which cars consumers actually prefer, you would find that these cars break down into yet another ranking:

RankNameplateRetail sales1Camry2710052Accord2710053Civic2521744Corolla2342605Altima1855566Sonata1748857Fusion1508858Malibu1348359Focus12953210Impala47173

Since the results speak rather nicely for themselves, we’ll leave the analysis there for now. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jan 20, 2011

    Having had every single car on the list as a rental multiple times in the past two years bar the Civic, all I can say is that the average American cares about as much about driving as they do about thier refrigerator. Not saying that is a bad thing, it is what it is. All of them are dishwater dull at best, and the Corolla borders on mind-numbingly awful to the enthusiast in me. I hate Corollas to the point of refusing to accept them as rentals anymore. Note that Hertz has been giving me Japanese nameplate cars about 3:1 over American or Korean for the past several years. Gold service member so the car is waiting with my name on it when I get there - I don't get to pick, and it is a pain to not accept thier choice. Notable recent rentals (Hertz has had a double-upgrade special going) are a Corvette Convertible (oh yeah), 2011 Mustang Convertible GT (nice), V6 Camaro (fast but crap), and Mercedes GLK (really, really crap). Have had multiple Prii too. Yuck. I'm currently rolling in a Hertz Altima from SFO, 4cyl CVT. Probably the pick of the dull bunch, though like Mikey, I actually like a well-spec'd Impala. Malibus are Ok too. I think the Fusion is highly over-rated, and the Focus is just junk. The current Accord is just a barge of a thing. I have had more Camrys than anything else, and they are not as bad as the previous model, but still utterly sleep inducing. I drive rentals 30 weeks a year on average - I travel A LOT for my job. I drive an '08 Saab 9-3 SportCombi for my daily driver/ winter beater. Paid $24K for it brand-new. Not perfect but absolutely oozes character. Perfect for me is a 3-series Wagon, but for a 50% discount the Saab will do just fine. I can't even imagine picking a Camry or Accord over my Saab for the same price.

  • Buckshot Buckshot on Jan 20, 2011

    The ten best-selling cars of 2010 in Sweden are: 1. Volvo V70 25 568 2. VW Golf 12 824 3. VW Passat 12 144 4. Volvo V50 10 311 5. Kia Cee´d 8 162 6. Audi A4 6 592 7. Renault Megane 6 280 8. Ford Focus 6 278 9. Saab 9-3 6 227 10. Renault Clio 5 215

  • Stones Stones on Jan 20, 2011

    All this tells me is that americans are still some of the most uneducated people on the planet. I would be embarrassed to drive a Camcord as would most smart people. Having driven most of the new midsize cars the fusion and Malibu offer up the best comfort ride and quietness. But most americans are too dumb to realize this.

    • See 3 previous
    • Stones Stones on Jan 21, 2011

      Yes Phil you are. Go back to peddling your tryke.

  • Beelzebubba Beelzebubba on Jan 22, 2011

    There are only two things that baffle me about these sales figures, and I'm not sure which one is the most horrific..... 234,260 people actually chose to buy a Toyota Corolla!?!? I expected fleet sales to account for far more than 12.2% of total Corolla sales. I was stuck with a 2010 Corolla for almost five weeks last year while my Mazda3 was in the body shop. They gave a choice between the Corolla and a Dodge Avenger...I asked if there was a third option, perhaps a blindfold and gun to the head??? I took the Corolla knowing it would suck, but it was far worse than I expected. The last time I drove a Corolla was back in 2005 and it wasn't THAT bad...dull as dishwater, yes, but what Toyota isn't? The second thing... It's bad enough that Mazda6 sales haven't broken 40k in the last two years. But it's pathetic that Chevy sold more Impalas (to individuals) than Mazda sold Mazda6s!?