By on April 19, 2012

This list, compiled by shows America’s 50 hottest and fastest cars. They are so fast that dealers can’t keep them on the lot. Off the truck, out of the door.

Says Michelle Krebs of Edmunds:

”The Prius C, the newest, smallest and least expensive member of the Toyota Prius hybrid family, barely has time to get its tires dirty because the Prius C, with a starting price of about $19,000, stays on the dealership lot only about eight days until a buyer drives it away. By comparison, the average vehicle across the U.S. industry sat on a dealership’s lot an average of 53 days in March, according to’s metric referred to as days-to-turn — the number of days between a vehicle being delivered to a dealership to it being purchased by a customer.”

America’s Fastest Selling Cars

Rank Make Model DTT
1 Toyota Prius c 8
2 Audi Q7 11
3 Mazda CX-5 11
4 Hyundai Elantra 12
5 Porsche Cayenne 13
6 Audi Q5 13
7 Subaru Impreza 14
8 BMW X6 14
9 Honda CR-V 15
10 Lexus GS 350 15
11 Hyundai Veloster 16
12 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 16
13 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 17
14 Toyota Camry Hybrid 18
15 Kia Soul 18
16 Audi A6 19
17 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 19
18 Hyundai Accent 20
19 Honda Pilot 20
20 BMW X3 21
21 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 21
22 Toyota Prius v 21
23 Chevrolet Express 23
24 Hyundai Tucson 23
25 Kia Rio 25
26 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 25
27 Subaru Outback 25
28 Lexus GX 460 25
29 BMW X5 26
30 Audi A5 26
31 MINI Cooper Coupe 26
32 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 27
33 Scion iQ 27
34 Toyota 4Runner 28
35 Volkswagen Passat 28
36 Volvo XC60 28
37 Lexus CT 200h 28
38 Ford E-Series Wagon 29
39 MINI Cooper 29
40 Subaru Forester 29
41 Audi A3 29
42 Toyota Highlander 30
43 Toyota Tacoma 30
44 Lexus RX 350 31
45 Volkswagen Beetle 31
46 Honda Fit 31
47 Acura MDX 32
48 Buick Verano 32
49 Acura TSX Sport Wagon 32
50 Toyota Prius 33

The velocity of inventory is measured in DTT – Days To Turn. Inventories are a closely watched metric in the industry, and you should watch it too. Fast moving inventory can mean that the car is in high demand, in short supply, or both. It also tells you that your bargaining power is low – there is a customer right behind you. Cars that stick around much longer than the industry-standard two months attract incentives to move the metal. Those incentives may not be as generous as they used to be. Michelle Krebs explains:

“Since the recession and the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler, automakers have been much more disciplined about keeping production in line with customer demand. The industry’s average days-to-turn has been in 47 and 57 days since January 2010. If inventories begin to bloat, the manufacturer shuts down the factory until the marketplace sops up the inventory, as is the current case with GM’s extended-range plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt.

Stricter production discipline allows automakers to show restraint on incentives, which are at their lowest levels since 2008, according to’s Total Cost of Incentives (TCI) calculations. That’s bad news for consumers because low inventories and quick turn of vehicles equals little — if any — discounts and haggling room on the showroom floor for hot sellers.”

Brand new models tend to enter the list of hot sellers like shooting stars: Oooh, aaaah, burnout. Factories slowly and cautiously ramp up production to ensure there are no glitches. At the same time, certain consumers absolutely must have the latest, greatest vehicle on the market. According to Ms Krebs, shooting star candidates are the Lexus GS 350 sedan, Mazda CX-5 SUV, Porsche Cayenne SUV, the Subaru Impreza sedan and the Honda CR-V. Then there are the regulars of the list. Says Krebs:

“Some companies and certain of their models make the quickest-selling vehicles just about every month, indicating the strength of the brand and the product as well as the automaker’s capacity constraint. Two notable ones are Audi and Hyundai.”

Edmunds lists the 20 fastest-selling cars on its website. We asked Edmunds to give us the whole list, fast sellers and lot queens. We received a list of the top 50, but not more, due to “low sample sizes.”  Mind you, the #50 on this list is still in an enviable position with a little less than double the industry-standard 2 month inventory velocity.



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29 Comments on “America’s Fastest Cars – Fastest Off The Lot, Vrooooom …...”

  • avatar

    I’m not surprised by the Prius C, but those are good numbers for the Elantra and the Soul (which have been out long enough for the initial novelty to have worn off). The Jetta SportWagen has surprising numbers (and is a fine car as well).

    • 0 avatar

      The Tucson has been out a long time, also. They just don’t send us a lot of them – never have, even of the old body style.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly what i was going to say. Add the Pilot to the “good numbers” list; it’s been out for a long time. Everything else is either 1) a brand new design, or 2) a very expensive or low-volume model.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, the Elantra and Soul numbers are indicating their popularity as both are high volume vehicles. I think they will continue to do well with the Veloster and Accent as well. Hyundai currently has a very strong lineup of small/smaller vehicles that have excellent market acceptance. Hyundai’s head of U.S. marketing very recently said they will no longer use rebates as a sales tool instead approaching the market from the standpoint that consumers will view their vehicles as worth the asking price. So far that seems to be working very well for them another indication of the strength of their lineup especially midsized, compact & subcompact cars. I saw a Veloster for the first time at my local Costco on display recently. I was already interested in the Elantra & Accent so I’ll definitely being stopping in at my local Hyundai dealer this time around provided they’ve got competitive lease payments.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure what to make of the numbers. Being familiar with the VW/Audi products, I know they don’t keep a lot of stock on hand, so there’s either not a lot of choice when you show up to the dealer, or they (Audi) expect you to special order your car, which obviously would reflect in a short lot time. Some of the cult-ier cars like the Jetta sportwagen aren’t made in tremendously large volume, and VW doesn’t special order anything, so there are waiting lists for the few cars that the dealer gets.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      We special ordered our sportwagen. Only way to get the base trim and avoid the TDI with its $27K+ sticker price for those few on the lot. You’re right, though, these are not high-volume cars. I’m seeing a lot more recently on the road, though, so maybe popularity is picking up.

      • 0 avatar

        I think the wagon/hatch in general is making a comeback. I say it as part of the choir having a current-gen Mazda3 hatch in the family, but with those in particular and the new ford Focuses (Focii?) I tend to see more hatches than sedans out on the road.

      • 0 avatar

        As you say, I have been seeing the current Jetta wagon in Seattle quite often, like at least a couple times a week, seems wagons, hatchbacks are popular here as I see almost as many of them in the same model as I do the sedans where both are offered, the Mazda3 is a good example of this, has been since 2004 it looks like.

        Heck, even the Protege’s hatchback, known as the Protege5 seem quite popular back in 2002-03 as I see a at least two nearly daily, usually on my commute home as I also drive one.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey I’m number 41! I think that is mostly because Audi doesn’t believe they can sell many premium hatchbacks and so doesn’t ship many this way.

    • 0 avatar

      Most of the Audi models are production-constrained: the factories are running at full tilt, and Audi of America can’t get any more cars than they are already getting.

      Hence the new factory in Mexico.

  • avatar

    The fastest selling in it’s category, the Honda Civic(as mentioned on ttac), is not on the list?

  • avatar

    I’ll say I’m surprised seeing the TSX sportwagon on the list, I’ve never seen a single one on the road and I live in extra-DC suburbia where your luxury iron is a-plenty.

    The only thing I can think of is that they are all secial ordered, since I don’t know if an Acura dealer in good conscience would stock that car willingly given its low demand from epole other than posters here and on jalopnik.

    • 0 avatar

      I live (MD) and work (VA) in the DC ‘burbs and I tend to see the TSX wagon about once every 10 – 14 days or so. Some sightings may be repeats, but there are certainly more than one.

  • avatar

    Interesting, but maybe more useful for bargain shopping purposes would be the slowest-selling: what would I be able to talk the dealer into giving away? Any lead on getting hold of that list?

  • avatar

    Once again, no love for my cube. Everyone always told me that I was the nut with the left hand thread. Guess they were right. Oh well, its a good car just a little wierd looking from the rear.

    • 0 avatar

      I love the Nissan Cube because there’s nothing else like it – I’m an odd-ball and I like odd-ball things.

      After checking one out at our recent auto show, I like it even more. So does my wife!

      • 0 avatar

        I have another conversation about the cube going on in the gas price article. Zackman, I have been telling you that it’s great for us old guys. You may be disappointed in the mileage because you are already pulling 30’s in your impala. My high is 36 and normal is 30-34 no matter where I drive. My wife liked the oddball rear window so I read about it and we bought one. I think ours was under $17k (demo), its a 6 spd man. Now I have become the duty driver because my wife’s left knee has cratered and I am not going to risk trading for an automatic. There is a mixed bag of comments on the CVT’s but I now have 45k on this car with zero problems of any kind.

        I should actually be retstarvingteacher now. If money is not a tremendous issue this retired life is great. Come on over.

    • 0 avatar

      There was one in our parking lot this morning in deep purple. Sorry it still looks odd to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • avatar

    This metric is obviously doesn’t indicate the true popularity of the car. As noted, there is a “supply” side to “supply and demand.” The Sportwagen is a good example. It doesn’t sell in anything like the numbers of a Civic, but if the supply is carefully matched to the demand, they won’t stay on the lot for long.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m so glad someone stated it before me. The larger the demand, the larger the ‘queue’ you need to ensure there aren’t any disruptions in your supply chain.

      Bertel needs to go to brush up on his statistics and systems analysis. This coupled with his fuel economy ‘analysis’ are evidence to this.

  • avatar

    33 Scion iQ

    Damn, really?

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not totally surprised, suddenly they are out there, at least in Seattle though lately I’ve not spotted any but they ARE out there. It’s a very, very new model so ho it’ll fare as it ages, who knows a couple of months ago, they suddenly began showing up in my walks to the store, commuting into work, saw two of them in one week even.

      This being Seattle where smaller cars tend to get bought more often than say, the Midwest.

  • avatar

    Scion iQ???

    Wow, PT Barnum was right.

  • avatar

    I don’t get why the CR-V is a shooting star. Were people really holding off on buying a 2011 to get the new model that in most respects is indistinguishable from the old one? Or has making the switch constrained production, so dealers aren’t getting as many units as they did last year?

    • 0 avatar

      Nope – The CR-V is truly a hot, high volume seller. It has been since Gen 3 debuted. The dealer closest to me has 30 on their lot right now. They could probably move move twice that amount with a more Civic-like DTT.

      As far as them being indistinguishable from the las gen – I’d have to guess you probably didn’t own one. The new one, while similar, actually cures a lot of the previous model’s aesthetic shortcomings. It really is a car that does everything “well enough”.

  • avatar

    A weighted average would be more useful.

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