Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What The Wealthiest Americans Buy

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

After travelling to Iran, Japan, and 169 countries and territories in my blog. Or look at a more normal view on the US market with the Top 277 best-selling models in the USA over the first 9 months 2012

Back to the rich.

Mercedes? Tick.

BMW? Tick.

Porsche? Tick.

Range Rover? Tick.

Makes-you-feel-better-about-being-filthy rich-Toyota Prius? Tick.

American brands? Say what?

The Mercedes E-Class is clearly the choice of the wealthy in the USA

* You can check out the Top 5 best-sellers in the 10 wealthiest US zip codes here *

I know you’ve always wondered what all those rich people were buying all this time because clearly, when you drove along Beverly Hills there weren’t many ‘Ford F-Series and Honda Civic’ around…

Wonder no more, it’s all here for you.

May I present the Top 5 best-sellers in the 10 wealthiest Zip codes in the USA (based on 2011 sales data).

Out of these 10 cities, 5 prefer a Mercedes with the E-Class coming up #1 in 4 cities and ranking within the Top 5 in no less than 8 cities….

The Toyota Prius ranks #1 in two cities (both in California) while the Mercedes S-Class, Jeep Wrangler, Range Rover Sport and VW Jetta each rank #1 in one city.

Note only two American cars appear in these 10 Top 5: the Jeep Grand Cherokee at #3 in 3 cities and the Jeep Wrangler at #1 in one.

The wealthiest city (or zip code) in the USA is Manhattan, New York. Interestingly the best-sellers in Manhattan are not that exclusive: the Mercedes E-Class is king of the island’s crowded streets ahead of the BMW X5 and Honda Accord with the Honda CR-V coming in at #5.

Fisher Island, a neighborhood of metropolitan Miami, Florida that is only accessible via private boat or ferry and whose notable residents include Andre Agassi, Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey, comes second with an average income of $1.5 million. Not a single car less than $50,000 manages to rank within the Top 5 best-sellers, with the $95,465 Mercedes S-Class leading the way ahead of the Mercedes E-Class, Range Rover Sport, BMW X5 and Porsche Panamera.

The third wealthiest zip code in the US is Downtown Chicago, Illinois, with humble tastes in automobiles: affordable, practical vehicles you would expect to see in every middle-class suburb are what you will find on the pricey urban streets of Chicago. No cars above $30,000 ranks within the Top 5, with the VW Jetta leader followed by the Honda CR-V and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The quaint wood-filled city of Atherton, California is nestled quietly between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean and is the 4th wealthiest zip code in the country. Silicon Valley tycoons, star athletes and politicians are among the city’s residents, and the only car under $50,000 ranking within the Top 5 is the Toyota Prius at with the Porsche Panamera making an astounding appearance at

* You can check out the Top 5 best-sellers in the 10 wealthiest US zip codes here *

Century City in California follows with an average income of $751,000. Situated east of Santa Monica and west of Beverly Hills, Century City is not exactly Hollywood, but it’s where a lot of Hollywood does business. Headquarters of the famous Creative Artists Agency (CAA), MGM, and 20th Century Fox are located here and the residents are very fond of the Toyota Prius, with the Mercedes E-Class also very popular.

New Vernon in New Jersey comes up 6th with the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 328 and Jeep Grand Cherokee most popular.

Greenwich, Connecticut is the home of Mel Gibson and Tommy Hilfiger and the only city among the Top 10 wealthiest to crown an American car: the Jeep Wrangler, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee coming in at #3.

Only Mercedes owners are allowed in Palm Beach, Florida: the Top 3 best-sellers there are the E-Class, S-Class and C-Class…

In Medina, Washington, a town where the majority of households is comprised of families, the Range Rover Sport reigns supreme, ahead of the Toyota Sienna, Lexus RX and Honda Odyssey.

Finally in Ross, California, the Toyota Prius leads ahead of the Mercedes E-Class

* You can check out the Top 5 best-sellers in the 10 wealthiest US zip codes here *

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

Join the conversation
5 of 23 comments
  • Ranwhenparked Ranwhenparked on Oct 18, 2012

    Looks like Jeep is still holding their own nicely among wealthy buyers. A market research study commissioned by Chrysler in 1987, shortly after taking over American Motors, showed that Grand Wagoneer buyers had the highest median household incomes of any domestic nameplate. The study also showed that the average Jeep owner also had 1-3 other cars in the family, and that those cars were more likely to be West German luxury brands than anything else. The fact that these buyers would gladly walk into a domestic showroom to do their SUV/4X4 shopping, but then go across town to the Mercedes, BMW, or Audi dealer for their car shopping was a never ending source of frustration for Chrysler for many years. The Eagle brand was created specifically to offer the sort of cars that Jeep buyers might like, so that Jeep-Eagle dealers could turn into a one stop vehicle shopping destination. Of course, it never worked out that way, since Chrysler never actually supported Eagle with the sorts of products they really needed to go after that sort of customer (the Premier ES Limited and Vision TSi probably came the closest).

    • See 2 previous
    • El scotto El scotto on Oct 19, 2012

      @ Wagons, I know there hasn't been an East/West Germany for over 20 years

  • Hubcap Hubcap on Oct 18, 2012

    The flaws in the study have already been highlighted but is anybody surprised about the absence of American cars (not SUVs). Lincoln isn't even on the radar and Cadillac, IMO, is finally starting to show some life. In fact the CTS-V and now the ATS are really the only two U.S. luxury cars I'd purchase. I do have to agree with Ratherhaveabuick. Some people buy purely for the badge/snob appeal. These people might have a richer ownership experience from owning something a bit more esoteric. Thing is... they really don't care.

  • Art Vandelay I’d grab one of these if I’d spent my working life at GM for sure!
  • Analoggrotto The factory is delayed due to an investigation of a peter puffery ring lead by VoGhost, Tassos, EBFlex a Civic Type-R
  • FreedMike Looking forward to the protests at the factory accusing Toyota of excessive woke-ism. First,, grooming. Lord help us all.
  • MrIcky I remember when Gladiators came out and everyone was shocked at how expensive they were. Now all the off road specials have caught up or passed it financially. I like this truck a lot, but I'd still take my Rubicon over this. I'd take this over the Ranger Raptor or Tacoma TRD though. When I found out the increase in track for the new TRD was just wheel offset-I knew they were just phoning it in. Why spend so much R&D on those stupid seats when you could have r&d'd longer arms or a front locker.
  • Alan Hmm, I see a bit of politicking here. What qualifications do you need to run GM or Ford? I'd bet GM or Ford isn't run by experienced people. Anyone at that level in an organisation doesn't need to be a safety whip, you need to have the ability to organise those around you to deliver the required results.