By on April 2, 2015

2015 honda cr-vMarch 2015 auto sales in the United States didn’t decline as expected, further strengthening a first-quarter in which the industry reported a 5.6% year-over-year improvement.

In other words, Americans registered nearly 211,000 more new vehicles during the first three months of 2015 than during the same period one year ago. Passenger car volume is flat. SUVs and crossovers produced first-quarter growth of nearly 12%, thereby earning market share of 34%, up four percentage points compared with the first-quarter of 2014.

On this list of the 20 most popular vehicles in 2015’s first-quarter, utility vehicles rank seventh, tenth, 11th, 13th, 14th, and 16th. The same six nameplates ranked ninth, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th at this time a year ago.

Pickup trucks don’t generate nearly as much volume as the vast utility vehicle sector, but the main contenders continue to rule the roost on best seller lists. 2014 was the first year since 2003 that the F-Series, Silverado, and Ram ranked one, two, and three. 2015 begins the same way, although the gap between the Ram and Toyota Camry is even slimmer than it was at this time a year ago, down from 2623 sales to 1006.

The fourth-ranked Camry leads all passenger cars, having opened a 9777-unit lead over its nearest competitor through three months. Competitor? Wait a second, the second-best-selling car in America this year isn’t the Honda Accord, nor is it any competing midsize sedan. Toyota Corolla sales are up 17%, year-over-year, and the smaller Toyota leads the next-best-selling Nissan Altima by nearly 4000 units heading into April. The Accord, after a dreadful March in which sales plunged 23%, slid from eighth place at the end of February to ninth at the end of the first-quarter.

Rewind one year to the top 20 list from Q1 2014 and you’ll see the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Malibu. What’s changed? Sierra sales have grown in 2015, but the 7% rise to 45,173 units is insufficient. Malibu volume is down 12% to 42,401. The Nissan Sentra and Chrysler 200, on the other hand, have both reported significant year-over-year improvements in early 2015, with the 200’s 61% jump tops among the 20 best sellers and the Sentra’s 25% increase surpassed only by the 200, RAV4, Rogue, and Explorer.

Rank
Auto
2015 Q1
2014 Q1
% Change
#1
Ford F-Series
177,312 173,358 2.3%
#2
Chevrolet Silverado
126,694 107,757 17.6%
#3
Ram P/U
101,511 96,906 4.8%
#4
Toyota Camry
100,505 94,283 6.6%
#5
Toyota Corolla
90,728 77,737 16.7%
#6
Nissan Altima
86,875 89,285 -2.7%
#7
Honda CR-V
73,127 67,648 8.1%
#8
Ford Fusion
71,470 77,578 -7.9%
#9
Honda Accord
68,645 79,188 -13.3%
#10
Ford Escape
67,272 71,305 -5.7%
#11
Toyota RAV4
67,010 53,064 26.3%
#12
Honda Civic
66,722 71,096 -6.2%
#13
Chevrolet Equinox
65,613 56,073 17.0%
#14
Nissan Rogue
64,486 50,448 27.8%
#15
Chevrolet Cruze
60,592 65,185 -7.0%
#16
Ford Explorer
58,707 46,068 27.4%
#17
Hyundai Elantra
56,742 53,237 6.6%
#18
Ford Focus
52,994 51,903 2.1%
#19
Nissan Sentra
51,026 40,789 25.1%
#20
Chrysler 200
49,152 30,489 61.2%

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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22 Comments on “2015 Q1’s 20 Best-Selling Vehicles In The United States...”


  • avatar
    319583076

    Who is buying the Altima and why?

    • 0 avatar
      wkndroadwarrior

      I for one am one of those suckers, its a sin buy a cvt why you ask? MPG for the daily commute, fantastic seats, good size and reliability. I had my fair share of manuals, but cvt is really that good with the Nissan. I do say that the 4 banger does not have enough torque to move from a standstill but it can hold its own on the highway. You just have to be aware of how long it takes to acceleration with all those soccer mom minivans blowing by in their 300hp tanks. For someone who gets the most bang for the buck its probably why they are selling so well comparable to other vehicles in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      NotFast

      Rental car companies. I have seen many in service for Enterprise, Hertz and the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      People who love idiotic commercials where Nissans buzz a douche in a suit who is constantly yelling at the camera.

  • avatar
    ydnas7

    Its the best seat you can drive at 38 mpg.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Any guesses about what was the best selling car in Canada? If you combine the two, it was the Golf/Jetta in Q1!

  • avatar
    k9H20

    Only two crossovers in the top ten. I’m actually surprised. Also, I know that trucks are traditionally the top sellers, but I always wonder who the hell is buying all these $45k and up trucks?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      People who have figured out how to “tax deduct” driving one.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        This. A family member hasn’t “owned” a vehicle for decades, but his business leases a comfortable new truck every 2 or 3 years.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          For those who can, it really is the way to go. Take the tax deduction or let the business bear the expense.

          The independently wealthy don’t need a reason. They buy what they buy, because they can.

          For old people, leasing often pre-empts squabbling among the heirs of who gets what when the principal dies. If they want to take over the lease payments, more power to them, but it is rarely done.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Nice to see Camry and Corolla leading the pack of sedans. Goes to show that the majority of buyers of those vehicles choose the best value and the biggest bang for their buck.

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I just turned in a Sentra rental that I had while collision damage was fixed on my Genesis and I wonder how the Sentra could possibly rank in the top 20 in sales. Potential buyers must not drive anything else before buying. Numb steering and a CVT that feels like a bunch of rubber bands. The car rattled like a jitney with just 16k on the clock. Sport mode made the CVT just barely tolerable, but there were still wild lurches when it got confused.

  • avatar
    mictdxxx

    Why do silverados sell so much more then the sierra? The biggest difference between the two is the front grill and badging. It’s the same engine, exterior, interior and even the MSRP is almost the same. It’s assembled in the same factory. I don’t get it. The sierra is not that bad looking of a truck. My guess on this is the history of the chevy trucks have always been that it’s a cheaper less frills working mans truck, but these days it has all the bells and whistles as the GMC for the same price. Is that it? Just the history? Just the reputation, makes more people buy the silverado?

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      A quick Google search supports my suspicion that there are simply fewer GMC dealers.

      I found an article saying 3,084 Chevrolet dealers in 2011, and a press release from Buick naming 1,900 Buick/GMC dealers in 2012.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Plus truck buyers are notoriously brand loyal, even between GMC and Chevy despite the fact they’re basically the same vehicles. This is part of the reason that GM won’t phase out the GMC brand: there are actually GMC truck buyers who wouldn’t just move to Silverados if they axed the Sierra, but would instead shop with no brand loyalty.

  • avatar

    Why Accord is down? I do not get it, my mind just blows thinking about it. Is it an April 1st joke or we are on the verge of another major crisis?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I noticed this too. Maybe it is because of the switch to CVTs.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Not only the Accord, but the Civic.

      Crossovers have eaten into sedan sales, esp. if don’t discount heavily.

      While Honda has increased discounts, still not as much as Nissan or Toyota (also, Honda doesn’t do nearly as much in fleet sales).

    • 0 avatar

      Does it mean Accord as a brand become more premium and exclusive like Fusion. Most of new Fusions sold in Silicon valley and surrounding areas are hybrids and plugins which cost over $30K closer to $38K. Or may be Honda just lacks hybrids?

      Camry is now officially fighting Altima for the best selling cheap midsize car title. Ha-ha-ha. But seriously how low Camry has fallen over years by cost cutting, cheapening and insane incentives all in name of sales record, just like ’92 Taurus did in 90s.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    I see the CVT models are slowly moseying down the list.

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