2015 Q1's 20 Best-Selling Vehicles In The United States

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

March 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.

RankAuto2015 Q12014 Q1% Change F-Series177,312173,3582.3% Silverado126,694107,75717.6% P/U101,51196,9064.8% Camry100,50594,2836.6% Corolla90,72877,73716.7% Altima86,87589,285-2.7% CR-V73,12767,6488.1% Fusion71,47077,578-7.9% Accord68,64579,188-13.3% Escape67,27271,305-5.7% RAV467,01053,06426.3% Civic66,72271,096-6.2% Equinox65,61356,07317.0% Rogue64,48650,44827.8% Cruze60,59265,185-7.0% Explorer58,70746,06827.4% Elantra56,74253,2376.6% Focus52,99451,9032.1% Sentra51,02640,78925.1% 20049,15230,48961.2%

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

Timothy Cain
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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 02, 2015

    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?

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    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 03, 2015

      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.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Apr 03, 2015

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

  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.