America's Best-Selling Vehicles in 2016, State by State - What Are Your Neighbors Buying?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
america s best selling vehicles in 2016 state by state what are your neighbors

The Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling passenger car in 2016 for a 15th consecutive year, was not the best-selling overall vehicle in any one state last year.

According to registration figures tabulated by Kelley Blue Book and highlighted by USA Today, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla were the only cars to claim any state-wide auto sales victories.

In 15 other states, utility vehicles of one variety or another (Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback, and Toyota RAV4) were tops in overall vehicle sales. Hawaii’s sales crown stayed in the hands of the Toyota Tacoma. GM’s full-size truck twins ruled the roost in eight states, largely east of the Mississippi.

That leaves the Ford F-Series’ F-150 variant, the top-selling vehicle in America, to take top honors in 22 states, including its biggest market of Texas.

StateMost Popular Vehicle In 2016Nationwide RankAlabamaFord F-150 F-150 F-150 Sierra 1500 Civic Outback Rogue Silverado 1500 of ColumbiaHonda Civic Corolla F-150 Tacoma F-150 CR-V Silverado 1500 Silverado 1500 F-150 F-150 F-150 Silverado 1500 CR-V RAV4 Escape F-150 F-150 F-150 F-150 F-150 RAV4 HampshireChevrolet Silverado 1500 JerseyHonda CR-V MexicoFord F-150 YorkNissan Rogue CarolinaHonda Accord DakotaFord F-150 Civic F-150 Outback CR-V IslandToyota RAV4 CarolinaFord F-150 DakotaFord F-150 F-150 F-150 F-150 RAV4 CR-V Outback VirginiaChevrolet Silverado 1500 Silverado 1500 F-150#1

It’s worth noting that automakers release sales figures for full-size trucks such as the F-150, Silverado, and Sierra in a manner that encompasses the entire light-duty and heavy-duty lineups. KBB’s registration figures highlight the respective half-ton variants.

The most significant local anomalies relative to national status are the victories scored in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado by the Subaru Outback. The Outback was America’s 27th-best-selling vehicle overall in 2016, generating only half as much volume as the Honda Civic.

All but one of the passenger car victories were scored in coastal states. The Corolla was 2016’s top seller in Florida, the Honda Accord was North Carolina’s most popular vehicle, and the Honda Civic outsold every other vehicle in California, D.C., and Ohio, home to more than half of Honda’s U.S. production in 2016.

Meanwhile, in 10 of America’s 11 least-densely populated states, the Ford F-150 was the most popular vehicle. In 22 of the 25 least-densely populated states, pickup trucks – F-150, Silverado, Sierra — were the sales leaders.

[Images: Ford, Kelley Blue Book via Twitter]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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2 of 78 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Aug 31, 2017

    So.......the least dense you are, the more likely you will buy a full sized pickup. Aluminum and turbo V6 was such a failure for Ford ;)

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Sep 01, 2017

    When Texas was admitted, it could break itself up into five states if it wanted to. You should have done that, since it's likely that southeast, northeast, Rio Grande, central, and west Texas all have somewhat different tastes. You could do the same for California, since bay area preferences aren't shared with northern california, the central valley, the L.A. basin, the high desert, or San Diego areas. I suspect you could divide Florida into three or four zones of different preferences too, along with east-west Pennsylvania, upper NY vs. NYC metro, and downstate Illinois vs. Chicago metro. Those top six states by population (and sometimes area) have multiple urban areas that can skew the overall choice. Politicians already know those states have to be addressed by regional concerns.

  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.
  • Stuart de Baker I didn't bother to read this article. I'll wait until a definitive headline comes out, and I'll be surprised if Tesla actually produces the Cybertruck. It certainly looks impractical for both snowy and hot sunny weather.
  • Stuart de Baker This is very interesting information. I was in no danger of buying a Tesla. I love my '08 Civic (stick), and it feels just as responsive as when I bought it 11 years ago with 35k on the clock (now 151k), and barring mishaps, I plan to keep it for the next 25 years or so, which would put me into my mid-90s, assuming I live that long. On your information, I will avoid renting Teslas.
  • RHD The only people who would buy this would be those convinced by a website that they are great, and order one sight-unseen. They would have to have be completely out of touch with every form of media for the last year. There might actually be a few of these people, but not very many. They would also have to be completely ignorant of the Hyundai Excel. (Vinfast seems to make the original Excel look like a Camry in comparison.)