The big pickup is back on top. For the first time in about a decade, full-size pickup trucks from the Detroit Big Three are the three best-selling vehicles in the United States, according to sales data released today and compiled by the Cars Examiner.
The Ford F-Series was the No. 1 best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2014, General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado was No. 2, and — recovering after languishing for years farther down the list — Chrysler’s Ram retook No. 3. The Ram displaced the Toyota Camry midsize sedan (still the country’s best-selling passenger car) from its previous third-place spot. The Ram had ranked No. 5 in 2013 and No. 7 in 2012.
The F-Series’ lead remains strong, though. Sales were slightly down compared to last year, likely due to the transition to a more complicated redesign of the best-selling F-150. The 2015 model, introduced in the fall, features an aluminum body and expanded use of turbocharged engines, both costly measures that resulted in significant fuel economy improvements. Ram and Silverado sales were up dramatically, but the Ford still stood at 753,851 in the 12 months of 2014 compared to the Chevrolet’s 529,755 and the Ram’s 439,789.
(See sales charts of the 30 best-selling vehicles of 2014 year-to-date, with comparisons to 2013 and 2012, in today’s slideshow.)
The Camry was also a strong seller, at 428,606, and sales increased slightly on the strength of a partial redesign recently released last fall as a 2015 model. But a late-year explosion of Ram sales — perhaps buoyed by falling gas prices — pushed it ahead of the Toyota.
One position behind the Camry is the competing Honda Accord (388,374 units), which has seen few changes since it was redesigned and greatly improved two years ago. Other midsize sedans in the Top 10 for 2014 are the Nissan Altima at No. 7 (335,634 units) and the Ford Fusion at No. 10 (306,860).
In sixth place, with 339,938 vehicles sold, the redesigned-for-2014 Toyota Corolla took the title of best-selling compact car that the Honda Civic had held last year. This bumped the Civic to No. 9, with 325,981 units, despite a few updates of its own.
Another Honda rounds out the top-10 list: the CR-V compact crossover, at No. 8 overall with 335,019 units sold last year, good enough to be the nation’s best-selling crossover or SUV. A 2015-model update helped it surge ahead from the competing Ford Escape (No. 11, 306,212), with which it had been neck and neck halfway through the year.
Farther down the best-seller list, Nissan has seen its Sentra compact sedan and Rogue compact crossover jump in the rankings. The Sentra, redesigned for 2013 and updated for 2014 to address some critics’ complaints, was the No. 24 seller in 2014 – an improvement from the 30th place it saw in 2013 and 43rd in 2012. The Rogue, fully redesigned for 2014, improved to 21st place from 24th in 2013 and 26th in 2012.
Fuel prices may have contributed to a shuffle in part of the ranking order. The GMC Sierra full-size pickup saw a boost in sales that helped it achieve a No. 18 position in 2014 compared to No. 21 in 2013 and No. 23 in 2012. At the same time, the Toyota Prius line of gas-electric hybrids saw their sales pace steadily ease from No. 14 in 2012 to No. 15 in 2013 and all the way down to No. 20 in 2014. Of course, there may be more to the story: The Sierra was recently redesigned and the main Prius model is due for a 2016-model makeover next year.
A new face on the best-seller list is the Jeep Cherokee, a compact crossover reintroduced for 2014 to replace the Liberty, a traditional SUV that had not been especially popular in recent years. It was the No. 25 best-selling vehicle in 2014. Two other Jeeps (but, besides the Ram, nothing else from Chrysler) are also on the Top 30 list: the No. 23 Grand Cherokee midsize SUV and No. 26 Wrangler, a traditional off-road model.
One former best-seller is gone from the list: the Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan, whose 2014-model redesign abandoned its predecessor’s focus on maximum size for the money. The new model is significantly fancier and costlier sedan, and while sales remain impressive at 140,280 for the year, that bumped it down to No. 35 compared to 2012’s No. 21 slot, back when it was a value-focused fleet staple. It was bumped from the list by first-time winner Subaru Forester, a compact crossover that was No. 37 in 2013 and dozens of slots behind that in 2012.
Also notable are a few cars that narrowly missed the Top 30 cut. Several recent redesigns populate the positions just beyond No. 30. In order, they’re the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban full-size SUVs, Toyota Highlander midsize crossover, Kia Soul subcompact hatchback, BMW 3/4-Series entry-luxury car, and the Impala. All but the Impala were major sales improvements over 2013. The BMWs are also the nation’s best-selling premium-brand car for 2014. The only vehicle to come close was the Lexus RX crossover, at No. 47.
Also of note is that there’s no minivan among the 30 best-selling cars in the U.S. in 2014. All four popular models did decently overall, though, securing the 38th through 41st spots: the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey, respectively.
Sales charts of the top 30 best-selling vehicles of 2014
Sales charts of the top 10 best-selling vehicles of 2014 by class
Best-selling cars of the first half of 2014
Best-selling cars of 2013
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