This Is the Most Popular Used Car in America

The average lifetime of an American car has grown to over 11 years. Much of that is attributed to high-quality manufacturing and better dealer services. Even though cars last longer, Americans bought 17 million new cars a year for five years, until the pandemic. In 2020, the number dropped to about 13 million. People often trade in their used cars when they buy new ones, or they sell them on their own. The brands of used car ownership are not very different from new ones, at least at the top of the lists. The most popular models have stayed popular, new or used, for years, if not decades.

According to an analysis by iSeeCars, the three most popular cars are the American brand full-sized pickups. Number one on that list is Ford’s F-150, ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500. The F-150 has been the most popular new vehicle in the United States for over four decades.

In terms of new car sales last year, the F-150 was in the first spot again, followed by the Silverado. The Ram ranked fifth, behind the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The presence of the RAV4 and CR-V points to a new trend in American car sales. People have moved sharply from sedans and coupes to sport utility vehicles and crossovers.

The used car list tells a similar story. After the big three pickups, the Nissan Rogue, a small SUV, ranks fourth.

After that, the lists begin to change. On the news car list, the Hyundai Tucson and Chevrolet Equinox are in the top 10. Each is a small SUV or crossover. The used car list, on the other hand, includes high-mileage, low-priced sedans that are still popular, inexpensive ways to get around. The Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Nissan Sentra all make the top 10 used car list.

RankUsed Car ModelNew Car Model
1Ford F-150Ford F-150
2Chevrolet Silverado 1500Chevrolet Silverado 1500
3Ram Pickup 1500Toyota RAV4
4Ford EscapeHonda CR-V
5Nissan RogueRam Pickup 1500
6Honda CivicHyundai Tucson
7Toyota CamryHonda Civic
8Chevrolet EquinoxToyota Camry
9Nissan AltimaChevrolet Equinox
10Nissan SentraToyota Tacoma

The data overall shows that there is one constant. According to iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer, “Used pickup truck sales remained strong and even grew in sales during the pandemic, while all other segments declined, as consumers needed them for work.” This trend has gone on for so long, there is little reason to think it will be broken.

Methodology: analyzed over 8 million used car sales from model years 2015 to 2019 and over 4.9 million new car sales in 2020. Each model’s share of used car sales and new car sales within each metro area and state was mathematically modeled to determine the best-selling cars in each geographical region. Heavy-duty vehicles were excluded from further analysis.

These are the new cars most likely to break down.

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