The best selling cars in the world are not the sexiest ones. They have been around for years or decades, and have slowly won the trust of consumers. Automakers continuously upgrade their most popular vehicles to adapt to consumers’ needs. They have proved to be economical and reliable. These are the top 10 best selling cars in the world.
The ranking below is based on data from Global Auto Database for the year 2018. The Global Auto Database collects automobile sales data from more than 300 sources around the world. Japanese brands dominate the list, as they have been doing for years. Only two of the top 10 best selling cars registered more than one million sales last year.
10- Chevrolet Silverado, 651,090 units sold
Despite a drop in sales last year, Silverado sold enough units to remain among the top 10 best selling cars. Its sales declined in all major markets including the United States, Canada, and Mexico. These heavy-duty pickup trucks were first introduced in 1998 as the successor to Chevrolet C/K.
9- Toyota Camry, 661,383 units sold
Toyota Camry, originally introduced in 1982, witnessed a 3.8% jump in sales last year compared to 2017. Its worldwide sales went up despite a decline in US sales. It’s one of the most popular sedan cars in Western markets. The current model XV70 is the eighth-generation of Camry. It was originally introduced as a narrow-body compact car, but its body evolved into a mid-size car in 1998.
8- Volkswagen Polo, 725,463 units sold
Volkswagen launched the first Polo in 1975, and has since introduced six generations of the vehicle. The timely launch of the sixth-generation in early 2018 helped boost its sales worldwide by 11.3% compared to the previous year. Polo reached its peak sales in 2011, when it sold 809,549 units.
7- Honda CR-V, 747,646 units sold
Honda’s compact SUV crossover remains one of the most popular vehicles in North America despite witnessing a slight drop in sales. The CR-V was introduced in 1995. Though it’s an SUV, it uses the same platform as Honda Civic. The 2020 Honda CR-V face-lift is currently under testing, and would hit the stores towards the end of 2020.
6- Volkswagen Golf, 789,519 units sold
Golf was originally introduced in 1974 as the Rabbit. Volkswagen has since launched seven generations of the vehicle in different body configurations. Volkswagen Golf is the German automaker’s best-selling model ever. It was launched as a successor to Volkswagen Beetle. Golf’s sales plunged 10.3% from 2017 to 2018, but it still sold 789,519 units.
5- Volkswagen Tiguan, 791,275 units sold
The Tiguan compact SUV has turned out to be Volkswagen’s dark horse since its launch in 2007. It doesn’t get as much attention as Golf, but was Volkswagen’s top-selling vehicle last year. While Golf sales went down 10.3%, Tiguan registered an 8.6% jump in 2018. The second-generation Tiguan continues to drive growth.
4- Honda Civic, 823,169 units sold
Launched in 1972, Honda Civic has undergone several generational changes. Before launching Civic in 1972, Honda’s car business was struggling and the company considered exiting the automobile business. But it decided to give cars one more try with Civic, which turned out to be a blockbuster. The Civic has sold close to 20 million units worldwide since its launch in 1972.
3- Toyota RAV4 – 837,624 units sold
The RAV4 was the first ever compact SUV crossover, having launched in 1994. It aimed to provide the benefits of SUVs combined with the fuel economy and maneuverability of compact cars. Its sales jumped 3.6% YoY in 2018 to 837,624 units, including 427,170 units in the US alone. Toyota launched the fifth-generation RAV4 in December 2018, which is expected to further boost sales in 2019.
2- Ford F Series, 1,080,757 units
Ford’s iconic F Series is one of the only two vehicles to have sold more than one million units in 2018. The F Series has been in production since 1948, and has been the best selling vehicle in the United States since 1986. Though its sales grew only 0.4% in 2018, it generated $41 billion in revenue for Ford. The Ford F-150 alone has sold more than 40 million units in the last six decades.
1- Toyota Corolla, 1,181,445 units sold
Toyota Corolla is by far the most popular car in the world. Between 1966 and 2016, it had sold 44 million units worldwide over twelve generations. Despite the 1.7% decline in 2018, the vehicle sold 1,181,445 units. The Corolla is a highly reliable and economical car. Many users have said it runs fine even after clocking 200,000 miles on the odometer.