A Ford F-Series truck, one of the top-selling vehicles of 2021.


Pickup trucks and SUVs continue to dominate the list of top-selling vehicles in the United States

Examining top-selling vehicles is important when you want to consider buying a new vehicle. After all, this car will likely be with you for years to come. Therefore, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure it fits into your lifestyle.

Part of this process will involve researching the vehicles on the market and narrowing your search. For example, families with multiple children will probably look for options with plenty of cargo space and third-row seating, while single people might look for something that’s fun to drive or good for recreation.

Your decision will come down to personal preferences, but you might also look at what other people are buying. If a vehicle is popular, there’s probably a good reason for it that deserves closer attention.

Here’s a look at the top-selling vehicles of 2021 and information on how you can purchase one, even if your local dealerships are low on inventory.

Key Takeaways

  • Researching vehicles before buying one is a must
  • Finding an option that fits into your lifestyle is important
  • Your local dealerships might not have your ideal car
  • It’s possible to ship a vehicle from another city

Trucks in the top three spots

Just like in 2020, the top-selling US vehicle in 2021 was the Ford F-Series, with 726,004 units sold in the United States. That number is down 8% from the previous year, thanks mainly to a microchip shortage that slowed production, but it remains far higher than any other vehicle in the country.

With 569,388 units sold nationally, the Ram Pickup sits in second place. The brand sold 1% more trucks than in 2020 and even outsold the F-Series in the second quarter of 2021, so it’s worth watching moving forward.

The Chevrolet Silverado is typically the second-highest selling vehicle in the United States. Although, its numbers plummeted by 11.4% in 2021 to 519,774 units sold. Sales fell by a remarkable 36.3% in the fourth quarter, so the situation is worth monitoring moving forward. 

All three pickup models are the flagship vehicles for their brands. Therefore, finding them locally shouldn’t be much of an issue. However, there’s a chance you’ll have to order from out of town if you’re looking for specific options because production-driven supply issues are affecting locations.

Compact crossovers remain popular

While trucks are the most popular vehicles on the road, compact crossovers are right there with them because of their driveability and style.

The Toyota RAV4, with 407,739 units sold, sits in fourth place, although that number is down 5.3% from the previous year. The RAV4 has gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models in addition to the RAV4 Prime and its 40-mile battery range. The RAV4 saw its numbers drop by 26.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020. This is mainly because chip shortages created production challenges.

In fifth place is the Honda CR-V, another compact crossover. This model saw sales increase by 8.3% to 361,271, a number driven by Honda’s ability to weather the chip shortage early in 2021. Sales were down by 26% in the fourth quarter, though, showing that Honda isn’t immune to this global supply issue.

The seventh most popular vehicle in 2021 (coming in below the Toyota Camry) is the Nissan Rogue, which sold 285,602 units. These numbers are up 25.3% from 2020, a number primarily driven by the SUV’s redesigned look that debuted in 2020. It’s worth noting that the Nissan Rouge’s numbers were up 40% in 2021 until the fourth-quarter production issues hit.

Compact crossovers are everywhere, but they suffered from supply issues in late 2021, making them more challenging to find.

The best-selling cars of 2021

Cars start appearing on the list at spot six, but the car market is dominated by foreign makers and not many American cars are represented. 

The sixth best-selling vehicle for 2021 is the Toyota Camry. The brand sold 313,795 units, up 6.6% from the previous year. This is despite seeing sales tank by 36.2% in the fourth quarter. 

With 263,787 sales in 2021, the Honda Civic sits tenth on the list behind a couple full-size SUVs. Those numbers are up 1% from 2020 and include the high-performance Type R.

The Toyota Corolla is 12th in sales for 2021, moving 248,993 units. Those sales figures are a 5.5% increase from the previous year. Although they decreased by 55.2% in the fourth quarter because of a shortage of supplies.

Because brands produce fewer cars than other vehicles, the supply issues they’re experiencing could create more significant challenges than you’d expect with trucks and SUVs.

Full-size SUVs are strong sellers

Consumers with families no longer purchase minivans, instead opting for full-size SUVs with third-row seating. These vehicles offer the benefits of a minivan but are sportier in appearance.

The best-selling of the bunch in 2021 is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is in eighth place overall on the list with 264,444 units sold. That number is up by 26.1% over 2020, and the 2022 lineup will include a plug-in hybrid version. You can also get a two-row Grand Cherokee if you don’t need the additional seating.

The ninth best-selling vehicle for 2021 is the Toyota Highlander. American car buyers purchased 264,128 on the year, an increase of 24.4% over 2020. However, sales were up 48.2% until the fourth-quarter slowdown that many other manufacturers also experienced.

At 14th place on this list, the Ford Explorer sold 219,871 units in 2021. Those numbers are down by 3% from the previous year, thanks mainly to the model selling 29% fewer units in the third quarter.

Supply issues hindered sales for full-size SUVs in 2021, but many brands still experienced impressive year-over-year growth.

Finding the exact vehicle you want

Production slowdowns were a common theme in 2021 as the microchip shortage made life challenging for many manufacturers. These problems also made it more difficult for consumers to find the exact vehicles they wanted, particularly in the second half of the year.

If these production issues continue throughout 2022, purchasing out-of-town vehicles might become a better option as consumers look for the exact car they want.

Mercury Auto Transport can streamline the car purchasing process for you by shipping your new vehicle directly to your home from another city. That way, you can expand your search throughout the country, making it easier to find your preferred make and model. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today for more information or a free quote.


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