Manufacturers may sell far more utility vehicles and trucks than they do cars, but that does not mean that there isn’t a market for coupes, hatchbacks, convertibles, and sedans. Most manufacturers have cut back on car models with the Buick and Lincoln brands abandoning the segment completely. Fortunately, consumers still have some solid choices available, even as the segment continues to contract.
The Best Sellers
The following is our list of the best-selling cars of 2022 based on sales through November 2022.
We’re not surprised that the Toyota Camry tops this list. After all, the Camry has long been the segment’s best seller even as the market contracts. Offered with a standard four-cylinder engine, you can still get a V6. A hybrid variant remains popular, enabling this sedan to extend its reach. Sales may fall below 300,000 units this year, but that’s a number that should keep the Camry around for the long haul.
Related Reading — The Affordable, Efficient Toyota Camry Hybrid
In a distant second place is the Corolla, a compact sedan or hatchback that’s also the world’s best-selling model of all time. Toyota will sell more than 200,000 units again this year and may see momentum next year as the GR Corolla performance model rolls out. Like the midsize Camry, a Corolla hybrid model is available.
Related Reading — Why the Toyota Corolla Is the Best Car Ever Built
Sales of the Accord have fallen precipitously in recent years. Despite its premium styling and elegant interior, not much more than 150,000 units will move in 2022. We can blame the chip shortage in part, but the reality is that crossovers dominate. In recent years, the Accord lost its V6 and regained a hybrid.
Tesla Model 3
Tesla doesn’t separate its U.S. sales figures from its global numbers. We must rely on estimates and these show the Model 3 performing as well, if not better than the Honda Accord. Some consider the Tesla Model 3 a luxury model, but we don’t based largely on its anonymous front end and average interior. But as the only fully electric car on this list, its accomplishments are impressive.
Like the Camry and Accord, the Nissan Altima is a midsize sedan. A V6 is no longer offered and there is no hybrid variant. Still, Nissan typically moves more than 10,000 units each month. Like the Camry, the Altima offers available all-wheel drive.
Related Reading — Nissan Adds All-Wheel Drive to the Midsize Altima Sedan
Sales for the Honda Civic have fallen hard this year, dropping by about half since 2021. We could blame the chip shortage, but the reality is that customers are flocking to crossovers. A redesigned HR-V rivals the Civic’s sales, which average about 10,000 units each month.
For 2023, Hyundai drops the entry-level Accent and the last Veloster model. They remain committed to the car market although rumors that the midsize Sonata will disappear are out there. In the meantime, the compact Elantra sedan holds its own, with sales just behind the Civic.
Related Reading — Highlights of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra
Chevrolet continues to move away from cars as it retires the mini Spark this year and the Camaro next year. We think a fully electric model will replace the Camaro, but are doubtful those sales will approach the Chevy Bolt. Even as Ford and Dodge move away from sedans, the midsize Chevrolet Malibu continues. We believe most end up in fleet service, which should help the Malibu reach triple digit sales again this year.
Kia has also ditched its share of car models. The K5 is on the chopping block, while the Stinger is already gone. Unlike Hyundai with the Accent, Kia appears set to keep the entry-level Rio along with the compact Forte. Speaking of the Forte, this sedan has life left to it. With a starting price of about $20,000, the Forte is one of the most affordable models in the U.S. Kia averages 8,000 units sold each month, a solid number in a narrow segment.
Complementing the midsize Altima is the compact Sentra, a model that competes with the Corolla, Civic, Forte, and Elantra. During the first quarter, Nissan sold more than 25,000 units. Since then, the numbers have dropped by more than half. We believe the chip shortage has Nissan prioritizing its crossovers, but the $20,000 Sentra is worth a look. Also consider the subcompact Versa, a sedan that costs about $16,000. However, it doesn’t make our list because sales average about 1,000 units per month.
Related Reading — The Nissan Sentra is an Affordable Compact Sedan With Premium Touches
Cars remain the cheapest form of transportation, but the selection continues to shrink. Nevertheless, we believe that some manufacturers will remain committed to them as consumers look for affordable and sensible transportation.
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