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The Most Popular Car Brands in the US (2023)

The most popular car brands in America aren’t the biggest, most affordable, or fastest. They’re the cars that offer the most value for your money, durability, and features.

Before choosing a car, it’s always a good idea to see which brands and models are doing well on the market so that you can slim your options down.

We’ve already made a list of the best gas mileage cars, as well as compiled data on each state’s CO2 emissions. But that got us thinking — which car brand is most uniquely popular in each state?

In this article, we’ll go through the top car brands in the United States and the best-selling models for each brand to help you make an informed decision.

Top 5 Most Popular Car Brands: At a Glance

According to Automotive Sales Volume Reports, the top five most popular car brands in the United States are:

  1. Ford
  2. Toyota
  3. Chevrolet
  4. Honda
  5. Hyundai

They’re closely followed by Kia, Mazda, Subaru, Tesla, and Lexus.

Breaking Down Car Brands Popularity

Let’s take a closer look at why these leading car brands are so popular in the United States.

1. Ford

Unsurprisingly, Ford is the leading car brand in the United States automotive industry.

Ford Motor Company has spent years building a reputation for being safe and dependable, thanks to its rigorous quality control measures.

Ford cars and trucks are designed with durability and longevity in mind, living up to the company slogan “Built Ford Tough.”

Most Ford cars can go for hundreds of thousands of miles before you need to fix anything, and many Americans have proudly owned the same Ford pickup for over a decade.

Top-Selling Ford Models

The Ford F Series pickup truck dominated the US car sales market as the number-one bestseller for 2023, with over 573,370 units sold!

About 12,260 of these sales were of the Lightning F-150 pickup, which is impressive considering that few pickup truck enthusiasts opt for electric vehicles.

2. Toyota

Toyota might be the second most popular car brand in the US, but it has ranked as the number one best-selling car brand globally for the third year in a row.

The Toyota Motor Corporation is known for its unorthodox manufacturing system, which allows it to create high-quality cars at affordable prices.

Top-Selling Toyota Models

Not surprisingly, five of Toyota’s cars landed a spot among the top 25 cars sold in the United States for 2023.

Here are the cars, their rank according to sales volume, and the number of units sold:

  • Toyota Rav4: 4th place with about 302,831 units sold
  • Toyota Camry: 7th place with about 217,975 units sold
  • Toyota Tacoma: 11th place with about 179,681 units sold
  • Toyota Corolla: 13th place with about 165,693 units sold
  • Toyota Highlander: 18th place with 138,178 units sold

3. Chevrolet

Chevrolet, the third-best car brand in the US for 2023, is one of those car companies that make it all. From iconic muscle cars to pickup trucks and electric vehicles, Chevy’s are known for their rugged dependability and affordability.

Chevy’s 2023 car lineup won seven NHTSA 5-star safety ratings, each with an impressive road test score, highlighting General Motors’ attention to safety above all else.

Top-Selling Chevrolet Models

The Chevy Silverado is the second best-selling car in the US for 2023, with about 403,403 units sold.

When Americans think of buying a pickup truck, it’s usually a tight race between the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-Series, and the Ram.

4. Honda

Honda sales have been increasing gradually over the years, but from 2022 to 2023, they skyrocketed! By October 2023, Honda had already surpassed its 2022 sales volume by 33%.

Besides affordability, elite performance, and improved reliability, Americans love Honda because of its excellent resale value. It’s one of the least depreciating car brands, making it an excellent investment if you’re interested in flipping cars.

Hondas are also extremely fuel-efficient, making them a perfect choice if you want to become a Lyft or apply to drive on the Uber platform.

Top-Selling Honda Models

The Honda CR-V is the sixth best-selling car in the US, with about 262,351 units sold. This is almost 47% higher than the CR-V’s sales in 2022 as more Americans started falling in love with the concept of a compact crossover car (C-SUV).

The Honda Accord was another top-selling model, landing 16th place on the list for 2023, with about 152,202 units sold.

The Civic, another popular Honda model that’s been around for decades, followed closely in 17th place, with 146,881 units sold.

5. Hyundai

Hyundai is ranked the fifth most popular car brand in the US and the world based on sales volume. This South Korean brand offers highly competitive prices while maintaining the same standard of quality as other brands such as Toyota and Honda.

Hyundai cars are known for their sleek, bold designs and dynamic curves, which stand out in the American auto market.

Hyundai’s electric vehicle line also gained traction in 2023, with some models, such as the Ioniq 5 and 6, increasing by more than 50% in sales compared to 2022!

Top-Selling Hyundai Model

The Hyundai Tucson is the top-selling Hyundai model in the US, with about 153,180 units sold in 2023. It’s one of the few affordable C-SUVs that offer luxurious interiors with a massive cargo space, which is why it soared to the top.

The Least Popular Car Brands

According to Automotive Sales Volume Reports, the least popular car brands in the US were Land Rover, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Mini, and Fiat, with Fiat at the bottom of the list.

Coincidentally, these car brands have either Italian or British origins, while Americans have noticeably favored American or Japanese-made cars above all else.

The Most Popular Car Brands by State

See below for the full list of the car brands each state is most obsessed with along with some additional insights for certain states:

vector graphic showing the most popular car brands by state
  • Alabama: Hyundai
  • Alaska: Suzuki
  • Arizona: Tesla
  • Arkansas: GMC (the GMC Yukon sells at over 400% of the national average in Arkansas, and in general, the brand is very popular here)
  • California: Tesla (headquarters of Tesla and boasts the highest number of charging stations for electric vehicles of any state)
  • Colorado: Jeep (Jeep’s rugged outdoor vehicles are the perfect fit for the Rocky Mountain State)
  • Connecticut: Audi
  • Delaware: Mazda
  • District Of Columbia: Acura
  • Florida: Lamborghini (almost 14% of all cars sold in Florida are from luxury brands, well ahead of the national average)
  • Georgia: Infiniti
  • Hawaii: Toyota (Tacomas sell at more than 7x the national average in Hawaii)
  • Idaho: Suzuki
  • Illinois: Mitsubishi
  • Indiana: Chrysler
  • Iowa: Buick
  • Kansas: Suzuki
  • Kentucky: Ford
  • Louisiana: Infiniti
  • Maine: Volvo (the V60 Cross Country sells at about 550% of the national average in Maine)
  • Maryland: Acura
  • Massachusetts: Audi
  • Michigan: Chrysler
  • Minnesota: Buick
  • Mississippi: Nissan (Nissans are especially popular in Mississippi with the Maxima, Armada, and Titan all selling at over 4x the national rate)
  • Missouri: Kia
  • Montana: Ram (the Ram 1500 is especially popular here, selling at nearly 4x the national average) 
  • Nebraska: Chevrolet (Silverado and Suburban sales are more than twice their respective U.S. averages)
  • Nevada: Lamborghini
  • New Hampshire: Volvo (the Volvo V60 sells at roughly 6x the U.S. average in New Hampshire)
  • New Jersey: Acura
  • New Mexico: Mini
  • New York: Infiniti
  • North Carolina: Honda
  • North Dakota: GMC
  • Ohio: Kia
  • Oklahoma: Chevrolet (big trucks, including the Silverado, sell at over twice the national rate)
  • Oregon: Buick
  • Pennsylvania: Mitsubishi (the manufacturer sells its Outlander Sport exceptionally well in PA, at nearly 3x the national average)
  • Rhode Island: Hyundai (the Elantra Coupe has performed very well here, selling at over 450% of the national average in some years)
  • South Carolina: Kia
  • South Dakota: Chrysler
  • Tennessee: Nissan (with a Nissan assembly plant in Smyrna, TN, the auto manufacturer has a devoted following)
  • Texas: Lamborghini
  • Utah: Volkswagen (the Touareg has a history of selling at 3x the average of other states)
  • Vermont: Volvo (the V60 Cross Country has sold at over 800% of the national average in some years, and other Volvo models also sell at a much higher rate here than in other states)
  • Virginia: Acura
  • Washington: Mazda
  • West Virginia: Jeep
  • Wisconsin: Buick
  • Wyoming: Ram

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

In my observation of American car preferences, there’s a clear regional divide.

American brands like Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge are predominant in the Midwest and Southeast, especially their pickup trucks like the Ford F-150. On the coasts, however, Japanese brands such as Toyota and Honda are more popular, thanks to their reliability and value.

The distinction between American and foreign cars has become less clear over time. When I was 16, I drove a Honda and got an Acura when I turned 17. My friends always made fun of my for driving a “foreign import” yet now many of those same people drive those same brands.

Many foreign manufacturers now have significant production facilities in the U.S. In urban areas, you’ll often see smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, while rural areas favor trucks and SUVs for their practicality.

From my perspective, America’s car preferences are shaped by practical needs, brand perceptions, and regional lifestyles.

While brands like Toyota and Ford have widespread appeal, there’s also a strong market for luxury and specialized utility vehicles, showcasing the diverse needs of American drivers.

Wrapping Up

If you’re having trouble deciding which car to buy, you can’t go wrong with the top 5 car brands listed in this article.

With tried-and-true brands like Ford, Chevy, and Toyota, or affordable, economical cars like Honda and Hyundai, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth!

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