Today the famous Car companies are continuously trying to stay one step ahead of each other to produce the vehicles consumers will love the best. Some nameplates (Tata nano) are only around for a single year. While others rack up millions of sales over the course of several decades. These 10 cars are the world’s best-selling vehicles of all time. And each has become an international icon in its own right.
The Impala has been on the American car scene in one form or another for almost 70 years. It used to be a complete gaudy halo sedan. But today often practical middle-aged people and rental car fleets purchase the car, but stack up all those sales since 1948 and you get a lot of Impalas. The most recent model has been highly improved in every regard. The previous Impala ranked dead last among large family sedans in Consumer Reports ratings. Chevy’s latest? First.
Total Sales: 14 million
2. Volkswagen Passat
The Passat flies under the radar for many family sedan buyers, although it still sells its fair share in the U.S. thanks to a large, plush interior and an affordable base model that still has plenty of features. In Western Europe, the Volkswagen sedan is more popular still, and has gone through seven model generations while racking up more than 15 million sales worldwide dating back to 1973. The 2015 model carries a base MSRP of just $20,845 and you can get one for around $19,500 with incentives.
Total Sales: 15.5 million
3. Ford Model T
When the Model T debuted in 1908, it was not the first gasoline–powered car around, but it launched the entire idea of the automobile as we know it. Ford’s car for the everyman was the first to be built on an assembly line, and was the first to be both affordable enough and reliable enough to take off in sales as the public’s new transportation of choice. There were also only a few choices on the market back than outside of boutique luxury cars, helping the Ford dominate the American market.
Total Sales: 16.5 million
4. Honda Accord
Since 1976, the Accord has been a symbol of reliable everyday transportation that still manages to bring its fair share of smiles. With strong sales in both Japan and the United States, Honda’s midsize was the first Japanese car to be built within American borders. Accords are also built to last decades and hundreds of thousands of miles, which along with all those sales is the reason why you probably see more of them driving around today than any other vehicle.
Total Sales: 17.5 Million
5. Ford Escort
The Escort, which emerged in 1968, really helped Ford break outside of the American market, as it was the first of the company’s models to be a runaway hit in Europe. The subcompact, fun-to-drive runabout was the perfect car for value-seeking Europeans, especially in the United Kingdom, and was so successful that Ford brought it to America in 1981. Racking up over 18 million in sales for a single nameplate is no easy task, so it seems to make little sense that Ford would kill the Escort altogether. Chinese buyers will have the first crack at an all-new Escort that drops in 2017.
Total Sales: 18 million
6. Honda Civic
American, Japanese and European buyers have relied on their Civics for decades. Mainly for cheap, durable transportation with good fuel efficiency and loads of support from aftermarket parts manufacturers. Soon to release as a worldwide car in its tenth generation. However, the Civic really hasn’t changed all that much over the years. Sure, it has modern engineering, but it is still light, cheap, efficient and reliable, just as its millions of buyers have come to expect.
Total Sales: 18.5 million
7. Volkswagen Beetle
Many might not know that the original Volkswagen Type 1 “Beetle” dates back to Germany during the Nazi regime. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche as the “people’s car” (“volks-wagen”), and millions of Germans laid down a portion of their paychecks for cars that were mostly never delivered. How the Beetle became a worldwide sensation and an icon of the 1960s counter-culture movement in America is a strange story, and books have been written on the subject. But Volkswagen’s car was so affordable and simple to work on. That it became a favorite of shade-tree mechanics and hippies alike.
Total Sales: 23.5 million
8. Volkswagen Golf
While VW still sells the Beetle today as more of a retro–inspired icon car. It is the Golf that became the original Beetle’s spiritual successor when it hit the market in 1974. Many Americans knew the early Golfs as the Rabbit. A name VW briefly revived in the late 2000s before reverting back to the worldwide Golf nameplate. By any name, the original hot hatchback has offered a degree of personality and craftsmanship a bit better than its Japanese competitors ever since its inception. That is one the of several reasons why it is still a worldwide favorite to this day.
Total Sales: 27.5 million
9. Ford F-Series
Outside of the United States, Ford’s compact Ranger is its most popular pickup. But Americans love big, powerful and capable trucks, and that is why the Ford has been America’s best-selling vehicle since the 1970s. Debuting in 1948 as a no-frills model geared toward workmen in various fields. The F–150 has grown into a full lineup of trucks to meet a variety of needs. From the humble regular-cab work truck that is actually quite affordable all the way on up to the wild SVT Raptor off-road special.
Total Sales: 35 million
10. Toyota Corolla
And the winner is… the humble, reliable Toyota Corolla with a jaw-dropping 40 million units sold. Toyota’s compact hit the market in 1966. Through eleven generations, the Corolla has still managed to stay relevant despite being rather boring, almost as a design quality. The reason lies in its reliability combined with efficiency, resale value, simplicity. And the low base price that offers buyers one of the lowest total costs of ownership around, just like it did nearly 50 years ago.
Total Sales: 40 million