Ranked

Ranked: 20 best-selling new cars in the U.S. in 2020

Sedans are declining in popularity but automakers still offer a number of competitive options.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Despite what you've heard on TV, cars are actually still quite popular with the buying public. The top of the rankings is dominated by the usual suspects but further down the results are more interesting.

Below is a list of the best-selling cars through December 31, 2020. Many automakers report their sales results quarterly. These sales figures are final for the 2020 reporting year.

Click here to see 2019's best-selling new cars and here to see 2021's.

No. 20 - Subaru Impreza (43,628 sold)

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The Subaru Impreza hasn't had any major changes to it since it was introduced in 2017 yet it remains a compelling choice for buyers seeking an all-wheel drive car. Available as a hatchback or sedan, the Impreza is also wallet-friendly.

No. 19 - Nissan Versa (48,273 sold)

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Versa is the smallest car model in the automaker's U.S. lineup. It offers a lot of bang for your buck, which is what helps it win with buyers. On top of that, the new Versa is much more stylish than the last-generation model.

No. 18 - Kia Optima (48,484 sold)

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2020 is the last model year in the current generation Kia Optima. Despite being a little long in the tooth, the 2020 Optima delivers for customers offering a smooth ride, a well-designed cabin with premium appointments in high trim levels, and an easy-to-use infotainment system.

No. 17 - Dodge Challenger (52,955 sold)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Dodge Challenger hasn't been changed significantly in a decade but Dodge continues to push the envelope with performance, introduce new variants, and updated the car's infotainment system.

No. 16 - Ford Mustang (61,090 sold)

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2020 model year is all about fine tuning the Ford Mustang. Buyers can now opt for a High Performance or EcoBoost Handling package. There's also a new Shelby GT500 model that gets buyers a free track day at a NASCAR speedway with purchase. Now, all Mustangs come standard with FordPass Connect.

No. 15 - Kia Soul (71,862 sold)

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has completely redesigned the Soul for the 2020 model year giving it ... more soul. Its funky exterior carries over to the interior where buyers can choose to turn the fun up a notch with various packages and high-tech features. The 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo didn't win many hearts at AutomotiveMap, but the Soul's lower trim levels, powered by the standard non-turbo engine did.

No. 14 - Hyundai Sonata (76,997 sold)

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai redesigned the Sonata for the 2020 model year. It's a completely new car with fresh angles and innovative tech, yet it keeps the same spacious seating and cargo space buyers have known and loved about the midsize car.

No. 13 - Dodge Charger (77,425 sold)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Dodge Charger is available as an engaging daily driver, true muscle car, or hell on wheels (that's the Hellcat grade). It has comfortable seating for four adults, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and spacious seats.

No. 12 - Volkswagen Jetta (82,662 sold)

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Jetta was redesigned for the 2019 model year and has had a number of enhancements for 2020 including a standard Wi-Fi hot spot and available wireless charging. Still, the model just doesn't hold up in terms of drivability or interior materials compared to the other vehicles in its class, according to our review.

No. 11 - Kia Forte (84,997 sold)

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia redesigned the Forte for the 2019 model year. It comes equipped with a long list of standard features, big trunk compared to other vehicles in its class, and spacious seats. It's also fuel efficient.

No. 10 - Nissan Sentra (94,646 sold)

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Sentra has been completely redesigned for the 2020 model year, with its looks falling into line with the Versa and Altima. The new Sentra is a compelling choice with its high-tech features, comfortable seats, and easy-to-use infotainment system.

No. 9 - Chevrolet Malibu (102,651 sold)

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Malibu is on its last legs. It will be discontinued after this model year, taking its fuel efficiency, easy-to-use infotainment system, and outdated appointments with it. The model does come standard with a long list of standard infotainment features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 8-inch infotainment screen.

No. 8 - Hyundai Elantra (105,475 sold)

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Elantra is Hyundai's most popular sedan. It's been heralded as being fuel efficient, available with a long list of features, and having a premium-level interior in its higher trim levels. The Elantra is also budget-friendly.

No. 7 - Ford Fusion (110,665 sold)

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

American buyers can't quit the Ford Fusion, despite the long-running rumor that it's about to be killed off. The automaker has confirmed that the comfortable cruiser will live on through the 2021 model year, but isn't making any promises after that.

No. 6 - Nissan Altima (137,988 sold)

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Altima was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year and hasn't changed significantly since. Its looks are edgier and sharper than the previous generation, and it comes loaded with a long list of standard and available tech, making it more appealing to buyers. The Altima is still fuel efficient.

No. 5 - Honda Accord (199,458 sold)

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Accord is near the top of every sedan shoppers wish list, and for good reason. It is a near-premium car in its top trim levels, fuel-efficient (especially as a hybrid), and comfortable. The Accord has an easy-to-use infotainment system and good legroom.

No. 4 - Tesla Model 3 (206,500 sold)

2020 Tesla Model 3 SR PlusPhoto by Chad Kirchner

The Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling electric vehicle in the U.S. It is offered in a wide variety of ranges and can be equipped with a variety of packages to make it more exciting and plusher, depending on the buyer's taste and budget. AutomotiveMap recently spent three months in a Model 3 to find out if it's worth the money. Check out what we thought here.

No. 3 - Honda Civic (261,225 sold)

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Civic remains a popular choice for buyers due to its numerous variations, from a competent daily driver to track-ready speedster. It's one of the few models on this list to come with an available manual transmission and coupe format.

No. 2 - Toyota Camry (294,348 sold) 

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The Toyota Camry reigns supreme for American buyers and it's easy to see why. Its looks are (finally) anything but mundane. The Camry's interior is plush and comfortable, and it comes loaded with a hist of standard safety and driver assistance features.

No. 1 - Toyota Corolla (304,850 sold)

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The Corolla was redesigned for the 2020 model year and is now upgraded to fit nicely into Toyota's modern lineup. It can come loaded to the gills with high-tech features but its less premium models still don't feel like too much of a compromise. The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is about as fuel efficient as the Prius.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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