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)

2020 Subaru Impreza
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)

2020 Kia Optima

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)

2020 Dodge Challenger

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)

2020 Ford Mustang

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)

2020 Kia Soul
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)

2020 Hyundai Sonata

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)

2020 Dodge Charger

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)

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

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)

2019 Kia Forte

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)

2020 Nissan Sentra

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)

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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)

2020 Hyundai Elantra

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)

2020 Ford Fusion

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)

2020 Nissan Altima

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)

2020 Honda Accord

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)

2020 Honda Civic

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) 

2020 Toyota Camry

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)

2020 Toyota Corolla

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 Palisade got a mild refresh for 2023.

Hyundai

Earlier this year, Hyundai announced changes to the Palisade for 2023. The list includes a new front fascia, an updated grille with new headlights and daytime running lights, a 12-inch touchscreen with navigation, and more. A new XRT trim joined the lineup as well, bringing brawny off-road styling and dar exterior trim. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the SUV, which starts at a little more than $32,000.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeA new XRT trim adds rugged styling. Hyundai

The Palisade's powertrain carries over from 2022, which includes a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Inside, the SUV got several new and updated technology features, including a more powerful wireless device charging pad, an updated digital key system, and a larger infotainment display.

As Hyundai's flagship SUV, the Palisade edges on luxury territory, with plush leather upholstery and a serene cabin that offers excellent noise cancellation and comfort. Captain's chairs and seven-passenger seating are available, but a second-row bench comes standard and brings eight-passenger capacity to the SUV.

Muscular SUVs are more popular than ever before, so Hyundai gave the posh Palisade an outdoorsy treatment with its XRT trim. The new Palisade XRT builds on the SEL trim with 20-inch wheels, a more rugged bumper and lower body cladding, a sunroof, and leatherette upholstery. To be clear, XRT is an appearance package that does not improve off-road capability to a large degree.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeTop trims border on the quality and design of some luxury brands. Hyundai

Standard safety equipment is generous, and includes forward collision warnings with avoidance, lane keep assist, lane following assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention warnings, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing for the base Palisade SE starts at $36,245, which includes a $1,295 destination charge. The top Calligraphy AWD model starts at $52,095 after destination. All-wheel drive is available for all trims as an added-cost option.

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The Ascent got updated styling and fresh tech.

Subaru

Subaru's lineup is full of useful, adventure-ready vehicles, but most are not accommodating for full-size families. The Ascent solved that issue for the automaker a few years ago, and has been a popular family option since. It got a mild update for 2023 with a facelift and new tech. The Ascent comes in five trims: Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring. It's expected to go on sale in fall 2022.

The Subaru comes with a new front fascia design that adds a new grille and aggressive styling up front. Lower air ducts help improve aerodynamics, and in higher trims the components come with chrome trim. The SUV's C-shaped taillights got a refresh as well, and now feature a sharper shape to better match the vehicle's overall styling.

2023 Subaru AscentThe new front fascia design is more aggressive than before. Subaru

The Ascent's powertrain remains in place, which is a turbocharged 2.54-liter four-cylinder making 260 horsepower. It sends power to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission that offers a simulated eight-speed manual shifting mode. Subaru's X-Mode driving mode comes standard, which alters throttle response and other vehicle behavior to maintain traction in slippery conditions. Torque vectoring, which allows the vehicle to shift torque between wheels that need it most, also comes standard.

A new Onyx Edition trim joins the Ascent line for 2022. It brings a standard 11.6-inch touchscreen with navigation, a Harman Kardon sound system, power seats, and a panoramic sunroof. The base Ascent comes with features such as 18-inch wheels, USB inputs, tri-zone automatic climate controls, three rows of seating, and a whopping 19 cupholders. Subaru also offers an optional Cabin Connect system, which allows the driver or front passenger to communicate to people behind them through the stereo using a front-cabin-mounted microphone.

2023 Subaru AscentThe Ascent's interior is available with great tech, such as an 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Subaru

Subaru EyeSight safety equipment comes standard with every Ascent. The system is improved for 2023 with a wider field of vision and new software. A new wide-angle camera joins EyeSight's existing two-camera setup to provide better pedestrian and cyclist detection when approaching intersections. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and lane change assist are available.

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