Ranked

Ranked: 20 best-selling new cars in the U.S. in 2021

The Kia K5 was added to the automaker's lineup last year.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Dealerships are welcoming 2021 and 2022 models to their lots while some 2020 versions still remain. Before the pandemic, car sales were slumping. What lies ahead for 2021 is anyone's guess.

Below is a list of the best-selling SUVs through May 3, 2021. Many automakers report their sales results quarterly. These rankings have been determined using sales numbers provided by the individual automobile manufacturers.

The vehicles on this list are bound to change order as new information becomes available. Stay tuned!

To see the 20 best-selling new cars in the U.S. in 2019 click here and to see 2020's results click here.

No. 20 - Mazda Mazda3 (13,786 sold)

2021 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The Mazda3 comes in two varieties: sedan and hatchback. With those two, there are several trim level and engine offerings including a new 2.5-liter turbo-four that delivers zippy power to the small car.

No. 19 - Dodge Challenger (15,096 sold)

2020 Dodge Challenger

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The Dodge Challenger hasn't changed too much over the years, but it has been continuously updated. For the 2021 model year, Challengers are more available as widebody models. The Dodge's powerful engine lineup and spacious cabin carry over into the new model year.

No. 18 - Dodge Charger (19,740 sold)

2020 Dodge Charger The Dodge Charger is one of the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is new for the 2021 model year but most everything else is a carryover from the 2020 version. Like the Challenger, the Charger is spacious and can get where it's going in a hurry.

No. 17 - Nissan Versa (22,394 sold)

2020 Nissan Versa

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Versa may be small but it has a lot for customers to like from its low price tag to its well-appointed interior. The Versa continues to be a compelling choice that doesn't feel cheap.

No. 16 - Toyota Prius (22,402 sold)

2021 Toyota Prius Prime

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

The Toyota Prius family of vehicles is mostly unchanged for the 2021 model year. The Prius Prime, a plug-in version of the car has had its safety technology upgraded to Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 for 2021 and added an estimated 25 miles of all-electric range.

No. 15 - Volkswagen Jetta (22,714 sold)

2021 Volkswagen Enthusiast Fleet: Jetta GLI Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Jetta is mostly a carryover from the 2021 model year. It features a power-adjustable driver's seat in more trim levels, a new infotainment system, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also, the GLI Autobahn model got more active safety features.

No. 14 - Kia Soul (23,961 sold)

2021 Kia Soul

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia Soul was completely redesigned for the 2020 model year and for 2021 it is mostly a carryover. The Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo model has be renamed the Soul Turbo and as such it gets new badging. Remote start has been added to the key fob of Soul EX and Turbo models. Rear occupant alert is now standard.

No. 13 - Ford Mustang (25,274 sold)

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For the 2021 model year, Ford has introduced the Mustang Mach 1. This track-centric car is designed to sit at the intersection of performance and a reasonable price point, giving buyers more of what they want under a historic Ford-related "Mach 1" name.

No. 12 - Chevrolet Malibu (26,987 sold)

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The fuel-efficient, smooth-riding 2021 Chevrolet Malibu is basically the same as the 2020 model. It's ditched the cord and gotten wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, the Buckle to Drive safety system is available.

No. 11 - Kia K5 (30,004 sold)

2021 Kia K5 EX 1.6T FWD

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia K5 replaced the Optima in the company's lineup for the 2021 model year. It features Stingler-like design DNA while riding on a platform that is stronger, longer, wider, and lower than the Optima. The midsize car is filled with the latest Kia technology and is made at Kia's West Point, Georgia plant.

No. 10 - Hyundai Sonata (30,773 sold)

2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai's midsize car received a complete redesign for the 2020 model year bringing a long roster of high-tech features and premium level appointments to the mix. For 2021 a new, sporty Sonata N Line model makes its debut offering unique design elements and stronger driving dynamics.

No. 9 - Nissan Altima (32,017 sold)

2020 Nissan Altima Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2021 Nissan Altima is a fuel mileage champion. It offers a lot of bang for the buck as well, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are no longer standard equipment.

No. 8 - Nissan Sentra (37,238 sold)

2020 Nissan Sentra Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Sentra most offer the most bang for your buck of any car at its price point. Nissan has changed it up a bit for the new model year making Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard and offering a newly available Wi-Fi hot spot.

No. 7 - Kia Forte (37,354 sold)

2021 Kia Forte Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

In its third year since its generational redesign, the Kia Forte is a carryover for the 2021 model year. The car is competitively priced, starting at just $17,890.

No. 6 - Hyundai Elantra (40,451 sold)

2021 Hyundai Elantra

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai has introduced a new generation of Elantra for the 2021 model year giving the compact car a lot of bang for the buck. There's also a new Elantra N model.

No. 5 - Honda Accord (67,626 sold)

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Accord has been given a proper mid-generation refresh for the 2021 model year include new tech and fresh fascia. The Accord Hybrid has also been updated and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available.

No. 4 - Honda Civic (84,317 sold)

2020 Honda Civic

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2021 Honda Civic is a carryover from the 2020 model year. Honda will debut a next-generation version of the car this spring that will go on sale later in the year.

No. 3 - Toyota Corolla (103,742 sold)

2021 Toyota Corolla

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

The 12th generation Corolla has been kept mostly the same for the 2021 model year (it was redesigned for 2020). The car now comes in an Apex Edition model that combines a body kit with slightly sharper handling. All Corollas get Android Auto for the new model year.

No. 2 - Toyota Camry (108,090 sold)

2021 Toyota Camry XSE Blueprint

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

The Toyota Camry turns 37 years young this year and to celebrate it's gotten an upgraded safety system - Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ - for the 2021 model year. Each model has also gotten interior and exterior upgrades including fresh fascia, new wheels, and a floating multimedia screen.

No. 1 - Tesla Model 3/Y (180,780 sold)

Tesla Model 3 Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla continues to sell gobs of Model 3 and Model Ys. The company doesn't split their sales in their reporting, but even split, the Model 3 and Model Y are likely to have both made this list.

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Chevy confirmed the new Z06 with 670 horsepower.

Chevrolet

After years of speculation, Chevy announced the mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette for the 2020 model year. Almost immediately, a new round of rumors took off around the potential for an even higher performance Z06 model. Chevy finally confirmed the car yesterday with a design and specs that improve on the standard Corvette in almost every way.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The new LT6 V8 features a flat-plane crank and an 8,600 rpm redline.Chevrolet

The star of the show is the new 5.5-liter flat-plane crank LT6 V8. The mill churns out an unbelievable 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and can rev all the way out to 8,600 rpm. Power numbers aside, the sky-high redline lets the engine wail and scream in a way that we've not heard outside of Corvette racing cars. The hand-assembled engines are paired with a single technician through the build process and each unit carries a plaque with the builder's name.

To differentiate the Z06 from "normal" Corvettes, Chevy gave the car unique front and rear fascias, 20-inch front/21-inch rear wheels, and a configurable rear spoiler designed to improve high-speed stability. The Z06 is available with lightweight carbon wheels designed to reduce unsprung weight. The car itself is 9.4 centimeters wider than the Corvette Stingray to accommodate larger wheel sizes and incorporate larger cooling air vents on the side.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06's interior features many upgrades over the standard car.Chevrolet

As a more track-focused Corvette, the Z06 comes with tech to improve performance and record drives. When in track mode, the Z06's Performance Traction Management system is activated, which offers five levels of torque reduction and brake intervention, and an electronic limited slip differential helps keep the rear planted.

Inside, the Z06 improves on the Stingray's cabin with seven interior color choices, three seat options, six seatbelt designs, and two interior carbon fiber trim packages. Chevy says that the car's interior has a bespoke and upscale feel that sets it apart from the standard Corvette, which itself already had a gorgeous cabin.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06 is wider than the Stingray to accommodate larger wheels and bodywork.Chevrolet

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be built at the automaker's Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. Chevy will build the cars in both left- and right-hand drive configurations when production kicks off in summer 2022.

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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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