When looking to buy a car, seeing what other people buy is always a good place to start. In the case of these cars, other people are millions and millions of people all over the world. These are the best selling cars of all time and a little bit about each one’s history. Keep in mind, just because a car is on this list doesn’t make it a phenomenal car. Some of these cars had few or no other alternatives inflating their sales significantly. Most of these cars though are truly deserving of their status as one of the best selling cars of all time!
Over 14 Million Accords Sold
The Honda Accord first rolled off the assembly line floor in 1976 and is produced to this day. By 1989, the Honda Accord had become the first import brand to be a best-selling vehicle in the United States. The Accord has numerous awards under its belt for reliability, safety, and has been on Car and Driver 10Best for 30 years! It is widely regarded as one of the world’s most reliable cars and helped shape Honda’s image as one of the most reliable car brands.
Ford Model T
Over 15 Million Model Ts sold
In less than 20 years, with technology far inferior to modern technology, how did Ford build and sell 15 million Model Ts?
The historic Ford Model T began production in 1908 and continued until 1927. It was the first automobile to be built in an assembly line rather than being hand-built like the automobile that came before. Henry Ford, the founder of Ford, and the Model T changed transportation forever by making cars accessible to all people. No longer were they only for the affluent upper class. The Model T became a symbol of working-class America and how American ingenuity and innovation could revolutionize the way that we get around.
Over 16.5 Million Civics Sold
The predecessor to the Honda Accord, the Civic’s production began in 1972 and is still being built to this day. The Civic has served as the base for dozens of different submodels. These range from hatchbacks, sports cars, race cars, roadsters, and anything between! The Civic served as an upgradable platform that Honda could manipulate into any number of different car classifications. Today, the Civic is widely known for its customizability, affordability, reliability, and its “blank canvas” approach that inspires first-time car builders to create their masterpiece!
Nearly 20 Million Escorts Sold
This one may be surprising to some, but the Ford Escort was the best selling vehicle throughout the 80s and 90s in the United Kingdom! Of course, the European Ford Escort and the US Ford Escort were not identical, the Ford Escort nameplate still managed to sell nearly 20 million cars worldwide between 1968 and 2004! Around 4 million were sold in the UK alone! While not the most exciting car, the Ford Escort did exactly what it was meant to do; get people from point A to point B. In a way, it is very similar to Ford’s first-ever success, the Model T. It’s affordable, reliable, and gets people where they need to go.
Over 20 Million Rivas Sold
If you’re reading this and you live in the United States, chances are you’ve probably never heard of Lada, much less the Riva. First introduced in the 80s in the Soviet Union, the Riva was a very basic, cheap car that was affordable to the people of Eastern Europe at the time. By 1980s standards, the car was bad, but that didn’t stop it from selling millions of models all around the world in countries that needed cheap transportation. Production in Russia ceased between 2010 and 2012, but they continued to be built in Egypt until 2015. The most interesting thing about the Lada Riva is the fact that the car has largely stayed unchanged since the 1980s. This makes the Riva one of the least reliable, and dangerous vehicles you can buy today. Despite this, it is still one of the best selling cars of all time!
Over 21 Million Beetles Sold
The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic part of American automotive history. It is one of the least changed vehicles in automotive history during its production between 1938 and 2003. You might be thinking, “wait, I know Beetles were still being built after 2003,” and you’d be right. The New Beetle was introduced in 1997 to replace the original. This makes the 21 million Beetles sold figure look even more impressive as it does not take into account the New Beetle or any of its other successors. The Beetle represented much of the same ideals that Ford had with the Model T. The Beetle was cheap, reliable, and perfectly represented what “Volkswagen” means; the people’s car. This makes it obvious why the Beetle is one of the best selling cars of all time.
Over 30 Million Passats Sold
This one came as a shock to us, and many other articles are a bit out-of-date when discussing this topic. Believe it or not, the Volkswagen Passat has actually sold more units than the Volkswagen Beetle and just shy of the Golf! The Passat was introduced in 1972 and is still around to this day. The Passat’s popularity has skyrocketed over the last few years causing the Passat to surpass the Beetle in sales. The Passat will soon surpass the Golf in sales and perhaps be the best selling car of all time in the future!
Over 30 Million Golfs Sold
The Volkswagen Golf was first introduced in 1974 and is in production to date. It has many of the same characteristics that made lifelong fans of the Honda Civic, such as its customizability, and the “blank canvas” approach similar to Honda. The Golf has received numerous awards over its lifespan and has created devotees that fell in love with its flawless engineering, performance, and the sheer joy of driving one. There have been many models based on the Golf, the most notable being the Golf GTI. The GTI has carried the Golf into both automotive and racing history as one of the most loved and best-selling cars of all time!
Over 33 Million F-Series Sold
The only truck on this list is the Ford F-Series. It first debuted in 1948 as a successor to the Ford pickup and has become an American icon since. The Ford F-Series became a symbol of the working class. No frills, simple, reliable, and sturdy; the F-Series turned an already successful company into a name that is synonymous with American values. The F-Series had a massive impact on car culture and helped invent truck culture. Trucks were no longer just for farmers, anybody could own a truck and represent the American values that the F-Series embody.
Toyota Corolla: The Best Selling Car of All Time!
Over 47.5 Million Corollas Sold
Last but not least, the best selling car of all time is the Toyota Corolla! First introduced in 1966, by 1974 the Corolla was the best selling car in the world. By 1997, the Corolla would surpass the Volkswagen Beetle in sales. Today, one Corolla is sold every 15 seconds, and 1 out of 5 cars Toyota sells is a Corolla.
The Corolla does everything that a car should do without being too flashy or excessive. It’s ridiculously reliable, has good gas mileage, is affordable, and does just about everything right. While it may not be the most exciting car, the Corolla is a perfect example of a car that is for everyone. Where the Riva failed with quality, the Beetle failed with its divisive looks, and the F-Series failed with its niche; the Corolla is for anybody and everybody. It’s no surprise that Corolla is the best selling car of all time!
What Are Your Thoughts On the Best Selling Cars of All Time?
Were you surprised by some of the cars on this list? After our research, we couldn’t believe how close in sales the Volkswagen Passat was to the Golf and Beetle! Maybe it’s about time we start looking into getting a Volkswagen.
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