Cars of the People
Neither exotic nor rare, the best selling cars of all time won’t get any car enthusiast’s heart pumping. These cars are like Starbucks, there seems to be one on every corner.
Still they are the best selling cars for a reason. A top-25 list maintained by MotorBiscuit features models that have highly trusted nameplates, as well as an uncanny ability to quickly adapt to consumer needs. Many of these cars have lasted decades, with no sign of sales slowing down. They may not be the sexiest cars of all time, but in all likelihood you own one or know someone who does.
Click through to see the best-selling cars of all time.
Last updated March 6, 2020
10. VW Passat
The Volkswagen Passat has gone through seven generations (it was just recently updated) – and nearly 16 million cars sold – since its debut in 1973. Here in the States, it was known as the Dasher and Quantum before getting its current name.
The Passat is a solid family car, one that offers a touch of luxury for a pretty decent price. That’s what’s kept it selling so well over the past few years, when the sedan market became intensely competitive.
Volkswagen Passat Information
9. Ford Model T
It’s the car that needs no introduction, but we’ll give it one anyway. The first affordable, mass produced car for the average American was built in 1908 in Detroit by Henry Ford. While the Ford Model T hasn’t been in production in 86 years, it has still managed to hold on to the title of eighth best selling car of all time.
It took 20 years for the Model T to sell more cars than most brands sell over decades. In that time Ford produced a staggering 16.5 million Ts.
8. Honda Accord
Following closely on the heels of its big brother the Honda Civic, the Accord entered the scene in 1976. Honda has sold around 18 million Accords since then.
It was the first car the Japanese manufacturer produced in America and has been one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. since 1989. The Accord gets props for being a safe and reliable family car.
7. Ford Escort
The Escort was introduced to America in 1981, but had been a strong seller in Europe since 1968. Ford sold 18 million Escorts worldwide. Today, the only place Ford currently sells a model called the Escort is in China. Here in the States, Ford has axed it smaller compact sedans and hatchbacks, migrating to crossovers like the EcoSport.
Ford Escort Information
6. Honda Civic
Before the launch of the Civic in 1972, Honda considered pulling out of car manufacturing altogether. The Civic was their first big hit on the auto market and kept Honda in the business of making cars. Good thing they kept selling cars, or else they would have missed out on well over 18 million Civics sold.
Honda Civic Information
4. VW Beetle
From the dream of a despised dictator to a symbol of the free-wheeling 60’s, the Beetle was one of the longest running production cars in history. Built in 1938 to Hitler’s specifications, the Beetle captured hearts in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s with it’s cheap price and funky design.
About 23.5 million units of the love-bug have been sold worldwide. Volkswagen formally said good-bye to the nameplate in December of 2019, when the front-wheel drive replacement was officially discontinued.
Volkswagen Beetle Information
3. VW Golf
Sometimes the Golf, sometimes the Rabbit; whatever it’s name, it’s the best selling model of all time for Volkswagen. It came on the scene in 1974 and since then the boxy hatchback has sold over 30 million cars. The Golf was sold as the Rabbit until 2006, when Volkswagen brought back the Golf in 2010.
Like the Ford Fiesta mentioned previously, Volkswagen has pulled the Golf and its variants (save for the hot GTI and range-topping Golf R) from U.S. shores due to flagging sales.
Volkswagen Golf Information
2. Ford F-Series
The first Ford F-150 was introduced in 1948 and was sold as the Ford Bonus Built. The first models were shaky, but the truck’s quality steadily improved over subsequent generations. The Ford F-150 has sold more than 40 million models over the last six decades, making Ford the undisputed king of the pickup.
The Ford F-Series remains the best-selling vehicle in America. Demand for the trucks show no sign of slowing down, and the F-150 is due for a redesign that is expected to be revealed in 2020.
Ford F-150 Information
1. Toyota Corolla
The first Toyota Corolla rolled off of the assembly line and into our hearts in 1966. By 1974 it was the best-selling car in the world. When Toyota announced Corolla number 40 million, it said they fly out of dealerships so quickly the automaker isn’t sure who has it or at what location number 40 million was sold. By now, the number has swelled to more than 43 million sold worldwide.
Corolla’s lead is far from secure, however, as crossover sales have been eating into compact sedan market share in recent years. With the F-Series not suffering the same cannibalism, it’s only a matter of time before Toyota’s compact is officially dethroned.