Americans pride themselves on individuality, but vehicle sales figures compiled for Money Talks News by Kelley Blue Book show our taste in rides are more similar than we may think. According to Statista.com, there are approximately 236 vehicle models — from the approximately $12,000 Nissan Versa to the McClaren Coupe priced at more than $1 million — in the U.S. marketplace. Yet the KBB ratings show that only 11 models from six automakers make up the “top” cars in each state so far this year. The list also suggests last year’s record-high truck and SUV sales won’t slow anytime soon.
Consider these sales figures from 2016 and year-to-date 2017 to see what drives Americans into dealer showrooms:
The Ford F-150 was the best-selling truck in Alabama in 2016 and to date this year. But Alabama buyers aren’t the only ones who chose it above other makes and models. The F-series trucks have held the best-selling truck crown in the U.S. for 40 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle slot for 35 years. It was just reported that the F Series is now the best-selling vehicle line in the world.
Alaska is famous for its wild scenery, unpaved roads and rugged terrain. Little wonder that car buyers in that state chose Ford’s F-150 as their vehicle of choice in 2016 and year-to-date 2017. Not only can it power through almost anything in its path, but it also can tow trailers, boats and just about anything else with top weights of more than 10,000 pounds.
The best-selling vehicle line in America is about more than just brute strength. The F-150 has plentiful options and fierce style. Car and Driver described the vehicle’s top-of-the-line interior “an all-inclusive resort on wheels” with extras that include heated or cooled massage-capable front seats. More Arizonans who bought vehicles this year chose the F-150 than any other vehicle. Last year’s winner was the General Motors Corp. (GMC) Sierra 1500.
So far this year, vehicle buyers in Arkansas have favored the Ford F series. In 2016, the GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty truck was the top seller in the state. Perhaps the switch to Ford is due to the F-150’s many awards including “Pickup Truck Best Buy,” from Kelley Blue Book, “Best Full-Size Pickup,” from Car and Driver, “Most Wanted Large Truck,” from 2017 Edmund’s Most Wanted Awards, and many others. Watch for the soon-to-be-released 2018 model to garner similar reviews.
The Honda Civic was redesigned in model year 2016 and was a hit with critics including those at Edmunds, who praised the 2017 model’s “daring looks, turbocharged power, and a spacious, technology-rich interior.” Buyers in California were clearly fans, making the Civic the top-selling car in that state in 2016 and thus far in 2017.
Colorado buyers chose the Subaru Outback over every other vehicle in 2016 and so far in 2017. The fuel economy of 24.1-mpg city/31-mpg highway, high-end, comfy interior and power won high praise from MotorTrend magazine.
Car buyers in Connecticut chose the Nissan Rogue over its competitors in both 2016 and to date this year. The five-passenger car is comfortable for a family and there are plentiful options including a third row that brings seating capacity up to seven people.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Car buyers in Delaware made the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 — known for its comfortable, quiet interior, quick acceleration and a host of options — their top vehicle choice in 2016. So far in 2017, the Honda CR-V is edging it out in sales. Critics have praised the SUV for its peppy engine, roomy interior and plentiful storage areas.
9. District of Columbia
Residents in the nation’s capital are clearly fond of Honda. In 2016 buyers there chose the comfortable and powerful Civic as the vehicle they most commonly purchased. But this year buyers are opting for the Civic’s cousin, the peppy CR-V SUV.
It’s no secret that car sales have taken a back seat to sales of trucks/SUVs and crossovers. One state where cars still reign is Florida, where 2016 buyers chose the Toyota Corolla as their favorite car. Thus far in 2017 the fuel-efficient Toyota Corolla with extras such as standard rear-view cameras remains the best-selling vehicle in the state.
Ford’s best-selling F-150 was the top-selling vehicle in Georgia during 2016. Yet buyers in the Peach State have shifted gears in a major way, choosing the 2017 Toyota Camry as its top seller so far this year. Comfort, ease of use, reliability and durability are among the many reasons the car is a top seller, reported Edmunds.
The Toyota Tacoma was the state’s best-selling vehicle in 2016 and retains the lead so far this year. Edmunds praised the midsize sales leaders for its rugged capability, versatile bed and user-friendly controls.
Vehicle buyers in Idaho chose the Ford F-150 as their top vehicle in both 2016 and this year to date. Besides its well-publicized brute strength and luxurious interior options, the longtime best-selling vehicle line in the U.S. makes life easy for its drivers and passengers with efficient, attractive and intuitive controls that are within easy reach, note reviewers.
The Honda CR-V SUV was the best-selling vehicle in Illinois in 2016 and is following suit this year. The compact SUV’s top-rated cargo space, turbocharged engine and high-end safety features are among the reasons U.S. News & World Report named it No. 1 in its list of Compact SUVs.
The most popular vehicle in Indiana in 2016 was the Chevrolet Silverado. The truck is all about options — from doors to engines to trim levels. But this year Hoosiers are snapping up the Ford F-150, the top-selling truck in the U.S. for 40 years. Sure, the Silverado is a terrific truck, but some critics feel that nothing can beat the mighty Ford pickup. In fact it is “the best full-size pickup truck you can buy. Period,” according to Car and Driver.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck wins critical kudos for its rugged capabilities, options and graceful handling. Car buyers in Iowa chose the Silverado 1500 as its best-selling car in 2016 and thus far in 2017.
Some truck aficionados were nervous a few years ago when Ford moved toward crafting its best-selling F-series line out of aluminum instead of steel. The shift has paid off by boosting fuel efficiency (moving to aluminum dropped 500-plus pounds) without losing any of the truck’s legendary towing and payload prowess, noted critics at Kelley Blue Book. Buyers in Kansas chose the F-150 as their top buy in both 2016 and so far this year.
Vehicle buyers in Kentucky chose the Ford F-150 more than any other vehicle in 2016 and this year-to-date. Even though the F-150 is the longtime vehicle and truck sales leader, Ford isn’t resting on its laurels. The 2018 models will offer two new engines (gas models are slated for sale this fall; watch for diesel-powered models in early 2018) and styling updates and more tech features, reports Kelley Blue Book.
Yes, the legendary F-150 has power, style, and comfort, but it also has a perfect five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The F-150 was the top-selling vehicle in Louisiana in both 2016 and this year so far.
Vehicle buyers in Maine chose the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 as its best-selling vehicle in 2016. So far in 2017 the Pine Tree State has chosen the beloved Ford F-150 as its top buy. The longtime best-selling vehicle in the U.S. currently gives drivers the choice of seven models ranging in price from $27,100 to $60,200.
Maryland joins several other states in choosing the Honda CR-V as its best-selling car. The car was No. 1 there in 2016 and is again so far this year. The 2017 model ushers in the fifth generation of the car and boasts more muscular styling, LED daytime running lights, dual exhaust tips and plenty more.
Toyota’s RAV4 has lots of fans in Massachusetts, where the sporty crossover was the best-selling car in 2016 and thus far in 2017. The RAV4 hasn’t undergone a major overhaul in several years, but critics give it high marks across-the-board. And each year’s model improves as evidenced by the growing number of extra safety features.
Michigan buyers changed their auto allegiance between 2016 and 2017. Last year the sporty Ford Escape, long hailed for its peppy performance, powerful engine and roomy interior, was the state’s top buy. This year, shoppers chose the Chevrolet Equinox as the No. 1 car sold in the state. The car offers a quiet, smooth ride, and the V6 offers quick starts.
Ford’s legendary F-150 pickup was the top choice for Minnesota truck buyers in both 2016 and year-to-date in 2017. The decades-long top-selling vehicle in the U.S. has enormous power but won’t drain your budget at the pump due to the average fuel economy of 18-24 miles per gallon.
The subtropical climate of Mississippi means drivers in the state often face fierce thunderstorms, tornado threats and other extreme weather. Vehicle buyers in 2016 and to date this year have chosen to face down that weather in Ford’s classic powerhouse, the F-150.
Missouri chose the legendary Ford F-150 as its top choice in both 2016 and so far in 2017 — perhaps because of how much it can carry. The Ford F-150 can hold an array of furniture and supplies in its bed, but it also gives plentiful storage space in its cabin. Car and Driver found the F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew could hold 18 carry-on suitcases in its folded second row.
Residents of Montana are among the Ford F-150 truck line’s legion of fans. Buyers in that state chose the legendary Ford pickup truck as their top choice in 2016 and continue to do so in 2017.
Drive through Nebraska, and you’ll find an array of wildlife, sweeping landscapes and big skies. You’ll also see plenty of Ford F-series trucks. Buyers in that state bought more Ford F-150’s in both 2016 and so far in 2017 than any other vehicle.
In both 2016 and year-to-date 2017 buyers in Nevada chose the Toyota RAV4 more than any other vehicle. The car’s athletic looks are only part of its appeal. Heated seats, dual-zone climate control and, finally, the ever-important cup holders — yes, they’re the right size! — are just some of the extras in this powerful, comfortable ride.
30. New Hampshire
Buyers in New Hampshire switched car-buying gears between 2016 and 2017, going from the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 to the Honda CR-V. There’s a lot to love about the Honda SUV including a host of safety and driver-friendly technologies that include lane stability assistance and collision braking assistance.
31. New Jersey
Vehicle buyers in New Jersey favored the Honda CR-V, which offers pep and power, as well as a roomy, comfy interior. Buyers in that state chose the car over all others in both 2016 and thus far in 2017.
32. New Mexico
The rugged landscape of New Mexico can require a powerful, adaptable vehicle. It’s little wonder the buyers in that state chose the legendary Ford F-150 above all others in both 2016 and to date in 2017.
33. New York
New York boasts everything from farmland and lakes to the concrete caverns of the Big Apple. But for all the state’s diversity, buyers there overwhelmingly chose the Nissan Rogue as their top choice in both 2016 and to-date in 2017.
34. North Carolina
North Carolina car shoppers had a change of heart this year. In 2016, the Honda Accord was their top choice. So far this year, the Honda CR-V is the top selection. They’re not alone. The compact SUV was chosen No. 1 in its class by U.S. News & World Report, based on analysis of top critics’ reviews. Those who rated the car praised many of its attributes including comfort, roominess and power.
35. North Dakota
The power and adaptability that has made the Ford F-150 the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades is no accident. Ford is rightfully proud of the “10 million miles of cumulative torture-testing” the truck endures. Testing takes the trucks to high altitudes, deserts and extreme high and low temperatures.
Buyers in the Buckeye State are loyal to models offered by Honda. In 2016, buyers there chose the sleek and cosmopolitan Civic. So far this year they have snapped up the incredibly popular CR-V, making it the most popular vehicle buy to date in 2017. Car and Driver notes that this SUV accounts for almost a quarter of the automaker’s sales.
Oklahoma’s diverse landscape takes drivers through plains, forests and mountains, so perhaps it’s not a surprise that buyers in that state chose the Ford F-150 as its favorite vehicle last year and so far this year.
Oregonians have a reputation for eco-friendly practices so it makes sense that vehicle buyers in that state are loyal to the Subaru Outback. That car was the top model bought in the state during 2016 and thus far in 2017. Not only is the Outback environmentally friendly but it’s hailed for its safety and reliability.
Whether Pennsylvanians live on farms or in busy cities they favored Honda’s CR-V in both 2016 and so far this year. The CR-V captures the reasons that families chose SUVs over traditional sedans, noted Kelley Blue Book. The latest model boasts an all-new engine, style, comfort and options, KBB reported.
40. Rhode Island
The Toyota RAV4 doesn’t have the highest ratings in its class, but that hasn’t stopped many new car buyers — including the majority of buyers in Rhode Island – from choosing it over other models. It’s no secret Toyota has ardent fans and the RAV4, like most of its other vehicles, has great resale value.
41. South Carolina
Yes, the Ford F-150 is legendary and an undisputed sales champ, but that doesn’t mean buyers are always loyal to it. South Carolina vehicle buyers may prove that this year. Although they chose the mighty F-150 as their favorite buy in 2016, their 2017 preferences have changed to the Honda CR-V. The Honda CR-V was first introduced in 1997 as one of the first compact crossovers in the U.S.
42. South Dakota
South Dakota vehicle buyers in 2016 and so far in 2017 purchased more Ford F-150 trucks than any other vehicle.
There is plenty of rural landscape in Tennessee, but cities and towns including Nashville have shifted toward more mixed-use and urban developments in recent years. While the renowned Ford F-150 was the top choice for 2016 buyers in that state, the stylish Nissan Rogue crossover has won the majority of buyers this year.
The Lone Star State chose the Ford F-150 as its favorite vehicle buy in both 2016 and so far this year.
Just because the Ford F-150 is a powerhouse doesn’t mean it isn’t stylish. The many fans of the truck, including buyers in Utah that made it their top choice in 2016 and so far this year, can choose from an array of models including the Bojix Design that boasts what the New York Daily News called “severe off-roading chops.”
The Toyota RAV4 has a solid fan base in Vermont, where buyers chose it as their favorite car in both 2016 and to date in 2017. Kelley Blue Book deems the affordable 2017 RAV4 the “gold standard” in its class.
Virginia is one of the states that has a relatively mild climate, so sudden bouts of extreme weather take drivers by surprise. Perhaps that’s one reason Virginians chose the Honda CR-V as their top car to buy in 2016 and to date this year. The crossover has won abundant critical praise for its upscale style, handling and numerous safety features.
The Subaru Outback has gained much critical acclaim from critics including Edmunds, which hailed it as one-of-a-kind in its class. Aside from its well-known safety features, the SUV has excellent visibility, a spacious interior and standard all-wheel drive.
49. West Virginia
West Virginia drivers go from country roads to rugged mountains, and 2016 car buyers in that state chose the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 to power them through. This year to date, buyers in the Mountain State have chosen the Ford F-150 as their top buy.
Wisconsin drivers have bought plenty of trucks in recent years, but they seem to be switching allegiances. In 2016 they chose the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 as their favorite vehicle. This year to date the Ford F-150 is the top seller there.
America’s favorite vehicle, the Ford F-150, is also the favorite of Wyoming car buyers — in 2016 and to date in 2017. The F-150 has topped sales charts for decades and also counts celebrities as their fans. Walmart heir Alice Walton, Bristol Palin (daughter of politician Sarah Palin), actress Angelina Jolie, former President George W. Bush and Scott Disick of Kardashian family fame all reportedly own — or at least drive — America’s favorite powerhouse.
What’s your taste in vehicles? Does it line up with the popular model in your state? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.