The first-ever production car was created just over 100 years ago, which in terms of commercial industrialisation and technological innovation, isn’t a very long time ago. Nevertheless, today, there are more vehicles on the market than ever before and a near infinite amount of brands, models, and types to choose from. It can actually be quite difficult to make a purchase decision with just how much choice there is. Within the compact sedan class alone you have a variety of varying options from the modest-looking and engaging Mazda 3 Sedan to the futuristic, fully electric, and highly capable Tesla Model 3. Sometimes, the easiest and most sensible thing to do when looking for a new or used car to buy, is to look at what the best-selling cars are on the market right now. Here’s a list of some of the current chart-toppers i.e. The most popular cars in the world and some of the pioneering icons from our past.
The Modern Chart-Toppers
- Toyota Corolla – The Corolla may have been a plain and uncomplicated compact sedan when it debuted all the way back in 1966, but it still hit the market strong and ended up becoming the world’s best-selling car of all time. This is because the Corolla embodies the dependability, reliability, and affordability that has become so synonymous with Toyota today, to the T. Today, the Corolla maintains all of those qualities but is also a far more contemporary vehicle brimming with features and has managed to keep up with the times really well. Since its debut in 1966, over 40 million units have been sold worldwide.
- Ford F-150 – Pickup trucks are the most popular types of vehicle in the USA, and the light-duty Ford F-150 has been the country’s best-selling truck for nearly half a century and best-selling vehicle overall for nearly 40 years. The F-150 is praised for its versatility, capability, and well-roundedness, with its many powertrain, body, and cargo bed configurations, and its towing and cargo hauling capacities making it a class-leader in several regards. Over 40 million Ford F-Series trucks have been sold worldwide since 1948 and the truck has during that time undergone so many enhancements and alterations, that the now modern, all-electric version has nothing but its name resembling the F-150’s of old. Ford does also still offer a gasoline-engine variant.
- Volkswagen Golf – VW introduced the Golf to the global market in 1974 and presented it with various nameplates, Rabbit in the US and Canada, and the Caribe in Mexico. It’s been through eight different generations of which altogether more than around 40 million have been sold. The small family hatchback is renowned for its poised and fun-to-drive nature, dependability, and its affordability. The high-performance versions are beloved by car and driving enthusiasts, too, with some even labelling it as one of the best hot hatches of all time.
The Classic Chart-Toppers
- Volkswagen Beetle – An all-time classic, the VW Beetle, also known as the “bug”, is an icon known by just about everybody on the planet, we’ve all played the popular ‘punch buggy’ game before. The compact little hatch was produced from 1938 until 2003 and around 21.5 million units were sold through those six flourishing decades.
- AvtoVAZ Lada “Classic” – Originally based on the Fiat 124 from the 1960’s, the Lada after receiving various mechanical upgrades to deal with poor road conditions and harsh climates, became a Russian staple. It’s a compact sedan of which 20 million were sold between 1970 and 2012. That figure doesn’t, however, include the variants sold under other names in other countries, namely the Rivas which was offered in the UK, the Signets sold in Canada, and the Novas which was sold in Germany.
- Ford Model T – Of course, the world’s first mass-production vehicle would have to be mentioned in this list and not just due to that fact, but because it remains the third best-selling vehicle of all time to this day. Production of the Model T began all the way back in 1908, more than 100 years ago, and over 16.5 million iterations were sold. In 1913, the Model T controlled around 90 percent of the global market. Back then, it was sold at an MSRP of around $850, though today, this vintage auto will cost more than just an arm and a leg.
What Made Them Sell?
While some of the cars listed here are popular only because they were the first of their kind, have been around for a very long time, and because there weren’t really other options, it’s clear that there is a winning recipe shared between them and the more modern best-sellers. What a car’s popularity really comes down to is in how much value it offers at its price, its level of safety, and its proven reliability record. Looking at the basics, the vast majority of people need a car to get from point A to point B in one piece and on time, nowadays many also want something with good fuel economy, hence the popularity of the first-and-only car, the affordable ‘peoples’ car, and the phenomenally dependable car.