What is Nissan Best Selling Car

An SUV and plenty of cargo space. I will usually just name the winner of our annual best-seller awards and then get to the key details, but this year’s winner needs a proper introduction. The Toyota RAV4 is not only a best-seller, it’s also the most popular vehicle in America for the first time, according to Kelley Blue Book. It is also a perennial favorite at our office, as we named it our 2019 SUV of the Year and have nothing but good things to say about it in our long-term test. But what makes the RAV4 so popular? To find out, we went straight to Toyota’s best-sellers page and discovered that the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-seller by a wide margin. So much so that in 2019, it sold more units than any other model in Toyota history – not just this year, but of all time. And that’s not just because it was a new model. The RAV4 has been on sale since 1986 and has been selling well for decades.

The Nissan Rogue Is the Best-Selling Nissan Model By Far

by Savannah KeatonPublished onApril 1, 2020

Every automaker has that one vehicle that can do no wrong. It always has great reviews, brings in large sales, and has a loyal following. For Nissan, that’s the Rogue. Even though there are a lot of other great vehicles produced by the Japanese automaker, the Nissan Rogue leaves its brothers and sisters in the dust. The sales numbers from Good Car, Bad Carprove this.

Most Famous Nissan Cars

The Nissan Rogue | via Getty Images

The Nissan Rogue has had some pretty impressive sales numbers over the years. In 2017, Nissan sold 403,465 models. In 2018, it was 412,110. Incidentally, this was also the highest number of sales the Rogue has ever had. In 2019, the number of sales dipped down to 350,447. Still, that’s quite a large number of vehicles sold in one year.

The Nissan Altima is a very popular vehicle, but it couldn’t quite keep up with the Rogue, according to Good Car, Bad Car. In fact, the Rogue beats it out by 100,000 vehicles every year. In 2017, the Altima sold 254,996 vehicles. In 2018, it was 209,146. This was also the year that Rogue beat it out by over 200,000 vehicles. In 2019, the number of Altimas sold was 209,183. 

The year that Nissan sold the most Altimas was 2012, with 335,887. It was also one of the few years that the Altima beat out the Rogue, which sold only 155,772 vehicles in 2012. The Altima isn’t a bad car, but it doesn’t have as much appeal as the Rogue.

Nissan Top Selling Cars

The Nissan Rogue is a small crossover SUV, which is a hot market at the moment. Consumers are going crazy over the smaller vehicles that drive more like a car, and the Rogue is an attractive option. Consumer Reports considers it to be a reliable vehicle, which is more than enough to convince some drivers who are on the fence.

According to Edmunds, there are several features that drivers who aren’t looking for a luxury vehicle will love. For someone who needs plenty of cargo space, there are 40 cubic feet with the seats up, and 70 cu. ft. with the back seats lowered. If that’s not enough room, there is a dual floor storage system available. Just lift the floor in the cargo area, and there is a shelf to store more items. 

The cabin is roomy and quiet unless it’s filled with a soccer team. Rather than stiff, hard seats, the seats are rather comfortable. The Rogue also comes with several safety features as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Why consumers may turn to another automaker

Just because the Rogue is Nissan’s bestseller, this doesn’t mean that it’s the best-selling small crossover in its division. As a matter of fact, there are several competitors that consumers turn to without even considering the Rogue.

This has a lot to do with the fact that the small SUV crossover division is packed full. There is an unlimited number of choices that drivers can go with at any given time, and many consumers simply overlook the Rogue. The 170-hp four-cylinder engine that makes simple tasks such as passing a nightmare doesn’t help.

When compared to crossovers such as the Honda CR-V or the Mazda CX-5, the Rogue’s ride is lackluster. It also isn’t known for going off-road the way the Jeep Cherokee is. Edmunds was less than impressed with the fact that the Rogue’s fuel economy lags behind some competitors, and it isn’t as refined. So while the Rogue reigns supreme in Nissan’s tiny kingdom, it can’t quite keep up with some rivals. 

1,440,049 vehicles bearing a Nissan badge were delivered to US consumers in the twelve months to December’s end, representing a one per cent increase over 2016’s total for the year.

Here, we look at the vehicles that sold well in 2017 to get Nissan to this point, and where they fit in with their respective segments.


Total Sales YTD 2017: 403,465 | Difference to 2016’s total: +22.3% 

The Nissan Rogue fought tooth and nail with the Toyota RAV4 to be the highest-selling SUV / Crossover in the USA in 2017.

That rivalry pushed both SUVs to over 400,000 units delivered for the first time in any calendar year. In the end, it was the RAV4 that triumphed, leaving the Rogue a still-respectable fifth in the overall rankings for all vehicles for calendar year 2017.

It was the Rogue that grew the sharpest between it, the RAV4 and the third Japanese horse in the race, Honda’s CR-V.

In December, the Rogue was the top selling SUV by a long shot – fifth behind the three pickups atop the US vehicle rankings, and the resurgent Toyota Camry.

If the Rogue manages a third consecutive year as Nissan’s top-selling vehicle, it could take the SUV crown at the end of 2018. We will be watching its progress.


Total Sales YTD 2017: 254,996 | Difference to 2016’s total: -17% 

Nissan’s mid-size sedan suffered a similar fate to the rest of its segment in 2017, playing second (or, in some cases, third, fourth or fifth) fiddle to its related crossover / SUV option in the sales tables.

The current-generation Altma has been on sale in the US market since 2012, and underneath the refreshes it is beginning to feel a bit behind the field. In its own market, the new Camry and Accord are entering 2018 ready for the fight.

2018 is likely to be the final model year for the L33 Altima. In the current sedan-hostile sales climate, it’s unlikely to go out with a bang. But, if recent press interviews with Nissan execs are to be believed, the mid-size, three-box outline Nissan hasn’t had its final innings yet.


Total Sales YTD 2017: 218,451 | Difference to 2016’s total: +1.7% 

It was in the last third of 2017 that the majority of the Nissan Sentra’s gains were made. In September, in particular, the Sentra received a shot in the arm, adding over 5,000 sales to its year-to-date total with impressive year-on-year growth in the ninth month of the year.

This may well have been dealers shifting old stock ahead of the arrival of the mildly refreshed 2018 Sentra in October.

Whatever it was, it was enough to help the Sentra stay in the green for its year-end total, despite demand for vehicles across the small car segment slipping 6.7% on 2016’s totals.

Amidst its peers, the Sentra increased the gap to the Hyundai Elantra, meaning it retains its position as America’s third most popular compact car behind the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic.


Total Sales YTD 2017: 106,772 | Difference to 2016’s total: -19.2% 

As the top player in a sub-segment (subcompact) that fell by 23.4% on 2016’s totals, the Nissan Versa may be lucky its decline to 2016’s figures was only 19.2%.

Having posted year-on-year declines in all but three months in 2017, the Versa’s total defecit to 2016’s total reached over 25,000 units.

Like the Sentra, the Versa has been with us for a while now, with Nissan having been focused on its SUV offering of late. It was last updated shortly after the Sentra, though, so expect its next changeover to follow whatever Nissan has planned for its sedan.


Total Sales YTD 2017: 81,065 | Difference to 2016’s total: -0.8% 

Sales of Nissan trucks, SUVs and crossovers were at an all-time high in 2017. Total sales hit 765,624, 53.2% of the Nissan brand’s overall sales total for the year.

81,065 of those sales came from the Pathfinder name badge.

In its segment, the Pathfinder is decidedly midfield. The marketplace for mid size SUVs in the USA is fiercely contested at the top, with the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander selling around three times the Pathfinder’s annual sales volume.

But, then, Nissan doesn’t need to compete in the three-row SUV segment when it’s selling over 400,000 Rogues per year. As we mentioned at the beginning of this countdown, the brand is cleaning up in the small SUV and crossover segment, one which is plenty profitable.

Nissan also increased the price of the Pathfinder for the 2018 model year, perhaps an indication that it isn’t worried about its three-row SUV’s 0.8% drop in sales volume on 2016.

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