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10 Best-Selling New Vehicles in Canada for 2020

New vehicle sales in Canada ended a tumultuous 2020 with some positive signs.

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In what is being regarded as a positive sign after an unpredictable 2020, new vehicle sales in Canada in December 2020 were down only 2.9% on a year-over-year (YOY) basis, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. Unfortunately, December’s relatively positive performance couldn’t mask the fact new vehicle sales in Canada totalled only 1.54 million units for 2020, a 20.0% decline from 2019. 

 

To put 2020’s market total into perspective, it was the second-biggest percentage decline on record after the 22.7% decline of 1982 and the lowest since 2009. Beyond the historic drop in sales, the other trend in 2020 was the continuing march of buyers from passenger cars to light trucks. By the end of year, the light truck market share of 79.9% represented a new record, easily outpacing the previous high of 74.7% in 2019. 

 

After all the numbers were tallied up, these were the 10 best-selling new vehicles in Canada for 2020*:


10th place: Nissan Rogue -25,998 sold


The Rogue compact SUV is a significant vehicle for Nissan. It’s the automaker’s best-selling model in Canada, and it competes in the hyper-competitive compact SUV segment. A redesigned, Rogue arrived last fall for the 2021 model year. Despite YOY sales down 30.7%, the Nissan compact SUV still found 25,998 buyers between January 1 and December 31, 2020.

 

9th place: Hyundai Kona – 26,641 sold


Wedged between the slightly smaller Venue and slightly larger Tucson in Hyundai's small SUV lineup, the sub-compact Kona SUV is the only vehicle on this list to record a sales increase in 2020—up 3.2% compared to 2019. With 26,641 units sold last year, the Kona also replaced the Elantra compact car (which sold 22,000 examples, down 44.3%) as Hyundai Canada's most popular new model.

 

8th place: Toyota Corolla – 33,181 sold


Reflecting buyers' shift from cars to SUVs and trucks, the  Toyota Corolla compact car was one of only two passenger cars (along with the 7th-place Honda Civic) to make our top 10 list. The Corolla is also no longer Toyota Canada's top-selling model. That role is now being played by the (you guessed it!) RAV4 compact SUV. Despite the fact that annual sales were down 30.3% compared to 2019, Toyota sold 33,181 Corolla sedans and hatchbacks in Canada last year.

 

7th place: Honda Civic – 42,996 sold


The Civic remained Canada's most popular new passenger car last year, with 42,996 examples sold in 2020. However, like every other vehicle on this top 10 best-seller list, YOY sales of Honda's Civic family of compact coupes, sedans and hatchbacks were down significantly by 28.5%. The result: the Civic is no longer Honda Canada's best-seller (see the CR-V below).

 

6th place: Honda CR-V – 44,495 sold


The Honda CR-V continued to be one of Canada's best-selling vehicles. The ever-popular,  Honda compact SUV found 44,495 buyers last year. Despite annual sales down by 20.3% compared to 2019, the CR-V's sales performance in 2020 mirrored the industry's average decline and still allowed the compact SUV to become the top-selling Honda model along the way.

 

5th place: GMC Sierra – 51,492 sold


Compared to the annual sales decreases experienced by most of the new vehicles on our list, the modest 5.3% sales decline in 2020 for General Motors’ GMC Sierra full-size pickup truck could be considered a small victory. Even so, with 51,492 Sierras sold in 2020, the  Sierra fell behind its Chevrolet Silverado sibling based on annual sales numbers.

 

4th place: Chevrolet Silverado – 52,767 sold


Despite one of the most disruptive years in recent history, consumers continued to buy full-size pickup trucks. Witness the Chevrolet Silverado. With annual sales of 52,767 copies in 2020, the Chevrolet pickup only recorded a 1.3% sales drop compared to 2019. The Silverado's continuing popularity makes it not only Chevrolet's best-selling vehicle but also parent General Motors' top-selling model in Canada.

 

3rd place: Toyota RAV4 – 57,972 sold


If there appears to be a lot of late-model Toyota RAV4s on the road these days, it’s not your imagination. With sales “only” down by 11.2%, Toyota sold 57,972 RAV4s in Canada last year. After the RAV4’s sales annual numbers were calculated, the popular compact SUV remained Toyota Canada’s best-selling model, Canada’s best-selling compact SUV, and the only non-truck to break into the top four sales spots for 2020.

 

2nd place: Ram Pickup – 83,672 sold


As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' best-selling vehicle in the country, the Ram full-size pickup truck continued as the second-most popular new vehicle in Canada. Yes, overall Ram light-duty pickup annual sales in 2020 were down 13.5% compared to 2019. But with 83,672 copies sold last year, the Ram Truck held a significant lead over the second-place RAV4 compact SUV.

 

1st place: Ford F-Series – 128,649 sold


Apparently, it takes more than a global pandemic to knock the Ford F-Series from its perch as Canada’s most popular new car, truck, van or SUV in 2020. Compared to 2019, the Ford full-size pickup truck saw its annual sales decline by 11.3.%, with 128,649 units sold. However, a thoroughly redesigned F-150 for 2021 is on sale now and may only strengthen the popular Ford truck’s position at the top of the sales podium.

 

*Vehicle sales based on manufacturer-supplied information between January 1 and December 31, 2020.

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