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10 Most Popular New Vehicles in Canada for 2021

Last year, a lack of supply, not demand, limited Canadian new vehicle sales.

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After a chaotic 2020, new vehicle sales in Canada got off to a good start in 2021. After sitting out much of the previous year, Canadians came back to dealerships in force, looking to buy. 

Unfortunately, the parts and inventory supply shortages that started with the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 continued throughout last year, severely limiting the number of new cars, trucks and SUVs available for sale. The result was another down year in new vehicle sales.

According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, overall 2021 light vehicle sales ended the year at 1,638,398 units. While that’s an increase of 6.6% from the depressed levels of 2020, it’s a significant 19.6% drop from the Canadian market high of just over two million units in 2017.

As we say, "so long, nice to know you!" to 2021, these were the 10 most popular new vehicles sold in Canada for last year*:

 

10th place: Nissan Rogue - 29,926 sold

With sales up last year 15.1% compared to 2020, the Rogue compact SUV continued to be Nissan Canada’s best-selling model, battling with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 in a very competitive segment. For 2022, the Rogue appears unchanged—until you lift the hood or take a drive, that is. That’s when you’ll discover an all-new optional 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and a revised continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

 

9th place: Hyundai Kona - 31,101 sold

As in 2020, the Kona dominated the burgeoning sub-compact SUV segment in Canada, strengthened by a 16.7% year-over-year (YoY) sales gain. The availability of front- or all-wheel-drive, and gas and battery-electric powertrains continues. But to keep rivals at bay, Hyundai has freshened the Kona for 2022 with revised styling, updated interior, improved safety suite, stronger rear suspension, and a new high-performance N model.

 

8th place: Toyota Corolla - 40,019 sold

Four vehicles on our list beat the industry’s overall 6.6% YoY sales gain. And the compact Corolla was the leader, with sales up last year 20.6%. This generation of Toyota’s compact car debuted for the 2020 model year, so no need to worry about it being superseded by a newer car for quite some time. Including the hybrid sedan and the hatchback variants, all the Corolla’s tech and hardware are still fresh. 

 

7th place: Honda Civic - 43,556 sold

With YoY sales up 1.3%, the compact Civic remained Canada's most popular new passenger car for the 24th straight year. A new generation arrived for 2022, revisiting some design concepts from previous Civics like a low hood, front fenders, and beltline, which create an expansive greenhouse and a superb outward view. The coupe is gone, but sedan and hatchback models continue, including the sporty Si and sportier Type-R variants.

 

6th place: Honda CR-V - 50,935 sold

The CR-V was one of the original compact SUVs. For 2022 there are no significant changes, but it’s still popular, with one of the roomiest interiors in its class and tons of space for passengers and cargo. Whether you’re looking for a daily commuter, errand runner, or small family vehicle, the CR-V is a perfect fit for a wide range of drivers. With sales up 14.5% in 2021, it remains Honda Canada’s most popular model.

 

5th place: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - 51,684 sold

While each of these 10 vehicles also made last year's list, only General Motors' pair of full-size pickup trucks changed rank. With sales down YoY by 2.1%, the Silverado 1500 returned to its traditional spot behind its GMC Sierra platform-mate on the sales charts. For 2022, a new interior ported over from GM's full-size SUVs, a ZR2 off-road trim, a torque boost to 420 pound-feet for the turbo 4-cylinder gas engine, and the availability of GM's "Super Cruise" autonomous driving system are new.

 

4th place: GMC Sierra 1500 - 53,757 sold

With 2021 sales up 4.4% compared to the previous year, the Sierra 1500 took its rightful place as GM Canada’s most popular new vehicle. Like the Silverado, the 2022 model year sees a mid-cycle model refresh to keep up with more stylish entries in the field like the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150, especially at the upper trim levels. Updates include a revamped exterior and interior, two new—the luxurious Denali Ultimate and off-road-oriented AT4X—trim levels, and the turbo-4 gets more torque.

 

3rd place: Toyota RAV4 - 61,934 sold

With sales up 6.8% last year, the RAV4 remained Toyota Canada’s most popular model and one of the best-selling compact SUVs in the world, with more than 10 million finding homes since the RAV4 launched in 1994. The current generation is the fifth, which debuted for 2019. For 2022, minor updates include new LED headlights on the base model, interior tweaks, and the TRD Off-Road trim gains a new paint choice.

 

2nd place: Ram Pickup - 73,467 sold

Among Stellantis Canada’s brands—Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Maserati—the Ram 1500 full-size pickup truck remained its most popular new vehicle last year, despite a YoY 12.2% sales decline. The Ram 1500 pickup enters 2022 with revised trim levels and packaging differences but no significant mechanical changes. As before, it benefits from an independent rear suspension and available air suspension. This makes the Ram feel less like a big truck in everyday driving while improving smoothness and fuel economy.

 

1st place: Ford F-Series - 116,401 sold

Although YoY sales were down 9.5% in 2021, the Ford F-150 remained Canada's most popular new vehicle for good reasons. It does just about everything you could want a full-size truck to do with class-leading towing and hauling capabilities, impressive off-road chops when properly equipped, and an interior that's both practical and upscale. For the 2022 model year, the Power Stroke turbodiesel option has been dropped, countered by the launch of Ford's first battery-electric truck, the new F-150 Lightning.

*Vehicle sales based on manufacturer-supplied information between January 1 and December 31, 2021.
 

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