Top 10 Cars of All Time
Car makes and models come and go, but the hottest cars seem to stay at the top for one main reason: affordability. The top 10 cars of all time, based on a list compiled from 24/7 Wall Street, are all feasibly priced at less than $27,000. Their prices range between $12,000 and $26,000, but their total sales range from $14 million to more than $37 million. Only two of the cars are no longer in production.
Other factors that keep people buying a particular vehicle are durability, fuel efficiency, and compact size, although not all cars on the list are necessarily the most efficient or smallest in their particular class. What they lack they have made up for in sales, and many shall continue to do so by keeping their prices lower than the competition.
Top Cars No Longer Being Made
A few cars start out strong, stay strong, but are then eventually replaced with bigger, brighter and better autos, as was the case with two vehicles that remain on the top 10 list. Granted, the Model T had a lot of helping reaching its place on the list of all time best selling cars as it was the only car available for some time.
8. Ford Model T
The Model T ranks at No. 8 on the list of top 10 bestselling autos, with total sales of $16.5 million, the 24/7 Wall Street website says. The car was in production from 1908 to 1927, although Edmunds notes the car continued to live on as inspiration for Ford’s Crown Victoria, a staple that helps keep Ford in the bestselling car game. By the time the car was nearing its end of production, the price was still an affordable $260. It was also the auto that prompted its creator Henry Ford to come up with assembly line production, with the car moving from work station to work station to keep production at a maximum and time at a minimum.
5. Ford Escort
Ford had another bestseller that is no longer in its original form of production with its Escort. During its 32 year lifespan from 1968 to 2000, the Escort managed to rack up $20 million in sales. The going price in the year 2000 was approximately $12,000, which kept the vehicle attractively priced compared to its higher-priced competitors. Initial production of the Escort came about to compete with smaller cars that hit the European market in the later 1960s. Although Ford continued to make a car known as the Escort after 2000, 24/7 Wall Street says the car is dramatically different than its earlier namesake and did not make the cut as a bestselling vehicle.
Top Cars Still in Production
Car manufacturers generally know when they have a good thing going, and smart ones know to keep it going. The remaining eight cars on the top 10 list are still in production, which also gives them a continuous edge of breaking new sales records every year.
1. Toyota Corolla
Debuting in 1966, the four-door Toyota Corolla continues to dominate the car market with an overall tally of $37.5 million in sales. Compact, fuel efficient, and inexpensive, the Corolla has the bottom line going for it. The average price for a Corolla sedan in 2012 was a shade above $16,000, which keeps it in the league of affordable vehicles for many. Although the car has gone through a slew of model upgrades, Edmunds notes it has not caught up to much of the pack as far as features go. The car still lacks amenities that are standard in higher priced vehicles, although the bottom line may still outweigh the need for a car’s little luxuries.
2. Ford F-Series Pickup
Ford keeps the top selling slots packed with yet another vehicle that makes it to number two. The Ford F-Series pickup, which was born in 1948, keeps humming along as the bestselling truck of all time. A reasonable 2012 price of about $23,000 keep the basic F-Series truck cheaper than its competitors while a wide range of styles and models serve those who need to consistently haul heavy duty loads.
The price increases with capacity, of course, but the F-Series has still been a top pick ever since it was launched more than 50 years ago. Originally known as the F-1, F-2 and F-3, or half ton, three-quarter ton and heavy duty, the truck has gone through a series of evolutions, Edmunds says, although no truck has been able to knock it off the top.
3. Volkswagen Golf
Anyone looking at cars back in 1974 may recall the Volkswagen Rabbit. This car eventually came to be known as the VW Golf, Edmunds says. This compact hatchback remains feasibly priced in 2012 at about $18,000, with low price being one of the factors that helped the Golf net $27.5 million through the years.
The 24/7 Wall Street website notes that the Golf was supposed to take over for the VW Beetle, but instead made a name in its own right. Although Volkswagen has reached high heights across the world as a major car manufacturing player, the company remains less popular in the U.S.
4. Volkswagen Beetle
The VW Beetle may bring the rollicking 1960s and 1970s to mind, but the vehicle actually debuted in 1933. The “slug bug” as many have come to call it, sold a total of $23.5 million through 2011, according to 24/7 Wall Street. Keeping it simple may have kept it popular, as does the relatively low price in 2012 of about $20,000.
The Beetle was born under Adolf Hitler’s command, as he demanded a car that was suited to the people. The appealing design has had people continuing to purchase the VW Beetle through its nearly 80 years of existence.
5. Honda Civic
Honda finally makes it onto the top 10 bestselling car list with its Civic, yet another inexpensive sedan that caters to the masses. Selling in 2012 for less than $16,000, the Civic has raked in more than $18.5 million over its lifetime. Edmunds is a big Civic fan, noting its fuel efficiency, solid reputation and solid performance as major selling points. The 24/7 Wall Street site notes the Civic rolled onto the scene in 1972, finally letting Honda be known for something other than motorcycles.
6. Honda Accord
Honda kept a good thing going and introduced the Accord in 1976, a car that has earned $17.5 million in sales and remains competitively priced at around $22,000. The higher cost than the Civic can be attributed to its larger size, with the Accord qualifying as a midsize sedan rather than a compact car. Attributes it shares with the Civic include an efficient use of fuel and a solid reputation.
9. Volkswagen Passat
Despite Volkswagen’s inability to dominate the American market, yet another of the company’s vehicle makes it onto the top 10 bestselling cars list. Initially on the scene in 1973, the VW Passat is priced higher than the Golf and Beetle, starting around $20,000 in 2012. The Passat has earned its keep with $15.5 million in sales and a bit more luxury than drivers typically find their midsize family car. Edmunds gives the Passat a “thumbs up” for advanced luxury and style.
10. Chevy Impala
Chevy made the cut as the last on the list of bestselling vehicles, ensuring that GM at least had one car on the list. The 24/7 Wall Street site asserts that GM’s wide array of brands is the reason behind its low sales on any single model. The Impala hit the scene in 1958 and earned itself a tidy $14 million in sales over the years.
The price of the Chevy Impala remains reasonable for a larger sedan; it is selling for around $26,000 in 2012. Although Edmunds lauds the Impala’s reputation and its ability to fit half a dozen people in it, it says the vehicle is “aging” and that there are more attractive choices on the market.