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Can you believe it is already July? Halfway through the calendar year, what’s the most popular SUV so far in 2023? The Tesla Model Y being a polarizing SUV isn’t news, but its increased sales are noteworthy. On the one hand, the electric SUV’s sleek design, combined with impressive performance and cutting-edge technology, has garnered a loyal fan base. While some skeptics raise concerns about build quality and the still-developing autonomous driving situation, others are all-in on this best-selling SUV.

The Tesla Model Y is a polarizing SUV
The Tesla Model Y SUV | Tesla

The Tesla Model Y is the polarizing SUV that has taken the top spot for SUV sales, according to Kelley Blue Book. Coming from spot three last year, the Tesla Model Y is still sweeping the market with sales. Calculations say that the MY has sold 105,500 units in 2023, becoming the most popular SUV in America. After some price fluctuations, the electric SUV is more affordable and qualifies for the federal tax credit.

RankMake/ModelUnits Sold in 2023
1Tesla Model Y105,500
2Toyota RAV4102,313
3Honda CR-V96,456
4Nissan Rogue71,246
5Jeep Grand Cherokee70,454
6Toyota Highlander58,079
7Hyundai Tucson54,421
8Chevrolet Equinox52,949
9Subaru Outback48,636
10Jeep Wrangler46,671
Most Popular SUVs in 2023 | Kelley Blue Book

Why is the Tesla Model Y a polarizing SUV? Not everyone is ready to embrace Elon Musk and the Tesla brand. Besides the personal drama surrounding Musk, Tesla has rapidly raised and lowered prices in a mildly erratic way all year. Regardless, the Model Y has seen plenty of sales to cement its victory as the most popular SUV. It is also the only all-electric model to make the list.

The Tesla Model Y is a polarizing SUV for many reasons, like the ones mentioned above. However, it has a long-range option and various ways to customize it from the factory. Plus, Tesla offers a third-row configuration that can seat more passengers. All-wheel drive comes standard, and Tesla has some of the coolest tech out there right now.

The situation at Tesla changes rapidly, but there are three trim levels to choose from for this best-selling SUV. That is the standard Model Y, the Model Y Long Range, and the Model Y Performance. Tesla recently released the base model, a more affordable option with a dual motor setup.

Trim LevelMSRPRange
2023 Tesla Model Y$47,490279 miles
2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range$50,490330 miles
2023 Tesla Model Y Performance$54,490303 miles
2023 Tesla Model Y Pricing

As of April 18, 2023, all Model Y trims are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. The MSRP limit is $80,000 at the time of publication, which all of the MY trim levels fall under. There are many stipulations to qualify, so check with the IRS before committing to any EV.

What was the best-selling SUV last year?

The best small SUV used to be the 2023 Toyota RAV4
A 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Don’t count the Toyota RAV4 out yet, even if it is the furthest thing from a polarizing SUV. With 102,313 sales so far in 2023, the RAV4 is not far behind. With room for five passengers, the RAV4 is extremely popular among shoppers looking for a compact SUV. Toyota also offers the SUV at a fairly reasonable cost, starting at $27,575 for the base LE model. A fully loaded 2023 RAV4 is $37,195.

Toyota offers a lot of value for shoppers, with good resale value and plenty of standard features on all trim levels. Over five generations of RAV4s, Toyota has sold more than 10 million units. Even if it isn’t the most popular SUV this year, this compact SUV probably isn’t going anywhere.

Even if the Tesla Model Y is a polarizing SUV, it doesn’t impact its sales negatively. With recent price cuts, it is actually an affordable electric option that suits many shoppers. It isn’t clear if the MSRP will change more as the year goes on, so don’t wait too long if the 2023 MY is on your shortlist.


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