They say a rising tide lifts all ships, and that was certainly true in October as virtually every major manufacturer posted strong gains in sales across their lineups. Even scandal-soaked Volkswagen was able to eke clear of the red — posting a marginal 0.25% sales gain for the month — despite pulling its diesel portfolio from U.S. showrooms.
As for the top 10, there was one specific surprise: Nissan’s Rogue SUV outsold the Altima, normally the brand’s stalwart sales bastion. But the month reinforced the idea that the midsize sedan — for decades America’s favorite non-truck — is conceding ground to the crossover SUV, as the CR-V, RAV4, and Nissan Rogue posted stellar numbers once again. Accord and Camry added sales on the year-ago comparable field, though the year-to-date comparison isn’t as favorable in their cases.
“The industry’s strength comes as the economy picks up steam, with months of strength in the housing market and consumer confidence. Shoppers also have a little more in their paychecks, with income growth resuming its usual pace in the third quarter after a weak spring, according to the government figures,” Cars.com said. “Combine that with a rising tide of average incentives over the past few months and shoppers have pushed new-car sales to some of their best post-recession numbers this fall.”
Read on to see the 10 best-selling vehicles of October. All info provided by Cars.com.
10. Nissan Rogue
In a move that speaks to the times, the Nissan Rogue outsold the Altima — Nissan’s normal placer on the monthly top 10 — by moving 24,939 units last month for a stunning 69.8% gain. This leaves the Rogue up 40.7% for the year so far at 238,146 models sold. Watch for the Altima, refreshed for 2016, to make a comeback as people respond to the new styling.
9. Honda Civic
Though the 2016 Honda Civic (pictured) hasn’t hit dealers just yet, buyers clamored for 27,789 units of the outgoing model to push Honda’s year-over-year sales up 15% when compared to October of last year. This puts the Civic at 277,538 units sold so far this year — perfectly flat when compared to the same 10 months of 2014.
8. Toyota Corolla
Toyota’s venerable Corolla is going to have a fresh challenge on its hands when Honda’s redesigned and seriously sporty Civic hits the scene. In the meantime, it’s been holding its own, selling 27,951 units last month for a tidy 12% gain over October 2014. To date, Toyota has sold 306,693 models since January 1, good for a 8.1% jump over the same period last year.
7. Toyota RAV4
Though the Camry held its spot as Toyota’s top seller, the RAV4 saw sales spike 31.3% in October, to 28,256 units. This puts the crossover at 256,178 for the year, a gain of 14.6% through October 31. Look for sales to continue expanding on the refreshed 2016 model, and the new RAV4 hybrid (pictured) — the first hybrid in the segment.
6. Honda CR-V
Further taking advantage of the overall weakness in the sedan market, the Honda CR-V wasn’t able to outsell its stablemate the Accord, though not for lack of trying — it came pretty close, with 29,032 units sold in October, a small year-over-year decline of 0.8%, leaving its yearly total to date at 288,531 units sold, or up 6.8% on the year.
5. Honda Accord
With the 2016 Accord now on dealer lots, Honda saw sales for the sedan grow 11% versus October a year ago, a promising sign as year-to-date sales flounder down 11% for the year so far. Honda sold 30,121 Accords last month, to bring its annual total to date to 294,935.
4. Toyota Camry
America’s perennial favorite sedan plowed on through October with sales of 34,781, a 4.9% lift versus the year-ago month. This leaves the Camry down 1.9% for the year-to-date, at 361,111 vehicles sold since January, emphasizing America’s new-found love with the crossover SUV.
3. Ram Pickup
Ram rounds out the top three with 40,931 Pickup trucks sold for the month, posting a 2.8% gain over sales of October a year ago. Ram has done well despite being up against some tough comparables, and its annual sales so far have reached 371,574 units total — 3.3% above the level seen for the same period a year ago.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
Taking its customary place for second is the Chevrolet Silverado, which moved 51,647 units in October to post a 10% gain versus the same month a year ago. This leaves the truck — which is seeing a refreshed 2016 model roll into dealerships now — up 14.8% for the year-to-date, at 492,551 units.
1. Ford F-Series
Though off its 70,000-plus high from September, Ford still sold a more than respectable 65,500 units of the F-Series pickups in October, for a 3.3% gain over October 2014. This brings the brand’s year-to-date total to 629,951 trucks moved since January, eking out a 1.5% edge over the same period of last year. This is especially impressive given the sales slow-down that Ford experienced earlier in the year, when it re-tooled for the new F-150 — then was hit with production and supply shortage issues.