Despite Gas Prices, America’s Top 3 Best Sellers of 2022 Were Pickup Trucks

Gas prices reached an all-time high in 2022. As a result, we heard many tales of people buying hybrid and electric models, avoiding gas guzzlers so they didn’t have to break the bank at the pump. However, now we’ve got the numbers on how many people bought which models. The results show the exact opposite of people buying a new car with fuel economy in mind. Despite gas prices, America’s top three best-sellers of 2022 were pickup trucks.

America’s third-best seller of 2022

A 2023 Ram TRX Havoc Edition pickup truck is a top 3 best sellers of 2022
2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition | Ram

According to Car and Driver, the third best-selling vehicle of 2022 was the Ram pickup. Although it covers larger Ram models too, the most popular is the Ram 1500. As C/D said, the numbers include the light and heavy-duty pickup versions, which dropped 18 percent in sales from the previous model year. However, it still managed enough sales to make the top three, which is pretty much standard for the brand at this point. This pickup truck and the second-place model are in a constant battle for the runner-up position, and Ram lost it for 2022.

Selling 468,344 units is no easy task. Moreover, it’s even more impressive that a vehicle with such poor fuel economy did it in a year where gas costs the most—standard models with a non-diesel engine average 20 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Although using the mild-hybrid system is a big step up for its fuel economy numbers, it remains a gas guzzler, and, surprisingly, this many people bought it when prices were $5 per gallon.

The Chevy Silverado sold more

2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 off-roading, it gas and fuel economy enough to stop buyers from taking it home?
2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 | Chevrolet

The next best-selling model of 2022 is the Chevy Silverado. Another pickup truck, it outsold the Ram trucks by quite a margin, cashing in at 513,354 units. Like Ram, the sales numbers include the light-duty Silverado 1500 and the heavy-duty versions. Again similarly, the light-duty truck makes up most of the sales. It did fall short of the Ram for a while at the beginning of the year, which C/D suggests could be due to its 2022 updates. However, it came on strong at the end and again took its spot behind the perpetual sales winner.

Like its rival, the Silverado 1500 is no longer so terrible on gas that it’s unbearable. However, it still isn’t great, especially when prices are so high. According to FuelEconomy.gov, the standard engine with two-wheel drive averages about 23 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. Many buyers swap out the engine for a V8, both of which have fuel economy closer to those from 20 years ago.

Ford F-Series pickup is America’s best-selling model of 2022

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We’re not surprised to see the lineup of Ford trucks atop another sales list. It seems that it’s been a lifetime since a different vehicle outsold the Ford pickup. That’s why Ram and Chevy compete for second-place year after year while the Blue Oval sits comfortably upon its throne. C/D says the Ford F-Series trucks sold 653,957 units in 2022. While it did add a new electric version recently, it only made up 15,617 units of the total sales figures, which is almost nothing.

Despite high gas prices over the course of the year, the Ford faithful showed out once again. America’s best-selling model of 2022 is a pickup truck. Using the standard engine and two-wheel drive, the F-150 gets an average of 25 city and 25 highway mpg. Variants like the Raptor performance and off-road trim are much worse, as it gets 14 mpg in the city and 16 on the highway. But that didn’t stop Americans from buying it.

America’s top 3 best-sellers of 2022 were pickup trucks

In conclusion, it’s surprising that America’s top three best-sellers of 2022 were pickup trucks again. Although it happens a lot, record-high gas prices seemed to be a reason to avoid the gas-guzzling models. Fortunately for these automakers, that didn’t deter buyers very much at all. In fact, the GMC Sierra and Toyota Tacoma also made the top 10, so truck sales were plentiful for 2022.