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The market for cars is highly competitive right now as many automakers are fighting to get a foot in the various segments that have been booming. This is especially true regarding SUVs, as many automakers are investing in SUVs, and car shoppers have been eager to buy SUVs over sedans and other vehicle classes. An example of that is the Kia Telluride, which is an award-winning SUV. Still, despite those awards, Kia overall isn’t actually selling too well.

These are the top 25 best-selling cars so far in 2023

Car and Driver recently published a list of the 25 best-selling cars so far in the year, and it had a few surprises. The top three best-selling cars were all still pickup trucks, with the Ford F-150 continuing to be the best-selling vehicle overall. However, at No. 4 was a Tesla, and not only that, but it was the Model Y. It’s estimated that Tesla sold 85,000 units in the first quarter of 2023, which is an impressive amount for an EV startup like Tesla.

Another surprising result came from the Nissan Rogue. The Japanese automaker’s sold just over 76,000 units so far in 2023, which placed it as the No. 6 best-selling car in America. This means the Rogue outsells many popular and well-known vehicles, such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, and GMC Sierra.

Although those cars are surprising entries on the list, there’s also a surprise regarding what’s not on the list. Kia, as an automaker, had no entries in the top 25 at all. In fact, Hyundai, an automaker working closely with Kia, only had one entry on the list. That entry was the Hyundai Tucson, which has sold 46,000 units so far, thus placing it as the No. 16 best-selling car of 2023, so far.

Kia has received critical acclaim, but it hasn’t translated to sales yet

An empty Kia dealership in Madrid, Spain, in 2020, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
An empty Kia dealership | Eduardo Parra /Europa Press via Getty Images

It’s surprising that Kia doesn’t have any models make the list since it has so many high-quality vehicles that have received great reviews from car critics and consumers alike. The Telluride is an excellent example, but it’s not the only one. For example, the South Korean automaker recently redesigned the Sportage for the 2023 model year, which helped it get some great reviews.

Despite that, the Sportage, like the Telluride and every other car in Kia’s lineup, failed to sell enough to break into the top 25. To be fair to Kia, its vehicles aren’t selling poorly by any means. It’s just that, compared to other automakers, Kia’s cars aren’t selling better than the most popular cars on the market. It may take Kia a while to change that, but it will likely happen eventually.

Kia still has a bright future ahead of it

Like many other automakers, Kia is investing in EVs. A great example of that is the EV6, an electric compact SUV that has received many great reviews as well. In fact, many car critics have named it the best in the segment. Additionally, since the EV6 is an SUV, it’s competing in a segment that Americans just can’t seem to get enough of. 

As such, Kia, as an automaker, is on the right track if it continues to build high-quality cars like the EV6. It’s a vehicle that Americans are poised to buy more of, as consumer demand for EVs and SUVs is rising. The South Korean automaker needs to keep doing what it’s been doing, and sales should improve.

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