Skip to main content

Time changes, people change, but SUV preferences remain the same. At least, that is the case with these two best-selling SUVs from Ford and Jeep. Even though so much has changed in the last 23 years, it seems preferences with shoppers and drivers have not changed all that much. After we survived Y2K, drivers still looked for the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee more than any other sport utility vehicle. For the best SUVs of 2023, you can expect some familiar makes and models.

The best-selling SUVs in 2000 started with the Ford Explorer

Back in the year 2000, the best-selling SUVs consisted of the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The other eight vehicles in the top 10 were primarily trucks like the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado. Edmunds reports that the Ford Explorer sold 445,157 units at publication, putting it in third place. Y2K or no Y2K, people like Ford SUVs.

It came with a 4.0L V6 engine and four trim levels, including the famous Eddie Bauer trim – a sign of the times! Ford also offered the Expedition a flexible fuel system, which allowed for a mix of gas and ethanol to be used. A 4.6L V8 was also available with 240 horsepower.

According to sales data on GoodCarBadCar, Ford’s Explorer is currently the third best-selling midsize SUV for 2023. This year, Ford sold 138,102 units through Q3. That is about 20k short of last year’s numbers, but there is still time left in the year. Either way, drivers still like the Ford Explorer SUV.

You can count on the Jeep Grand Cherokee to be a best-selling SUV

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the best-selling SUVs in 2000 and remains popular today. With 271,723 units sold at the time of publication, the Grand Cherokee was the 10th best-selling vehicle and the only other SUV on the list with the Explorer.

Noteworthy for its off-road capability, the Grand Cherokee’s standard engine was a 4.0L inline six with 195 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque. Just enough for those weekend adventures. Jeep also offered a 4.7L V8 engine with 235 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Though the Grand Cherokee was good for all SUV experiences, this year was described as delivering a “luxurious on-road ride.”

As expected, the Jeep Grand Cherokee (JGC for short) is the best-selling midsize SUV in 2023. It has 182,873 sales so far, surpassing last year’s numbers of 172,544 units sold by this time. Even though it was last on the best-sellers list in 2000, the JGC has proven to be a popular vehicle with shoppers. The best SUVs of 2023 wouldn’t be complete without a Jeep or two!

The Ford F-Series remains the best seller.

The Ford F-Series trucks seen here include the popular Ford F-150
Some of the Ford F-Series trucks | Ford

7 Best Selling SUVs And What Makes Them Worth It According to U.S. News

Though it wasn’t one of the best-selling SUVs, the Ford F-Series truck was the best-selling vehicle of 2000 and is also the best-selling vehicle of 2023. Not just in the trucks segment but inclusive of all makes and models. In the Y2K days, the F-Series consisted of the Ford F-150, F-150 SVT, F-250, and F-350 models. All of those combined led to a staggering 876,716 units sold in 2000.

So far, in 2023, the Ford F-Series is at 573,370 units sold based on current sales data. That already beat last year’s number at this time, which was 476,307 units. Ford now offers the F-150 with a hybrid powertrain and a totally electric option with the Lightning, which has only helped increase sales in the last few years.

Whatever the case, Ford and Jeep still have the best-selling SUVs even more than two decades later. If that isn’t a good indication of brand longevity, nothing is!