Top 25 Best Selling Cars of All Time

Have you ever wondered what the secret to selling cars is? In this roundup, we throw a feast of stats, figures, and fun facts at you which prove why these 25 vehicles are the best selling cars of all time.

These cars have stood the test of time, so if you'd like to get your hands on a model of your own, look no further than Lease Fetcher to compare personal car lease deals or business car lease deals for your top pick!

25. Ford Mustang

Any car that creates its own separate class is a force to be reckoned with. Of the 1960s ‘pony cars’, the Ford Mustang is the only model to remain in continuous production. Now in its sixth generation, Ford are rolling with the times and have re-developed the modern classic as an all-electric SUV, set to be released in 2021. Through all of its facelifts, its iconic horse logo has stood centre stage.

  • Models Sold: 10,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1964
  • Initial Price: $2,368
  • Country First Released: USA
  • 22,000 were sold on the first day!
  • Was almost named the “Cougar”.

24. Toyota Camry

The ‘crown’ jewel of the Japanese automotive industry, the Toyota Camry has made a name for itself as a multi-purpose vehicle used for company cars and taxis all around the world. In 1980, (before its launch in 1983) Toyota and Ford tried to come to an agreement to manufacture the Camry at the Ford factory and sell it through both brands channels, but Ford felt the Camry was in direct competition with a model they were developing - we guess Ford missed out!

  • Models Sold: 10,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1983
  • Country First Released: Japan
  • Top Speed: 112 mph
  • Name: comes from the Japanese word "Kanmuri" which means “crown”.
  • In lots of films includingSpider-Man,Avengers: Age of Ultron,Man of Steel,Fantastic Four, andTransformers.

23. Mercedes C Class

When it was launched in 1993, the Mercedes C-Class was regularly referred to as the “Baby Benz”, lovingly called so as it was once the entry-level Merc model. The compact, executive saloon was introduced as a replacement for the 1982 190 (W201) range which was the first mid-size saloon produced by the German manufacturer. In its fourth generation, the C-Class comes in four body styles; Sedan (W205), Wagon (S205), Coupe (C205), and Cabriolet (A205).

  • Models Sold: 10,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1993
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Country Manufactured: Germany
  • Was initially plagued by rust problems.
  • A Cabriolet version wasn’t released until 2016.

22. Mazda Familia

As the name suggests, the Mazda Familia was born to meet the needs of small families, which it did very convincingly throughout its 40 year life. The first Mazda Familia was initially only available as a commercial two-door wagon called the Familia van but it soon morphed into the popular small family car. In 2003, the Familia was replaced by the popular Mazda 3.

  • Models Sold: 10,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1963
  • Country First Released: Japan
  • Manufacturing Plant: Hiroshima, Japan
  • It was introduced in Japan in time for the 1964 Summer Olympics.
  • The name ‘Mazda’ comes from Ahura Mazda, the God of wisdom in Persian Mythology.

21. Vauxhall Astra

Originally known as the “Opel Kaddett”, the Vauxhall Astra has become one of Britain’s most popular family cars behind the Ford Escort. The Kaddett’s roots date back to 1936 when it was developed to rival the Volkswagen Beetle. In the UK, the Vauxhall Astra replaced the beloved Vauxhall Viva. The Mk1 Astra was a strong seller in the UK and has held on to a top spot into the present day.

  • Models Sold: 11,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1979
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Current Price: From £18,160
  • The Astra was the first Vauxhall model to have front-wheel drive.
  • Used in Motorsport, particularly touring car racing.

20. Oldsmobile Cutlass

You have to dig deep into the archives to find some background on the Oldsmobile Cutlass! Born out of the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in 1961, the Cutlass started off as the smallest unibody compact car, but saw its greatest success as a body-on-frame-intermediate. Cutlass sales reached a peak in 1977 - the Lansing Car Assembly in Michigan was a busy ol’ place! It eventually fell out of public favour so was phased out in 1999 and replaced by the Oldsmobile Alero.

  • Models Sold: 11,900,000+
  • Debut Year: 1961
  • Country First Released: USA
  • Top Speed: 116mph
  • Was the most popular car in America in 1977, selling 632,742 models.
  • Shared a Y body platform with the Buick Special and Pontiac Tempest.

19. BMW 3 Series

We guarantee that the BMW 3 Series will climb the world’s best-selling ladder in years to come. Designed by Paul Bacq, the original version was only available as a 2-door saloon. The “Touring” variation was added to the series in 1987 and became the first ever BMW station wagon. Now in its 7th generation, the BMW 3 Series is available as a sedan, coupe, wagon, and even a convertible.

  • Models Sold: 14,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1975
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • The BMW 3 Series accounts for 30% of BMW's overall sales.
  • Unveiled to the world at Munich's Olympic Stadium.

18. Volkswagen Polo

Built like a tank, the Volkswagen Polo has stood the test of time and is highly regarded as one of the best hatchbacks of all time. It’s so reliable that it’s been used as a platform for models including the SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia, and the Audi A1. Launched in 1975, the Polo was a response to the 1970s oil crisis where a sudden demand for economical runabouts was at an all-time high. The nimble little Polo was a mere 800kg, making it an ideal size to create performance versions too.

  • Models Sold: 14,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1975
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • Only hatchback which offers a dual-clutch gearbox.
  • Won "World Car of the Year" in 2010.

17. Renault Clio

Renault pride themselves on being the most popular car manufacturer in France, and they have the Renault Clio to thank for most of it. Launched in 1990, the supermini hatchback was an instant hit after replacing the Renault 5. The Clio’s budget-friendly pricing and economical engines proved to be hugely popular and by 1994 it accounted for 49% of Renault’s total sales in the UK.

  • Models Sold: 15,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1990
  • Country First Released: France
  • Manufacturing Plant: Bursa, France
  • The name "Clio" is Greek for "made or to make famous".
  • Thierry Henry starred in the memorable “Va Va Voom” adverts.

16. Chrysler Minivan

Launched in 1984, the Chrysler Minivans were produced in a single four-door van body style that runs strong today. They have been marketed under a variety of nameplates over the years including the Plymouth, Dodge, and Ram brands. The Chrysler minivan is the highest-selling model in the MPV segment and is a firm favourite amongst Uber drivers and larger families around North America.

  • Models Sold: 15,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1984
  • Country First Released: USA & Canada
  • Manufacturing Plant: Ontario, Canada; Fenton, Missouri; and Graz, Austria
  • Chrysler has produced six generations of minivans.
  • The original commercial for the 1984 “Voyager” featured Canadian magician, Doug Henning.

15. Ford Model T

The Ford Model T is thought to be the car that democratised automobiles. It became the first car that Ford built all the component parts for themselves, and using Ford’s innovative assembly line, it became one of the first mass-produced cars in the world, accessible to the masses. It was available as a 5-seat touring car, a 2-seat runaround, and a 7-seat town car, but it was only available in one colour - black. The Model T paved the way for a new world of automotive mass production.

  • Models Sold: 15,000,000+
  • Debut Year 1908
  • Country First Released: USA
  • Initial Price: $850
  • The Model T comprised around 40% of all cars sold in the USA.
  • Faster production meant cheaper cars - the price dropped from $850 in 1908 to $300 in 1925.

14. Ford Focus

Ford continues its impressive tally on this list with the renowned Ford Focus. The Focus was almost a next generation Ford Escort but the manufacturer decided to keep the Escort in rotation. By the launch of the second generation in 2004, the US and European versions of the car went their separate ways. The Ford Focus has been used in rally sports, and also comes in a couple of hot hatch versions including the ST and the RS.

  • Models Sold: 16,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1998
  • Country First Released: Europe
  • Top Speed: 165mph (Ford Focus RS)
  • Seen in films like The SweeneyTwilightSpider-Man 2Final Destination, and many more.
  • Designed by the German and British Ford teams.
  • First car to win a BTCC race on LPG.

13. Chevrolet Impala

The discontinuation of the Chevrolet Impala is still pretty raw, with GM announcing that the flagship passenger car would come off the assembly line at the end of February 2020. This isn’t the first time the car’s been eliminated. Between 1985 and 1994, the Impala took a well-earned rest before the 7th generation was introduced. The Chevrolet Impala was originally released as a top trim level of the Chevrolet Bel Air. The Impala was also the last ever car to offer the bench seat, before it became a discontinued feature after 2013.

  • Models Sold: 16,800,000+
  • Debut Year: 1958
  • Country First Released: USA/span>
  • Initial Price: $2,500 (Chevrolet Bel Air)
  • Named after a medium-sized fierce African antelope - the animal was the car's logo.
  • Was the highest-selling vehicle of 1965.

12. Honda Accord

Since the launch of the first-gen three-door hatchback back in 1976, the Honda Accord has blossomed into one of the world’s most popular executive saloons. Despite being a Japanese car, most of the Accord’s success has been in the United States - in 1989, it was the highest-selling car across the states. Now in its 10th generation, the Honda Accord is produced at five different plants across the world.

  • Models Sold: 17,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1976
  • Country First Released: Japan
  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • Has been named 34 times on Car and Driver "10 Best List".
  • It was the first Japanese vehicle to be manufactured in the US.

11. Ford Escort

The trendy Ford Escort made its introduction in 1968, replacing the successful long-running Ford Anglia. Despite its discontinuation, the Ford Escort is one of the best-selling cars in the UK of all time. In 1974, 6 years into production, Ford had already made the 2 millionth Escort, a feat which had not been matched by any Ford model outside the US until that point.

  • Models Sold: 18,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1968
  • Country First Released: UK & Germany
  • Initial Price: £679
  • Production ceased in 2004.
  • Replaced the successful long-running Ford Anglia.

10. Vauxhall Corsa

Originally, Vauxhall were reluctant to name the Corsa “Corsa” as they felt it sounded too close to “coarser”, implying that the car was rough and poor quality. They came around though and the name is now recognised in households across the globe. The first-generation model was designed by Richard Shaw. Despite being unavailable in the USA and Canada, it’s still grabbed a top spot on this list.

  • Models Sold: 18,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1982
  • Country First Released: France, Italy & Spain
  • Top Speed: 121mph
  • "Corsa" means "race" in Italian.
  • Former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith sold his Corsa on eBay for £6.3K.

9. Lada Rive / VAZ 2101

Here’s a blast from the past - the Lada Riva, also referred to as the VAZ 2101. Introduced in the Soviet Union, the Lada Riva had a decent spell exporting across Europe, but their popularity didn’t grip the West as much as the East. By 1997, the Lada Riva was removed from most western markets which played a damning role in the fall of sales. Between 1994 and 2005, the number of licensed Lada’s fell from 134,000 to 3,000. Although, there’s still a few chugging around, many believe that it’s now a "classic car" that should be left in the past.

  • Models Sold: 19,000,000+
  • Production Life: 1980-2013
  • Country First Released: Russia (USSR)
  • Top Speed: 84mph
  • Less than 50 remain on UK roads today.
  • Third best selling automobile platform after the VW Beetle and Ford Model T.

8. Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux is better known to Americans as the Toyota Pick Up. It started out life as the Hino Briska - Toyota suggested improvements to Hino, and it was then rebadged as the Toyota Briska before undergoing a name change again to Hilux. In its eighth generation, the Hilux has transformed into a Dakar Rally stalwart as well as a mainstay for middle-eastern military groups. The 1980s Toyota War between Libya and Chad was so named because of the heavy, very successful use of Hilux trucks as technicals.

  • Models Sold:19,000,000+
  • Debut Year:1968
  • Country First Released:Japan
  • Top Speed:105mph

7. Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is proudly regarded as the UK’s current best-selling car. So many Fiestas have been sold, in fact, that if you were to line them up nose-to-tail, they would stretch around the coast of mainland Britain - twice. Production of the Fiesta began in a new factory in Valencia, Spain in 1976 and the Fiesta name was chosen personally by Henry Ford II in celebration of Ford’s new connection with Spain.

  • Models Sold: 19,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1976
  • Country First Released: Spain, England & Germany
  • Initial Price: £1,856
  • Before being named the Fiesta, its working title was the ‘Bobcat’.
  • The most expensive Fiesta is the world rally car built by M-Sport in Cumbria. It costs a whopping £350,000.

6. Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle has one of the more famous introductions. Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche received a contract from Adolf Hitler to build the prototype for the “People’s Car”. Originally, it was named the “KdF-Wagen”, which didn’t exactly catch on with German citizens, so “People’s Car” it was. The Beetle was the first ever car to sell over 20 million units. Surprisngly, over seven decades, there were only 3 generations, with the first gen car running from 1938 to 2003. Beetle production ended in 2019 as consumers moved towards SUVs.

  • Models Sold: 23,000,000+
  • Production Life: 1938-2019
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Original Manufacturing Plant: Wolfsburg, Germany
  • Only sold 967 in the UK in 2018.
  • Been featured in countless films - the Herbie franchise, FootlooseFight Club and The Shining.

5. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic was first released in Japan, 1972 and subsequently sailed over the Atlantic, reaching the USA the following year. The Civic was actually Honda’s first proper car (having focused predominantly on motorbikes before) and is currently it’s longest continuously produced model. In it’s 10th generation, the Honda Civic has solidified its place as one of the world’s top-selling cars.

  • Models Sold: 24,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1972
  • Country First Released: Japan
  • Top Speed: 169mph (Type R)
  • 2000 people a day buy a new Civic.
  • The Type R model is the fastest front-wheel drive car in the world.

4. Volkswagen Passat

Launched in 1973, the Volkswagen Passat was originally based on the Audi 80 and it replaced the Volkswagen K70. Available in front-engine, front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, the Passat’s versatility, performance, and luxurious interior are just some of the reasons why it has become one of the world’s best-selling family cars.

  • Models Sold: 30,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1973
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • In North America, it was called the "Dasher".
  • Name "Passat" comes from German word "Passatwinde" or trade winds - in line with the naming pattern of other cars to do with winds.

3. Volkswagen Golf

Leading the charge for German manufacturers is the fan-favourite Volkswagen Golf. The name “Golf” is either in line with other sporty VW model names (Polo and Derby) or in line with those named after winds (Passat), as Golf in German means “Gulf”. The VW Golf shares a platform with a number of other cars including the Audi TT, Audi A3, VW Beetle and SEAT Toledo. The VW Golf is also the first car in the world to offer electric, hybrid, diesel, petrol and LP gas powertrains as well as front and all wheel drive.

  • Models Sold: 35,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1974
  • Country First Released: Germany
  • Top Speed: 141mph (Golf R)
  • A VW Golf is sold every 40 seconds.
  • Angela Merkel's 1990 Golf sold for 10,165 Euros at auction.

2. Ford F-Series

In its 14th generation, The Ford F-Series continues to win over the hearts of North American motorists. The F-Series is a series of trucks also referred to as "Ford Bonus-Built trucks". These were the first to be built on a dedicated truck platform unlike previous versions which were built from car chassis during the war. The most popular member of the F-Series family is the "F-150". The 2018 Ford F-150 weighs 700 pounds less than the previous model because of a space age aluminium alloy in the body panels and other components.

  • Models Sold: 40,000,000+
  • Debut Year: 1948
  • Country First Released: USA
  • Top Speed: 96mph
  • Best selling pick-up truck in the US since 1977.
  • Appears in Gran TorinoGone in 60 SecondsLicense to Kill and is depicted in the Pixar films, Cars 2 and Cars 3.

1. Toyota Corolla

Designed to be a "people's car", the Toyota Corolla certainly achieved their goal - and fast. The Corolla became Japan’s top-selling car in the space of 3 years thanks to its lavish equipment (at the time), including a floor-mounted gear lever, individual front bucket seats with generous padding, and a spacious rear bench likened to a family sofa. The Corolla has been the world’s best selling car for the last 22 years.

  • Models Sold: 47,500,000+
  • Debut Year: 1966
  • Country First Released: Japan
  • Top Speed: 124mph
  • The Corolla was the first car to introduce white reversing or lights as well as being the first mass produced car to employ twin-cam multi-valve engine technology.
  • First released in Japan and the first export country was Australia.