Since the invention of the automobile, cars have become a staple of the American dream. On this list, we’ll cover the top-selling cars in history; not the most exotic or expensive, but rather the ones we have all either rode shotgun in or have seen for sale for $5,995 in used car lots. These are the cars that have had a huge, unrecognizable impact on all of our lives and deserve a little credit.
1. Toyota Corolla
Beginning its legacy in 1966, the Toyota Corolla has continued to be an affordable, compact sedan for nearly 50 years. It became the best selling sedan in 1974 and could quickly be seen on every corner. Its style has rarely been eye-catching, like German-made BMW or Mercedes, but this Japanese import has its own notable features. Its fuel efficiency, now 35 mpg in 2015, and affordability have made it the number one selling car with 37.5 million sold. Aside from these features, the average Corolla odometer reads around 200,000 miles! Talk about reliability!
2. Ford F-Series
When I think of an American truck, the Ford F-150 instantly comes to mind as an instant classic that has always been undeniably dominant in the pick-up market. The original model unrolled in 1948 and has sold 35 million trucks since! This Ford has continued to please its loyal consumers by increasing torque and horsepower, while also boosting each year’s fuel economy. Ford’s popularity isn’t going anywhere either, since the corporation had to recently add a third shift to its Kansas City factory assembly plant to meet customer demand.
3. Volkswagen Golf
The Germans can be found number three on this list with the sporty, inexpensive VW Golf. The Golf, originally called the Rabbit in 1975 (can’t believe that name lasted until 2006) has 27.5 million models on the road and has been ranked 6 as most affordable compact cars by U.S. News and World Report. This quick, speedy car has been called fun to drive with great handling. To constantly keep Golf enthusiasts enticed, Volkswagen has even added a diesel option to the model.
4. Volkswagen Beetle
The “Bug”, as we love to call it, has been around since 1933 and has sold more than 23 million units! Over its 82 years of success in the German and global auto industries, the Beetle has not strayed too far from its original design, aside from a few tweaks Hitler made in the 40’s . The car can be seen in pop-culture, especially in Disney’s “The Love Bug” in 1968 (and yes, also that weird Lindsay Lohan remake in 2005). As one of the most recognizable cars in the world, its moderate face-lifts over the generations, affordability, and fun design have contributed to its long-lasting resilience.
5. Ford Escort
The Ford Escort, now mostly known as every 16 year old’s first used car, sold more than 20 million models between 1968 and 2000. Originally introduced in Europe, it became a hit in America in 1981 when competing with Japanese cars which appeared to be dominating the compact car scene. Ford offered two-door hatchbacks as well as four-door wagon models to cater to different tastes. Although no longer in production, the Escort lives on in the Ford Focus. Its popularity continues to grow as long as the world has its eyes on ever-changing gas prices.