Canadians bought 2,038,798 cars, trucks and SUVs last year — more vehicles than any other year in Canadian history — a record year that was already hot by July. Last year’s total vehicle sales gained 4.6 per cent over 2016’s equally-strong results.
Again, Ford was the No. 1 seller overall in 2017 (308,474 units, up 1.6 per cent) but it was followed closely by a surging General Motors (302,826 units, up 13.3 per cent). GM is now poised to take the top spot in 2018 with a slew of new models on tap, including some new trucks — the type of vehicle Canadians covet most.
Of all the vehicles sold in Canada in 2017, these were the top 15 most popular, with the number of sales and percentage of sales increase or decrease over 2016.
15. Chevrolet Cruze: 27,520, +3%
Year-over-year sales of the redesigned compact Cruze were up three per cent, thanks largely to a new hatchback model that enjoyed a strong increase in sales for the first half of the year. One of the few compact cars to offer diesel, the Cruze fell from being the fourth most popular compact to fifth behind the redesigned Mazda3.
14. Mazda3: 27,862, +1%
Mazda’s refresh of its bread-and-butter car in 2017 didn’t spark a massive sales increase, but the compact still pulled steady sales, close to the 30,000 mark, still off its once-routine showing in the 40,000 sales club. A redesigned model for 2019 with new high-compression Skyactiv-X engines could reinvigorate the model.
13. Hyundai Tucson: 30,467, +28%
All new in 2016, the Hyundai Tucson benefited from good discounts and financing in 2017. Sales were already up 14 per cent by mid-year, finishing 2017 with a 28 per cent gain as newer models got technology updates, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
12. Nissan Rogue: 43,418, +8%
Despite the introduction of the smaller Nissan Qashqai, itself already popular, the larger Nissan Rogue continued to pull good numbers in the wake of a good incentives and a refreshening in 2017 that saw new trim levels, some attractive styling tweaks and better sound-deadening.
11. Hyundai Elantra: 46,112, -6%
Hyundai was down 6.1 per cent in sales overall in 2017 and also lost market share, which effected Elantra sales, despite a new, value-packed Elantra hatchback. Sales sagged to 46,112 units in 2017, down from 48,875 in 2016, a drop of six per cent.
10. Dodge Grand Caravan: 46,933, -9%
A lack of upgrades, aging architecture, as well as an attractive alternative in the form of the Pacifica, hurt Grand Caravan sales once more despite the pioneering van being the darling of rental and fleet managers who helped move 46,933 units.
9. Ford Escape: 47,880, +3%
Still off its peak sales of a few years ago, the Ford Escape nevertheless managed a three per cent gain for 2017, a year that saw revised exterior styling and minor interior improvements. Good incentives also helped boost sales to 47,880 units in 2017 from 46,661 in 2016.
8. Toyota Corolla: 50,332, +10%
Despite the rush to compact and small utilities, the Canadian-made Corolla pulled off an impressive 2017, in part due to the inclusion of the former Scion iM into the Corolla banner. New LED headlamps, upgraded upholstery and new safety equipment for 2017 helped the Corolla become the second most popular car in Canada.
7. Honda CR-V: 50,433, +13%
The best year ever for Honda CR-V sales still wasn’t quite good enough for it catch its main rival, the Toyota RAV4; but, wow, was it close — the pair were separated by only 451 units. A much improved interior, optional turbo engine and attractive exterior made the Canadian-made CR-V the second-most popular CUV in the country in 2017. Unless a new RAV4 arrives, expect it to be No. 1 in 2018.
6. Toyota RAV4: 50,894, +4%
Cracking the 50,000 unit threshold for the first time ever, Toyota’s aging RAV4 risks losing its top CUV spot to the newer and surging CR-V, despite a strong return for 2017 in which sales gained four per cent to make it the best selling Toyota model overall. A new RAV4 based off the FT-AC revealed at the 2017 Los Angeles auto show hints at a new model in the works.
5. Chevrolet Silverado: 59,066, +32%
Massive incentives and generous year-end clearouts ahead of a new, 2019 Silverado sparked a big increase in Silverado sales. Together with its GMC sibling the Sierra, the twin General Motors trucks outsold the Ram pickup, though both GM trucks were not able to outsell Ford’s F-Series. 2017 Silverado sales were in sharp contrast to a 3.2 per cent decline over the full 2016 year.
4. GMC Sierra: 61,883, +21%
There’s a reason we see so many Sierra’s on the road in Canada — GM sells more than 60,000 of them in a year! While 2016 sales were good, 2017 boosted those numbers further with special editions, excellent incentives and good financing options throughout the year to net 61,883 units sold.
3. Honda Civic: 69,030, +7%
Canada’s best selling car for 20 years running, the Honda Civic came just shy of cracking 70,000 units — almost 40 per cent ahead of its nearest rival. A redesign for the 2016 model year was joined in 2017 by a high performance Si and Type R model, that, for 2018, comes in red, making the Civic the third most popular vehicle in the country.
2. Ram: 98,465, +11%
Despite the lack of a diesel model due to emission issues, Ram pickup sales remained brisk through the year, with 98,465 units sold in 2017 compared with 89,048 units in 2016, a gain of 11 per cent. Large incentives helped push Ram sales to their best ever year in history. Spy shots of a new Ram being tested point to a 2019 model to go on sale sometime later this year.
1. Ford F-Series: 155,290, +7%
A gain of seven per cent in F-Series sales in 2017 followed a 22 per cent jump in 2016. Still, the momentum continued to make Ford’s F-Series trucks the most popular vehicle in the country, the F-Series the most popular truck for the 52nd year in row. A refresh for 2018 models saw refreshed front and rear styling, and a diesel engine joins the lineup later this spring.