Overall, Canadian car sales are in decline, but these 25 cars are soaring
#25: Chrysler 300
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 3.6% to 3,417 – Full-size, volume brand sedans like the Chrysler 300 and its stablemate, the Dodge Charger, aren’t selling as often as they did a decade ago. But in comparison with 2014, the 300, Charger, Ford Taurus, Kia Cadenza, and Nissan Maxima are all on the mend. Some of their gains may be short-lived. August sales of the 300 dropped 12% after an 82% drop in July and a 25% June decrease.
#24: Kia Forte
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 3.9% to 8,655 – After record-breaking Kia brand sales in 2012, the brand’s sales slid in 2013 and decreased further in 2014. Year-to-date, Kia sales are down 5% in 2015, as well. The Forte is one of the brand’s bright lights, particularly as its smaller sibling, the Rio, fell 34% through the first eight months of 2015 and the midsize Optima plunged 31%.
#23: Nissan Sentra
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 4.8% to 10,524 – Compact car sales are down 7% in Canada this year as the category’s seven top sellers have all recorded fewer sales this year than last. This opens up an opportunity for the Sentra, which is set to undergo a thorough refresh for model year 2016, to increase its share of the market. At this stage last year, the Sentra trailed the seventh-ranked Focus by nearly 6,000 sales. The Nissan is only 3,748 sales back of the Focus so far this year.
#22: Ford Taurus
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 5.8% to 2,744 – The fleet and police-friendly Taurus is losing thousands of U.S. sales in 2015 while gaining just 150 in Canada through the first eight months of the year. Still, while the increase is modest, it’s a noticeable increase given the losses elsewhere in Ford’s lineup. The C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion are all sliding. Among Ford’s “light trucks”, the Escape, F-Series, and Flex are in decline, as well.
#21: Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 8.1% to 2,599 – In its quest for greater North American volume, Mercedes-Benz dove downmarket with the CLA sedan and its GLA crossover offspring. The CLA is undeniably a success, with continued growth even now that it’s two years into its tenure. Only the C-Class, GLK-Class, and M-Class sell more often in Mercedes-Benz showrooms.
#20: Hyundai Sonata
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 8.9% to 9,885 – Canada’s struggling midsize market causes the surging Sonata to appear particularly healthy. Granted, Sonata volume is on track to 2011’s peak, and the new Sonata isn’t performing as well in the United States as hoped. But as most midsize cars tumble in Canada, the Sonata is ever more secure in its status as Canada’s third-ranked midsize sedan.
#19: Subaru Impreza
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 11.2% to 7,820 – Between the WRX/STI performance sedan’s 2,096 year-to-date sales and the 5,724 conventional Impreza sedan and hatchback sales, Subaru Canada is on track to record the nameplate’s best ever Canadian sales year, albeit barely. As Subaru broadens its lineup, sales of core models like the Impreza and Outback become steadily more popular, a pleasing turn of events for one of Canada’s consistently fast-growing auto brands.
#18: Toyota Camry
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 13.9% to 12,195 – Most recently Canada’s best-selling midsize car in 2012, the Camry built up an early lead in 2015 following two years behind the class-leading Ford Fusion. Non-Camry midsize car volume is down 6% in Canada this year. With the Camry’s big increase, Canadian midsize cars are down just 3%. The Camry is America’s best-selling car overall – it ranks tenth in Canada.
#17: Subaru XV Crosstrek
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 18.0% to 5,538 – Subaru’s high-riding Impreza-based XV Crosstrek now sells nearly as often as the basic Impreza sedan and hatch combined. After posting a 13% year-over-year increase in calendar year 2014, XV sales through eight months of 2015 are up even more significantly. By volume, XV Crosstrek sales in Canada are growing by more than 100 units per month in Canada, year-over-year.
#16: Chrysler 200
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 20.5% to 8,348 – Canadian midsize car sales have fallen 3% through the first eight months of 2015, but Chrysler’s 200 is on track for a three-year high. Through the first eight months of 2015, total FCA midsize car sales are up by a more modest 13% following the Dodge Avenger’s demise.
#15: Toyota Prius C
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 24.5% to 2,365 – Canadian small car sales are tumbling, and no group is facing harder times than the subcompact category. Yet the lone hybrid in the segment, Toyota’s Prius C, is rising rapidly. Every other subcompact – Sonic, Fiesta, Fit, Accent, Rio, 2, Versa, Yaris – is in decline. The Prius C is, however, the eighth-ranked subcompact in Canada.
#14: Volkswagen Beetle
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 25.5% to 1,814 – Let’s face it: this isn’t 1999. But the new Beetle, now in its second generation, has found a measure of renewal. More than 2,000 Beetles were sold in both 2013 and 2014, and Volkswagen is on track to sell more than 2,500 Beetles in 2015.
#13: Subaru Outback
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 29.6% to 6,321 – All too often, compromise leads to collapse. The Subaru Outback, which sits on the fence between car and SUV, is more successful now than ever. Subaru Canada is on track to sell more than 10,000 Outbacks for the first time ever this year.
#12: Dodge Charger
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 30.0% to 3,656 – Among Canadian-built passenger cars, no model is posting gains greater than the Charger. With added attention paid to the big Dodge sedan because of its 707-horsepower Hellcat flagship, the whole Charger range produced an 843-unit improvement increase between January and August, year-over-year.
#11: Kia Soul
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 32.8% to 9,172 – In each of the last three months, the Soul has been Kia Canada’s best-selling model. One out of every five Kias sold through the first eight months was a Soul, up from 14% during the same period in 2014. So far this year, only the newly launched Sorento is selling more often.
#10: Ford Mustang
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 34.0% to 5,494 – Sales of Canada’s top-selling two-door rose to a six-year high in 2014 but will blow past that performance in 2015. Combined, the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger have generated 4,518 Canadian sales in 2015’s first eight months, 976 fewer than the sixth-generation Mustang.
#9: Subaru Legacy
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 44.1% to 2,218 – The Legacy remains one of the lower-volume sedans in an increasingly low-volume midsize category, but the only car in the segment with standard all-wheel-drive is rising. Subaru still produces the overwhelming majority of its Legacy-based volume with the Outback, which outsells the Legacy in Canada by nearly three-to-one.
#8: Chevrolet Corvette
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 51.3% to 1,459 – As a high-performance, high-dollar, two-seater sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette’s sales performance is otherworldly. Consider, for example, the Nissan 370Z, which recently benefited from a severe price cut. 370Z sales are up 54% through 2015’s first eight months. Yet GM Canada sells three times more Corvettes than Nissan Canada sells Zs.
#7: Chevrolet Malibu
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 64.1% to 6,856 – General Motors understands that the current Malibu isn’t working. Yes, sales in Canada’s small midsize market have been rising, but only in comparison with disastrous performances in 2012, 2013, and 2014. After a quick refresh for model year 2014, Chevrolet will soon launch the all-new, already revealed 2016 Malibu.
#6: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 64.8% to 7,025 – Although the C-Class trailed the perennial leader, BMW’s 3-Series, in July and August volume, the C-Class is Canada’s top-selling premium brand vehicle so far this year. One quarter of Mercedes-Benz Canada’s non-Sprinter sales are C-Class-derived. If early demand for the new C-Class peters out next year, the overall C-Class family should still be aided by the launch of a gorgeous new C-Class coupe.
#5: BMW 4 Series
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 67.0% to 3,503 – The 4 Series, an offshoot of BMW’s 3 Series, includes coupe, convertible, and four-door hatchback bodystyles. The 4er now accounts for 27% of BMW Canada’s car volume, up from 19% at this stage of 2014. Total 3 Series/4 Series sales are up 14% in 2015 despite the 3-Series’ 4% sedan and wagon decline.
#4: Mini Cooper
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 79.9% to 3,516 – Mini’s broader Cooper lineup has provided a serious boost in the sales of the brand’s core model in 2015. Through eight months, non-Countryman Mini sales are up by 1,562 units, helped undoubtedly by the addition of the 5-door. Mini has already sold more Cooper Hardtops, Coupes, Roadsters, Clubmans, Convertibles, and Pacemans in 2015’s first eight months than in all of 2014.
#3: BMW 2-Series
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 124% to 1,043 – BMW’s 1-Series successor is, by a $10 difference, not BMW’s entry-level car in Canada. BMW’s larger 3-Series offers a lower-powered engine which helps BMW to keep the sedan’s base price low. The 2-Series two-door is more of a direct shot across the performance car market’s bow. BMW Canada is on track to sell more than 1,500 copies of the 2-Series in calendar year 2015, the best year for the 1-Series/2-Series since 2011.
#2: Audi A3
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 125% to 2,719 – Audi ran into a lull between the end of the previous A3 hatchback’s lifespan and the launch of the current A3 sedan in early 2014. Yet even when we take into account the period during which there were no A3s to sell by excluding the first-quarter of the year, A3 sales over the last five months are up 68%. Those are huge improvements for a car that shares its platform with the top-ranked Volkswagen Golf.
#1: Volkswagen Golf
– August 2015 YTD Sales: up 138% to 14,263 – Not only is the Golf family’s percentage increase tops among passenger cars in Canada this year, so too is the Golf’s improvement in outright volume best among all cars. 8,275 more Golfs were sold in the first eight months of 2015 than during the same period one year ago. Canadian sales of the Golf GTI, which accounts for 13% of total Golf sales, are up 33% this year.
Through the first eight months of 2015, as Canada’s auto industry inches closer and closer to reporting yet another record year of total new vehicle sales, passenger car sales in are down five per cent.
Compared with the first eight months of 2014, that loss equals nearly 26,000 fewer sales for Canadian auto dealers. That has been cancelled out – and then some – by the gains among SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks though.
Nevertheless, these 25 cars led by the surging Volkswagen Golf stand in stark contrast to the car sector. Their sales are rising rapidly. Ineligible for honours are any cars which weren’t on sale throughout all of 2014 and any car which failed to generate more than 1,000 sales over the last eight months.