These were the 30 most popular autos sold in Canada in 2015
#30: Nissan Sentra
– 2015 Sales: down 0.5% to 14,940 – The Sentra’s 0.5% year-over-year decline translated to only 81 fewer sales for the Sentra in calendar year 2015. Those figures are meaningful for two reasons: Canadian car sales declined much more sharply overall, and Nissan’s going to bat with a refreshed Sentra for 2016. Can the Sentra rise as Canadian car sales fall? Prior to this modest decrease, Sentra volume had improved in six of the previous seven years.
#29: Ford Explorer
– 2015 Sales: up 23.2% to 15,615 – Other than one minivan from Dodge, no vehicle which comes standard with a third row of seating sells more often in Canada than the Ford Explorer. Indeed, in the U.S., no three-row vehicle of any kind outsells the Explorer. Sales in 2015 climbed to the highest level in more than a decade.
#28: Ford Fusion
– 2015 Sales: down 14.6% to 15,781 – Canada’s top-selling midsize car in 2013 and 2014 lost 8% of its record-setting 2013 volume in 2014 and plunged a further 15% in 2015. The Canadian midsize car market is struggling on the whole, but no car exemplifies that more than this former best-seller, which has lost more than a fifth of its volume over the last two years.
#27: Hyundai Tucson
– 2015 Sales: up 38.0% to 16,362 – Hyundai’s new small crossover is a sterling effort, but the Tucson continues to be overshadowed by the Santa Fe Sport, which is noticeably larger inside but only slightly more costly. The length of the Santa Fe Sport’s shadow is decreasing, however, as sales of the bigger model have been flat for three years while Tucson volume increased for a third consecutive year to record highs in 2015.
#26: Ford Edge
– 2015 Sales: down 7.6% to 16,580 – The real test of the new, long-awaited second-generation Edge will take place in calendar year 2016. 2015, you see, was a mix of old Edge and newly launched Edge v2.0. Caught in between compact top-sellers like the Escape and RAV4 on one end and three-row family wagons like the Explorer and Pilot on the other end, the Edge and rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Nissan Murano do own a large swathe of the market. In 2015, however, Edge sales fell to a four-year low.
#25: Toyota Camry
– 2015 Sales: up 4.8% to 16,805 – After two years of Ford Fusion leadership, the best-selling midsize car in Canada in 2015 was the Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling car overall in 14 consecutive years. Camry volume tumbled sharply at the tail end of 2015, falling 42% in November and December. But the year as a whole, particularly in a declining category, was highlighted by a 5% overall increase for the intermediate Toyota.
#24: Hyundai Accent
– 2015 Sales: down 16.4% to 19,371 – Canada’s best-selling subcompact car suffered a sharp sales decline in 2015, but that’s perfectly in line with its rivals. Ford Fiesta volume plunged 39%. The Chevrolet Sonic was down 28%. Honda Fit sales slid 23%. The Kia Rio tumbled 33%. Nissan’s Versa was down 32%. Perhaps the Accent’s decline wasn’t in keeping with the trend after all. Sales of most rivals fell far more sharply.
#23: Chevrolet Equinox
– 2015 Sales: up 1.1% to 19,766 – Combined sales of the Equinox and its fraternal twin, the GMC Terrain, slid 1.5% in 2015. But the better-selling member of the tandem, this Equinox, posted a modest increase of 207 units. Equinox volume peaked at more than 22,000 units back in 2011, but while the aging model has fared well in the United States – posting successive year after year of improvement – the Canadian story hasn’t been quite as kind.
#22: Volkswagen Golf
– 2015 Sales: up 68.4% to 20,515 – Total Golf sales increased dramatically in 2015 both prior to and after Volkswagen’s TDI diesel scandal broke in September. December sales, for instance, jumped 30% to 1,615 units, enough to make the Golf Canada’s sixth-best-selling car in the final month of the year. 13% of the Golfs sold in 2015, 2,625 in all, were hot hatch GTIs.
#21: Jeep Wrangler
– 2015 Sales: down 9.4% to 20,880 – After exploding past its previous record-setting pace in 2014, Wrangler sales fell to a second-best-ever level in 2015. U.S. Wrangler volume, on the other hand, surged past the 200,000-unit mark for the first time ever as much of the production from the Toledo, Ohio, plant where the Wrangler is built remained in Jeep’s home market.
#20: Ford Focus
– 2015 Sales: down 5.8% to 21,101 – As Canadian Ford sales fell 5% in 2015, Canadian sales of Ford cars slumped 12%. Excluding the new Mustang, Ford’s C-Max, Fiesta, Fusion, Taurus, and Focus were down 16%. The Focus’s losses weren’t actually that bad – C-Max, Fiesta, Fusion, and Taurus all fell faster. But 2015 was the third consecutive year of Focus decline and Focus volume fell to an 11-year low.
#19: Mazda CX-5
– 2015 Sales: up 11.9% to 22,281 – Brand-wide Mazda Canada sales fell to a three-year low in 2015 and were down 17% compared with Mazda Canada’s results in 2007, long before the overall industry surged to record highs in 2015. But there are bright spots in the lineup. CX-5 sales increased rapidly in 2015 and continued to increase even as Mazda introduced the smaller, more affordable, and rather popular CX-3. The CX-5 accounted for 28% of Mazda Canada’s sales in 2014; 31% in 2015.
#18: Dodge Journey
– 2015 Sales: up 3.8% to 25,646 – A small rebound in Dodge Journey sales in 2015 occurred as the Journey and numerous other FCA products rode a wave of support for Canada’s new best-selling manufacturer. 2015 was still just the fourth-best year for the Journey in its eight-year history. But after three consecutive years of decline, the Journey’s slide was reversed in Canada’s crossover-happy market.
#17: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
– 2015 Sales: down 3.2% to 26,685 – Partly to blame for Hyundai’s modest 2% sales decrease in calendar year 2015 is the decrease of the Santa Fe Sport. While Hyundai’s Santa Fe XL and new Tucson blossomed in 2015 – record sales for both – the Santa Fe Sport and Hyundai’s other popular products all stumbled in 2015. The Elantra, Santa Fe Sport, Accent, and Sonata lost 7,500 total sales in 2015.
#16: Volkswagen Jetta
– 2015 Sales: down 10.7% to 27,719 – Not only was Volkswagen’s best-selling model negatively impacted by the disappearance of all potential diesel sales at the end of 2015, many Volkswagen buyers could also turn toward the more refined and flexible new Golf, a car which wasn’t available throughout 2014. Indeed, in December, the Golf actually outsold the Jetta, sales of which plunged 18% to only 1,411 units, the lowest monthly total for the Jetta since September 2010.
#15: Jeep Cherokee
– 2015 Sales: up 41.3% to 31,833 – No volume brand in Canada posted a greater year-over-year percentage increase in 2015 than Jeep, sales of which jumped 13%. The addition of the Renegade helped, but the Cherokee’s growth was a much bigger factor. Cherokee volume grew by 9,304 units. As a result, the 8th-ranked SUV/crossover in 2014 ranked fifth in the category in 2015.
#14: Chevrolet Cruze
– 2015 Sales: down 7.2% to 31,958 – GM Canada’s best-selling car was a sales sore spot in 2015 as General Motors readies the release of an all-new Cruze in 2016. The first-generation Cruze was a success for GM, not only in terms of volume, but in terms of affixing a positive reputation to GM’s small car efforts. Proof? After GM killed the Cavalier, the name of its Cobalt successor lasted just one generation. GM is sticking with the Cruze nameplate.
#13: Mazda 3
– 2015 Sales: down 15.0% to 34,811 – Many a critic, asked to name the best small car on the market, would cite the Mazda 3. But no critic can’t point to the 3 and say it’s Canada’s best-selling small car. Indeed, the 3 is falling further from the podium. The 15% drop in 2015 is severe. Over the last decade, Canadian sales of the 3 are down 31%. Are all the lost 3 buyers simply moving to the CX-5 and newer CX-3? Many may be, but brand-wide Mazda sales unfortunately still decreased in 2015.
#12: Nissan Rogue
– 2015 Sales: up 24.3% to 35,841 – No auto brand in Canada added more new vehicle sales in 2015 than Nissan, where a 13% year-over-year increase translated to 13,501 extra sales compared with 2014. The Rogue is the biggest reason for Nissan’s gain; sales of the Escape-fighting crossover increased by 7,014 units. Combined, the Altima, Sentra, and Versa didn’t sell as often as the Rogue in 2015.
#11: Honda CR-V
– 2015 Sales: up 3.4% to 38,961 – The Honda CR-V, America’s top-selling SUV/crossover, has a new challenger sitting right alongside in Honda showrooms. But the arrival of the HR-V in the first half of 2015 didn’t slow the CR-V, sales of which increased by 1,277 units to an all-time high of nearly 39,000 units in 2015.
#10: Toyota RAV4
– 2015 Sales: up 15.3% to 42,246 – During a year in which Toyota passenger car volume plunged 8%, the RAV4’s increase was particularly noteworthy and essential. Vehicles like the RAV4 are the new Canadian family cars, but that doesn’t mean generating high levels of sales activity is easy. The small crossover category is a highly competitive arena. The RAV4 surged in 2015, ending the year with record sales and a 5607-unit improvement compared with 2014.
#9: Chevrolet Silverado
– 2015 Sales: up 10.6% to 46,407 – As GM Canada’s full-size pickup twins ended 2015 with record annual sales, the Silverado and its better-selling Sierra twin clarified their responsibility in the GM lineup. At Chevrolet, specifically, car sales slid 7% in 2015 and commercial van sales were down 9%. But the Silverado generates nearly a third of the brand’s volume, and non-Silverado Chevy sales in 2015 were flat.
#8: Dodge Grand Caravan
– 2015 Sales: down 9.3% to 46,927 – As Dodge’s FCA parent company launches a new minivan at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, Canada’s all-conquering minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan, will be left to linger in current form. That won’t be an issue for value-conscious minivan shoppers. Aside from a slowdown as the Grand Caravan’s Windsor plant was shut down for retooling, Grand Caravan sales remained strong in Canada in 2015. Fourth-quarter volume was up 15%.
#7: Toyota Corolla
– 2015 Sales: down 3.4% to 47,198 – Through the first seven months of 2015, year-over-year Corolla volume had actually increased 1%, flying in the face of a declining passenger car category which had fallen 3%. But by year’s end, the Corolla had succumbed to the same forces afflicting Canada’s other top-selling cars. Consumers, in record levels, want new vehicles. But the overwhelming majority of those consumers don’t want that new vehicle to be a traditional car.
#6: Hyundai Elantra
– 2015 Sales: down 5.4% to 47,722 – The fifth-generation Elantra was a breakthrough model for Hyundai. Quickly affirming its status as one of Canada’s most popular cars, the Elantra intermittently made a case for itself as the outright best-selling car in Canada, but couldn’t manage to unseat the Honda Civic on a consistent basis. (The Elantra was last Canada’s top-selling car in January 2015.) A new, sixth-gen Elantra will attempt to battle Honda’s new Civic in 2016.
#5: Ford Escape
– 2015 Sales: down 8.6% to 47,726 – Canada’s best-selling SUV/crossover flew against the wind in calendar year 2015, but the Escape’s victory over the second-ranked Toyota RAV4 was still pronounced. With car sales falling, SUVs and crossovers are now the source for much of the Canadian auto industry’s growth. Yet Escape volume fell by 4,472 units, year-over-year. A refreshed Escape has already bowed for the 2017 model year.
#4: GMC Sierra
– 2015 Sales: up 11.8% to 53,727 – It’s important to note that the fourth-ranked Sierra is one of GM’s full-size pickup twins. Together, the Sierra and Silverado combined for 100,134 Canadian sales in 2015, enough to outsell the second-ranked Ram P/U by nearly 9,000 units. The Sierra is the core of the GMC lineup, generating nearly two-thirds of the brand’s sales. Sales of the Sierra were not negatively affected after the arrival of a new midsize GMC offering, the Canyon. Sierra and Silverado sales shot up to record Canadian highs.
#3: Honda Civic
– 2015 Sales: down 1.7% to 64,950 – Canada’s best-selling passenger car for 18 consecutive years is also Canada’s third-best-selling vehicle line overall for a fifth consecutive year. Though Canadian sales of the Civic decreased marginally in 2015, Honda Canada ended the year switching from its ninth-gen Civic into a tenth-gen car, a vehicle the company expects to do very well in 2016 even as Canadian passenger car volume continues to decrease.
#2: Ram P/U
– 2015 Sales: up 3.0% to 91,195 – Record-breaking Ram volume played a large role in parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ rise to the top of the Canadian sales leaderboard. No manufacturer reported more sales than FCA Canada in 2015. Three out of every ten FCA Canada sales is Ram pickup-derived. 26% of Canadian pickup buyers chose a Ram in 2015.
#1: Ford F-Series
– 2015 Sales: down 5.9% to 118,837 – 2015 was the third-best-year ever for the F-Series, Canada’s perennial sales leader. No other vehicle line has ever topped the 100K mark – the F-Series accomplished that feat in each of the last four years. But as Canadian pickup truck sales jumped 5% in 2015, F-Series volume plunged 6%, a loss of 7,440 sales for Ford dealers. Ford blamed the transition from one F-150 generation to the next early in the year, but F-Series volume slipped in November and December, as well, long after the transition.
Canada’s auto industry reported record new vehicle sales volume in calendar year 2015. Of the 1.9 million new vehicles sold, 57 percent were derivatives of the 30 top-sellers featured on this list.
The Ford F-Series held on to its top position for a seventh consecutive year. For a fifth consecutive year, the second- and third-ranked vehicles remained the same.
But changes were nevertheless plentiful elsewhere in the top 30.