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Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America – January 2012

2012 Toyota Camry Red

Early images and test drives presented us with one question: did the Toyota Camry evolve enough to maintain its consistent popularity in the U.S. marketplace? Er… yeah. it did.

Camry sales jumped 56% from January 2011, a period you might remember because of what happened to the Camry. It was unseated as America’s best-selling car for the second consecutive month. It was the second-best-selling car in America a year ago, behind another Toyota. From second best at the beginning of last year, a position the Camry is not that familiar with, the midsize Toyota reported a 56% improvement in U.S. sales. That was enough to beat the new second-best-selling car, Nissan’s Altima, by nearly 5000 sales. Yes, Altima sales needed to be 22% stronger.

And what of another former best seller? GoodCarBadCar no longer includes sales of the Crosstour in the Honda Accord’s total. It matters little. The Accord would have moved up only two positions, barely beating out the Sonata and Focus with 14,580 sales. Crosstour sales were down 41% in January 2012. The good news at Honda was Civic-related. The most popular compact car in America in January was indeed Honda’s Civic, sales of which jumped 46%. That increase is nothing compared to what happened north of the border. Civic sales in Canada jumped 333% in January.

On all but a few accounts, the U.S. sales report coming out of General Motors today was bad. Car sales at Chevrolet were more than decent, however. The Impala, Cruze, and Malibu beat all other American cars, including the much talked about surge at Chrysler. All three of these Chevy cars fared better this January than last, as well.

Find monthly and yearly sales figures for all these cars and for any other vehicle currently on sale in North America by accessing the dropdown menu at the top right of this page. Nine manufacturers built the 20 cars you see listed below. They were the 20 best-selling cars in America in January 2012.

Best-Selling Car
January 2012
Toyota Camry
27,295 + 55.9%
Nissan Altima
22,357 + 35.9%
Honda Civic
21,883 + 49.5%
Toyota Corolla/Matrix
17,988 – 12.6%
Chevrolet Impala
16,009 + 5.4%
Chevrolet Cruze
15,049 + 10.4%
Chevrolet Malibu
14,676 + 4.1%
Hyundai Sonata
14,489 + 9.3%
Ford Focus
14,400 + 59.8%
Honda Accord
13,659 + 1.5%
Ford Fusion
13,614 – 5.1%
Toyota Prius/Prius V
11,555 + 8.7%
* Prius Liftback
8500 – 20.1%

* Prius V
3055 —–
Volkswagen Jetta
10,962 – 4.3%
Hyundai Elantra
10,900 + 12.8%
Nissan Versa
9418 + 8.5%
Mazda 3
9200 + 83.4%
Kia Optima
8814 + 131%
Kia Soul
8091 + 5.1%
Subaru Outback
7412 + 6.2%
Nissan Sentra
7066 – 25.9%

Source: Manufacturers & ANDC 
Red font indicates year-over-year declining sales 
* Prius breakdown by variant
Accord sales are Accord sedan and coupe only, no Crosstour, only 921 of which were sold anyhow.

Related From
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America – January 2013
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America – February 2012
Top 25 Best-Selling Cars In America – 2011 Year End
U.S. Auto Sales By Brand – January 2012
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America – December 2011
Top 10 Best-Selling Cars In America – January 2011
Top 30 Best-Selling Vehicles In America – January 2012

  1. Toyota Camry's are showing up big time as taxi's in major U S city's. That why sales are really up. I've never seen a Honda Accord Taxi. New York City is full of Ford Escape's…much easier to get in and out than those Crown Victoria's

  2. The good news is almost all the cars are made in the USA. My prediction isChrysler will eventually crack this field with the new Dodge Dart.
    Also one of the Chevy model will take over number one from Camry. Next time you see a Camry take a look at the age of the driver. Toyota started Scion because the average age of their customers was getting too old.

  3. I would like to see a listing or chart breaking-out the fleet sales for each vehicle. I see a heck of a lot of 2012 Ford Focus cars as rentals these days. Strong fleet sales tend to dampen resale values for used vehicles. For example, you can get a loaded low mileage 2011 Chevrolet Impala LTZ for 18-20k on the car lots these days. They call them 'program' cars. It sounds better than ex-rental.

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