The world's best-selling cars in 2021 by class

Thanks to the Motor1 team and Felipe Munoz, we have collected data on car sales in 2021 globally.

The research includes data from 106 markets on five continents, which refers to 99 percent of the total world volume. Let's see which models are the best sellers.

Tesla Model 3 in the top 10

Elon Musk foresaw this. Namely, he predicted that his company's cars would be among the most popular in the near future. The Model 3 may not be the world's best-selling car in 2021, but it did a brilliant job anyway, entering the exclusive Top 10 company. Judging by the numbers, this electric sedan holds the 9th position thanks to a strong growth of 40 percent compared to 2020, to 508,000 units. At the same time, this is the first time that a purely electric car is so high on the list of bestsellers.

The Toyota RAV4 (Wildlander in China) became the first SUV to top the global list. The Japanese manufacturer has sold more than 1.13 million units of this model, an increase of six percent. It surpassed its closest rival, Honda CR-V by three percent (903,000 units). Their rival, the Nissan X-Trail (Rogue), improved sales by just 0.5 percent due to a generational change. Still, it managed to surpass the Mazda CX-5, Haval H6, Volkswagen Tiguana Allspace and Ford Kuga (Escape).

Among the smallest SUV models, the Honda HR-V was the most convincing. Its sales jumped 20 percent thanks to good quotations in China, Latin America, Japan and Southeast Asia. The closest rival, the Volkswagen T-Cross, managed to achieve only half of Honda's sales. Behind them were Hyundai Creta, Kia Steltos and Volkswagen T-Roc.

The Toyota Highlander was the most popular among large and mid-size SUV models (443,000 units), with sales up 31 percent. It is followed by Tesla Model Y, which is in the high 19th place in the general ranking. It is followed by the BMW X3, Ford Explorer, Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5 and Hyundai Santa Fe.

Small cars

It is interesting to note that most drivers prefer larger cars. Last year's most popular small model was only 20th in the general standings, and it is about the "Chinese" - Wuling Hongguang Mini EV. Of course, this is an electric bestseller in China. In second place in this class is the VW Polo hatchback, followed by the Suzuki Swift, the European version of the Toyota Yaris and the Saipa Tiba, an Iranian model.

Compact cars

These are mostly sedan variants of the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Center and Honda Civic, while the hatchback versions are mostly popular in Europe. That is why the Golf is so low in the overall standings (49th position), although it is the world's best-selling hatchback with 268,000 units sold.

Premium and luxury cars
The BMW 3 Series is the first in this category with 329,000 units sold, an increase of 12 percent. Such a good result is primarily due to good demand in China, USA and Canada, and Japan and Korea. It is followed by the bigger brother of the 5 series with 277.00 copies, which is still growing, despite the fact that it is relatively wild. Its direct rival, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, is third among premium cars with 231,000 units sold, followed by the Mercedes C-Class. Among the luxury models, the wheel is led by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with 83,000 units versus the 46,000 BMW 7 Series.

Vans

Although the Ford F-150 retained the crown, it is no longer so sovereign, as it is threatened by the Toyota Hilux, which recorded a 22 percent increase. Unlike Ford, which sells most of its units in North America, Toyota's model is popular around the world, especially in emerging markets. Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 also performed worse and dropped out of the top 10. Ford Ranger, Isuzu D Max and Toyota Tacoma on the other hand advanced compared to 2020.

Sports cars

The Ford Mustang is still the world's best-selling sports car, although it lost 15 percent of its volume compared to 2020, which allowed the Dodge Challenger to get closer to it. The Porsche 911 is third, advancing a solid 13 percent. The Chevrolet Corvette jumped as much as 53 percent, leaving the small Mazda MX-5 in fifth place.