The passenger car market has taken quite a beating over the last decade. According to Driving.ca, cars accounted for only 2.5 out of every 10 new vehicle sales in Canada last year.
Rewind to the 2009 recession, and cars actually accounted for more than 750,000 sales. But, the sector hasn’t seen any growth in the last 10 years.
Regardless, some vehicles still made it out on top. Driving.ca rounded up the 10 best-selling cars of 2019, with data from Global Automakers of Canada. Here are the results:
1. Honda Civic (60,139 sales)
Despite a 13% drop in sales (a loss of more than 700 sales per month) from 2018, the Honda Civic came out on top as 2019’s best-selling car.
According to Driving.ca, 2019 marks the 22nd consecutive year that the Honda Civic was Canada’s most popular car.
2. Toyota Corolla (47,596 sales)
The Toyota Corolla came in second place, though sales are down 2% from 2018.
“How telling is it that during a year in which one of the planet’s most dominant manufacturers releases a new version of its longest-running products with one of the best automotive reputations known to mankind, sales of that product decreased?” writes Timothy Cain, of Driving.ca “Quite telling, indeed.”
3. Hyundai Elantra (39,463 sales)
Sales for the Hyundai Elantra have dropped by 28% since 2013, which was a peak year for this vehicle. Year-over-year, however, sales were down only 6%.
According to Driving.ca, two Elantras are sold for every three Honda Civics that are sold.
4. Mazda 3 (21,276 sales)
Facing a year-over-year drop of 20%, the Mazda 3, which was newly launched last year.
2019 was the worst year on record for this car, though. There were brighter days as of 2013, when 40,000 Mazda 3s were being sold every year. As of 2008, that number was 50,000.
5. Volkswagen Golf (19,668 sales)
The Golf was Canada’s best-selling Volkswagen last year, with the Tiguan only a few hundred sales behind, according to Driving.ca. Year-over-year, Golf sales were down 8%.
“Volkswagen’s plans for the Golf in North America aren’t entirely clear at the moment,” writes Cain, “but as we wait (for a while) for the Mk8 Golf that’s shortly to be on sale across the pond, the current Golf remains a reasonably popular car.”
6. Volkswagen Jetta (17,260 sales)
The Jetta, another Volkswagen, actually saw an increase in year-over-year sales of 14%.
According to Driving.ca, the last Jetta didn’t fare so well, averaging 22,800 annual sales over the course of three years (2011 to 2013).
7. Kia Forte (15,549 sales)
The Kia Forte saw an 8% year-over-year increase in sales. And it was the only vehicle in 2019 in the compact category to emerge with a second-best-ever annual Canadian sales total, according to Driving.ca.
8. Toyota Camry (13,654 sales)
This midsize vehicle saw sales decline 6% year-over-year, bringing them to an eight-year low.
As Cain writes, the midsize segment “isn’t where families spend their money, it’s not the segment to which compact car owners aspire, and it’s not a segment where many automakers wish to compete.”
That made it easier for the Camry to come out on top as Canada's best-selling midsize car.
9. Kia Soul (11,868 sales)
The Kia Soul saw a strong sales year in 2019, with sales up 8% year-over-year. According to driving.ca, this boost was helped by “the launch of an all-new third-generation model” as well as increase in demand for the Soul’s electric vehicle model.
In fact, 1,409 EV Souls were sold in 2019, accounting for 12% of the total sales.
10. Honda Accord (11,381 sales)
The Accord didn’t fare so well in 2019, with sales slipping 18%. That said, it did outsell the Chevrolet Cruze, for which sales dropped a whopping 64% last year.
It also outsold the Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, and Volkswagen Passat.