The fastest-selling new and used cars in August

US & World News

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • The Hyundai Santa Cruz debuts as the fastest-selling new vehicle; newly released Ford Bronco also makes debut
  • New cars are selling over a week faster than in July, while used cars are selling slightly faster
  • Toyota/Lexus vehicles account for six vehicles on the fastest-selling new vehicle list, followed by Hyundai-Kia with five vehicles
  • Alternative-fuel vehicles are well-represented on both fastest-selling new and used car lists

The latest iSeeCars.com analysis found that the fastest-selling new car during the month of August was the newly-released Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup. The fastest-selling used car is the Tesla Model 3 for the third consecutive month, with the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X also making a list that is evenly split between alternative-fuel and conventional vehicles. 

Analyzing over 900,000 new and used cars sold in August 2021, iSeeCars.com found that overall, the average new car takes 26 days to sell and the average used car takes 34.6 days to sell. New cars are selling over a week faster than in July, where the average was 35 days, and used cars are selling slightly faster compared to 35.4 days compared to the same period last month.

“The microchip shortage is showing no signs of slowing down as major automakers continue to halt production, leading to lower and sometimes scarce inventory levels, especially for the most in-demand vehicles,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “It looks like car buyers who were initially waiting for prices to drop have embraced the reality that inventory shortages are here to stay, at least for the next several months.”

Fastest-Selling New Cars

iSeeCars identified the top 20 fastest-selling new cars, which sell 2.4 to 3.3 times faster than the average new vehicle and average 9.9 days on dealers’ lots. SUVs comprise the majority of the top 20 list, and hybrid vehicles account for four models.  

Top 20 Fastest-Selling New Vehicles In August 2021 – iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage Days To Sell Average Price
1Hyundai Santa Cruz8.0$34,485
2Chevrolet Corvette8.3$89,788
3Mercedes-Benz GLS8.7$97,359
4Subaru Crosstrek9.0$28,882
5Toyota RAV49.5$31,533
6Toyota Sienna9.5$43,979
7Subaru Forester9.7$32,750
8Hyundai Tucson Hybrid9.8$33,732
9Toyota 4Runner9.8$46,258
10Lexus RX 450h9.9$59,349
11Kia Seltos10.3$26,962
12Toyota Corolla Hybrid10.4$25,399
13GMC Yukon10.5$71,192
14Subaru WRX10.6$35,112
15Land Rover Defender10.6$76,847
16Ford Bronco10.6$49,712
17Kia Telluride10.7$45,001
18Cadillac Escalade10.7$99,798
19Kia Carnival10.8$37,409
20Toyota Tacoma10.8$38,449
Average For All New Vehicles26.0$40,180

The fastest-selling new vehicle is the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup, which sells in eight days.”The Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck just started arriving at dealerships in August, and its asking price was marked up because it is not yet widely available,” said Brauer. “The aggressively-styled Santa Cruz truck is a niche vehicle that appeals to consumers who don’t need the full function of a traditional pickup but want the occasional cargo-hauling an open-bed offers beyond an SUV.”

Four additional models from the Hyundai-Kia automotive group joined Santa Cruz to make the list, including the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, the Kia Seltos, the Kia Telluride, and the Kia Carnival. “The popularity of the recently released Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and the Kia Carnival shows the public perception of Hyundai and Kia vehicles has evolved, from being budget-oriented to competing with more premium mainstream cars and even luxury brands,” said Brauer. “Demand for the Kia Telluride has outpaced supply since its 2019 launch, and it’s average new car price of $45,001 exceeds its MSRP of $32,190 to $44,390.” 

The Chevrolet Corvette moved down a position after being July’s fastest seller. “Demand for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said Brauer. “Dealers stopped taking orders for the 2021 model year in March, and demand remains so high the model consistently sells for over MSRP, with an average price of $89,788 compared to its MSRP range of $59,900-$78,850.”

The Ford Bronco makes its debut on the list. “Demand for the new Bronco was so high Ford stopped taking reservations in late August,” said Brauer.  “Ford had over 190,000 reservations for the Bronco upon its debut, and the automaker had to delay production due to issues with the vehicle’s hardtop supplier, which exacerbated the already long wait.”

Two full-size luxury SUVs with average new car prices just below $100,000 make the list: the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Cadillac Escalade. “Mercedes-Benz recently cancelled production of V8 vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz GLS for the 2022 model year due to the chip shortage, which increased demand for the 2021 model,” said Brauer. “The Escalade was redesigned for 2021 to make the premium SUV even more luxurious and technologically advanced, helping it dominate the full-size SUV segment as it captures over half of the segment’s market share.” 


An additional luxury SUV, the Land Rover Defender makes the list. “Jaguar-Land Rover was hit hard by the microchip shortage, causing the automaker to halve its sales forecast for the third quarter,” said Brauer. “The Land Rover Defender is a high-demand model that has drawn long waitlists for interested buyers.”

Five Toyotas and one vehicle from its Lexus luxury division make the list, with hybrid vehicles accounting for three models. The non-hybrid vehicles include two SUVs: the midsize 4Runner and the compact RAV4, as well as the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The hybrid vehicles include the Toyota Sienna minivan, the Lexus RX 450h midsize SUV, and the Toyota Corolla Hybrid compact sedan. “Toyota, which already had one of the lowest inventories of any major automaker, had to cut production in August due to the chip shortage,” said Brauer. “Hybrid vehicles have surged in popularity and have grown in sales faster than electric vehicles, and consumers have embraced the hybrid versions of Toyota’s popular cars and SUVs.”

Three Subarus make the list: the Crosstrek subcompact SUV, the Forester compact SUV, and the WRX sporty compact car. “Subaru reported the shortest supply of new cars of any automaker in August,” said Brauer. “The Crosstrek and Forester are two of Subaru’s most in-demand models, and the WRX saw a sales increase over 2020 amid its reduced supply.”

Rounding out the list is the GMC Yukon full-size SUV. “The GMC Yukon has been in high demand, and despite idling production of full-size pickups, GM maintained production of the Yukon by building it without chips and parking the incomplete models,” said Brauer. “The Yukon saw a 126 percent increase in sales during the first half of 2021 compared to last year, and continues to be a hot seller.”

Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles

iSeeCars also analyzed the top 20 fastest-selling used vehicles. The average used car takes 34.6 days to sell, while the top 20 fastest-selling vehicles average 24.7 days and sell 1.3 to 2.1 times faster than the average used vehicle. The list of fastest-selling used vehicles includes a mix of body styles and drivetrains, led by alternative-fuel vehicles.

Top 20 Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles in August 2021- iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage Days to Sell Average Price
1Tesla Model 316.9$47,325
2Toyota Highlander Hybrid21.9$40,959
3BMW 4 Series21.9$40,664
4Toyota Prius21.9$21,662
5Honda Insight22.0$24,128
6Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross23.4$18,619
7Volkswagen Golf GTI24.0$24,756
8Mitsubishi Outlander24.0$20,277
9Tesla Model X24.1$78,224
10Tesla Model S25.0$66,095
11Toyota RAV4 Hybrid25.2$31,518
12Lexus RX 450h25.6$44,856
13Toyota Prius Prime25.8$24,980
14Nissan Pathfinder26.3$26,754
15Mazda MX-5 Miata26.4$26,191
16Honda Odyssey26.5$33,044
17BMW 2 Series26.6$30,734
18Mercedes-Benz C-Class26.8$50,830
19Fiat 500x26.9$16,571
20Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid27.0$23,461
Average for All Used Vehicles34.6$30,716

The Tesla Model 3 is the fastest-selling used vehicle for the third consecutive month. “The Tesla Model 3 has remained popular since its highly anticipated debut, thanks to its impressive technology and performance at a relatively affordable price compared to Tesla’s earlier vehicles,” said Brauer. “A new version of the Model 3’s Standard Range Plus variant is sold out for the remainder of 2021 to further add to the already-high demand for used versions, some of which are being sold at higher prices than new versions.” Two additional Teslas make the list, the Model S and the Model X. “Tesla continues to see record sales growth for its new vehicles, and demand for used Tesla models is on the rise as well.”

Seven hybrid vehicles make the list: the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the Lexus RX 450h, the Toyota Prius Prime, and the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. “Just like in the new car marketplace, Toyota hybrid vehicles are hot sellers due to their reliability and advanced technology,” said Brauer.  “The Honda Clarity debuted in 2018, while the Honda Insight debuted in 2019, so used versions are just now becoming available and are in high-demand.”

Five sports cars and performance cars make the list, including the BMW 4 Series, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the BMW 2 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. “Sports and performance cars were popular throughout the pandemic, and their popularity has continued as consumers have a heightened desire to make purchases that bring them joy,” said Brauer.

Three small SUVs make the list including the compact Mitsubishi Outlander, the compact Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and the Fiat 500x. “These small SUVs do not achieve favorable reliability ratings, but likely resonate with consumers because of their affordability, with the 500x and the Eclipse cross having the lowest average used car price of all used SUVs,” said Brauer.

 “As demand continues to outpace supply for new cars, consumers should act quickly if they see their desired vehicle for sale, and buyers may have to be flexible on color and trim options for in-demand models,” said Brauer.  

Fastest-Selling Cars By City 

iSeeCars analyzed the data geographically to find the fastest-selling new cars in the top 50 most populous metro areas.

Fastest-Selling New and Used Cars in August By City
CityNew VehicleDays to Sell (Average)Used VehicleDays to Sell (Average)
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NMNissan Sentra13.8Toyota Tundra21.8
Atlanta, GAFord Bronco4.8Tesla Model 311.9
Austin, TXToyota 4Runner4.1Volkswagen Tiguan13.4
Baltimore, MDSubaru Crosstrek4.1Acura MDX19.9
Birmingham, ALToyota 4Runner4.8Dodge Challenger23.9
Boston, MA-Manchester, NHLexus IS 3504.4Toyota Prius14.7
Charlotte, NCHyundai Palisade8.9Audi Q513.5
Chicago, ILKia Telluride4.7Toyota Prius18.0
Cincinnati, OHToyota Sienna4.8Honda Civic21.4
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OHSubaru Forester5.3Subaru Crosstrek14.9
Columbus, OHKia Telluride1.5Lexus RX 35020.2
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TXToyota RAV43.9Toyota Prius Prime5.7
Denver, COKia Telluride4.8INFINITI Q5015.4
Detroit, MIJeep Wrangler Unlimited5.9Nissan Sentra17.3
Fresno-Visalia, CAFord F-1507.0Chevrolet Traverse20.3
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MIChevrolet Trailblazer6.6GMC Acadia14.6
Greensboro-Winston Salem, NCKia Forte6.0Toyota Corolla15.9
Greenville-Spartanburg, SCHonda Odyssey5.9Kia Sorento20.2
Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PASubaru Crosstrek5.9Subaru Forester26.8
Hartford & New Haven, CTSubaru Crosstrek8.0Mazda CX-520.8
Houston, TXKia Telluride4.2Tesla Model 314.4
Indianapolis, INToyota RAV4 Hybrid4.7Toyota 4Runner19.7
Jacksonville, FLSubaru Outback6.9Mazda Mazda619.9
Kansas City, MOAudi Q59.1Mazda CX-513.5
Las Vegas, NVToyota Tacoma4.2Volkswagen Passat15.0
Los Angeles, CASubaru Crosstrek4.2Toyota RAV4 Hybrid15.3
Memphis, TNHyundai Palisade5.9Toyota RAV421.4
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FLHonda Civic4.6Mitsubishi Outlander13.8
Milwaukee, WIJeep Wrangler Unlimited6.5Chevrolet Equinox17.2
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MNNissan Pathfinder9.8Volkswagen Jetta14.5
Nashville, TNToyota Tacoma2.8Kia Soul15.0
New York, NYLand Rover Defender6.0Volkswagen Golf GTI18.7
Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VASubaru Forester5.8Volkswagen Tiguan13.3
Oklahoma City, OKDodge Charger14.4Chrysler Pacifica16.0
Orlando-Daytona Beach, FLToyota RAV43.9Hyundai Veloster16.0
Philadelphia, PASubaru Crosstrek5.1Toyota Prius15.9
Phoenix, AZFord Mustang Mach-E4.4Fiat 500x13.4
Pittsburgh, PAChevrolet Trailblazer4.5Hyundai Elantra21.4
Portland, ORSubaru Crosstrek4.8Toyota Prius18.4
Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NCSubaru Outback3.7Bmw X318.0
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CAToyota Camry Hybrid4.4Volkswagen Tiguan16.6
Salt Lake City, UTHyundai Tucson Hybrid5.2Subaru Forester21.5
San Antonio, TXToyota Tacoma3.4Mazda CX-519.9
San Diego, CAMazda CX-306.7Lexus ES 3509.7
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CAToyota Corolla Hybrid7.0Toyota Highlander Hybrid12.4
Seattle-Tacoma, WASubaru Forester5.8MINI Countryman17.8
St. Louis, MOJeep Grand Cherokee L11.9Chevrolet Malibu21.3
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FLToyota Tacoma5.1Kia Sedona16.6
Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)Subaru Crosstrek4.9Tesla Model 313.5
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FLToyota RAV42.7Honda Civic14.3

The fastest-selling new vehicle in the most cities is the Subaru Crosstrek in seven cities, and the fastest-selling used vehicle is the Toyota Prius in four. 

More from iSeeCars.com:

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 900,000 new and used car sales (model years 2016-2020 for used cars) from August 2021. The number of days that each car was listed for sale on iSeeCars.com was aggregated at the model level, and the average days on market for each was mathematically modeled. Heavy-duty vehicles, models no longer in production prior to the 2021 model year, and low-volume models were excluded from further analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $309 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

This article, the Fastest-Selling New and Used Cars in August, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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