The best-selling cars in California tend to fluctuate from year to year, but certain models consistently remain popular choices.
This year, we analyzed registration data from the DMV and sales data from Good Car Bad Car to discover which vehicles were most sought after.
As expected, some usual suspects like the Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla made the list, but there were also some surprises!
The list below ranks cars by total registrations in 2022.
|Practicality, dependability, affordability, cargo space
|Tesla Model 3
|Electric, eco-friendly, performance, safety, technology
|Tesla Model Y
|Electric, technology, performance, safety, design
|Fuel efficiency, low emissions, safety, various trims
|Reliable, comfortable, fuel-efficient, advanced safety features
|Comfortable, adaptive cruise control, affordability, safety
|Design, fuel efficiency, safety, various models and powertrains
|Dependability, fuel economy, safety, variety of models
|Features, fuel economy, value, comfortable, reliable
|Style, performance, value, comfort, advanced safety features
The Toyota RAV4 is at the top of the list for California’s best-selling cars. This compact crossover SUV has consistently ranked among the state’s top sellers since its introduction in 1994.
The RAV4’s practicality and dependability have contributed to its popularity over the years, along with its affordability.
With various trims and packages available, the RAV4 suits a range of lifestyles, from the entry-level LE model to the luxurious XLE.
The RAV4 is powered by either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6 engine, with optional all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The RAV4’s ample cargo space, seating for five passengers, and generous standard features make it an excellent value for a comfortable and reliable vehicle.
It’s no wonder that the Toyota RAV4 remains a favorite among Californians.
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is the next best-selling car in California. In 2020, this all-electric vehicle became the state’s most popular car by a wide margin, with nearly 84,000 units sold.
The Model 3 not only offers an eco-friendly option for daily commutes, but it also provides outstanding performance and safety features.
With its electric powertrain at the core, the Model 3 delivers instant torque and a range of up to 322 miles on a single charge.
The dual-motor configuration ensures quick acceleration and sportscar-like handling, while its Autopilot suite of driver assistance features contribute to its safety.
Inside the cabin, there is plenty of room for five adults, and the minimalist dashboard design helps drivers stay focused on the road.
Unsurprisingly, the Tesla Model 3 is the go-to choice for Californians seeking an efficient and enjoyable driving experience.
With its blend of performance, safety, and convenience, the Model 3 is undoubtedly one of California’s best-selling cars.
Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y ranks high among California’s best-selling cars, and it’s easy to see why. The car boasts state-of-the-art technology, performance, and eye-catching design.
The Model Y is equipped with advanced features like Autopilot and Adaptive Cruise Control, offering drivers greater control.
It also has an impressive range of up to 300 miles on a single charge. The interior is roomy and well-appointed with high-quality materials and comfortable seating.
Safety is another key aspect of the Tesla Model Y, with standard features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and eight airbags.
In addition, the Tesla Model Y has an attractive starting price of just $39,000 before tax incentives, making it popular among California drivers.
In California, the Toyota Prius is a top choice among car buyers. Its outstanding fuel efficiency makes it ideal for those with lengthy commutes or frequent road trips.
Its low emissions make the Prius an ideal choice for environmentally conscious drivers.
The Toyota Prius is available in various trim levels, from the basic LE model to the high-end Limited version.
The standard LE includes features like keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Higher trims add amenities like leather upholstery, an upgraded audio system, and a power moonroof.
The Prius also has excellent safety ratings, earning top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Its standard suite of driver-assistance technology includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.
Regardless of the trim level, the Toyota Prius is a fantastic option for California drivers seeking a fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicle.
With its range of available features, high safety ratings, and eco-friendly design, it’s no surprise that the Prius ranks among California’s best-selling cars.
The Nissan Sentra has consistently been one of California’s best-selling cars since its debut in 1982.
It offers a reliable and comfortable ride, along with great features that make it a top choice for drivers in the state.
With its sleek design, advanced safety features, and efficient engine, the Sentra is perfect for those seeking a dependable vehicle at an affordable price.
The Sentra provides excellent fuel efficiency and ample power, allowing for a comfortable and efficient driving experience.
The interior of the Sentra is spacious, offering plenty of room for passengers and cargo. It also features various tech options such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and voice recognition technology.
Safety is a priority for Nissan, and the Sentra is no exception. It comes with advanced safety features like automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring.
These features provide peace of mind for drivers navigating California’s busy roads and highways.
The Nissan Sentra has been a top seller in California for years, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a reliable, affordable car with great fuel efficiency, plenty of interior space, and advanced safety features.
With its excellent value and wide array of features, the Sentra is a top choice for California drivers.
The Toyota Camry is a preferred option for many Californians, providing a comfortable ride with features such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure alerts.
Its engine is both powerful and efficient, providing ample power while maintaining excellent fuel economy.
The Camry is also incredibly safe, with a comprehensive suite of safety features designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision.
One of the Camry’s most significant selling points is its affordability. With a competitive base price, buyers can purchase a reliable car that will last for years without breaking the bank.
Numerous financing options are also available, making it even easier to own a Camry without straining one’s finances.
If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable, and comfortable sedan in California, the Toyota Camry should be at the top of your list.
It’s consistently one of the state’s top-selling cars and is a popular choice among Californians.
With its appealing design, fuel efficiency, and top safety ratings, the Honda Civic has become a favorite among California drivers.
The Civic is available in various models, from coupes to sedans to hatchbacks, providing plenty of options.
It also offers a range of powertrains, from the efficient hybrid model to the powerful Si version. The Civic even features advanced options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
No matter what you’re looking for in a car, the Honda Civic has something to offer. With its stylish appearance and reliable performance, it’s no wonder it’s one of California’s best-selling cars.
The Honda Civic is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a dependable and stylish vehicle.
Since 1966, the Toyota Corolla has been a dependable and economical choice for Californians, contributing to its high sales in the state.
It offers a cozy interior with ample room for passengers, an efficient engine with excellent fuel economy,and the renowned reliability that Toyota is known for.
The Corolla also boasts advanced safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.
All of these features make the Corolla an appealing choice for drivers of all ages. The Corolla is available in a variety of models, from the base model to the sporty XSE and the eco-friendly Hybrid versions.
With a wide selection of colors and trim levels, there’s sure to be a Corolla that fits the taste and budget of any Californian.
If you’re looking for a dependable and stylish vehicle, the Toyota Corolla should definitely be on your shortlist.
With its attractive design, impressive performance, and competitive pricing, it’s easy to see why this car has become so popular in California.
Standard features on the 2021 model include LED headlights, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Honda Sensing safety technology. Additional options include heated leather seats, navigation, a power moonroof, and more.
The 2021 Honda Accord is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.
It’s paired with either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a 10-speed automatic transmission, depending on the trim level.
The hybrid version of the Accord is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors that generate 212 horsepower. When it comes to value, the Honda Accord is hard to beat.
With excellent fuel economy ratings and plenty of features for the money, the Honda Accord is an ideal choice for those looking for a reliable and well-equipped sedan.
Whether you’re in need of a comfortable daily driver or a car that can handle weekend adventures, the Honda Accord is up to the task.
The Nissan Altima rounds out the list of best-selling cars in California. The Altima features a sleek exterior that distinguishes it from others on the road and comes with a variety of features that appeal to drivers of all types.
It has a comfortable interior with supportive seats, a powerful engine that delivers excellent performance, and an advanced safety system that helps keep passengers safe on the road.
The Altima also offers good fuel economy and low emissions, making it an eco-friendly choice for California drivers. What makes the Nissan Altima so popular?
Firstly, it’s the excellent value for money. This vehicle offers features like satellite radio, USB ports, dual-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring, and more at an affordable price.
The Altima also has good resale value, meaning it will retain a significant portion of its original purchase price when it comes time to sell.
With its combination of style, performance, and value, the Nissan Altima is a popular choice among California drivers, making it one of the state’s best-selling cars.
What factors make a car popular among Californians?
A: Factors that contribute to a car’s popularity in California include fuel efficiency, low emissions, affordability, reliability, and advanced safety features. Californians also appreciate cars that offer a comfortable and spacious interior, along with the latest technology and connectivity options.
Are electric vehicles gaining popularity in California?
A: Yes, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in California, as demonstrated by the high sales of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. Californians are environmentally conscious and appreciate the eco-friendliness, performance, and low operating costs associated with electric vehicles.
Which car brands are most popular in California?
A: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Tesla are among the most popular car brands in California. These brands offer vehicles that are reliable, fuel-efficient, and equipped with advanced safety features, making them top choices for Californian drivers.
What are some popular SUVs and crossovers in California?
A: The Toyota RAV4 is a popular compact crossover SUV in California, thanks to its practicality, dependability, and affordability. Other popular SUVs include the Tesla Model Y and various models from Honda, Nissan, and other car manufacturers.
How important are safety features for Californian drivers?
A: Safety features are crucial for Californian drivers, as evidenced by the popularity of cars with advanced safety systems like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. These features provide peace of mind for drivers navigating California’s busy roads and highways.
In conclusion, the best-selling cars in California tend to be fuel-efficient, reliable, and equipped with advanced safety features. Brands such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Tesla dominate the market, offering a range of vehicles that cater to various needs and preferences of Californian drivers. As environmental consciousness continues to rise, it is expected that electric vehicles and hybrids will maintain their popularity in the state. When choosing a car in California, it’s essential to consider factors such as fuel efficiency, safety, affordability, and reliability to ensure a wise investment and an enjoyable driving experience.