The used cars selling best amid the coronavirus pandemic

The HR-V has been a used sales darling.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

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Americans have a tendency to keep the wallet closed tighter amid economic uncertainty, and it shows amid the coronavirus pandemic. Data already illustrates used cars sales climbing as buyers shun larger car payments and score a lot of off-lease vehicles with lower price tags.

So, which used cars are actually selling best amid the pandemic? iSeeCars analyzed 3.6 million used car sales in April and May to pinpoint what Americans are buying. At the top of the chart is the Honda HR-V.

Honda’s small crossover saw used sales climb 53% year-over-year, and from April to May, sales jumped 89%. The study noted the HR-V has continuously grown in popularity in the US since its introduction, and the model actually racked up its best sales figures last year. With more of them on the used market, shoppers are taking notice.

The Cadillac XT5 sits in second place, which might seem odd, but again, it comes back to those off-lease models. With so many returning to dealers with low mileage and numerous amenities, prices look good. Used sales of the luxury crossover are up 40% YoY and 46% MoM.

For those interested in the unloved sedan segment, the Volkswagen Passat is the only one to make the list. It’s actually at number three, which is rather surprising, though the data suggests deep discounts remain as dealers try to offload them. As a used car, Passat sales grew 30% from last year and a whopping 71% in May. The number four spot goes to the Chevrolet Trax with 24% growth over last year and a 60% sales increase last month. A slightly larger crossover, the Jeep Compass, lands in fifth with an 18% increase from last year and 42% increase in May.

The latter portion of the list is filled with SUVs and trucks, to no one’s surprise. The Nissan Rogue Sport comes next with a 15% increase YoY and 45% jump MoM, followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLC. While sales grew 14% compared to last year, used models skyrocketed 95% from April to May.

Two trucks sit in eighth and ninth place: the Toyota Tacoma and Ford F-150. Used sales rose 13% for the Tacoma YoY and jumped 54% in May, while used F-150 sales climbed 12% from last year and 49% in May. Americans love their trucks. Rounding out the top 10 is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which enjoyed a 12% sales increase compared to last year, and a 67% increase from April to May.

Used car sales in May, Top Models

Rank Model % Change from Last Year % Change from April to May
1 Honda HR-V 53% 89%
2 Cadillac XT5 38% 46%
3 Volkswagen Passat 29% 71%
4 Chevy Trax 24% 59%
5 Jeep Compass 18% 42%
6 Nissan Rogue Sport 15% 45%
7 Mercedes-Benz GLC 14% 95%
8 Toyota Tacoma 13% 54%
9 Ford F-150 12% 49%
10 Jeep Grand Cherokee 12% 67%

While used car sales are down overall year-over-year, sales are up 105.5% from April to May, which isn’t a surprise as local governments ease stay-at-home orders and permit more businesses to open. What is interesting is when the data breaks down by body style. There, the only body style that enjoys a YoY increase is trucks.


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