2020 Toyota RAV4 driving along a highway

What kind of vehicles appeal to the American market?

Most Popular Vehicle Types in the USA

The vehicles that tend to sell heavily in the U.S. have a big impact on which vehicles automakers produce and sell. Many brands sell much different vehicles overseas than in North America, which can be a bummer to some when there’s a model out there they’d really like that’s not available on their home continent. What types of vehicle tend to sell well in the USA?


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Across the country, trucks and crossovers rank as the most popular vehicles in the America of 2020. A few states still prize sedans, but bigger and tougher machines are the new majority. While it’s hard to be certain what exactly about these vehicles appeals to the American buyer, key attractions include “lifestyle signaling” and style, alongside practical benefits such as a higher driving position and easier entry/exit ability.

Why are Americans drawn to trucks and crossovers?

Lifestyle Signaling

One element that appeals to customers regarding trucks and crossovers is the adventurous lifestyle they seem to represent. These vehicles have design touches that imply outdoorsy forays and other practical uses. Whether or not they actually use their vehicle for these purposes, Americans enjoy looking like they live in this youthful and exciting way.

This is why, though minivans are more practical than SUVs in many ways, they have largely died off since the soccer mom image went out of fashion in the mid-2000s. As a wise woman once said, “People are like sheep. But there are plenty of wolves in sheepskin around us.”

Practical Benefits of Trucks and Crossover SUVs

Not every benefit of the crossover and truck is entirely superficial, of course. These vehicles also provide a variety of practical benefits. Their high driving position provides a commanding view of the road to the driver and makes the user feel safer. They’re easier to enter and exit than sedans, which is especially important to older and/or overweight individuals. The spaciousness inside can be more comfortable than the interior of a sedan. And their large cargo areas and oft-available towing capability provide big transportation possibilities for both recreation and work.

In addition to the benefits above, a lot of the previous downsides associated with these types of vehicles have been reduced with improving technology over the years. For example, the fuel economy on these models is no longer so terrible as it once was.

2020 Toyota RAV4 making its way through the muck

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