BuzzAura Newsletter

Trending stories delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter. Plus, get access to the latest and greatest content from BuzzAura.

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18

It was eye-catching to be a high school graduate driving a fancy car back in 1978. Do you still remember what vehicle sold most that year? If not, then sit tight and scroll down to check out the list. The results will be sure to blow your hair back.  

1. 1978: Oldsmobile Cutlass – 520,279 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_1

As the fifth generation of the Cutlass, the car was shorter and had a more fuel-efficient engine than the previous model. Though 1978 saw its sales drop a little compared with the peak years, it still reached half a million. Having so many Cutlasses flooding the driveways, you were very likely to mistake another Cutlass for your car!

2. 1979: Oldsmobile Cutlass – 518,160 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_2

Once again, the Cutlass dominated the automobile market with remarkable sales of 518,160 units. Complete with a well-received diesel V8 engine and a unique gold-over-white paint, the mid-size car gained favor with the American middle classes in particular.

3. 1980: Oldsmobile Cutlass – 469,573 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_3

The Cutlass reigned supreme for the third year in a row though its sales declined to 470 thousand units or so. The model now looked more like a traditional sedan since GM had abandoned the trademark Aeroback design.

4. 1981: Oldsmobile Cutlass – 454,188 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_4

In 1981, the sales fell slightly. However, the Cutlass was still king of the hill for the fourth straight year. GM scrapped the 4-4-2 performance package that year, including a 4-barrel carburetor, a 4-speed transmission, and a dual exhaust.

5. 1982: Ford Escort – 337,667 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_5

Ford rolled out its original subcompact model the Escort as a replacement for the obsolete and dangerous Pinto in 1981. Boasting a low price and practical functions, only a year later, it toppled the mighty Cutlass, emerging as the best-selling car in America. 

6. 1983: Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme – 331,179 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_6

Perhaps you assumed the Cutlass had stepped out of the limelight. But wait, it staged a comeback in 1983! As a brand-new Cutlass family member, the Cutlass Supreme wrestled its throne back from the Ford Escort. However, it was to be its curtain call at the top of the sales charts.

7. 1984: Chevrolet Cavalier – 383,752 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_7

To serve the changing needs of American customers, the Chevy Cavalier was released in 1982. That small car was designed to compete with imports, especially the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. In a mere two years, it ascended to the sales throne.

8. 1985: Chevrolet Cavalier – 422,927 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_8

Chevrolet Cavalier again took the top spot in 1985. Having five body styles available, the V-6 Z24 models upgraded the traditional four-cylinder engine. Out of the coupe, sedan, hatchback, wagon, and convertible, which one do you prefer the most?

9. 1986: Chevrolet Celebrity – 408,946 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_9

After its debut in model year 1982, the Chevrolet Celebrity had its moment in the sun with sales climbing to about 400 thousand in 1986. However, it had come to the end of a nine-year run. In 1990, its nameplate had to make way for the Lumina.

10. 1987: Ford Escort – 392,360 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_10

In 1987, five years after its first brief stint, the Escort achieved that milestone once again. It was undoubtedly the big year for the Ford division, as the Escort and the jelly bean-shaped Ford Taurus shared the sales podium.

11. 1988: Ford Escort – 381,330 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_11

Featuring 90 horsepower in the standard model and a beefed-up 110 horsepower in the GT, the Ford Escort beat out the Ford Taurus to take the throne for the second year in a row. Also, the base model Pony became available for the first time in 1988.

12. 1989: Honda Accord – 362,707 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_12

The Honda Accord remained a second-tier alternative since its debut in 1976, until it took the top billing in the last year of its third generation. Compared with its predecessors, the third-gen Accord offered three body styles: sedan, hatchback, and coupe.

13. 1990: Honda Accord – 417,179 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_13

The Honda Accord welcomed its fourth generation in a mid-size stature in 1990. Complete with a 2.2-liter engine which gave it 130 horsepower, the sales of the Accord reached more than 400,000 units, almost a 100,000-unit lead over the runner-up Ford Taurus.

14. 1991: Honda Accord – 399,297 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_14

The Accord maintained the top spot in domestic sales charts though its sales dipped slightly in 1991. The '91 model included a sport shift mode, allowing the driver to select gears on an automatic transmission manually.

15. 1992: Ford Taurus – 409,751 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_15

Ford took the throne back from the Japanese Honda company when its Taurus became the best-selling passenger car in 1992. It was the first year of the second-gen Taurus, and Ford heavily trumpeted its win, paying no heed to critics who claimed that its sales was bolstered by fleet sales. 

16. 1993: Ford Taurus – 360,448 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_16

The Ford Taurus defended its title in 1993, way ahead of the Honda Accord to top the sales chart among passenger cars. The new model grew bigger and heavier, and it featured an automatic V6 which supplanted the previous four-cylinder manual transmission model. It also came with an improved radio that functioned as a trusty safety feature.

17. 1994: Ford Taurus – 397,037 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_17

The Taurus extended its streak to three years with its outstandingly innovative safety feature. It featured a passenger-side airbag, making it the first mainstream sedan with dual front airbags.

18. 1995: Ford Taurus – 366,266 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_18

In 1995, the SE package joined the Taurus line, and still the Ford Taurus topped all comers in sales, making it the best-selling passenger car for the fourth year in a row. Upgraded from the GE, the SE came with a center console, a rear spoiler, bucket seats, and a floor-mounted shifter.

19. 1996: Ford Taurus – 401,049 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_19

The fourth generation of the Taurus was born in 1996, continuing its impressive winning streak to five years. It was redesigned with a brand-new look, with its upscale interior catching the eyes of many. 

20. 1997: Toyota Camry – 397,156 Units Sold

Best-Selling Cars The Year You Turned 18_20

In 1997, the Ford Taurus was knocked off its perch by an import called the Toyota Camry. It was the first time Toyota had taken the throne as America's top-selling car. From now on, a dynasty would be reigned by the legendary nameplate kicked off.

Trending Posts

More On BuzzAura

FREE NEWSLETTER

Sign up our Newsletter for Free. Be the first to find what's new on BuzzAura.