Canadians have their own set of values when it comes to what they look for in a new ride. Because there’s variety in lifestyles, the top-selling cars in the country for 2018 aren’t all alike.
Some Canadians spend the majority of their time in cities and the suburbs. These car shoppers place a high value on efficiency and conveniences. They also gravitate towards smaller cars, which are easier to park in tight urban spots.
Other shoppers need a car to do things, like tow a boat, travel on snow-packed roads, or even venture away from the pavement for weekend adventures. As you can imagine, Canadians with these priorities favor trucks and SUVs.
Find out which cars sold the most in Canada for 2018 and the reasons why.
Plenty of Variety
Just like in any country, Canadians certainly have their preferences when it comes to what cars they buy. With a mixture of big cities and more rugged rural areas, many shoppers base their purchase on where they spend the majority of their time, as well as their budget.
As you’ll notice, that means a mixture of fuel-efficient cars and tough, capable trucks. Many of these vehicles have been favorites in Canada for some time, but with the popularity of brands like Hyundai, Kia, and Tesla growing, it looks like a shakeup is coming in the future.
Ford F Series
Many Canadians have tough work to do, or they like to play hard, making the Ford F Series an incredibly popular option. These trucks excel at towing and hauling, so you can do difficult tasks or take a boat out for weekend fun. High ground clearance and available four-wheel drive help with traveling down snow-packed roads or rugged trails.
There’s even more to love about the Ford F Series. With a wide range of models, you get to choose what level of comforts and conveniences you get. Among the options are things like a heated steering wheel, a Pro Trailer Backup Assist system, pedestrian detection, and all kinds of luxurious finishes. An aluminum-alloy body and available EcoBoost engines also help so you’re not constantly stopping to get fuel.
Available as a coupe, sedan, or hatchback, the Honda Civic is a great car for anyone who needs something basic yet fun. It’s excellent for commuting to and from work each day, thanks to stellar fuel economy and legendary reliability.
While it’s certainly practical, Honda adds in a dose of fun and luxury, especially if you choose one of the upper trim levels. Certain versions of the car can still be outfitted with a manual transmission, if rowing through the gears is your idea of fun. An available 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder provides 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque for plenty of fun times on the road. Balancing that out is a stiff chassis and suspension tuned for precise handling, all without making the ride quality punishing. Optional leather upholstery, heated seats, navigation, driver assistance systems, and more make the Civic a compelling choice for Canadians who want to save some money.
Now available as the traditional sedan, practical hatchback, or the fun iM, the Toyota Corolla is an economical choice quite a few Canadians made in 2018. While it doesn’t promise many driving thrills, the Toyota Corolla is known for sipping fuel, requiring few repairs and affordable maintenance, plus being a car owners can rely on for years to come.
It doesn’t hurt that shoppers can get some nice features with the Corolla. Toyota Safety Sense, a bundle of numerous safety innovations, now comes standard on all models. It includes automatic high beams, lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, and other technologies drivers find useful. An upgraded XLE package adds luxuries like SofTex upholstery for the front seats, a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink controller, satellite radio, and navigation.
With an all-new design for the 2019 model year, Ram 1500 sales have risen in Canada. One of the big changes is the availability of an eTorque mild hybrid system. The electric motor helps with the automatic stop/start feature, a design for superior fuel efficiency when driving in the city. Whether you get the eTorque system with the V-6 or V-8 engine, it can add extra torque when needed, boosting towing and hauling performance.
Another big change with the redesign is a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen. This available feature really helps when using navigation, plus it has a split-screen feature, so you can use two different apps at once.
The Ram 1500 has been designed for doing things. A unique feature is the RamBox compartments which are located in the truck’s side rails. They’re accessible when the bed is full, plus they lock with the doors, contain LED lights, and even have drain holes so you can put wet items inside without any worries.
Affordable and efficient, many Canadians have flocked to the Hyundai Elantra for a practical way to get around. It also helps that the Elantra has a sporty, modern look. In addition, Hyundai’s build quality for the Elantra has improved dramatically in the past decade, making it a legitimate rival to Honda, Ford, Toyota, and other more established brands.
With the Elantra, you can get a surprising number of advanced features, like a hands-free smart trunk, where it simply senses the key is within three feet for three seconds or longer, making loading items inside when your arms are full so much easier. Hyundai even thought of small details, such as the door-handle welcome lights which illuminate as the proximity key is sensed by the car, making finding the handles in dark parking lots anything but a challenge.
Another popular pickup truck in Canada, the GMC Sierra provides a nice mix of rugged capability and refined luxury. A thorough redesign introduces all kinds of new innovations to make daily tasks and even the occasional heavy jobs easier to handle.
Among the changes is an available 10-speed automatic transmission, which does a better job of keeping the different engines in their optimal rpm ranges for performance. The optional X31 Off-Road Package outfits the truck with a specialized suspension, skid plates, a heavy-duty air cleaner, and other features suited for hitting trails.
GMC focused on improving the bed with numerous new features. Lighting does a better job of illuminating the bed at night, so you can see better when working in the dark. An available 120V/400-watt electrical outlet in the bed allows you to plug in tools, an air compressor, or whatever else you can imagine for greater flexibility. There’s even a MultiPro Tailgate with a fold-out step so getting into and out of the bed is easier.
While GM has announced the Chevrolet Cruze will be going away, Canadians have been eagerly snatching up this fuel-sipping sedan. It has a well-composed look and feel, which is why so many shoppers are impressed by the Cruze when they take one for a test drive. What’s more, the base model is available for a super low MSRP, making this option especially attractive to anyone on a tight budget or who’s concerned about financing terms.
Just because the Chevy Cruze is a budget-friendly car doesn’t mean it can’t be had with plenty of cool technologies. In fact, safety, entertainment, and convenience innovations abound for this car, like the standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment centre with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The 4G LTE WiFi hotspot provides a high-speed data connection, even in places where smartphones can struggle to find a connection at all. With this car, you can download the myChevrolet mobile app to remotely start the engine, actuate the door locks, activate the horn and headlights to help you locate it in a parking lot, and manage the car when you’re not with it.
Another popular option with Canadians shopping for a car, the Mazda3 promises a sporty and yet highly efficient mode of transportation. You can get the Mazda3 as a sedan or choose the Sport hatchback for increase cargo room and the ability to load bigger items without trouble.
Mazda has always been an innovator, and the Mazda3 comes packed with some unique features. For example, Skyactiv Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control is an award-winning technology which sharpens handling and reduces fatigue everyone in the car feels when negotiating turn after turn in the road.
The innovations are equally impressive when it comes to active safety systems. Through the i-Activsense bundle, the Mazda3 comes with an array of features to help you as the driver be more aware and avoid accidents every day. Some of the more unique systems include traffic sign recognition so you’re always aware of the speed limit and other warnings, and an adaptive front lighting system where the headlights pivot up to 15 degrees as you turn the steering wheel, enabling you to see through curves better.
Living in Canada means dealing with notoriously bad weather in the winter. While you could get a big truck or SUV to help deal with winter conditions, many Canadians select the Ford Escape. This smaller SUV can be outfitted with intelligent four-wheel drive and has a higher ground clearance, so snow-packed roads aren’t a problem. At the same time, fuel efficient engines help you to spend less at the pump, making this vehicle an economical choice.
The Escape goes beyond just being capable. It comes with plenty of cargo capacity, especially when compared to a car, with 962 litres (34 cubic feet) of space behind the rear seats. The 60/40 split on the rear seatbacks allows you to expand the cargo area, which can go all the way to 1,925 litres (68 cubic feet) if you need to carry big items.
While the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are still overwhelmingly popular choices for Canadians who want to buy a compact car, the Kia Forte is gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds. One key factor is the affordability of the Forte, plus its excellent design and impressive list of standard features.
You might not expect to find a lot of conveniences and advanced equipment available for the Kia Forte, but shoppers are discovering that perception is wrong. Some of the more impressive options include wireless charging for compatible smartphones, smart cruise control, and remote access through the Uvo Intelligence app.
For some time, the Volkswagen Jetta has straddled the line between economy and luxury, providing an alternative plenty of Canadians have gravitated towards. That’s still the case with a complete redesign of this beloved sedan. It looks quite modern, but can still easily be identified as a Volkswagen and not mistaken for rival cars, which is appealing for fashion-conscious shoppers.
Volkswagen shows it still caters to those who love to drive for the fun of driving, offering a 6-speed manual transmission for each current Jetta model. An Eco driving mode helps the 1.4-litre TSI engine run as efficiently as possible, so you’re spending less time at the pump and reducing emissions. In addition, the Jetta and Volkswagen as a brand has a serious reputation for safety. Aside from the usual airbags, reinforced structure, stability control, and other safety systems, the Jetta also can be equipped with advanced driver assistance technologies like automatic high beam control, a cross differential system, and even a washer fluid level indicator, so you don’t run out in the middle of winter.
Honda’s midsize sedan has grown in size over the years, and it’s better than ever. While the backseat has plenty of legroom for even tall adults, the Accord still handles sharply and provides strong acceleration. Not forgetting its roots, Honda even offers a manual transmission on the Sport model. A turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine provides especially strong acceleration, for drivers who like to get up to highway speeds in a hurry. You can get a hybrid version, which combines thrilling power with fuel-sipping efficiency.
Advanced features like full LED headlights and taillights, a 10-speed automatic transmission, satellite-linked navigation, and driver assistance technologies make this car quite modern and enjoyable for a range of drivers. Of course, many Canadians just trust the reliable nature of the Honda Accord, which has proven itself over the past several decades.