These were the fastest-selling new and used cars in May

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Aerial view of various parked cars (Getty Images)

(iSeeCars) – The latest iSeeCars.com analysis found the fastest-selling new car during the month of May was the Mercedes Benz G-Class, moving the Corvette to second place after four consecutive months as the fastest seller. Newly released models, alternative fuel vehicles, and full-size SUVs are the most prevalent vehicles on the fastest-selling new car list. For used cars, the Mazda MX-5 Miata earns the top spot on a list dominated by sports cars and alternative fuel vehicles.

Analyzing over 1.3 million new and used cars sold in May 2021, iSeeCars.com found that overall, the average new car takes 47.1 days to sell and the average used car takes 34.8 days to sell. Both new and used cars are selling faster than in April, when the average new car took 48.3 days to sell and the average used car took 37.4 days.

2021 Year-to-Date Comparison: Days to Sell and Average Prices – iSeeCars

Month
New CarsUsed Cars
Average Days to SellAverage PriceAvg Days to SellAverage Price
January46.2$37,15738.9$26,146
February48.9$36,83642.0$26,211
March47.4$36,94239.4$26,576
April48.3$37,55837.4$27,783
May47.1$38,00634.7$29,543

These faster selling times come in the wake of increased new and used car prices. When comparing the prices of new and used cars, used car prices are up 6.3 percent in May over April, and up 13 percent since January. New car prices had a smaller increase at 1.2 percent in May over April, and have increased 2.3 percent since January. 

“The microchip shortage continues to impact new and used car sales, with new car inventory decreasing by 15.7 percent and used car inventory decreasing by 2.1 percent in May over April, intensifying the already high demand for used cars and driving up prices,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “For new cars, both higher priced full-size SUVs and alternative fuel vehicles continue to be in high demand, striking an interesting dichotomy between practical and not-so-practical consumers.”

Fastest-Selling New Cars

iSeeCars identified the top 20 fastest-selling new cars, which sell 2.8 to 5 times faster than the average new vehicle and average 13.7 days on dealers’ lots. SUVs comprise the vast majority of the the top 20 list, and alternative fuel vehicles also account for six models on the list.  

Top 20 Fastest-Selling New Vehicles in May 2021 – iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage Days to Sell Average Price
1Mercedes-Benz G-Class9.4$174,887
2Chevrolet Corvette9.5$85,359
3Cadillac Escalade10.8$101,836
4Hyundai Tucson Hybrid11.1$34,076
5Kia Telluride11.6$44,066
6Toyota RAV4 Prime11.9$43,755
7Toyota Tacoma12.2$38,014
8Lexus IS 35012.7$48,611
9Cadillac Escalade ESV13.5$103,117
10Toyota 4Runner13.7$46,218
11Toyota RAV4 Hybrid14.0$35,588
12Kia Carnival14.3$42,117
13Chevrolet Tahoe15.0$66,024
14Chevrolet Suburban15.3$70,008
15Toyota Tundra15.6$49,253
16Jeep Wrangler 4xe15.9$58,094
17Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid16.0$38,159
18Volkswagen ID.416.2$45,103
19GMC Yukon16.4$76,984
20GMC Canyon17.1$39,260
Average for All New Vehicles47.1$38,006

The fastest-selling new vehicle is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which has an average new car price of $174,887. “The Mercedes-Benz G-Class makes its debut on the list of fastest-selling vehicles in May after seeing over a 50 percent increase in sales over April,” said Brauer. “The G-Class full-size off-roader typifies conspicuous consumption, and more consumers are buying this aspirational vehicle after a year of reduced entertainment and travel expenses.” 

Next is the Chevrolet Corvette, which fell to the second spot after four consecutive months as the fastest-selling new vehicle. “The Corvette C8 has been in short supply since its 2020 debut due to overwhelming demand and multiple production setbacks,” said Brauer. “Production for the Corvette idled from May 10th through May 17th and again on May 24th through the end of the month due to a parts shortage, and production of the 2021 model year is being cut short to make way for the 2022 Corvettes.”

The full-size Cadillac Escalade and its extended variant, the Escalade ESV, appear on the fastest-selling list of new cars for the fourth consecutive month. “The Escalade was redesigned for 2021 to make the already supersized SUV even more luxurious and technologically advanced, leading to a 75 percent sales increase in the first quarter of 2021 over last year,” said Brauer. “Cadillac removed incentives for these vehicles for the second consecutive month in May, and production has yet to be affected as the automaker has prioritized these profitable vehicles over less popular models.”

Three additional full-size SUVs from General Motors make the list, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Chevrolet Suburban, and the GMC Yukon. “General Motors is one of the manufacturers most impacted by the semiconductor shortage, but production interruptions have not affected the manufacturer’s high-profit, full-size SUVs,” said Brauer. “Consumer demand remains strong for full-size SUVs despite the recent increase in gas prices.”

Five hybrid cars make the list, with three standard hybrid vehicles and two plug-in hybrids. “The all-new Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, which arrived at dealerships in May, makes its debut on the list and joins two other recently released hybrids debuting on the listin April: the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid and the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid,” said Brauer. “They join the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, furthering the ongoing trend of Toyota struggling to produce enough hybrid vehicles to meet demand.”

An all-new electric vehicle, the Volkswagen ID.4 makes is also new to the list. “The Volkswagen ID.4 recently became the best selling electric vehicle in Europe, and it has been in high demand since it launched in the United States,” said Brauer.

The Kia Telluride midsize SUV maintains its position as a hot-seller for the fifth consecutive month, while the all-new Kia Carnival minivan makes the list for the second consecutive month. “Kia is still struggling to keep up with the demand for the Telluride two years after its launch, and dealers continue to charge above MSRP as consumers are willing to pay a premium for this vehicle,” said Brauer. “The Carnival multipurpose vehicle has the function of a minivan with sliding doors and three rows of expansive cargo space, but also takes design cues from the Telluride SUV and has been able to ride the coattails of the SUV’s smashing success.”

Three pickup trucks make the list–the Toyota Tacoma, the Toyota Tundra, and the GMC Canyon. “Toyota has halted incentives and raised prices in many parts of the country because of high demand and lowered supply for these trucks due to the microchip shortage,” said Brauer. “The plant that manufactures the GMC Canyon cut production from three shifts to two, and rebates for the Canyon stopped in May, reflecting the low inventory.” 

Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles

iSeeCars also analyzed the top 20 fastest-selling used vehicles. The average used vehicle takes 39.4 days to sell, while the top 20 fastest-selling vehicles average 25.5 days and sell 1.2 to 1.8 times faster than the average used vehicle. The list of fastest-selling used vehicles includes a mix of vehicle types led by sporty and luxury vehicles.

Top 20 Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles in April 2021- iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage Days to Sell Average Price
1Mazda MX-5 Miata19.5$25,009
2Tesla Model 320.2$44,779
3Chevrolet Corvette21.8$74,773
4Kia Telluride22.2$42,936
5Honda Insight22.7$23,041
6Toyota Highlander Hybrid24.4$38,070
7Hyundai Palisade24.6$43,252
8Honda Civic24.8$20,271
9Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross25.6$17,647
10Honda Odyssey25.9$30,651
11MINI Convertible26.2$26,625
12Mitsubishi Outlander26.3$19,595
13Chevrolet Camaro26.5$33,525
14Kia Stinger26.6$33,892
15Porsche 718 Cayman27.0$67,330
16Toyota 4Runner27.3$40,036
17Subaru WRX27.5$29,424
18Porsche 91127.9$146,140
19Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid28.0$22,430
20Lexus UX 250h28.2$33,448
Average for All Used Vehicles34.8$29,540

Earning the top spot is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which is up one spot after being the second fastest-selling used car in April. It’s joined by seven additional sports cars and sport sedans including the Chevrolet Corvette, the MINI Convertible, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Kia Stinger, the Porsche 718 Cayman, the Subaru WRX, and the Porsche 911. “Sports cars were a popular vehicle segment throughout the pandemic as a source of joy, and their popularity has continued as the country opens up.”

The Kia Telluride ranks fourth, and it is joined by a similar vehicle from the same manufacturer, the Hyundai Palisade, in seventh. “These vehicles debuted for the 2020 model year and have sustained their popularity, and while they aren’t yet widely available in the used car marketplace they had an increase in inventory in May over April,” said Brauer. “Given the markup and scarcity of new Kia Tellurides, used versions are appealing to consumers unable to locate a new model or who want to save money.”

The Tesla Model 3 makes the list for the third consecutive month, this time in second position. “The Tesla Model 3 has sustained its popularity since its high-profile debut thanks to impressive technology and performance, plus relative affordability compared to Tesla’s earlier vehicles,” said Brauer. 

Four hybrid vehicles make the list: the Honda Insight, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and the Lexus UX 250h. “The Honda Clarity debuted in 2018, while the Honda Insight debuted in 2019, so used versions are just starting to enter the used car marketplace,” said Brauer. “Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have been in high demand both as new and used cars, and that demand has intensified as gas prices continue to rise.”   

“Car buyers who are making a new or used car purchase might have difficulty finding the most in-demand vehicles, and may end up paying a premium for them in the used car marketplace amid microchip-related inventory constraints,” said Brauer. “Vehicle inventory is expected to remain tight for the remainder of the year, so consumers who are in the market for one of these fast sellers will need to act quickly when they see their desired car for sale.”

Fastest-Selling Cars By City 

iSeeCars analyzed the data geographically to find the fastest-selling new cars in the top 50 most populous metro areas.

Fastest-Selling New and Used Cars in April By City
CityNew VehicleDays to Sell (Average)Used VehicleDays to Sell (Average)
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NMRam Pickup 15007.2Chevrolet Camaro21.2
Atlanta, GAToyota RAV4 Hybrid4.6Tesla Model 316
Austin, TXCadillac Escalade ESV2Subaru Outback12.7
Baltimore, MDToyota RAV4 Prime6.7Toyota Tundra20.1
Birmingham, ALToyota 4runner6.5Honda Civic16.5
Boston, MA-Manchester, NHKia Telluride7Honda Ridgeline21.6
Charlotte, NCHyundai Palisade8.9Toyota Prius14.3
Chicago, ILMercedes-Benz GLS11.6Toyota Highlander Hybrid16.9
Cincinnati, OHKia Telluride4.5Chevrolet Suburban14.6
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OHSubaru Ascent7.4Nissan Pathfinder18.7
Columbus, OHKia Telluride2.1Honda Civic15.9
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TXVolkswagen Atlas Cross Sport3.9Toyota Prius Prime8.5
Denver, COKia Telluride4Jeep Wrangler21.3
Detroit, MIJeep Wrangler 4xe4.5Volkswagen Tiguan17.2
Fresno-Visalia, CAHyundai Elantra31.7Jeep Compass17.4
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MIHyundai Palisade10.1Kia Sorento16.4
Greensboro-Winston Salem, NCKia Sportage9Nissan Versa16.4
Greenville-Spartanburg, SCToyota 4Runner7Honda Civic15.6
Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PAKia Sorento12Toyota Tundra18.8
Hartford & New Haven, CTVolkswagen Atlas11.6Mitsubishi Outlander13.9
Houston, TXChevrolet Suburban8.5Mercedes-Benz G-Class12.4
Indianapolis, INSubaru Forester4.1Chevrolet Corvette10.1
Jacksonville, FLDodge Charger11.6Nissan Maxima8.9
Kansas City, MOGMC Sierra 15005.9Acura TLX14.3
Las Vegas, NVToyota Tacoma4.1Mazda MAZDA613.4
Los Angeles, CAKia Carnival4.5Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid13.8
Memphis, TNSubaru Forester6.4Jeep Compass13.6
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FLLexus IS 3503.7Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross15.4
Milwaukee, WIHyundai Tucson Hybrid11Mercedes-Benz C-Class13.8
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MNHyundai Tucson Hybrid8.1Mitsubishi Outlander21.1
Nashville, TNSubaru Outback2.8Mercedes-Benz GLA9.3
New York, NYMercedes-Benz G-Class8.3Tesla Model 314.7
Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VAHyundai Palisade7.5Subaru Forester16.5
Oklahoma City, OKGMC Yukon8.1GMC Canyon16.1
Orlando-Daytona Beach, FLToyota Highlander Hybrid8.1Honda Civic14.8
Philadelphia, PAKia Carnival9.9Tesla Model 316.5
Phoenix, AZChevrolet Colorado5.8Chevrolet Bolt EV11.5
Pittsburgh, PAToyota Highlander Hybrid9Mitsubishi Outlander20.1
Portland, ORSubaru Crosstrek4.2Nissan LEAF14
Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NCHyundai Tucson Hybrid8.1Mitsubishi Outlander13.4
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CAToyota RAV45.2Land Rover Discovery Sport11.9
Salt Lake City, UTHyundai Palisade9.9Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross15.8
San Antonio, TXToyota 4Runner5.4Subaru WRX13.3
San Diego, CAToyota C-HR6.2Toyota RAV4 Hybrid14.2
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CAHyundai Palisade6Hyundai Accent13.5
Seattle-Tacoma, WAKia Carnival4.8Buick Encore14.8
St. Louis, MOChevrolet Colorado10.9Cadillac Escalade22.5
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FLBMW4 Series6.6Chevrolet Camaro11.6
Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)Ford Bronco Sport10.7Honda Insight15.6
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FLToyota RAV48.6Honda Odyssey14.2

The fastest-selling new vehicle in the most cities is the Hyundai Palisade in five cities, and the fastest-selling used vehicle is a tie between the Honda Civic and the Mitsubishi Outlander in four. 

“Car buyers who are making a new or used car purchase might have difficulty finding the most in-demand vehicles, and may end up paying a premium for them in the used car marketplace,” said Brauer. “While automakers are prioritizing their more popular vehicles and continuing production in the wake of the microchip shortage, demand for these vehicles is still likely to outpace supply in the coming months.”

More from iSeeCars.com:

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 1.3 million new and used car sales (model years 2016-2020 for used cars) from May 2021. The number of days that each car was listed for sale on iSeeCars.com was aggregated at the model level, and the average days on market for each was mathematically modeled. Heavy-duty vehicles, models no longer in production prior to the 2021 model year, and low-volume models were excluded from further analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $284 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

This article, The Fastest-Selling New and Used Cars in May, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com.

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