Chevrolet is one of the oldest automakers in the industry, dating back over 100 years to 1911. The company was founded by industrialist William Durant and race car driver Louis Chevrolet, and it was born out of Durant’s firing from his position as president of General Motors. While Durant had created GM, he fell out of favor with the company’s board of directors after his failed bid to buy Ford Motor Company. In response, he teamed up with Louis Chevrolet and started again from scratch.
Since its founding, Chevy has been one of the most popular brands in America. In fact, Chevrolet quickly became so popular that it provided the funding for William Durant to buy back General Motors from the people who had fired him! Today, you can find a vast lineup of exceptional cars, trucks, SUVs, and EVs if you go searching for a Chevy dealer near you. But what are the most popular models to have worn the famous bowtie? Here are five top sellers Chevy has introduced to American drivers.
#1 – Chevy Impala
The best-selling Chevrolet model of all time is the Impala, a sedan that sold over 16 million units during its long lifespan. Named for the speedy African antelope, the Chevy Impala made its debut in 1958, sporting a set of batwing tail fins that set this sedan apart from other models on the road during the early days of the Rock and Roll era. The Impala was originally a trim level of the popular Chevy Bel Air, but the folks at Chevy wanted to capture the popular zeitgeist of the time and come out with a model that could be fun for the whole family. This car had plenty of room for the kids and plenty of style for the parents when they wanted to impress their suburban neighbors on a night out.
The Impala quickly became Chevy’s most popular model, becoming a ubiquitous sight on suburban streets across the nation. Chevy even put out two-door coupe and convertible versions of the Impala, leveraging the successful design and capturing additional sales. This also showed how Chevy changed with the times, altering the Impala as tastes changed and performance and design elements improved. Unfortunately, even that was not enough to save the Impala as the market shifted towards SUVs, and the model was discontinued in 2020. As a result, the Impala is currently in the record books as Chevy’s best-selling car, but its title is up for grabs among a number of other Chevy models that are still being built.
#2 – Chevy Silverado
Although it wasn’t introduced until the 1999 model year, the Silverado full-size truck has its roots in previous trucks built by Chevrolet. Just like the Impala, the Silverado began life as a trim level on the Chevy C/K pickup truck. Since becoming its own model, it has made up a lot of ground in a very short period of time. Despite sales only beginning in 1998, Chevy has sold over 13.5 million Silverado trucks through the end of the 2021 model year. With over 380,000 trucks sold already in 2022, the Silverado 1500 is poised to soon take over the Impala’s place as the most popular Chevy model ever built.
There are a number of reasons for this move to the top by the Silverado. First, pickup trucks have become the most popular vehicle type sold in America. While they were once mostly used by landscapers and laborers, the pickup truck has suddenly become popular with suburban families that enjoy the utility of these vehicles. Innovations like the crew cab with its two rows of roomy seats have helped this occur. A second reason is that the Chevy Silverado is one of the most versatile trucks available today. With its large number of cab styles, engine options, and trims, the Silverado gives drivers a chance to find a truck that has all the features they desire.
#3 – Chevy Malibu
Slightly smaller than the Impala, the Chevy Malibu positioned itself as a sporty sedan, ideal for commuters, students, and others who want a reliable car that is fun to drive. The model was introduced in 1964 at the height of the muscle car era and quickly became one of Chevy’s most popular models, capturing the California vibe of its namesake. The original Malibu was a sporty subseries of the Chevy Chevelle midsize sedan. The Chevelle name was finally dropped in 1978 with the fourth-generation model, leaving the Malibu to occupy the popular segment.
Today’s Malibu is the ninth generation of the model and the sole remaining sedan from Chevy’s heyday as a leading builder of this type of vehicle. Nevertheless, Chevy kept the Malibu going by updating it to fit the needs of drivers who wanted a sporty sedan. While other automakers have seen a marked decline in the sales of their comparable sedan models, Chevy has been able to sell over 3.8 million Malibus since 2000, bucking the trend toward pickup trucks and SUVs. As a result, the Malibu remains the third most popular model in the history of Chevrolet.
#4 – Chevy Suburban
Here’s a bit of fun trivia to annoy your friends and family members. The longest-running model in continuous production is the Chevy Suburban. Introduced in 1935 during the days of FDR and the New Deal, the Suburban was one of the first large station wagons offered to drivers across America. By the 1960s, Chevy had changed the design of the Suburban to fit what would come to be known as the SUV segment. This pioneering model would help create this category and eventually move from serving hunters and others who love the great outdoors to suburban families who love the massive interior space provided by the Suburban.
Now in its twelfth generation, the Suburban continues to be one of the largest and most adaptable SUVs on the market. Sales have also continued, with Chevy selling over two million Suburban models since 1996. While it probably won’t ever rival the Impala, Silverado, or Malibu as a top seller, the Suburban has built a legacy that likely won’t ever be topped by any other Chevy model.
#5 – Chevy Equinox
The newest member of this list is the Equinox, Chevy’s compact SUV. These models have become the fastest-growing segment of the market. Chevy introduced the Equinox in 2005, and in less than two decades, it has sold over 3.6 million units. Sales were actually trending upward every year since it was introduced until the pandemic slowed sales for 2020 and 2021. Nevertheless, Chevy is on track to sell over 200,000 Equinox models this year. If the numbers continue to trend in this direction, it won’t be long before the Equinox overtakes the Impala and Malibu on the list of best-selling Chevy models.
There is a very good reason why the Equinox is so popular. While its segment has become crowded, with practically every automaker offering at least one compact SUV model, Chevy has been able to make the Equinox stand out in the crowd. This is due to a roomy interior, solid fuel economy, and a record of safety and dependability that is the envy of other brands. The Equinox delivers what drivers are looking for, making it the second best-selling Chevy today, surpassed only by the amazing Silverado pickup truck.
Chevy’s History of Popularity
Chevrolet has always been one of the top-selling automotive brands in America. Chevy has always given drivers the vehicles they want with the performance, safety, and creature features they need. This is why Chevy has become synonymous with quality in the minds of so many American drivers. It is also why Chevy has had so many popular and successful models, like the Impala and Malibu sedans, the Suburban and Equinox SUVs, and the Silverado pickup truck.