In the car world, finding a design with staying power is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow—it's downright mythical! Engineering a car model that remains popular for decades is something every brand wishes to do on a regular basis, but few actually manage to accomplish.
Successful car models are the ones people love to buy, and hate to sell. The best-selling car models often a car brand's bread and butter, sometimes to the point that they prevent the possibility of the brands filing bankruptcy.
Of course, there are successful cars, and successful car models. Here are some of the most successful car models of all time.
The Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen's golden years have brought in a number of highly successful car models, but not many have as good a record as the Passat. Since its inception, this family-friendly, commuter-friendly car has sold a whopping 23 million units.
At the beginning of its span, the Passat was known for having Audi engineering and VW prices. However, it's now evolved into an overall wonderful car without a need to rely on other brands for legitimacy. It remains a top-selling luxury midsize sedan today.
The Honda Civic
If you look at any road in the United States, chances are you'll spot at least one Honda Civic. This currently remains as one of the most successful car models in both the mainstream and JDM sectors, and is known for being easy to fix, reliable, and at the same time, fun to drive.
Honda has now become known as one of the most reliable car brands on the market. The Honda Civic is a great choice for anyone who wants to make sure that they get to where they need to go in style.
The Ford Model T
Ford has had a number of extremely popular, extremely successful car models—but none have come close to making it to history books like the Model T. The Ford Model T was the first mass-produced car model in history and practically brought affordable personal transportation to the masses.
Though the Model T hasn't made it to modern day dealerships, the truth is that Ford wouldn't be around had they not made the Model T. It's that big a deal.
The Volkswagen Golf
We're pretty sure that executives probably balked a little when they heard that the VW Golf would be called "Golf." But, we can't lie, the overall quality of the design spoke for itself. It was one of the first compact cars, offered zippy handling, and easy maintenance.
Since its inception in 1974, the VW Golf has been selling on European and American dealerships like hotcakes. As of right now, it's sold over 33 million models and counting. Sometimes it's called the Rabbit, other times it's called the Golf. Potato, pot-ah-toe.
The Ford F-Series
This might just be one of the longest-running car models in automotive history, and that is reason enough to cite it as one of the most successful car models of all time. Currently, they also remain as one of the most high-grossing vehicle lines of all time.
They're everywhere and have become famous as symbols of Americana. You might recognize the F-Series lineage whenever you go on the highway and see a Ford F-150 or F-250 pickup on the road.
What you might not realize is that the Ford F-Series has been around since 1948. Old school? Yep. But, as Ford has shown us, there's no reason to get rid of old school if it remains awesome. 40 million sales can't be wrong, right?
The Toyota Corolla
If you see someone driving a Toyota, chances are that they're behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla. Currently holding the title of being the most popularly sold car in the world, around 44 million Corollas have been sold since the car model's inception in 1966.
Few cars manage to make it for as long as the Corolla, and even fewer have people who are as loyal to their cars as this speedy little name has. By sheer sales alone, the Toyota Corolla remains one of the most successful car models ever made.
The Honda Accord
Another hyper-popular Honda to add to this list is the Honda Accord. Following the success of the Civic, the makers at Honda decided to double down on the reliability and commuter-friendly styling for a more affordable version.
The Accord ended up being one of the most popular cars ever made. The line itself has been around since 1976, and shows no sign of quitting any time soon.
The Volkswagen Beetle
When we're talking about iconic cars featured in TV, movies, and mainstream literature, the name "Beetle" comes up more often than not. In terms of design aesthetics, the VW Beetle's unique shape has made it one of the most successful car models ever made.
Back in the 60s, it was known for being easy to fix. Nowadays, it's known for being cute and modern, and one of the best compact cars of its kind. We really don't think any design is more recognizable than the Beetle, and if that's not a mark of success, we don't know what is.
Currently, the VW Beetle has one of the longest times on the market of any car. It was first sold in Germany in 1938, and continues to be sold today.
The Ford Mustang
Ford recently announced that it would stop making cars that weren't trucks or SUVs—with one exception. That exception, of course, is the Ford Mustang. Known for its beautiful design and massive power, the Mustang is considered to be one of the best muscle cars of all time.
Currently known for its long running time and being a slice of Americana, the Mustang isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
The Chevrolet Corvette
Finally, let's talk about the Chevrolet Corvette—one of the very few successful car models that became so popular, people sometimes mistake it for a separate brand. The Corvette has become famous for its beautiful design, sporty handling, and for the fact that it's been sold for around 60 years.
It's hard to ignore why it's popular. It's gorgeous and powerful, making it one of the most successful cars of its class.