“This year brought a lot of changes to the automotive industry, but we can always count on consistency with the Hottest Cars for Summer,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader. “This tried and true list highlights the biggest car trends of the summer. This list is a good place to start if you’re looking for a car that’s popular among shoppers, and these are some of the top picks because people continue to return to them year after year.”
Autotrader’s 10 Hottest Cars of Summer 2020*
- Ford F-150/250
New or used, the Ford F-Series pickup is popular. It’s been the best-selling new vehicle for decades and continues to impress buyers with a wide variety of engine choices, off-road-ready models, budget-friendly basic models and high-end, tech-heavy luxury versions. We’re not saying the F-150 is perfect, but it’s such a consistent best-seller we can’t see how so many people can be wrong.
- Jeep Wrangler
If you’re looking for a quintessential American vehicle, it’s got to be the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler’s popularity isn’t surprising – Americans love to get out and have fun, away from the confines of city life and the Wrangler is just the thing to get them there.
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500/2500
Americans love pickups. Also, Chevrolet pickups. Redesigned in 2019, the Silverado is nearly as popular with shoppers as Ford’s full-size pickup. The Silverado has typically had a nicer interior and a less utilitarian look outside. The Silverado is also offered in a wide variety of trim levels. Work Truck, Custom, LT, RST, Custom Trail Boss, LTZ, LT Trail Boss and High Country are the current levels – then add bed length, two or four-wheel drive plus regular, double or crew cab and there are plenty of Silverados to pick from.
- Ford Mustang
Like the Jeep Wrangler, the Ford Mustang is just one of those purely American cars. It has a history, it’s fun, it’s affordable and it’s popular. You can find a high-mileage Mustang for as little as $2,000 or you can spend $100,000 on a high-performance Shelby GT500. The best compromise is probably a V8 powered GT 2015 or newer with average mileage for its age.
- Chevrolet Corvette
The C7 Chevrolet Corvette has turned out to be the swan song of the front-engine Corvette. The arrival of the C8 Corvette could mean some great deals on the previous model. Or, it could mean a lot of C7 owners believe they have some kind of rare instant classic and “won’t be tricked” into selling it for a reasonable price. Either way, the C7 is an outstanding send-off to the ‘Vette’s front-engine layout.
- Ram 1500
With each passing model year, the Ram 1500 is becoming increasingly well-known for its plush interior, smooth ride and excellent towing capacity. The current Ram 1500 is the best one yet but even going back a few years will get you a nice truck.
- Toyota Tacoma
For years, the Toyota Tacoma has been built in Texas. Maybe that’s why the Toyota Tacoma feels as American as the Chevy Silverado or Ford Mustang. The truck can do it all – daily driver, off-road, haul junk, last forever. The new 2020 Toyota Tacoma is a perfectly fine truck.
- GMC Sierra
The GMC Sierra has matured to the point where it’s tangibly different from the full-size Chevy. Many Sierras have unique features, trim and equipment. Fewer people are looking for a Sierra as compared to an F-150 or Silverado but not by much. One thing we like about the Sierra: It has fewer variations. That makes shopping a little easier. We like the SLE for a capable and affordable full-size truck.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
Our theory is that all the interest in the Jeep Grand Cherokee is fueled by Wrangler research. We imagine these shoppers asking, “How can I have the authenticity of the Wrangler but with more interior space and comfort?” Jeep Grand Cherokee is the answer.
- Toyota 4Runner
In a way, the 4Runner is kind of a throw-back to a simpler era. It is an SUV and those are wildly popular, but the 4Runner has been, essentially, the same for many years. Its tough construction is better for deep mud and rugged trails than it is for highway road trips.
*The vehicles are listed in search order by popularity.
Autotrader’s Hottest Cars of Summer 2020 list features the most-searched cars, trucks and SUVs on Autotrader’s website from January 1, 2020 to July 6, 2020 (ranked by search volume). To learn more about the Hottest Cars of Summer 2020, including photos, vehicle information and available inventory, visit https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/popular-cars-for-summer.
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