Ford, Honda, and Toyota, Oh My! See the Top Most-Shopped, Budget-Friendly Vehicles

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Toyota Tacoma in Army Green and Voodoo Blue/Image Credit: Toyota

Trucks and SUVs are ruling consumer garages this year as more families seek safer, more personal ways to travel during the pandemic. Road trips and outdoor adventures are in, and families need the extra storage and more oversized vehicles to make those long treks.

The latest Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch Report for Q2 2021 outlines the top-selling vehicles in both the luxury and the non-luxury markets. We’ll focus on the top affordable cars that ruled the roost during the recent quarter for this blog.

“As the entire automotive industry continues to grapple with the ongoing microchip shortage and related supply chain disruptions as a fallout of the global pandemic, it’s interesting to see how consumer perceptions and shopping behaviors change in some areas and how they hold steadfast in others,” Vanessa Ton, senior industry intelligence manager for Kelley Blue Book, said in a statement. “Top brands like Toyota and BMW have stayed at the top of shoppers’ consideration lists, but interest in popular models has shifted and other brands are starting to close in. We also see that segment considerations fluctuated quite a bit among shoppers in response to inventory shortages.”

Let’s take a look at the top 5 most-shopped, budget-friendly vehicles, according to the KBB report:

#5 – Subaru Outback

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness shown in Geyser Blue with accessory equipment. Image credit: Subaru

Subaru drivers love their Subarus. Subaru is a top-ranking mass-market brand with a loyal following, according to the recent J.D. Power Brand Loyalty Study. Subarus are reliable, practical cars that have all-wheel drives for those off-road adventures. They have an aerodynamic design, spacious interiors, and lower maintenance costs.

#4 – Toyota RAV4

2021 Toyota RAV4 shown in Magnetic Gray Metallic with Advanced Technology Package. Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota dominates as the most-shopped, non-luxury auto brand, according to KBB. For the first time, Toyota (along with its luxury sister brand Lexus) sold more vehicles in the quarter than General Motors, KBB reports. Toyota is well-known for its longevity, low maintenance costs, and excellent fuel economy. Drivers also like how the RAV4 drives and handles and the overall value.

#3 – Honda CR-V

2022 Honda CR-V Touring shown in Aegean Blue Metallic. Image credit: Honda

Honda drivers like the reliability, durability, and performance the brand is known for. The CR-V features a spacious interior, a turbocharged engine, and a keyless entry. The remote engine start activates the climate control system to get the cabin to the right temperature before you step inside. The one-touch power moonroof lets in more fresh air and sunshine. The hybrid version offers a 40-mpg city rating, all-wheel drive, and souped-up engine.

#2 – Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2021 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab short bed High Country in Oxford Brown Metallic. Image credit: Chevrolet

This year’s Silverado is billed as bigger, stronger, and lighter than the previous generation. The diesel and the V8 engines provide best-in-class power and towing, with the diesel version offering highway fuel economy. The Silverado is listed among the best resale value by KBB. The Silverado boasts more camera views than any other truck, making it easier to tow, hitch, and maneuver while parking. The truck’s Durabed is made of high-strength steel, provides more standard cargo bed volume than any other truck, and has 12 standard tie-downs, three times more than any competitor. The truck is also filled with the latest technology to stay connected wherever the driver takes it.

#1 – Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 with the off-road package. Image credit: Ford

People like their trucks, and the new Fords promise to be tougher than before and smarter than ever; billed as “a beast with brains.” The 2021 Ford F-150 earned the lowest 5-year Cost to Own Award for the overall brand, according to KBB. With best-in-class towing and payload, and six available engines, the truck will drive almost anywhere. The Pro Power Onboard gives drivers the ability to use their truck as a mobile generator. The smart technology offers a 12-inch touchscreen and more usability features to provide an interior workspace and Max Recline Seats that fold nearly flat. KBB said Ford was “one of the few brands that had higher shopping consideration in the second quarter than the first, despite production cuts and inventory shortages.”

The top budget-friendly, non-luxury list is rounded out by:

#6 – Ford F-250/F-350/F-450

#7 – Honda Accord and Toyota Tacoma (Tied)

#8 – Ford Explorer, Subaru Forester, and Toyota Camry (Tied)

Did you buy a car that made the list, or are you considering a new vehicle? Check out for the best selection.   


Hayley Ringle

Hayley Ringle

Hayley Ringle has been an automobile enthusiast since her first motorcar love, a no-frills, air-cooled, orange 1976 VW Super Beetle. Hayley now enjoys driving her limited-edition Release Series 9 ride, an orange 2012 Scion XB, with vanity license plate HOTLAVA. Hayley’s fondness for cars stems from her dad’s love of British sports cars and her years working at an auto parts store while in college. She has written professionally for Phoenix-area newspapers for over 20 years, covering every subject imaginable, including Scottsdale’s car auctions and the Valley’s vehicle proving grounds. Her dream car is a Jaguar E-type roadster featured in the 1971 cult classic film “Harold and Maude.”