Top 10 Most Popular European Cars in the US

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Last year was record breaking in terms of sales for various automakers, but which European cars did shoppers in the U.S. choose?

In 2015, 13 different brands reported record new vehicle sales and, in fact, last year was the first year since 2001 that total auto sales in the U.S. passed the 17-million mark. While nearly half (45 percent) of new vehicle sales last year came from the Detroit Big Three, European brands fared well with the top 10 cars tallying up a total of 702,214 units sold.

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10. BMW 5 Series – 44,162

Last year, the BMW 5 Series sold a total of 44,162 units and was 104th overall. That marked a 16.2-percent decrease for the luxury sedan, which sold 52,704 units in 2014.

9. BMW 4 Series – 46,082

Previously known as the 3 Series coupe, the 4 Series saw an 11.2-percent increase in 2015, with the German automaker selling 46,082 units. The year prior, BMW sold 41,442 4 Series coupes. Compared to the rest of the vehicles available, the 4 Series came in 103rd overall.

8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 49,736

Mercedes-Benz recently introduced an all-new E-Class, which might explain the sharp drop in sales, as people are waiting to buy the new one when it comes out. Last year, a total of 49,736 units were sold compared to 66,401 in 2014. That’s a 25.1-percent decrease, but something tells us the latest model will bring those numbers back up. Even then, the E-Class bested the 5 Series and came in 99th place overall.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the ‘Brand’s Most Advanced Vehicle’

7. Audi Q5 – 52,006

It’s not a huge surprise that Audi’s best-selling model in the U.S. is an SUV. The Audi Q5 notched 52,006 in sales last year, an increase of 22.6 percent compared to 2014’s figure of 42,420. The Audi Q5 ranked 95th overall.

6. BMW X5 – 54,997

The BMW X5 remains a popular option for luxury European SUV shoppers in the U.S. Last year, it finished 90th overall with 54,997 units sold. That marks a 16.9-percent increase compared to 2014’s sales of 47,031.

5. Volkswagen Golf – 65,308

Although the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal was revealed in September 2015, that didn’t stop numerous Volkswagen models to continue selling in the U.S. The Volkswagen Golf finished 73rd overall and combined sales of all Golf variants came in at 65,308. That includes the GTI, Golf SportWagen, e-Golf and Golf R. It’s also a huge increase compared to 2014’s sales of 33,675, meaning the Golf saw a 93.9-percent increase in sales!

ALSO SEE: Volkswagen Golf Review

4. Volkswagen Passat – 78,207

The Volkswagen Passat was another popular option for U.S. shoppers, racking up 78,207 in sales last year. It did, however, mark a 19.1-percent decrease compared to 2014, when Volkswagen managed to sell 96,649 units. Like other vehicles on the list, the Passat was redesigned for 2016, so expect sales to pick up again. The Volkswagen Passat came in 67th place overall.

3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 86,080

The most popular model in Mercedes-Benz’s lineup last year was the C-Class, coming in 63rd place overall with 86,080 units sold. Sales picked up a healthy 14.7 percent for the C-Class, jumping from 75,065 units sold in 2014.

2. BMW 3 Series – 94,527

As popular as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class appears to be, the BMW 3 Series remains the most popular luxury sedan option from Europe. The 3 Series came in 58th place overall, with 94,527 units sold last year. It did, however, see a 6.2-percent decrease in sales from 100,970 units.

1. Volkswagen Jetta – 131,109

And the most popular European vehicle sold in the U.S. last year was the Volkswagen Jetta with 131,109 units sold. The Volkswagen Jetta came in 36th place overall and includes sales of the Jetta SportWagen. It did however see an 18.5-percent decrease compared to 2014, when Volkswagen moved 131,109 units. It will be interesting to see if Volkswagen can retain the European sales crown in the U.S. this year with the massive diesel scandal surrounding the brand.

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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