Even if you have your heart set on a particular vehicle, it’s possible that a local favorite—perhaps one you’ve never considered—might be an even better fit for you.
Buying a car is a major financial decision. You can expect to pay thousands of dollars for even the cheapest new model, and you'll probably be driving it for years to come, so it's important to choose one that you can be happy with—which includes being able to afford the car payment.
Before buying any vehicle, regardless of its ratings, consider whether it’s a good fit for your lifestyle. One effective way to choose a car that will serve you well for years to come is to look at which model is the favorite of other drivers in your area. Even if you have your heart set on a particular vehicle, it’s possible that a local favorite—perhaps one you’ve never considered—might be an even better fit for you.
The car insurance comparison website Insurify analyzed its data to discover the most popular vehicle in each of the fifty states. As the cars on this list represent vehicles that are on the road, not just those rolling off dealer lots, they don’t necessarily align with current sales figures. Keeping in mind that the average American car or light truck on the road is 11.6 years old, this list speaks to which models generate a high level of customer loyalty, rather than which are hot this year. Here are the most popular cars on the road in every state.
Insurify provides car insurance quotes based on customers’ answers to questions about driving history, vehicle type, and other personal data. The rankings in this article are based on a set of over 1.3 million automobile insurance shopper applications, in which drivers were asked which vehicle make(s) and model(s) they currently owned. This information was then grouped by driver’s state of residence. Vehicles were subsequently ranked by the count of states in which they were the most popular. Information on MSRP and MPG was provided by the vehicle manufacturers’ websites; these figures are based on the least expensive 2018 body style for that vehicle. Data is current as of February 2018.
10. Ford Focus
States where this vehicle ranks #1: West Virginia
MSRP: Starting at $17,860
MPG city/highway: 25/34
The Ford Focus is your basic small sedan, with a reasonable MSRP and decent fuel efficiency—solid but unexciting. Still, a model that’s lasted for 20 years must have something good going for it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2018 Ford Focus “Good” ratings in many of its safety categories, making it a reasonable choice for someone who just wants a vehicle to get from point A to point B.
9. Subaru Legacy
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Vermont
MSRP: Starting at $22,195
MPG city/highway: 25/34
A Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, the Subaru Legacy is a great choice for a driver looking for peace of mind. The Legacy generally receives favorable reviews due to its excellent safety features and standard AWD—the latter is quite unusual in its class. That combination makes it a great choice for cold-weather states, which helps explain why Vermonters are so fond of this vehicle.
8. Chevrolet Malibu
Photo Credit: Ryan Hildebrand (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Michigan
MSRP: Starting at $21,680
MPG city/highway: 27/36
With decent safety ratings from the IIHS, the Chevy Malibu is yet another midsize sedan that drivers seem to love. The 2018 Malibu receives positive reviews from a number of automotive reviewers, and is a Car and Driver Editors’ Choice. Perhaps that’s why residents of Michigan—who presumably know a thing or two about cars—prefer the Malibu over all others.
7. Toyota Corolla
Photo Credit: Mr.choppers (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Maine
MSRP: Starting at $18,600
MPG city/highway: 28/36
Toyota was once a byword for reliability, but recalls by the manufacturer have somewhat tainted its reputation—including the latest recall for defective airbags. Still, the 2018 Corolla boasts excellent fuel efficiency and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The fact that this compact car has achieved popularity in the chilly state of Maine speaks well for its ability to handle winter conditions.
6. Ford Explorer
Photo Credit: nose (topspeed.com), via Wikimedia Commons
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Montana, Wyoming
MSRP: Starting at $31,990
MPG city/highway: 17/24
The only SUV to make the list, the Ford Explorer is the top pick in the mountainous states of Montana and Wyoming. The IIHS points out a few weak spots in its safety features, so drivers beware. When first introduced in 1991 the Explorer leapt into popularity, becoming the ninth best-selling vehicle in the US by 1994, and some drivers still cling loyally to this model. On the other hand, its fuel efficiency is the lowest of any vehicle on this list—not surprising for an SUV.
5. Nissan Altima
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee
MSRP: Starting at $23,260
MPG city/highway: 27/38
Popular in four southern states, the Nissan Altima is yet another foreign sedan with impressive IIHS safety ratings and solid fuel efficiency. With a #10 rank in midsize cars by US News and World Report and a lackluster three-star rating by Car and Driver, the 2018 Altima didn’t fare quite as well with critics as the Accord or Camry. Still, it’s a well-rounded choice for someone shopping for a reliable midsize vehicle.
4. Chevrolet Impala
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin
MSRP: Starting at $27,895
MPG city/highway: 22/30
A full-sized sedan with an impressive history, the Chevy Impala was first introduced in 1958 and is still a major presence on the roads of the Midwest. The Impala receives generally favorable reviews—it’s ranked #4 in large cars by US News & World Report —and has fairly good safety features according to the IIHS. And the fact that it’s the most popular car to drive in nine different states is no small tribute to its appeal. However, its low fuel efficiency may be a concern to someone who does a lot of city driving.
3. Toyota Camry
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Washington, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island
MSRP: Starting at $23,495
MPG city/highway: 29/41
A perennially popular car, the Toyota Camry is the most popular vehicle in nine different states. It’s also #1 with US News and World Report (the #1 midsize car, to be specific) and enjoys IIHS Top Safety Pick+ status. Just to sweeten the deal further, the 2018 Camry has the best highway MPG of any vehicle on this list, and the second-best city MPG.
2. Honda Civic
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Washington
MSRP: Starting at $18,840
MPG city/highway: 28/40
The Honda Civic is a favorite by drivers in ten states across the US and has solid IIHS safety ratings. It’s also lauded by critics, ranking #1 in compact cars by US News and World Report and receiving a coveted 5-star ranking and Editor’s Choice status by Car and Driver. If you’re looking for something a bit smaller than the four-door sedans that proliferate throughout this list, the Civic coupe is a top-notch choice.
1. Honda Accord
Photo Credit: Kevauto (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
States where this vehicle ranks #1: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia
MSRP: Starting at $23,570
MPG city/highway: 30/38
The Honda Accord is the top choice in an impressive 13 states—more than any other car on this list. It’s also a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS in both coupe and sedan forms, received 10-Best status from Car and Driver, and is ranked the #2 midsize car by US News and World Report, right behind the Camry.