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Top 8 Most Popular Cars in China (2023)

house with two cars

China has a huge population, many tightly packed cities, and wide-open rural areas for exploring—so it can be great fun to drive there. Keep reading as we list the best-selling cars in China, including how many of each model has sold there.

car and road divider

The Best-Selling Cars in China

1. Volkswagen Lavida

Volkswagen-Lavida
Volkswagen-Lavida (Image Credit: Navigator84 Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 3,713,165

The Volkswagen Lavida is the most popular car in China, with drivers purchasing more than 3.7 million units since they first came on the market in 2008. They continue to sell well, with sales reaching 393,496 units in 2021. You can get it as a four-door sedan or five-door wagon, with many engine sizes and transmission options.


2. Nissan Sylphy

Nissan Sylphy
Nissan Sylphy ( Image Credit: JamesYoung8167, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 3,278,419

The Nissan Sylphy is China’s second most popular car, selling more than 3.2 million units since it hit the market in 2006. It’s a compact Japanese car that goes by many other names, including the Nissan Sentra. It’s a front-wheel drive car with several engine and transmission options that keep it popular. In 2021, it sold more than 500,000 units.


3. Volkswagen Sagitar

Volkswagen Sagitar
Volkswagen Sagitar ( Image Credit: Navigator84, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Units Sold 2,638,588

The Volkswagen Sagitar is China’s third most popular car and the second model on this list from the German company. Many people might also know it as the Volkswagen Jetta. It first hit the market in 1979, but didn’t reach China until 2006. However, that didn’t prevent it from getting high sales numbers exceeding 2.6 million units, with more than 235,000 sales in 2021.


4. Buick Excelle GT

Buick Excelle GT
Buick Excelle GT (Image Credit: User3204, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)
Units Sold 2,538,535

The Buick Excelle GT is a compact car from General Motors. Several models have a hatchback and extra cargo space, or you can choose the four-door sedan. Unfortunately, China stopped production in 2016 due to its low price, even after selling more than 2.5 million units in 13 years.


5. Toyota Corolla

red toyota corolla car
Image Credit: Goodfreephotos_com, Pixabay
Units Sold 2,538,535

The Toyota Corolla is the most popular car globally, with more than 40 million units sold since it first hit the market in 1966. It’s also one of the most popular cars in China, with more than 2.5 million units sold to drivers since they started selling it there in 2007. In 2021, China sold 321,912, more than several other models on this list.


6. Volkswagen Bora

Volkswagen Bora
Volkswagen Bora ( Image Credit: Navigator84, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 2,262,449

The Volkswagen Bora is yet another Volkswagen that the Chinese population loves. Drivers have purchased more than 2.2 million of these vehicles since they hit the market in 2001, and sales are still going strong—with 248,388 sales in 2021. The Bora is a compact car similar to the Jetta, and you can purchase it as a sedan or a hatchback.


7. Volkswagen Jetta

2022 Volkswagen Jetta
2022 Volkswagen Jetta ( Image Credit: Alexander Migl, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 2,262,449

The Volkswagen Jetta was an extremely popular car in China, having had strong sales ever since its introduction in the country. It was phased out in 2019, but in the 18 years that it was available, it sold more than 2.2 million vehicles. It was a compact car with a square shape and a four-cylinder engine.


8. Volkswagen Santana

Volkswagen Santana
Volkswagen Santana ( Image Credit; Volkswagen Santana CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 2,262,449
  • Units Sold: 2,262,449

The Volkswagen Santana is the last car on this list and the fifth from Volkswagen, as China is the largest importer of German vehicles. The Santana has been available since 1983, and Chinese drivers have purchased more than 2.2 million vehicles. It’s still going strong, with 137,336 units sold in 2021. It’s a mid-sized sedan with plenty of power and cabin space, making it a good family car.

car and road divider

Other Top-Selling Vehicles

1. Wuling Hongguang

Wuling Hongguang
Wuling Hongguang (Image Credit: Jengtingchen, wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 4,549,592

The Wuling Hongguang is the all-time highest-selling vehicle in China, with more than 4.5 million units sold since it first hit the market in 2010. Drivers purchased almost 256,000 in 2021. It’s a compact mini-SUV with room for up to seven people. New models are electric and packed with safety features.


2. Haval H6

2021-Haval-H6
2021-Haval-H6 (Image Credit: Chanokchon Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 3,235,714

Another popular vehicle in China is the Haval H6, a five-door compact SUV from Great Wall Motor that provides plenty of horsepower while keeping emissions low. It gets high scores for safety and continues to be popular, with 2021 sales numbers reaching 370,438.


3. Honda CR-V

Honda_CR-V
Honda_CR-V (Image Credit: EurovisionNim, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Units Sold 1,672,419

The Honda CR-V is a popular SUV in China, selling more than 1.6 million units since it hit the market in 2004. In 2021, sales figures reached 213,791.

car and road divider

Summary

The Volkswagen Lavida is China’s most popular car, and drivers purchased more than 3.7 million units, with sales reaching almost 400,000 in 2021. It’s a compact and affordable car, with newer models embracing EV technology. Several other Volkswagens are on the list, including the Sagitar, Bora, Jetta, and Santana, and other top cars include the Nissan Sylphy, the Buick Excelle GT, and the Toyota Corolla, the most popular vehicle in the world.


Featured Image Credit: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay

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