Most Popular Cars by Generation

People of different generations have different needs in cars. Boomers may have reached the stage where they prefer a car that’s higher off the ground, making it easier for them to get in and out. Then again, we’ve all noticed a silver fox driving what is clearly their dream car, no matter how hard it is on their back and knees. Various surveys and demographic data point to the most popular cars by generation in recent years.


Subaru Outbacks are at the top of many baby boomers’ lists because of their safety features, their ride height, and the way the seats sit up nice and straight. These cars have safety features that assist with backing up, warn the driver if the car drifts into another lane, and automatically brake in anticipation of collisions. We can all use a little help with things like this as we get a little older. Other cars that are popular with boomers for similar reasons are the Volvo XC90 and the Nissan Rogue. Boomers are into sustainability, so those who can afford them may drive zero-emission Teslas.


This generation is in the heart of the married-with-kids years, and affordable sedans are very popular with this group. The Honda Accord comes out on top, and the Toyota Camry is right up there with it, along with the Nissan Altima and the Accord’s smaller sibling, the Civic. The list of the most popular cars for this generation includes only the Jeep Cherokee in the SUV category and the Ford 150 truck as the only pickup.

Gen Z

These younger car-buyers lean toward used cars, if they can bring themselves to buy a car at all. Those who must drive to work (instead of biking or taking Ubers) tend to opt for less expensive, used import sedans. Gen Z has endured tough economic times, growing up during the Great Recession while taking on burdensome student loans. They’re therefore more pragmatic and less married to brand identities.

Millennials and Gen Zers are concerned about value and have good reasons to be frugal. Whether they’re riding on 2015 Toyota Corolla rims or in high-mileage Hondas, younger adults do their research online before buying cars and prefer value over flash.