Search Vs Sales

Date Posted 2nd August 2023
Read Time 5 min read

Hippo Leasing compares the most sold cars worldwide to the most searched-for cars to see if the bestsellers are also generating the most interest online.

To do this, we used SEO analytical tools to uncover which of the world’s top 100 sellers had the highest search volume, which shows how many monthly searches each model gets on Google.

The results are below.

Key Findings

  • The Honda Civic is the most searched-for car in the world BUT only the 26th bestselling
  • Tesla’s Model 3 is the 10th bestselling car of 2022 but ranks sixth overall in terms of search volume
  • The Toyota RAV4, despite being the most sold car in the world, is only the 10th most-searched-for car in the world
  • Despite Mercedes sales figures NONE of their models are in the top 75 most-searched-for cars

The Toyota RAV4, the world’s top-selling car, ranks 10th in searches

Perhaps the biggest surprise overall is the RAV4. The mega-popular 4×4 holds the top position as the most-sold car in the world with over a million sales (1,015,700) in 2022. However, search volume data shows that the Toyota mightn’t be as popular as it appears, dropping to 10th overall with 955,050 total monthly searches.

That number is still very high in comparison to others on the list, however. The Audi Q5, for example, only has 520,700 monthly searches and was the 50th most-sold car, but it is still surprising to see the likes of the Kia Sportage (1,102,800 searches), Nissan Qashqai (1,076,680 searches) and Hyundai Tucson (1,027,400 searches) all overtaking the world’s most sold car.

Predicting the bestselling cars of 2023

Speaking of the KIA Sportage, total sales in 2022 meant it was 85th on the list of bestselling cars, so to see it jump 81 places to fourth in the most popular list shows that it could shoot up the bestselling list in 2023.

As for the other two above, the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson, they rank 22nd and 24th on sales respectively but make the top ten on searches, again possibly indicating a potential surge in sales over the coming year.

Another potential big mover sees the Jeep Wrangler, 53rd on the bestsellers list, sitting in the top three of the most searched-for cars of 2023.

The Honda Civic, despite ranking 26th on the world’s bestselling list, is the most searched for

Our data shows that the Honda Civic, which was only the 17th bestseller last year, is the most searched for car in the world, with a total of 1,823,570 searches per month. Not only this, but the Civic was the most searched for by a considerable margin, seeing 539,770 more monthly searches than the Toyota Corolla, which was both the second most searched-for car.

Surprisingly, the Jeep Wrangler rounded off the top three, totalling 1,121,600 monthly searches. This is despite the 4×4 appearing as only the 53rd bestselling car. It’s so popular that it even beats models such as Tesla’s Model 3 and Toyota Yaris.

Tesla Model Y ranks fifth in sales but 11th in searches worldwide

Despite the rising popularity of the Tesla Model Y over the last few years, the data shows that the bubble may be bursting on Elon Musk’s family vehicle. When you look at the bestseller list, Tesla’s Model Y sits high up in third position on sales, but when you look at monthly searches compared to other vehicles, the Model Y drops out of the top ten to 11th. 

The Model 3, however, fares better than its bigger brother, at 10th on the bestseller list but sixth in the monthly search results.  Most of that surge in popularity comes from the USA, which contributed a large chunk (38%) to the overall monthly search total. In comparison, the Model Y saw 37% of searches come from the US, and despite that only being 1% less than the Model 3, it calculates to around 50,000 fewer searches a month.

BMW has twice the searches per month of Audi and 15 times more than Mercedes-Benz

Looking at the German brands, our data reveals that it’s BMW with the most searches. BMW’s search total is helped by the German manufacturer having five cars in the bestselling category, but a combined monthly search volume of 2,443,810 is impressive nonetheless.

5 Series = 133,180 monthly searches / 43rd best-selling car

3 Series = 206,030 monthly searches / 47th best-selling car

X3 = 580,800 monthly searches / 38th best-selling car

X1 = 759,750 monthly searches / 86th best-selling car

X5 = 764,050 monthly searches / 54th best-selling car

Not only this, but BMW has twice the amount of searches compared to Audi, which comes second out of the German Big Three in terms of search data. The Audi A4 and Q5, the only models in the 100 bestsellers list at 90th and 50th respectively, have a combined 1,182,140 monthly searches.

Shockingly, Mercedes-Benz only racks up a total monthly search volume of 161,470 whilst having only one more car than Audi in the top 100. The C-Class, GLC and E-Class rank 52nd, 34th and 56th respectively in the most searched list. This number is so low that BMW’s search volume is 15 times higher.


To conduct the data for this piece, Hippo Leasing first sourced the world’s bestselling cars, 2022. We then took the top 100 cars from this list and used SEO analytical tool Ahrefs to find out the search volume for each car in the top 50 most powerful countries in the world, according to WorldPopulationReview.

As some of the top 100 cars had multiple names, we combined the search volumes for all names to give the cars an overall worldwide total. There were also some cars featured in the top 100 that were only available in China, so these were removed and the world’s next bestselling cars were moved up into the top 100.

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