Year In Review: The 10 Biggest Winners And Losers Of 2016

If you’re looking to find the most popular and unpopular cars of the past year, the best way to do so is to crunch some numbers.

That’s exactly what Bloomberg did, looking at data showing demand spikes and collapses through November this year, thus coming up with a list of cars that may not be the most popular or the best-selling models, but in terms of growth, they’ve definitely stood out the most, be it in a positive or negative way.

Also, while some of these vehicles might look like no-brainers, others, like the Infiniti QX50 or the BMW 6-Series might surprise you – though for completely different reasons. So without further ado, we’re going to let the numbers speak for themselves.


#1. Infiniti QX50 (+272%)

As Infiniti’s second-smallest SUV model, the QX50 fits quite nicely in the driveways of 2016, a year in which crossovers have taken over the world, while even causing declining sales in some of the most popular segments – such as 4-door mid-size saloons. The QX50 may not be as enticing as a Porsche Macan or a brand spanking new Audi Q5, but people seem to like it anyway, according to the data.

#2. Mercedes-Benz GLE (+221%)

And here we thought Mercedes buyers were running out of ways of buying slightly unpractical models such as the CLA, CLS, or any of their Coupe-styled SUVs. But no, it seems that the regular GLE has been doing rather well this year in terms of sales growth, even topping both the E-Class and the GLC in the US.

#3. Volvo XC90 (+202%)

Volvo’s award-winning all-new XC90 seems to be in just about everybody’s top 10 of “something”. It boasts a completely new platform, engine lineup and styling, and if you’re out looking for ways to feel different behind the wheel of a premium SUV, the XC90 might just offer you a fresh take on luxury.

#4. Audi TT (+201%)

Audi has sold about 3,000 TT models in 2016 and considering the times we live in, that’s a pretty impressive number. On top of that, the TT has been very successful with reviewers these past 12 months and the fact that it has one of, if not the best cabin in its segment, surely went a long way to attracting new owners.

#5. BMW X1 (+88%)

BMW’s all-new X1 is basically the right type of car for 2016. Another small SUV for people who like that sort of thing (mostly everyone nowadays), but also one that is a massive improvement over the car it replaces, from just about all points of view. It’s not a perfect car, according to reviewers, but that hasn’t stopped people from opening up their wallets.


#1. Kia K900 (-68%)

It seems that not even LeBron James was good enough to keep the K900 afloat this year. Kia’s flagship model took a huge tumble in terms of sales and while it may have been quite the novelty item back in 2014, now it just seems to be a step behind the competition.

#2. Chrysler 200 (-65%)

The 200 has clearly struggled to keep up with its rivals from Honda and Toyota lately and that’s mainly why FCA is phasing it out. Also, not too long ago, the Chrysler 200 ranked among the 10 least reliable new cars due to issues with its nine-speed automatic transmission.

#3. Fiat 500L (-60%)

The 500L has always been a “love it or hate it” type of car, and those never tend to do very well when it comes to overall sales. Besides, US buyers would much rather spend money on the 500L’s sibling, the Jeep Renegade – which sort of looks less peculiar.

#4. BMW 6-Series (-46%)

While the BMW 6-Series can be a bit of a jack of all trades, trying to decide between the 4-door Gran Coupe, or the Coupe/Cabrio versions can feel a bit redundant seen as how they don’t really differ much in terms of space. So then, could the GC version be the problem? Since buyers obviously prefer coupe SUVs (X6) to saloons, let’s go ahead and say yes.

#5. Honda Fit (-43%)

The Honda Fit is generally thought of as a pretty good little car thanks to it’s excellent interior space to exterior size ratio. However, since this is 2016 and the Fit looks more like a tiny van than it does a crossover, buyers have clearly started to overlook it.

  • IFDU

    -I guess KIA will learn to invest more into this upcoming GT that SHOULD be the K900’s replacement. KIA should go no further than the GT in pricing and stay the volume/sport brand while Hyundai focuses on Genesis (sounding like a broken record here). The K900 would make a wonderful second hand used vehicle for less than or around 30 grand. Nice, but it was nothing great.
    -Honda Fit sales drop from obvious HR-V introduction.
    -200/Fiat 500L speaks for themselves.

  • Nordschleife

    That 272% increase in the QX50 is probably why they are showing another concept QX50 at Detroit instead of the official production car. Smh

  • Antonio Bošković

    6 series is getting old thats why it doesnt sell, also i believe gc version isn’t the problem because it outsells coupe version

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    I really don’t get the QX50 at all. Although, its been lighty refreshed and lengthened, it is still a 2008 model at heart. I guess those extra couple inches make a big difference?

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