Pickups, SUVs dominate map of most popular vehicles by state


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The map that follows shows “States that Love Vans,” meaning states where the most vans are sold. Not surprisingly, they are the states with the most people. A map of “States that Love Asparagus” would look almost the same.

So I’d be kind of curious how they measured popularity. A good friend of mine has an F-150, but he drives it about once a week, to haul materials. He probably puts 20 miles on his Passat for every one mile on the truck. Are both vehicles equally “popular?”


Also, if you want a full-sized pickup truck, you have about five options. If you want a car (but not an SUV), you have dozens of options, so the pick-up population is stacked into just a few piles.


I want an all wheel drive wagon, manual shift, and preferably a turbo. I’d actually love to see more vans on the road than SUV’s. I would find it extremely interesting to see the marketing of pickups and SUVs by the manufacturers. I have a deep suspicion the “demand” is created through marketing.

Do you live in a state with snow? You need the “safety” of a SUV. Do you have kids? You need the “room” of an SUV. etc…

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Just think of all that lumber being transported, livestock being taken to market, cows wrangled, cabins being built, and wilderness tamed by these hard-working rugged tools for manly-men.


In the days before federal fuel mileage standards, almost every car model had a wagon in the lineup, from the VW Squareback to the Buick Roadmaster.

Because those mileage limits applied to cars but not to trucks, manufacturers determined that they could best get their fleet averages under the limit by discontinuing wagons and building more trucks and SUV’s for people who want to carry more than what a sedan’s trunk will hold.

This is called the “law of unintended consequences” and it trumps every law on the books, every time it’s tested.


Everything every commentator above has said has some truth, but one only has to visit North America from virtually anywhere else in the world to understand that Americans (and Canadians) love big cars. Even the regular old sedans are generally larger in that part of the world.


Not only SUVs, but all products.

That graphic is not too surprising, given that the F150 has been the best selling vehicle in the US for the past 32 years in a row.

I would imagine the results have something to do with the reality that nearly every construction company and every municipality across the country purchase Ford F-150s exclusively for their fleets.


OK, so California, Nevada, Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts. That’s seven with cars rather than pickups or SUVs. Is there another?

The F150, Silverado, and 1500 are all popular fleet vehicles. They are commonly used by construction firms. Most of them also have trim options for work vehicles such as the Silverado W/T (work truck) option, the F150 plow prep option, The RAM 1500 has a Tradesman Pickup package. All of these are designed to appeal to the largest buyer segment for these vehicles - fleet managers.
Check out this ad from Ford to see why the F150 is listed as the “most popular vehicle” It owns the commercial truck market.

If they want to see what is actually the most popular vehicle among actual people who actually drive what they buy, they will need to exclude fleet and business sales. I suspect the outcome would be very different.


Well, what people choose to spend their money on is a measure of popularity. Your friend didn’t buy a car that costs 20 times as much as the F-150, which might reflect him liking his car twenty times as much, but instead spent about the same (or more) on the truck.

Good point - you can measure in miles or dollars, the results might mean more than simply counting vehicles.

I’d like to see a county by county break down. I suspect the Prius is giving the F-150 serious competition in the popularity contest in my county.


Arizona? A Grand Caravan isn’t an SUV…

I’m assuming in Washington, the F-150s are for towing watercraft. Because I think there have got to be more Subaru Outbacks and Priuses (Pri…i?) in general use on the roads. Even the local cab company has a fleet of Prius.


Good FSM, I forgot about the cabs! I wasn’t even thinking about 'em when I commented, just the normal, privately owned ones.

That might be it. I think it would be considered an SUV in my country, but the definition’s vague. Similarly, we’d consider a CR-V to be an SUV, but it’s more at the car-ish end of the scale.

It’s officially an SUV in the U.S.