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Honda Summer Clearance

Honda claims the Civic is the best-selling small car in America. But is it really?

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Honda Summer Clearance

This radio ad for the Honda Summer Clearance invites consumers to “come check out the Civic. It’s the best-selling small car in America.”

 

But is the Civic actually the best-selling small car in America? That seems to depend on who’s counting, and when you start counting. According to the folks at the Wall Street Journal and Good Car, Bad Car, the Toyota Corolla is ahead by a nose in 2013 small car sales, and has led the entire year. On the other hand, the Civic was the best-selling small car in the United States in 2012. But the Chevrolet Cruze topped the small car charts in 2011.

So how does Honda define “best-selling small car”? Its radio ad says, quite quickly at the end of the spot, that the “best selling” claim is based on “bulk U.S. new retail registrations in the small car segment for January 2008 through March 2013.” So over a seemingly arbitrary period of slightly more than five years, the Honda Civic is indeed the best-selling small car in America.

Before looking into a best-selling car, make sure to find out who’s defining “best-selling,” and how they’re defining it. These claims can be up for debate.


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