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Most Popular Cars of the 2010s

BY: Adam Karner

From the resurgence of Star Wars on the big screen to record-shattering releases of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and more, the 2010s were filled with memorable films that helped reshape an entire industry. But it wasn’t just the film industry that transformed this decade, as automakers across the globe looked to bring their lines of vehicles into a new, more high-tech world.

Iconic vehicles like the Ford F-150, Honda Civic, and Toyota Camry stepped up their game. At the same time, the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, and Tesla Model S ushered electrification into a world once dominated by the internal combustion engine. Let’s revisit some of these more in-depth and discover more with our list of some of the most popular and best cars of the last decade.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs) weren’t as widespread back at the start of the decade as they are today, making Chevy’s Volt one of the most notable cars of the time. For many, the big selling point of the Volt was a unique powertrain that combined plug-in hybrid capability and a gas engine that served as a generator for the electric motor, giving the car a full range of around 350! This helped it quickly gain a reputation amongst consumers and pundits alike.

  • The Volt went on to win the 2011 North American Car of the Year award in its debut year.
  • Over the Volt’s lifetime (2011-2019), the electric-only range increased from 35 to 53 miles.
  • When launched, the Volt’s price started at around $41,000.

2011 Dodge Charger

A silver 2011 Dodge Charger parked on top of a concrete structure.

When it comes to cars, few names evoke the phrase “muscle car” as much as the legendary Dodge Charger. Launched in the 1960s, the Charger quickly rose through the ranks of popular cars before the energy crisis and increased safety scrutiny in the 1970s shuttered the brand. After a 20-year hiatus, however, Dodge relaunched the Charger in 2006, with the seventh generation’s debut for the 2011 model year helping put the car on a path for performance and four-door practicality

  • New styling for the seventh-generation model embraced influences from the iconic “coke bottle” Charger of the late 1960s.
  • While a six-cylinder engine served as base power, the 2011 Charger could be ordered with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 for 370 horsepower and a 155 mph top speed.
  • 2015 saw the debut of the Charger SRT Hellcat, with a 6.2-liter Hemi V8. Thanks to 707 horsepower and a 3.4-second 0-60 mph, this car gained fame as one of the most potent production sedans ever built.

2013 Ferrari LaFerrari

Hybrid technology isn’t always about maximizing fuel, as evidenced by the 2013 Ferrari LaFerrari supercar. The storied automaker launched the hybrid LeFerrari as the most powerful production car to leave its Maranello factory. A 40 percent reduction in fuel usage happened to be a byproduct of the effort.

  • The LaFerrari’s hybrid V12 powerplant produces 950 horsepower.
  • Ferrari produced only 499 examples of the original LaFerrari from 2013-2016 (an open-top “Aperta” version was also built from 2016-2018).
  • The LaFerrari is one of the most sought-after Ferrari models ever made, with some pre-owned examples selling for more than $5 million.

2015 Ford F-150

A 2015 Ford F-150 truck towing a camper trailer in front of a mountain background.

Iconic cars and the Ford F-150 go together like peanut butter and jelly, even if its looks may not turn heads like a Ferrari. Still, it does drive more Americans than anything else on the road, and it’s been the country’s best-selling vehicle for 40 years. 2015 welcomed the 13th-generation F-150 with the more blocky, upright styling that continues today with the 14th-generation.

  • Signaling the rise of the pickup as a daily driver, the 2015 F-150 was the first truck available with adaptive cruise control.
  • Power ranged from a 282-horsepower V6 to a 385-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. But a high-output twin-turbo V6 offered 450 horsepower beginning with the 2017 model year.
  • Ford sold 780,354 F-150 trucks in 2015, far exceeding the 600,544 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks purchased that year.

2016 Honda Civic

Honda introduced an all-new Honda Civic for the 2016 model year, which cast off the bland styling of the past. Sharper body angles and crisp panel lines helped give the stalwart Civic a more aggressive appearance and a leg-up looks-wise in an ever-crowded marketplace.

  • The tenth-generation Civic (2016-2021) marks the last version with a two-door coupe body style (the latest Civic is strictly a four- or five-door offering).
  • Teased in 2016 but released as a 2017 model, the Honda Civic Type R offered 306 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds
  • Honda continued the tradition of the Civic Si in 2016 (as a 2017 model), a performance-tinged version without the oomph and price tag of the Type R. A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine propels the Civic Si to 60 mph in as fast as 6.3 seconds

2011 Nissan LEAF

While the Nissan Leaf garners little attention today amid an EV-focused auto market, this zero-emissions hatchback has the distinction of being the first mass-produced EV available in the U.S. While employing a conventional five-door liftback design for practicality’s sake, Nissan gave the LEAF a heavy dose of aerodynamic treatments to help enhance the electric car range.

  • The first LEAF (a 2011 model) offered a 73-mile range, which increased to 107 miles by the end of the first generation (for the 2016 model year); a current Leaf delivers as much as 226 miles. 
  • Until it was replaced by the Tesla Model 3, the Nissan LEAF held the title of the world’s best-selling EV
  • More than 577,000 Nissan LEAFs have been sold globally.

2012 Porsche 911 (Pictured Above)

The Porsche 911 has whetted enthusiasts’ appetites for almost 60 years, and the all-new 2012 model carried on this tradition. Under Porsche’s 991 internal designation, this 911 featured a completely redesigned platform (only the third time in the model’s history), featuring a longer wheelbase and shorter body overhangs.

  • The 991 Porsche is the first 911 to be made mostly from aluminum. So despite a larger size than its predecessor, the 2012 version weighed 110 pounds less.
  • Power for the 2012 Porsche 911 came from a 3.4-liter flat-six, offering 350 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque. The top speed maxed out at 178 mph.
  • When new, a base model 2012 Porsche 911 sold for $82,100, that’s about $106,100 in 2022 money (coincidently, that’s the starting price for a 2022 911).

2012 Tesla Model S

It’s hard to argue that Tesla Model S hasn’t transformed the auto industry. Taking on luxury car benchmarks like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Model S established the idea that EVs weren’t niche vehicles. In the meantime, sleek styling and an iPad-style center console helped turn heads.

  • When most EVs offered 100 miles of range, the 208-mile range of the 2012 Model S added to Tesla’s engineering credentials. The company promises current versions of the Model S can provide almost 400 miles of range.
  • The overall design of the Model S has remained unchanged since its 2012 debut. Other than some front and rear updates, much of the Model S modifications have come from improved range, charging time, and acceleration.
  • With no engine under the hood, the Model S helped popularize the term “frunk,” a combination of the words “front” and “trunk.”

2012 Toyota Camry

A Toyota Camry might not have a stunning design or neck-slapping acceleration, but this trusty sedan has been a top seller among non-truck and non-SUV vehicles for years. 2012 marked the introduction of the seventh-generation Camry, with base power coming from a 145-horsepower four-cylinder engine.

  • The seventh-generation Camry is the first version to be available without a manual transmission. 
  • For those wanting a more engaging Camry, buyers could choose the SE trim with a sport-tuned suspension and an optional V6 engine with 268 horsepower.
  • Toyota sold 408,484 Camrys in 2013 (the first full year of seven-generation sales). 

2016 Volvo XC90

We couldn’t complete a list of the most popular cars of the 2010s without including at least one SUV, and the 2016 Volvo XC90 is the ideal addition. This rakish grocery getter was the leading edge for the Swedish brand’s transformation from boxy vehicle producer to automotive trendsetter. 

  • 2016 marks the debut of the second-generation XC90, Volvo’s first modern SUV launched for the 2003 model year.
  • Thor’s Hammer headlights, a signature of the current Volvo design, first appeared on the 2016 XC90 as a tribute to the company’s Scandinavian heritage.
  • The XC90 is the world’s first vehicle with automatic emergency braking at intersections, a feature designed to reduce head-on collisions. 

Drive Confidently with Endurance Warranty

No matter if you have one of these classics from the 2010s or any other make/model, there are a few things you, as a car owner, need to do to keep your car running. But when it comes to those repairs and breakdowns you can’t avoid, Endurance Warranty can help. 

Like a car’s original factory warranty, plans from Endurance are designed to give you peace of mind when faced with costly repair bills. So whether you’re looking for basic powertrain protection starting at just $79 a month or near factory-like coverage for almost every part of your vehicle, there’s an Endurance auto plan for you. Endurance plans are even available for select luxury brands, including Porsche, high-mileage vehicles, commercially-used cars and more. 

Better still, all Endurance plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee, flexible payment terms, and a choice of any ASE Certified mechanic or repair shop. Coverage includes 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage. You’ll even be eligible for an entire year’s worth of Endurance Elite Benefits, including even more perks and savings, including tire repairs and replacements, collision discounts, key fob replacements, and even up to $1,000 in total loss protection.

Learn how an Endurance protection plan can help you by calling our customer care team at (800) 253-8203 or get started protecting your vehicle by requesting a free, no-obligation quote. You can also explore the Endurance blog to find even more articles on all-things automotive, including a look back at other decades, DIY maintenance tips, extended warranty coverage comparisons and much more. 

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