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Top Vehicle on Instagram Isn’t Sold in the U.S. Anymore

by | April 22, 2024

Posters used to tell you all you needed to know about what was popular. For a long time, the most desirable or popular cars in the world could all be found on one well-known wall hanging, “Justification for Higher Education.” Now you only need to go to Instagram to find out what’s hot.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST gray front 3-4

The Ford Fiesta was posted 23.4 million times on Instagram in 2023 — more than any other car.

For those of you who weren’t around in the 1980s and 1990s, the poster featured a massive garage showing five exotic cars. The poster changed every few years. The original featured a Ferrari 365 GT4, Jaguar XJS, BMW Alpina B7 Turbo, Lotus Esprit and a Porsche 911 Supersport.

Now, social media has taken the place of poster sales in the helping to determine the popularity of just about anything, including cars. Few sites are better than Instagram for catching the “most popular” anything. And it’s telling us that people’s tastes have changed in the past several decades.

The most popular vehicle on the internet is … the Ford Fiesta. Yup, a small underpower sub-compact that cannot be bought new in the U.S. is on top with 23.4 million Insta posts. Why? Well, car fans will know this, but for the unenlightened, Ford produced a performance version of the hatchback, the Fiesta ST.

The hot hatch — still sold in Europe — is extremely popular, even still in the U.S. Listen to any podcast about car culture and it’s bound to come up at some point. From experience, they’re the real deal.

2024 Lexus IS 350 FSPORT driving REL

The Lexus IS was the second-most popular vehicle on IG in 2023, being posted 17 million times.

Other eye-catchers

Following the Fiesta is the Lexus IS with 17 million IG posts globally. Not only is it popular on smart phones, it’s popular on dealer lots. Toyota’s luxury brand sold nearly 825,000 of them worldwide last year, which is a 32% increase.

Trailing the Lexus is a vehicle many would expect to be at least this popular, the Nissan GT-R. A popular model for years, it received a redesign last year, spurring renewed interest in this model. The result was 10.7 million Instagram posts — and probably an uptick in selections by video game players around the world.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that may help explain while the 11th generation Honda Civic is the fourth-most posted vehicle on Instagram in 2023. It could also be they have two super hot versions of the longtime favorite, the Civic R-Type and Civic Si, tearing up roads around the world right now.

Justification for Higher Education poster 1986

The famous “Justification for Higher Education” poster was how many judged what was popular in the automotive world.

Rest of the best

The remainder of the list features some choices that won’t raise an eyebrow and one or two others that will have U.S. readers heading to Google.

The remaining vehicles on the list include:

  • Jeep Wrangler: 5.1 million posts
  • SEAT Leon: 4.9 million posts
  • Ford Mustang: 4.9 million posts
  • Mini Cooper: 4.3 million posts
  • Audi TT: 4.1 million posts
  • Toyota Land Cruiser: 4.1 million posts

Finishing just outside the top 10 were the Toyota Corolla (3.2 million), Lamborghini Huracan (2.8 million) and Vauxhall Corse (2.6 million). Didn’t find your favorite in there? Don’t worry, reportedly 66,000 new photos are shared on Instagram every 60 seconds. If you’ve got a smart phone and an IG account, you can move the needle — maybe.


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