By Brian Moody
Microchip shortages, fuel price hikes, supply chain issues , ports clogged with ships — it seems like the whole world is conspiring to make it harder to find and afford a car these days. Fortunately, most major brands still have plenty of vehicles to sell, even if you might have to wait a week or two to find your exact match. But availability is the easy part of the puzzle — which car should you pick?
Maybe you can take the easy route and crowdsource the decision by falling back on our 10 hottest cars of the summer, a list of the most-researched new and used cars on Autotrader, ranked in order of the number of searches. Everyone is looking at these cars, which may impact availability for a few models. Car shortages are regional issues, depending on the stock in your area. Whether or not they’re available, these 10 vehicles are clearly the hottest cars of this summer.
1. 2022 Ford F-Series
The Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +2.48% F-Series is always at or near the top of the best-seller lists, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the most-researched family of vehicles on Autotrader for 2022. The 2022 F-Series includes an incredible breadth of trucks for nearly any use case imaginable, from your standard full-size pickups like the F-150 to extreme heavy-duty trucks like the F-250, F-350, and F-450. There’s also the all-electric F-150 Lightning and the off-road-ready F-150 Raptor for those who seek something out of the ordinary.
2. 2022 Jeep Wrangler
Legendary off-road ability, the most enviable aftermarket and community support on the planet, and iconic good looks, too? Yes, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler is almost too good to be true. Still, despite the impressive pedigree, it requires a dedicated fan to make allowances for its somewhat uncivilized on-road behavior. Still, with such capability on tap for a starting price below $30,000, it’s no surprise it’s one of the hottest cars of the summer.
3. 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Silverado is a long-time favorite due to its performance, wide variety of trim levels, and impressive capability. With an all-new interior borrowed from GM’s full-size SUV line, the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 adds some pep and some tech to the mix to sweeten the deal further. New for 2022, the High Country trim is available with GM’s /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +1.92% Super Cruise autonomous driving system; the base 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gains 72 lb-ft of torque, and there’s a new off-road-focused ZR2 variant.
4. 2022 Ford Mustang
Whether you’re looking for a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 or something in between, the Ford Mustang has what you need at a bargain price. Yes, the top-of-the-line Mustang GT500 starts at nearly $75,000, but that ticket buys you a 760-horsepower rocketship that corners like it thinks it’s a Porsche. Not that the good old 5.0-liter V8’s 450 horsepower (or 470 in Mach 1 trim) is anything to sniff at.
5. 2022 Chevrolet Corvette
A mid-engine American super-sports car on the most-researched list? What gives? Well, it’s a Corvette, and whatever the formula, it’s an American icon, doubly so when it manages to take the fight to the European royalty and win on their turf. A track-focused Corvette Z06 is on the horizon for 2023. In the meantime, there’s the IMSA GT LM Championship C8.R Edition, which adds a dose of Accelerate Yellow or Hypersonic Gray exterior paint, yellow brake calipers, unique wheels, and a high-wing spoiler to the standard Corvette 3LT’s bag of tricks.
6. 2022 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma has become a standard option in the off-road crowd, almost as popular as the Jeep Wrangler and perhaps even more so with some folks. It’s backed by Toyota’s /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +1.14% reliability and build quality. This truck also boasts robust aftermarket support from decades of Tacoma trucks roaming the roads, asphalt and otherwise. The Tacoma’s innate off-road capability and real midsize pickup truck utility have also carried it to such heights, even though it’s competing with a legend.
7. 2022 Ram 1500
If there’s a job that needs doing, the Ram 1500 is ready to do it. With diesel, V6, V8, and even hybrid powertrains available, plus an excellent infotainment system, available air suspension, and lots of storage options, the Ram 150 is an easy pick for a do-work pickup truck. If you’re after something extra, like serious off-road performance, there’s the 702-horsepower Ram 1500 TRX. Those seeking more luxury might prefer a standard 5.7-liter Hemi V8, and the Laramie, Rebel, Limited, or Limited Longhorn trims.
8. 2022 Honda Civic
If there’s a more beloved compact than the Honda /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +0.68% Civic, someone should let the American public know because it’s been one of the top three best-selling passenger cars in the U.S. since 1973. The current model is all-new for 2022, with everything from the base model to the Si to the Type R getting ground-up redesigns. The new model builds on the strengths of its predecessors while improving efficiency, performance, and technology.
9. 2022 GMC Sierra 1500
The GMC is the upscale corporate cousin of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and is just as ready for hard work. Updated for 2022 with an updated exterior look and new interior, the GMC Sierra 1500 is dressed for success, and equipped for it, too. The key upgrades match the Silverado’s, with an upgraded turbocharged 2.7-liter engine. However, GMC also adds its AT4X off-road-focused trim and the all-new, even more luxurious Denali Ultimate.
10. 2022 Toyota Tundra
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is all-new, with a hybrid powertrain option and no V8. This forward-looking take on the full-size pickup segment might explain why so many people are researching the 2022 Tundra. But then so might the chiseled new body styling, the corrosion-resistant composite bed, or the 389-horsepower, 479-pound-foot twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain. Whatever the reason, those with a taste for leather and power moonroofs will enjoy the a la carte options, although the Premium and 1794 trims bundle together a range of popular features and luxury upgrades. If you prefer the previous body style and V8 power, there are plenty of used Tundras, too.
10 hottest cars of summer 2022
2022 Ford F-Series
2022 Jeep Wrangler
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2022 Ford Mustang
2022 Chevrolet Corvette
2022 Toyota Tacoma
2022 Ram 1500
2022 Honda Civic
2022 GMC Sierra 1500
2022 Toyota Tundra