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There's only one commonality between all of 2017's hottest U.S. vehicles.

None of them are passenger cars.

Americans are fleeing passenger cars in droves. Instead, they're embracing roomy crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks with vastly improved fuel economy over days gone by.

"If a manufacturer was strong in pickups and sport-utilities, they had a great year," AutoTrader.com analyst Michelle Krebs said. "If they were heavier on cars than sport-utility vehicles, less so."

Here were 2017's five hottest-selling vehicles, in alphabetic order, based on an (admittedly somewhat subjective) assessment of momentum and sales:

Audi Q5: The mid-size crossover retained its crown as the Volkswagen Group luxury brand's best seller in 2017 and extended its lead over the next-closest model.

A recent redesign added a fresh dose of momentum to a vehicle that was already hot. The company sold 57,640 units of the Q5 in 2017, up 16.3% on the year.

Audi of America President Scott Keogh said the vehicle "is rocking and rolling" heading into the new year, when Audi expects to introduce a large SUV called the Q8.

 

Buick Envision: The General Motors model has answered the industry's longstanding question of whether Americans would buy a vehicle assembled in China.

The answer, it turns out, is a resounding yes.

The Envision, which GM began importing from China in spring 2016, has been a hit with consumers.

GM sold 41,040 units of the Envision in 2017, making it Buick's third-best seller. If it were a Cadillac, the Envision would rank as the brand's second-best seller.

Ford F-series: The Blue Oval automaker's marquee nameplate easily maintained its title as the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Sales were up 9.3% for the year.

With sales of 896,764 units for the year, the vehicle accounted for more than 5% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2017.

Challenges loom on the horizon, though, as GM preps a redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, and as Fiat Chrysler readies a redesigned Ram pickup.

Nissan Rogue: The crossover vehicle represented more than 25% of all U.S. vehicles sold by Nissan in 2017.

With 403,465 vehicles sold, up 22.3% for the year, it far outpaced the stalwart Nissan Altima's sales total of 254,996 for the title of Nissan's bestseller.

The company continued to capitalize on the Rogue's lucky break when Disney named its 2016 Star Wars spinoff movie Rogue One. But strong design, marketing and appeal to both families and Millennials didn't hurt, either.

Toyota RAV4: The RAV4 captured the title of best-selling U.S. vehicle for the Japanese automaker in 2017.

With sales of 407,594 units, the RAV4 edged the legendary Camry sedan's 387,081 for the top slot.

For an automaker long known for its prowess in passenger cars, that's a momentous turn of events.

Toyota group vice president Jack Hollis said the automaker's goal for the year was 400,000 sales of the RAV4. The vehicle, he said, has doubled its sales in three years.

A recent redesign has kept the model fresh and offered buyers who want to switch from sedans to a roomier ride a chance to stay with Toyota.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

 

 

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