World’s Most ‘Instagram-Famous’ Car Not What You Might Expect

Spoiler: it's not your project car.

World’s Most ‘Instagram-Famous’ Car Not What You Might Expect

Image: Unsplash

Whether it’s people sharing photos of their rides, brands advertising their latest models or ‘inspo’ accounts cataloguing the finest vintage creations, cars are all over social media. Especially Instagram.

But if you had to guess what the most Instagram-famous car is – the one vehicle that’s more popular than any other – you might struggle to come up with a certain answer. Is it an exotic supercar, like the Lamborghini Huracán or Bugatti Chiron? Is it a classic American muscle or pony car, like the Ford Mustang? Perhaps it’s something Japanese, like a Honda Civic Type R – we all know how obsessed JDM freaks get about sharing photos of their project cars…

Nope, it’s none of those. It’s not even a sports car. It’s the Audi A8.

Earlier this year, launched a study which analysed Instagram hashtags for 200 of the world’s most popular car models and compared this to global sales figures, to reveal the number of photos shared on social media for every car sold – coming up with a final ‘Instagram score’ for each car. Plenty of cars have millions of photos on Instagram, but the real measure of fame or desirability is comparing that to total sales, which is why their methodology makes a lot of sense. (#toyotacorolla has over 800,000 posts but Toyota’s sold over 50 million of the things, for example.)

The study revealed that the Audi Q8, Land Rover Defender and Range Rover Sport have the highest Instagram score and therefore can be called the most Instagram-famous vehicles, each vehicle boasting over 400 photos on the app for every car sold, the Q8 topping the list at 620. Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Who knew more people want an Audi than a Ferrari?

Three SUVs as the top three cars is a bit of a revelation: it’s perhaps not that surprising that the Defender clinches the #2 spot (it’s a popular and iconic car), but the A8 at #1 is truly surprising. Indeed, 10 of the top 20 most ‘Instagram famous’ cars from the study are SUVs as opposed to sports or passenger cars: other popular SUVs include the Toyota Land Cruiser at #5, BMW X5 at #17 and Audi Q7 at #12. Maybe it’s not that surprising, considering how popular SUVs are among the car buying public.

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Audi had the most vehicles in the top 20 – the A7, Q3, Q7 and Q8 all making the cut and the brand itself ranking as the 2nd most popular. BMW, however, takes the gold for the most popular brand on Instagram, with over 60,000,000 hashtags and 2,028,000 global sales – that’s the equivalent of 2,963 photos per car sold. Mercedes-Benz, Subaru and Lexus round off the top 5 despite no individual models from those marques cracking the top 20 in’s rankings.

What’s the big takeaway from all this? Firstly, that people on Instagram are perhaps more realistic about the sorts of cars they admire or covet than you might expect. And secondly, if you want your post to be shared by heaps of people, put an Audi Q8 in it. It’s like automotive catnip.

Read the entire report and a more detailed explanation of their methodology here.

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