Most Popular Cars

Top 10 most-searched vehicles in Autotrader history

ATLANTA - 

Coinciding with its 20th anniversary, Autotrader on Monday compiled a list of the 10 most-searched vehicles on its website since it was established in 1997.

Moving past the days of fliers and circulars to reaching shoppers now, attached to their smartphones, Autotrader has hosted more than 2 billion car shoppers during the past 20 years and featured more than 350 million vehicle listings. 

Looking back to when dealers had to use computer modems to upload inventory, the 10 most-searched vehicles on Autotrader include:

1. Ford F-Series
2. Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
3. Jeep Wrangler
4. RAM 1500/2500
5. Chevrolet Camaro
6. Toyota Tacoma
7. Ford Mustang
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee
9. Chevrolet Tahoe
10. Toyota Tundra

This list is based on search history on Autotrader from July 2009 to July of this year.

“Autotrader invented online car shopping and constantly strives to re-imagine the category,” said Brian Geitner, president of Cox Automotive Media Solutions. “The transformation of our brand and the car shopping experience go hand-in-hand, and we’ll continue to adapt and enhance Autotrader as consumer behaviors and appetites change.”

Autotrader’s beginning coincides with the rise of the Internet era and its impact on how consumers received information. Paper-based vehicle listings were steadily eclipsed by a more convenient and up-to-date online inventory experience for both the buyer and the seller.

Video and editorial content, along with user-generated reviews and the introduction of Autotrader’s mobile app soon followed, helping better educate consumers looking to find and buy their next vehicle.

“We’ve always tried to stay ahead of the curve,” said Chuck Nasiadka, director of pre-owned operations with Baglier Automotive in Butler, Pa. “We went online with Autotrader using a laptop and dial-up service somewhere between 2000 and 2001. I’ve placed my faith in the fact they were there first, they have the most knowledge in the space and shoppers still mention Autotrader the most.”

US midsize sedan popularity drops as shoppers shift interest to SUVs

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - 

Once the No. 1 top-selling vehicle segment as recently as 2014, midsize sedans have been bumped to fifth by compact SUVs, large trucks, midsize SUVs and compact cars, according to Edmunds. respectively. 

The latest analysis data from Edmund’s shows market share for midsize sedans is now just 10.7 percent.

This is the segment’s lowest share since 1991 when Edmunds first began its tracking, according to the company.

Roughly 24 percent of midsize sedan owners who trade their vehicles in and buy a new car purchase a small SUV, compared to just 16.9 percent of owners three years ago, according to Edmunds.

“While it’s common for consumer tastes to change over time, it’s surprising to see just how quickly shoppers have made the switch from sedans to SUVs,” Edmunds executive director of industry analysis Jessica Caldwell said in a news release.

“As recently as three years ago, the Accord made up nearly 30 percent of all of Honda’s sales in the U.S., and so far in 2017 it’s down to 22 percent. Now that shoppers can now get an SUV for a similar price as a sedan and not have to pay much more at the pump, it’s hard to convince them the smaller vehicle is a better choice,” she explained.

Despite the declining interest in the midsize sedan, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord remain two of the most popular cars in the U.S.

Though popularity for both vehicles has also waned in recent years, Edmunds said the Asian brands have continued to out-perform others within the midsize sedan segment.

“As the pool of buyers shrinks, you have to put out that much better of a product to keep your share of the segment, and that’s exactly what Honda and Toyota are trying to do with the new Accord and Camry,” Caldwell added.

“Both are leaning on edgier design and a sportier image to convince shoppers that their vehicle is the stylish, fun choice in a segment that has a reputation for being overtly practical.”

As shopper interest in SUVs and other segments continues to grow, it’s unlikely the midsize sedan segment will ever have the popularity it once had among American car buyers, according to Edmunds.

8 findings from Swapalease.com NFL & Cars Survey

CINCINNATI - 

Well, here’s a title Tom Brady and the New England Patriots didn’t win.

With Friday marking the first official day of fall and football season already in full swing, Swapalease.com shared results of its NFL & Cars Survey, where thousands of drivers across the country made predictions about their favorite NFL teams, and also paired up certain vehicles and features with their favorite teams.

Swapalease.com presented the online survey to more than 2,500 drivers across the country during August.

The majority of those polled say their favorite team is the New York Giants with 11.3 percent of participants picking that squad, followed by the New England Patriots at 9.3 percent.

However, most believe the Patriots will win the Super Bowl this year (20.7 percent), followed by Dallas (10.1 percent), Green Bay (9.3 percent) and Oakland (6.8 percent). Brady and the Patriots are seeking their sixth championship this season.

Respondents also said they would vote Tesla Model S (22.8 percent) as Car of the Year, followed by the BMW 5 Series (8.7 percent).

When asked which model would make the best NFL team name, most said Vipers (32.6 percent), followed by Mustangs (22.6 percent), Challengers (11.9 percent), Teslas (8.9 percent) and Volts (7.4 percent).

When asked what those polled would do if their vehicle was destroyed in a hurricane, more men said they would replace it with the exact same make and model while more women said they would replace it with the same make but different model.

Other key findings:

Which NFL team reminds you of a car with a broken muffler?

Women said Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. Men said Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and N.Y. Jets.

Which NFL team reminds you of a rusty car?

Women said Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. Men said Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.

What is your favorite car feature?

Women said blind spot monitoring, large LCD touch display, collision avoidance and lane departure warning. Men said voice command, auto parallel park, large LCD touch display and driverless car.

Shopper interest in luxury sport, coupe segments on rise

SAN FRANCISCO - 

Car shoppers have recently shown increased interest in segments such as luxury sport, coupe, luxury sport sedan and large SUVs, according to Jumpstart Automotive Media’s latest shopper interest data report.

From July to August, across Jumpstart’s portfolio of sites, shopper interest in the luxury sport segment grew 28 percent; the coupe segment grew 15 percent; the luxury sport sedan grew 14 percent; and the large SUV segment grew 12 percent, according to the report.

For luxury sport vehicles like the Jaguar F-Type, shopper interest has risen by 51 percent so far this year.

And among coupes, the report found that shopper interest in the Toyota 86 rose 44 percent between July and August.

Since Q1 of 2016, when the automaker’s Scion FR-S model led all interest in coupes, Toyota has not led the segment, according to Jumpstart.

“This is the second straight month where Toyota has been a headliner in shopper interest for its vehicles in certain categories, with its C-HR Subcompact Crossover making the largest jump in interest for its segment in June,” Jumpstart strategic insights senior analyst Colin Thomas said in a news release. “The brand has done a remarkable job with vehicles recently, tapping into key performance and design attributes that shoppers are seeking today.”

Additionally, for the large SUV segment, interest for the Chevrolet Tahoe grew 26 percent from July to August, and so far this year interest in the Ford Expedition has increased by 44 percent.

Ford dominates German consumer brand loyalty rankings

FRANKFURT, Germany and SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - 

German drivers are most loyal to the Ford brand, according to IHS Markit which tracked nearly 340,000 vehicle transactions that occurred in Germany between August 2016 and July of this year.

IHS Markit's latest analysis on German shoppers' loyalty found that an overwhelming 73.5 percent of German consumers return to market for Ford brand vehicles.

The business information provider’s brand loyalty rates reflect how often consumers return to market for a new vehicle and acquires a vehicle of the same brand.

Behind Ford is smart, with 72.6 percent loyalty, followed by Volkswagen at 72.1 percent loyalty, according to IHS Markit.

And among premium brands, Mercedes customers are most loyal.

Roughly, 84 percent of new Mercedes owners return to market for new Mercedes vehicles, the study found, followed by BMW at 70.7 percent and Audi at 62.9.

“We are excited to bring this unique new analysis to customers in the German automotive market,” IHS Markit sales and marketing solutions vice president Steve Had said in a news release. “This effort highlights the ongoing successes of automakers and brands that continue to win back customers in this hyper-competitive environment and paves the way for manufacturers to engage in more targeted and efficient marketing efforts based on this insight.”

Additionally, brands with the most improved loyalty year-over-year according to IHS Markit analysis include SEAT with a 15.5 percentage improvement, followed by Lada, with 7 percentage points and Suzuki with a 6.4 percentage point improvement.

As for this year’s most improved premium brands, Jaguar’s loyalty improved by 2.6 percentage points since last year, followed by Volvo with 2.2 percentage points and Mercedes, which improved by a percentage point.

Study: Entry luxury sedans interest up

SAN FRANCISCO - 

Data from Jumpstart Automotive Media's latest shopper insight reports reveals that longer ad campaigns see higher click-thru rates and, athough loyalty has continued to recently drop for entry luxury sedans, the segment remains the No. 1 most-shopped luxury segment on Jumpstart sites.

Interestingly, while loyalty for entry luxury sedans is down 7-percent from the same time last year, according to Jumpstart’s August Path to Purchase report, currently shopper interest in the segment shows a 9-percent increase since last year, as well.

Loyalty also dropped by 4-percent from Q1 to Q2 of this year, according to the report.

“As interest grows in this segment, there’s also competition from other cross-shopped segments that is diminishing loyalty for entry luxury sedan shoppers, such as midsize luxury sedan and midsize sedan,” Jumpstart strategic insights and analytics senior director Aline Hilsabeck said in a news release.

Jumpstart suggests new vehicle and model options within the midsize sedan segment continues to increase competition for shopper interest.

With year-over-year shopper growth of 37-percent, midsize sedans currently make up the highest number of hybrid models, according to Jumpstart.

“All the varying vehicle sizes, as well as alternate fuel options, are giving today’s shoppers a tremendous amount of options to choose from,” added Hilsabeck. “This certainly explains why there is a lot of interest for entry luxury, but why it’s also seeing some of the biggest increases in cross-shopping today.”

Longer ad campaigns' impact on ROI

Meanwhile, in regards to shopper interest overall, longer ad campaigns see higher click-thru rates than short-flighted ones because car shoppers are beginning their research with narrow consideration sets and spending less time making purchase decisions, according to Jumpstart’s "The Long Run: Why Constant Brand Presence Matters" report released in August.

Jumpstart found that most shoppers start their research considering just three brands, two body styles and three models.

Following their research, the report shows that 93 percent of car shoppers make a purchase in about four months, and 68 percent were found to finish within a month, according to the report.

The click-thru rate of one month-long ad campaigns averages 0.06 percent, compared to 0.08 percent at four plus months.

Both two-month and three-month-long campaigns average 0.07 percent.

Additionally, the report shows longer ad campaigns also yield lower costs per visits and visitor.

The following lists how campaign length affects ROI by month:

  • 1 Month — CTR Rate: 0.06 percent, Cost Per Visitor: $30.58, Cost Per Visits: $17.34
  • 2 Months — 0.07 percent,  $19.59, $10.63
  • 3 Months — 0.07 percent, $7.50, $4.01
  • 4+ Months — 0.08 percent, $7.55, $3.71

The report is based on over 4,000 Tier-3 dealer digital marketing campaigns that ran across the U.S. last year, according to Jumpstart.

Study: US car buyers’ satisfaction with domestic brands drops

ANN ARBOR, Mich., - 

While foreign-made vehicles continue to have the highest driver satisfaction, customer satisfaction with American vehicles remains strained, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

“Overall, the gap between international and domestic manufacturers has widened because of the downturn for U.S. cars,” ACSI said in a news release announcing the findings of its ACSI Automobile Report 2017.

Of the 25 automakers the ACSI examined for its latest report, 12 brands have improved from a year ago, and eight have declined.  Four of the eight automakers are domestic brands.

U.S. companies have fallen to a score of 80 on the ACSI scale of 0 to 100, while European Japanese and Korean manufacturers each carry an ACSI score of 82.

Among Detroit automakers specifically, GM is the only brand to improve customer satisfaction this year.

GM leads with an ACSI score of 82, then Ford at 81, followed by Fiat Chrysler at 77, according to ACSI.

While Jeep saw an increase of 3 percent this year, with an ACSI score of 80, the brand trails GM.

Additionally, GM’s GMC, with a score of 84, is the only domestic nameplate to make the ACSI’s top five list.

Seventy-seven percent of the above-average nameplates in the ACSI are foreign imports.

With an ACSI score of 86, Toyota is the highest-scoring automaker this year in both mass-market and luxury-vehicle categories.

Interestingly, Honda’s ACSI score dropped 6 percent this year and joins Chevrolet with a score of 81. Chevrolet saw its customer satisfaction fall by 2 percent.

ACSI surveyed 3,934 customers, chosen at random via email between July 1, 2016, and June 20, 2017, for the report, according to the company.

You can also view the entire report.

Just 3 brands see lift in Q2 lease-transfer traffic

CINCINNATI - 

When it comes to consumers taking over someone's vehicle lease contract, they appear to be pretty particular about which brands they are considering.

According to its quarterly lease trends report for the second quarter released on Tuesday, Swapalease.com discovered only three badges increased in search traffic from the first quarter. That group included Infiniti, Ram and Chrysler, which saw a rise in search traffic by 10 percent, 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Among domestic brands, the report showed GMC saw the largest decrease in the quarter for search traffic. The brand saw its level soften by 12 percent. A year ago, Swapalease.com pointed out that GMC’s brand searches were up by 14 percent, showing that consumers may be turning their attention elsewhere for leases.

For European brands, the report indicated Volkswagen saw the biggest dip in search traffic, decreasing by 11 percent compared with the first quarter. Not a single brand in the European category increased in search traffic this quarter.

Within the Asian brand category, the report noted Acura performed the worst, decreasing in traffic by 11 percent.

Infiniti claimed its position as the largest share of overall traffic (10 percent). A year ago, it was Ram that boasted the most search traffic out of all categories.

Swapalease.com determined the average monthly payment on a lease in Q2 came in at $474.39, which is a slight change from Q1 when the average payment was $436.35.

BMW is currently the most expensive brand to lease with an average monthly payment of $862. Conversely, Volkswagen is the most inexpensive brand to lease with an average monthly payment of $318.

The report also mentioned that higher-priced leases — monthly payments above $500 — saw increases in the second quarter compared with the first, possibly indicating continued strength in the economy.

“Our second quarter lease trends report shows that leasing remains strong in the automotive marketplace today, with increases in value of payment and number of leases in the driveways,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com.

“We’re also seeing growth in SUVs, crossovers and sports cars interest, which mirrors much of what is taking place in the broader automotive market today,” Hall added.

The complete Q2 report can be downloaded here.

Study reveals men's & women’s favorite car colors

BOSTON - 

iSeeCars.com recently released the findings of its latest annual Car Color Preferences by Gender Study, which found that men's interest in yellow and orange vehicles has significantly increased this year.

The study also found that men’s new preferred car color is yellow.

Last year, orange ranked first among men.

Women’s current favorite car color is teal. The study reveals they have a stronger preference for teal cars by 19.0 percent.

More details on preferences 

Since last year, men’s preference for yellow cars increased 63.8 percent, and their preference for orange cars increased 41.7 percent. 

iSeeCars said an increase in market share of yellow convertibles could explain men’s growing preference for yellow.

Convertibles made up only 11.8 percent of yellow cars in the study in 2015, and last year that number rose to 13.9 percent, according to the automotive data and research company.

Because convertibles make up only 1.9 percent of all cars, iSeeCars.com suggests that this finding illustrates men’s stronger interest in sporty and flashy cars when compared to women.

Currently, men favor yellow more than women do by 33.9 percent, followed by orange (32.6 percent) and black (14.2 percent), according to the study.

As for the results among women, iSeeCars found that since the first color preferences study in 2013, this is the first year that teal has shown up in the women’s rankings.

Ranking fifth at 4.3 percent, green also appears on the women’s list for the first time.

iSeeCars said teal reflects an interest in more practical cars, such as minivans.

While the minivan makes up just 3.7 percent of all cars, 7.8 percent of all teal vehicles are minivans, according to the site.

Additional differences

“Men and women don’t just like different colors,” Phong Ly, iSeeCars.com chief executive officer said in a news release. “Our research shows men’s preferences are much stronger than women’s, and the top color choices for both of them have actually grown to the highest percentages we’ve seen in four years.”

Additionally, men's and women’s differing preferences are also reflected in the prices they wish to pay as well, according to Ly.

“If you compare prices for pre-owned cars, the average price for men’s favorite colors is 22 percent more expensive than women’s favorite colors,” he said.

Men’s top-ranked yellow cars are 86 percent more expensive than women’s teal cars, according to iSeeCars.com.

On average, the cars in the colors men prefer cost $3,258 more than women’s choices.

The study found that among women, $14,938 is the average used-car price for the colors they prefer, compared to $18,196 for the colors men favor.

The average used price for a yellow car is $20,601, while the average for teal cars is just $11,053.

iSeeCars.com looked at data from consumer car inquiries between calendar years 2015 and 2016.

The site said it analyzed more than 700,000 consumer inquiries and nearly 30 million car sales to identify car color preferences by gender.

According to the company, it categorized male and female study responses based on participants’ first names.

Data shows rising interest in subcompact SUVs, CUVs

SAN FRANCISCO - 

If an “up” walked into your showroom or went by your dealership website searching for a subcompact model, new information from Jumpstart Automotive Media shows there’s a good chance that shopper was looking for the smallest versions of a CUV or SUV.

This week, Jumpstart Automotive Media released its monthly share of shopper interest data, which indicated subcompact SUVs and CUVs saw a 37-percent increase in interest across Jumpstart’s portfolio of sites in the first half of this year when compared to the first half of 2016.

Additionally, Jumpstart noticed the subcompact SUV/CUV segment ranked as the 11th most-shopped vehicle category in the first half of this year, jumping from 22nd.

“No other vehicle segment saw that much of a lift in this timeframe,” Jumpstart said.

Consumers researching and shopping for models such as the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and the newly launched Toyota C-HR (a top 10 most-shopped model on Jumpstart sites during June) drove much of this increase.

In addition to the HR-V and C-HR, the Kia Stonic, Hyundai Kona, Ford’s upcoming Eco Sport, which join already established models such as the Kia Soul, are among the “hottest vehicles of today and tomorrow,” according to Jumpstart.

The latest report also mentioned Toyota, Kia, and Tesla were the top brands shopped on Jumpstart sites during the first half of 2017. Toyota increased its brand share to 7.1 percent, (up 15 percent year-over-year) on the strength of the Camry/C-HR and its Hybrid models.

The Toyota Camry (up 56 percent), Camry Hybrid (up 84 percent), Highlander Hybrid (up 65 percent) and C-HR (up 728 percent) all saw significant gains versus the first half of 2016.

Kia raised its brand share to 3.1 percent, representing a 36-percent lift, stemming primarily from its new 2017 hybrid subcompact SUV Niro (launched in 2017), future model Stinger (that was revealed to public during this year’s auto shows), a redesigned Rio and shopper interest in the Soul and Sorento models.

While it still holds an overall small percentage of shopper interest across Jumpstart sites, analysts noted Tesla grew its brand share to 1.0 percent, marking a 122-percent spike with the Model X driving much of this growth (up 224 percent).

“New and redesigned models will often win the attention of car and truck shoppers, especially when new styles, features and performance are highlighted,” said Libby Murad-Patel, vice president marketing and strategic insights at Jumpstart.

“That being said, we’re keeping a close eye on the subcompact utility space, which offers a unique blend of versatility, comfort, value and functionality that appeals to a wide range of consumers,” Murad-Patel continued.

Other key shopping trends from the first half of 2017 included:

• Honda CR-V was the third most-shopped vehicle during the first half of 2017 after Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang.

• Toyota Camry (redesign) share grew 56 percent from Q1 2016, making it one of the top 10 most-shopped vehicles during the first half of this year.

• Ford Expedition (redesign) share rose 70 percent from Q1 2016, making it one of the top 25 most-shopped vehicles during the first half of this year.

• BMW 5-Series (redesign) share climbed 83 percent from Q1 2016, making it one of the top 75 most-shopped vehicles during the first half of this year.

• In June, launch vehicles Toyota C-HR and Volkswagen Atlas had the best months for share of interest. The C-HR cracked the top 10 most-shopped models, with a month-over-month interest growth of 179 percent. Atlas rose to the top 25 most-shopped models, with a month-over-month interest growth of 50 percent.