Kelley Blue Book Names Most-Researched New Vehicles & Brands of 2011
Significant to this year's list is the absence of luxury brands among the top 20 most-researched new vehicles on kbb.com.
KBB said the BMW 3 Series held position No. 18 last year However, with uneasy economic conditions and rising gas prices during the first and second quarters of this year, analysts believe many luxury owners and intenders moved toward non-luxury brands on the site.
KBB also noted rising fuel prices also allowed the hybrid segment to thrive earlier in the year with the Toyota Prius benefitting most, moving eight spots this year to No. 9.
“Luxury brands were hit the hardest this year; not one luxury vehicle made it on Kelley Blue Book's 2011 most-researched list,” Henry stressed.
“They simply didn’t fit into many consumers’ budgets, especially with the gas price hike earlier this year,” he continued.
Since 2004, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry remain the top three most-researched new vehicles on Kbb.com.
While these models remained among the top three again in 2011, several other vehicles entered the list for the first time or shifted position.
A number of popular new or redesigned models also increased their standing for 2011 versus 2010, including the Volkswagen Jetta, up 10 positions to No. 10, and the Chevrolet Equinox, up five positions to No. 8.
KBB pointed out the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ford Explorer are new to this year’s list compared to 2010.
Analysts acknowledged many vehicles that are standard candidates on the annual most-researched vehicle list dropped in ranking during 2011.
The Toyota RAV4 fell eight positions to No. 18, while Nissan Altima decreased five positions to No. 11, and the Ford Escape fell four spots to No. 20.
Meanwhile, Toyota Highlander dropped three spots to No. 12, and the Honda Odyssey fell one position to No. 13.
The vehicles that claimed a top 20 spot on the 2010 list but did not make the cut this year were the Honda Pilot, Ford Mustang, Toyota Sienna, BMW 3 Series and Chevrolet Camaro.