Kelley Blue Book Names Most-Researched New Vehicles & Brands of 2011
Turns out, the most-researched new vehicles of 2011 on Kelley Blue Book’s website all are manufactured by the top five brands with the greatest share of market interest for this year.
KBB’s top five brands with greatest share of market interest among new-vehicle shoppers included:
1. Toyota with 14.2 percent.
2. Ford with 13.5 percent.
3. Honda with 12.8 percent.
4. Chevrolet with 11.5 percent.
5. Hyundai with 7.5 percent.
As a result, Kbb.com’s top 20 most-researched new vehicles of 2011 include:
1. Honda Civic
2. Honda Accord
3. Toyota Camry
4. Honda CR-V
5. Ford F-150
6. Hyundai Sonata
7. Hyundai Elantra
8. Chevrolet Equinox
9. Toyota Prius
10. Volkswagen Jetta
11. Nissan Altima
12. Toyota Highlander
13. Honda Odyssey
14. Toyota Corolla
15. Ford Fusion
16. Ford Focus
17. Ford Explorer
18. Toyota RAV4
19. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
20. Ford Escape
KBB analysts think this year’s success story is the Hyundai Elantra, entering the top 20 most-researched new vehicles list at No. 7, jumping 29 positions from a year ago. They contend Elantra’s victory can be attributed to the vehicle’s top-rated fuel efficiency, affordability, superior redesign and Hyundai's increased popularity among consumers.
“Hyundai’s Elantra resonated with kbb.com visitors earlier this year with its redesign releasing as gas prices were soaring; and due to its styling, it remains top-of-mind among new-car shoppers,” explained Arthur Henry, manager of market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book.
“Hyundai was able to knock it out of the park two years in rows with the Sonata and now the Elantra, which is maintaining brand loyalty and changing public perception,” Henry continued.
KBB reiterated that Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Hyundai (respectively) are the top five brands with the highest share of market interest. KBB defined the share as the percent of new-vehicle shopper activity for a particular brand on Kbb.com for 2011.
Making its big appearance this year as a top brand is Hyundai, closing in on the fifth position on the 2011 top five most-researched brand list, replacing Nissan from last year.
Analysts discovered Hyundai’s increased popularity among shoppers can be accounted for in part due to Honda and Toyota delivering their vehicles at a low production rate because of the Japanese tsunami and recent Thai floods.
KBB indicated many consumers turned to Hyundai for their new-vehicle purchase during this time with the lack of vehicles in the marketplace.
Hyundai’s roll out of the Equus and Veloster, in addition with the redesign of the Accent and Azera, were also considerable factors that translated into its increased market share on Kbb.com.
Analysts added the Elantra and Sonata had a high level of prosperity this year, which generated brand interest among shoppers.
KBB mentioned Toyota retained its No. 1 spot, and the brand’s market share increased 1 percent.
Analysts pointed out Ford moved up one position this year to the second brand researched most from 10.2 percent in 2010 to 13.5 percent this year.
Meanwhile, Honda moved down to No. 3 on the list, while Chevrolet remained the fourth brand researched when compared to 2010.
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.