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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Which auto brand has the youngest buyers? According to a TrueCar.com study released this week, it is Mitsubishi, followed closely by Mazda and Volkswagen, respectively.

TrueCar.com indicated that 18.3 percent of Mitsubishi buyers were between the ages of 18 and 34, which tops the industry. Meanwhile, 18 percent of Mazda's customers and 17.6 percent of Volkswagen buyers fell into this age bracket. 

TrueCar.com finished the study this month. It included the last full year of available data, according to officials.

Leading TrueCar.com's list of Top 10 Models for Young Drivers was the Mitsubishi Lancer, followed by the Mazda3, Volkswagen GTI, Nissan Titan, Mini Cooper and Audi A3, respectively. The Jeep Commander, Honda Fit, Subaru Impreza and Acura TSX rounded out the top 10.

"Even though customer loyalty is not what it used to be, capturing young buyers is still critical to the longevity of the automakers," explained Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights at TrueCar. 

"Not only do these younger consumers buy cars for themselves, but they also often influence purchase decisions made by their families and friends," he added.

Conversely, Buick (3.6 percent) had the lowest proportion of young buyers, followed by Lincoln (4 percent) and Cadillac (5.1 percent).

Among individual vehicles, the Cadillac DTS had the smallest percentage of young owners (1.1 percent).

In fact, the 10 models with the lowest concentration of younger buyers included two vehicles apiece from Cadillac and Buick, and four models from Lincoln.

The following is TrueCar.com's Top 10 Models for Young Drivers, with the models' respective proportion of buyers between 18 and 34 (with the trim level in parenthesis) and the possible discounts off MSRP.  

—Mitsubishi Lancer (Sedan Manual), 18.3 percent, discount of 25 percent.

—Mazda 3 (Four-door Sedan Manual), 18 percent, discount of 5 percent.

—Volkswagen GTI (Two-door HB Manual), 17.6 percent, discount of 3 percent.

—Nissan Titan (2WD King Cab) 15.6 percent, discount of 37 percent.

—Mini Cooper (Two-door Coupe), 15 percent, discount of 3 percent.

—Audi A3 (Four-door HB MT), 14.9 percent, discount of 3 percent.

—Jeep Commander (RWD Four-door Sport), 14 percent, discount of 30 percent.

—Honda Fit (Five-door HB Manual), 13.9 percent, discount of 1 percent.

—Subaru Impreza (Sedan Four-door Manual), 13.5 percent, discount of 5 percent.

—Acura TSX (Four-door Sedan Automatic) 13.4 percent, Discount of 6 percent.