Click above for a gallery of the Top Ten Most Search vehicles on KBB

Kelley Blue Book has released its year-end statistics of the most-researched new vehicles on its website, and import models have dominated the rankings yet again. Honda and Toyota are the big winners here, with the Civic and Accord earning the top 2 top spots overall and Toyota grabbing an entire half of the top ten with Nissan and Mazda each sneaking in a lone model to round it out.

Interestingly, the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram (in fact, there are no Chrysler products listed at all) are conspicuously absent from the top 20, despite selling in huge quantities. We know that pickup buyers tend to be extremely loyal shoppers, but the lack of trucks still strikes us as a bit odd.

There were a few bright spots for the U.S. Domestic automakers, including the Ford Escape, which has been completely gone through over the past two model years and is the most-searched American car on KBB and the Chevy Malibu, which is the most-viewed American sedan. Also performing fairly well was the Mustang, a car that's perennially on the wish-lists of gearheads all over the country. See the entire top 20 "Most Searched" cars from KBB after the break and be sure to check out our gallery of the top ten below.

Related GalleryTop Ten Most Searched vehicles on KBB
Number 10: Mazda3Number 9: Toyota Rav4Number 8: Toyota HighlanderNumber 7: Toyota PriusNumber 6: Honda CR-VNumber 5: Nissan AltimaNumber 4: Toyota CorollaNumber 3: Toyota Camry

[Source: KBB via LA Times]


PRESS RELEASE:

Kelley Blue Book Names Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2008

Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Volkswagen Jetta Make Impressive Jumps into Top 20 for 2008

IRVINE, Calif., December 29, 2008: Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, today announces the most-researched new cars of 2008 on the company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com. The year 2008 marks the third consecutive year that Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com saw greater than 140 million unique visitors, with more than half of all online vehicle shoppers visiting kbb.com. Because kbb.com is one of the most trafficked automotive research sites, visitation to specific vehicles has become a leading indicator of sales patterns for manufacturers.

Kbb.com's Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2008

1. Honda Civic
2. Honda Accord
3. Toyota Camry
4. Toyota Corolla
5. Nissan Altima
6. Honda CR-V
7. Toyota Prius
8. Toyota Highlander
9. Toyota RAV4
10. Mazda3
11. Toyota Yaris
12. Ford Escape
13. Honda Odyssey
14. Honda Pilot
15. Honda Fit
16. Ford Mustang
17. Chevrolet Malibu
18. Toyota Sienna
19. MINI Cooper
20. Volkswagen Jetta

"The site traffic on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com demonstrates what is on the minds of today's new-car shoppers, especially when examining the most-researched new-vehicles of 2008," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "Continued interest in Honda and Toyota, Chevrolet's home-run Malibu redesign and an increase in visits to more fuel-efficient, economical vehicles is an accurate reflection of the marketplace in 2008."

Import manufacturers Honda and Toyota frequently dominate the kbb.com most-researched lists, and while they still have a major turnout for 2008 (nabbing 13 of the top 20 spots), this year's list demonstrates that other manufacturers and vehicles also have now made their mark in the minds of consumers in 2008.

Many vehicles made noteworthy jumps into the top 20 most-researched new vehicles for 2008 that were not on the list in 2007. Chevrolet's all-new redesigned Malibu made the most impressive leap, jumping 55 places from last year's rank at 72 to this year's rank at 17. Also new to this year's top 20 are the Honda Fit (last year ranked 35, this year 15), the Toyota Yaris (last year ranked 23, this year 11) and the Volkswagen Jetta (last year ranked 25, this year 20).

The year's roller-coaster fuel prices reflect many shifts in the 2008 list versus last year's list in 2007, with smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles seeing more traffic than in years past. In addition to the inclusion of subcompacts such as the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris on this year's list, other fuel-efficient vehicles gaining positions in the top 20 include this year's number-one vehicle the Honda Civic, as well as the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, Mazda3 and Ford Escape. Toyota's Camry and Honda's Civic switched places in 2008 from last year, when Camry ranked No. 1 and Civic No. 3. The Toyota Corolla also switched places with the Honda CR-V when compared to last year, when Corolla was No. 6 and CR-V was No. 4, further indicating a shift toward more fuel-efficient vehicles.

When examining the data from a regional and state-by-state standpoint, domestic vehicles such as the Ford Escape and Chevrolet Malibu are much more popular in their home-state of Michigan, ranking at No. 4 and 5, respectively.

The Honda Civic, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry (in varying orders each year) have been the top three most-researched new-vehicles on kbb.com each year since 2004.