• Dec 30th 2008 at 9:59AM
  • 49
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.

Number 10: Mazda3
  • Number 10: Mazda3
  • Number 9: Toyota Rav4
  • Number 8: Toyota Highlander
  • Number 7: Toyota Prius
  • Number 6: Honda CR-V
  • Number 5: Nissan Altima
  • Number 4: Toyota Corolla
  • Number 3: Toyota Camry
  • Number 2: Honda Accord
  • Number 1: Honda Civic

[Source: KBB via LA Times]


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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Should a car be really considered an import if it is DESIGNED AND BUILT in the US?
      • 6 Years Ago

      As for reliability I think Buick ties with Lexus according to surveys. The Fusion beats the Camry and Accord for reliability.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I use KBB to find out what the going price is for the cars I buy because I buy used. Since I drive my cars 200k miles and for ten years or more, I don't care about resale value of my own car.

      And I only buy American. ;)

      Why the hell would I want to spend all that extra money on foreign crap which in reality doesn't last any longer than a good used American car? Here's a tip: Buy from older retired people who take good care of their cars. You'll get a great deal on a low mileage car and if you follow proper maintenance it will last and be reliable.

      I don't care if you buy American, Asian or European, one thing is true of all cars: They are money pits. So if you want to save money, stop buying new cars every other year. Buy it, use it and use it well. In the long run you'll save money and a lot of it. Pay it in full or pay it in short time. If it breaks, fix it. Even a $1,000 repair every year would still be cheaper than a car payment every month. If the car is safe and doesn't make a habit of leaving you stranded, it's still good and is in no need of replacement.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The reason pickups which sell in huge quantities aren't searched is because most pickup truck owners are too STUPID to use a computer, and too STUPID to even compare brands. They're blindly loyal to one company, and think anything that company produces is the "best".
        • 6 Years Ago
        Fair enough!

        Take out the NFL, though. We need the football players to take the depreciation hit on really expensive cars so normal people can buy them used. :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, I just hate hicks. They hold this country back with their uber conservative BS and being proud of being ignorant. Screw them, the NFL, Nascar, crappy beer, and country music. The south should secede and become it's own jesus-based 3rd world craphole.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did a pickup truck driver steal your girlfriend?
        • 6 Years Ago

        Well - two people on this comment section who don't have a clue - you and snp should start a mutual admiration fan club!

        FYI - people who buy trucks must be somewhat intelligent, as they cost more than the average car.

        And a large percentage of them are business owners who, as with most capital expenditures must ensure that they are getting value for their money, including longevity, reliability and capabilities.

        Sorry - FAIL
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Michael...
        Just disregard Rob. I hink he just hates everbody but himself. Some of his recent comments on Autoblog are listed below:

        "I just hate hicks. They hold this country back with their uber conservative BS and being proud of being ignorant. Screw them,"

        "I saw a rich person slide into a ditch today. I laughed. haha!"

        "senior citizens get into a LOT more accidents than even young males, they just aren't deadly, they're slow and stupid accidents because old people are slow and stupid."

        "QUIT SALTING. Let the idiots who have crappy tires slide into trees and die. The smart ones will survive "
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why would a pickup truck buyer even go online to look at a truck? He knows what he wants, and where to get it. So why waste valuable time thinking about it? some things are just meant to be done.
      • 6 Years Ago
      LM - I agree with you! But all the same, I wish people would be more willing to experiment and have a more open mind.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who needs to research full sized pickups when a popular country singer can just TELL you which one to buy??
        • 6 Years Ago
        brand loyalty tells you which one you are going to buy. you may still research option pricing though
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let me tell you all what's REALLY going on with the "most searched" list...

      Import owners are researching their own vehicles to see if they are still holding their "blind & inherent" value over the much unloved domestic brands. As the US Big 3 struggle to balance their finances and get people buying cars in the volumes that we're all accustomed to, the value of their vehicles might drop...of course.

      But, reasoning that's been offered suggest that if the Big 3 are in trouble, their suppliers have been in trouble for months, and that affects many of the foreign auto makers operations as well. And with news that Honda, BMW, and (gasp!) Toyota won't be meeting their sales & financial milestones as predicted should have opened the eyes of many import owners who've been "holding their nose up" to the domestics.

      When the economic market takes a big hit b/c homeowners can't afford to pay their 1st & 2nd mortgages, everybody's gonna feel the pain either now or in the near future.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How does the amount of research that goes into a car determine how good it is?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What are the KBB search ratings supposed to tell us? I've bought two new cars since the late 90's and didn't use KBB to research them. Why would I given the host of other alternatives? Why would a truck buyer bother given the brand loyalty no doubt inspired by the fact that the last F150 worked just fine?

      The ONLY relevant numbers are sales numbers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Them rednecks in Alabama ain't got no use for research and tha' dang KBB! Ram/F-150/Silverado for life!

      :P (I have a feeling that was quite pathetic)
      • 6 Years Ago
      People who rely on KBB to research a vehicle are not people who are very technical or car aficionados. Those who are look at enthusiast sites, read reviews by car people, etc.

      Just like people who base their opinions on what the MSM says, they are the truly uninformed and worse, misinformed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @snp 4:07PM (12/30/2008)

        Your analysis is so wrong you dont have a clue on the industry. YOU represent 1/100,000,000th of the entire auto industry when you buy a car.

        You just shot yourself in the foot with this ignorant comment. Go back to the playground and tell yourself how 'edumacated' you are
        • 6 Years Ago
        Your analysis is so wrong you dont have a clue on the industry. YOU represent 1/100,000,000th of the entire auto industry when you buy a car. Dont give me that "my daughter drives a chevy, I drive an aurora" crap. The rest of the US auto industry is sinking. Nothing would make me happier than to see the imports fall significantly to a level that matches our presence in their countries. It's an undeniable truth that gm and ford quality as been immensely poor over the past several decades.

        Ford began their top to bottom restructuring 2 yrs ago. GM just started this summer. Dont feed nonsense that they have great products on the road right now. The current 2009 F150 took 5yrs to develop. Standard development cycle is 4+ yrs. Quality takes yrs to improve. Ford has performed lower level quality improvements for the past few yrs and just began work on a large scale quality oversight facility last year. GM has also only been doing small scale quality improvements for the past few years.

        With your crappy regards to fleets still buying americans. Fleets are businesses. Their whole purpose is to buy cheap vehicles that pass their standards and service them to milk them for profits. Govt/municipalities have to buy american for political reasons. As for your vans and trucks comparison, the US manufacturers dont even have serious competition in this area, why did you bring that up?

        The general problems still exist because this is a product driven industry and US auto manufacturers still dont have the products to compete. Once reliability/quality catches on, then desirable profit turning products appear, then we'll see a turn-around.

        As for chrysler: RIP. The current owners sank billions into that firm. As a rule of thumb, a hedge fund will do whatever it takes to make a profit for their clients, even if it means declaring bankruptcy in this subunit.
        But then again, success/quality/value is all relative. Somebody fail for another to succeed. Ford looked great this year in comparison to chrysler.
        • 6 Years Ago

        "he fact of the matter is. currently, as we speak. people who buy low-end imports, are fiscally conservative and wants to be well informed. they will compare their costs on a used vehicle vs a new one. they will buy on mileage, quality and reliability.
        based on what's been around for the past 3-5yrs, i can say american has not been up to par on that front."

        You can say 'American' (capitalize it unless you are ashamed to be one). Do you mean domestic based OEM's -THEN SAY SO. Learn how to write intelligently.

        Sorry - for the past three to five years the domestic OEM's have sold more vehicles in this country than the imports. And GM has sold more globally than any other company - get over your ridiculous statements and look up things before sticking your foot in your mouth.

        There are plenty of deficient foreign based OEM models, including from Toyota, Honda, especially so from Nissan, Mitsubushi and Hyundai/Kia.

        Honda V6 transmission problems have led to numerous class action lawsuits, Toyota with engine sludge issues, defective camshafts, electronics issues etc.

        Just like there are plenty of domestic OEM models that are totally reliable.
        I bought my daughter one - a 2000 Chevy S-10 with the 2.2l. It has 112K on it and runs and drives great, paint and interior are perfect I drive a 2001 Olds Aurora, 119k drives and runs like new and looks like it as well. It has tons of features on it and they all work - things like rain sensing wipers, memory seats, stability and traction control and so on. There are tons of other models that are just as reliable - our van is a 2002 E-150. Just turned 100K and again, looks, runs and drives like new.

        Why do you suppose so many people buy the same trucks and vans for their businesses? They are reliable and put together well and are designed by people who know what their customers want. Why do you suppose taxi fleets buy old police cruisers made by GM and Ford? Because after the police put 100K or so miles on them, they can go another 200K easily.

        Grow up and lose the hate! It is time for this attitude to go away.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Most people buying trucks for work already know what truck they're going to get. if i had a company, do you think i'm gonna restock my mini fleet with a bunch of 3-5yr old pos with 100+k miles on it? where the previous owner probably used it as much as i'm going to use it.

        the fact of the matter is. currently, as we speak. people who buy low-end imports, are fiscally conservative and wants to be well informed. they will compare their costs on a used vehicle vs a new one. they will buy on mileage, quality and reliability.
        based on what's been around for the past 3-5yrs, i can say american has not been up to par on that front. ford which is the best of the 2 only started delivering results 2 yrs ago. and even still, i only consider half of ford's current lineup as competitive. it would still take another year before ford can reach the level of honda/toyota - where about 75+% of their products are competitive. Then tack on another 2-3yrs before you can see them on KBB.
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