Kelley Blue Book's twenty most researched cars -- Click above for a high-res gallery

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) strained the data from its voluminous cache to come up with the year's 20 most researched cars, and the five brands that got the most attention. This will probably come as a surprise to precisely none of our readers, but Honda and Toyota dominated the upper reaches of the list. Together they made up all of the top five and nine of the top ten -- Nissan's Altima squeezed into ninth.

The secondary ten provided more model mix, with three Fords and two Chevrolets making up the domestic squad. Midsize cars also made a return to buyers' attentions, after last year's list was overrun by fuel sippers. You can read KBB's press release on the data after the jump, and see a high-res gallery of the twenty leaders below.


Related GalleryKelley Blue Book's 20 Most Researched vehicles of 2009

[Source: Kelley Blue Book]


PRESS RELEASE

Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com Names Most-Researched New Vehicles for 2009, Brands With Greatest Share of Market Interest This Year

Chevy Equinox and Camaro, Ford Fusion, Lexus RX 350 Jump into 2009's Top 20 Most-Researched New Cars

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/
-- Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new and used car information, today announces the most-researched new vehicles of 2009 on the company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com. In addition, Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com reveals the top five brands with the greatest share of market interest for 2009.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Kelley Blue Book saw increased visitation to its Web site, with nearly 180 million visits to kbb.com in 2009. 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 Top 20 Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2009

1. Honda Accord
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Honda CR-V
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Toyota RAV4
7. Toyota Highlander
8. Toyota Prius
9. Nissan Altima
10. Honda Pilot
11. Ford Escape
12. Chevrolet Camaro
13. Honda Odyssey
14. Ford Fusion
15. Mazda3
16. Ford Mustang
17. Volkswagen Jetta
18. Toyota Sienna
19. Lexus RX 350
20. Chevrolet Equinox

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. However, many vehicles made noteworthy jumps into the top 20 most-researched new-vehicles for 2009 that were not on the list in 2008. Chevrolet's all-new redesigned Equinox and Camaro models both grace this year's list for the first time. Also new to this year's top 20 are the recently revamped Lexus RX 350 and the popular, fast-selling Ford Fusion.

The stabilization in gas prices for 2009 has indicated a trend away from smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles over the past year, and thus some popular small cars that were among the most-researched in 2008 have fallen off the list for 2009. Subcompact cars like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, along with the compact MINI Cooper, were among the most-researched new cars last year, but do not hold court among the most-researched models this year. In addition, Chevy's Malibu, redesigned for the 2008 model-year and featured on last year's 'most-researched' list, has seen some of its popularity fade over the past year, no longer listing among the top 20 most-researched new cars of 2009.

"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 2009," said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Declined interest in smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles and increased popularity in attractive, recently redesigned models is an accurate reflection of the marketplace in 2009. We also see that consumers are reacting well to new models and redesigns from domestic manufacturers like Chevy and Ford, which bodes well for their future sales numbers."

Top Five Brands with Greatest Share of Market Interest on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com for 2009

1. Toyota
2. Honda
3. Ford
4. Chevrolet
5. Nissan

Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan (respectively) are the top five brands with the highest share of market interest -- defined as the percent of new-car shopper activity for a particular brand -- on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com for 2009. Of those brands, Ford saw the most growth throughout the course of the year, with its share rising steadily in the first half of the year and peaking during the summer months, benefitting as the only domestic manufacturer that did not require a bailout or undergo bankruptcy. Ford also benefitted from the "Cash-for-Clunkers" program during the summer of 2009, due to its aggressive promotion of the program.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site, www.kbb.com, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book® Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. - 2009 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, kbb.com is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit kbb.com. Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com also is a W3 Gold Award winner, sanctioned by the International Academy of Visual Arts. Kbb.com is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car Blue Book Values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com.