• Dec 30, 2009
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.



[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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      KBB.com for me is for researching resale value. It makes sense that Honda and Toyota are at the top. Their resale value is the highest. I'd research a Honda Accord to find out if $5000 for a 10-year-old 100k mile model was a fair price. Then I'd buy a 3-year-old Dodge Magnum with 40k miles for the same money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well said Draaaainage! You took the words right out my mouth. That top 10 list is boring, but how much you want to bet Ford will make a spike next year with the Fusion, Taurus, Fiesta, and Escape.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Honda Accord is always doing well, it seems to be a solid car. Go honda!!

      Juan's Car News - http://carinfo-juan.com/blog/
      • 5 Years Ago
      these are 'most researched' because the buyers of these cars know the least about cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You'd rather people shop exclusively on price? The ones who do that end up with a piece of junk (Chrysler) that needs to be replaced in three to four years.

        In addition, people might not realize some of the later model "domestics" are worth a look.

      • 5 Years Ago
      How much can be inferred from KBB research if the actual sales don't follow the same pattern? Or is the KBB data including used car research as well?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seems like only Randy got the point.

        Toyota and Honda dominate the top ten list. But Ford and GM combined sell more cars than Toyota and Honda combined? Sounds like whatever the KBB data indicates, it isn't predicting actual sales.

        Or maybe people research Honda and Toyota because they're so used to hearing how great they are, but when they go drive a Ford or GM, they end up liking it better. Not totally unexpected -- appliance cars have reliability nailed, but they have no soul, and a surprising number of 'regular' drivers really do want something with feel, even if they aren't enthusiasts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        well, as part of a family that has members that are auto enthusiasts, and members who consider cars appliances, I would say that those who consider cars appliances tend to more heavily bias their research online and the enthusiasts spend more research time onlot.


        • 5 Years Ago
        But the actual sales do follow the KBB list, with a couple of exceptions. What important about lists like this one is the level of interest. If a lot of people are looking at Camaros but not buying them it is either generating some excitement or actual sales.

        Interesting how the "fabulous" new Malibu isn't on the list. I wonder if, although journalistically acclaimed, the Malibu is a failure for GM, yet again. At what point do they jettison the name for something new, as "Malibu" screams "rental".
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, it's just research. People could do a lot of research on one car, and then see another car, do research on that, then decide they want the other car.

        Or, a guy could be researching a new Fusion, then one day, while slowing down to make a right turn, hears and sees a GT500 scream and whine past. So then instead, he goes out and buys a used GT500. Then, about two days later, he is looking for a new house as his wife has now kicked him out of the house. See, look at the economy at work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Obviously they don't mirror the sales precisely since people use other sources and not just KBB to do their research so it wouldn't ever be the same unless every single person who bought a car went to KBB's website. The cars where they had the very most people look them up (and thus have more accurate data on since there's statistically less variance with the cars that got researched the very most) like the top 5 are all pretty big sellers that show up in the top 10 best sellers list.
        So it's definitely not like KBB is saying that the Pontiac G3 was the most researched car and it totally doesn't sync up with sales, lol.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @JDM

      While I agree with your sentiment, I also agree with Autoblogist! That list is boooooring, but those cars are what most people want and are happy with; transportation from A to B without lots of frills and a medium level of comfort.

      I really don't see the need for the insult either, Autoblogist! is hardly an idiot for calling a spade a spade; boring is boring.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if anyone even researched Chryslers' lackluster offering, then again if they researched it they would not buy it ...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sad but true. There were several Chrysler/Dodge products that I liked but once I did my research on several sites reading both critic and consumer reviews of their products and compared them to the competition there was no way they stood a chance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ignore this, sorry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The kbb.com list is one list of several.
      Yahoo.com top 10 most searched for 2009:
      1. Chevy Camaro
      2. Honda Civic
      3. Ford Mustang
      4. Mini Cooper
      5. Smart For 2
      6. Honda Accord
      7. Dodge Charger
      8. Dodge Challenger
      9. Jeep Wrangler
      10. Mazda3

      Autotrader.com top 10 for 2009:
      1. Toyota Camry 2. Toyota Corolla 3. Chevy Camaro 4. Toyota Tacoma 5. Ford Fusion 6. Hyundai Sonata 7. Chevy Equinox 8. Toyota Prius 9. Ford Mustang 10. Jeep Wranger

      The Yahoo search is probably more superior. kbb.com had 180 million visits. Yahoo has 2.4 BILLION searches per day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Yahoo list really doesn't make much sense because there are Chrysler products on there.. :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        KBB is likely to have more results from those actively researching a car for purchase, rather than merely being interested in the cars. There won't be much in the way of reviews, glamourous photo-shoots, videos, etc. It is for crunching the numbers when weighing a new purchase. Lots of teenage boy appeal on the Yahoo list, ya know?

        Any statisticians want to take a wag at the margin of error in a 180 million vs 2.4 billion sample size? I'll wager that it's negligible.

        I would hypothesize that buyers of most of the cars on the KBB list would be those who carefully consider their purchase. Note the complete absence of pickups (where buyers tend to be quasi-religious in their loyalty to "their" brand... most smokers are less obstinate in their love of their favorite brand of coffin-nails!

      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Right....because that Ferrari 599 fits everyone's life style....idiot
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually I *bing*-ed boredom and came up with the exact same list lol...

      I wouldn't even want to drive any of those.... (truthfully not even the Mustang or the Camaro actually) and I'd like to add that although Ferrarri IS an acceptable choice IMO, it ain't the only one. Give me the same money that will buy any of those and I guarantee I can find you something that won't induce narcolepsy.....
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