Harris poll ranks the top "buzz-worthy" vehicles from 2005

Of the vehicles released in 2005, the Chevrolet Cobalt generated the most "buzz" among Generation Y buyers, with the Hummer H3 attracting the most attention from grunge-era Gen Xers. Baby-boomers flocked to Dodge's retro-esque Charger, and the grey-haired set went bonkers for the Ford Five Hundred. The Charger was the only vehicle to get a top-5 mention by both Gen Y and pre-boomers, which makes us wonder if the Buick Lucerne will be able achieve the same generation crossover feat in next year's survey.

The survey doesn't appear biased towards domestics, so the near-shutout of foreign nameplates that appear on the survey (only the Lexus RX400h and Mercedes CLS managed to move the buzz-meter) has got to be encouraging for US manufacturers - if indeed it's not simply a single year aberration or a result of some hidden statistical slant.  

A large "WTF?" goes to buyers in the Hybrid/Alternative Fuel category, who apparently got all abuzz over the Dodge Charger. Oh, yeah, we forgot - there is indeed the highly popular Charger Hybrid. And don't ask us why the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 appears in this survey, as it's a MY2007 introduction that was not available during the period of the survey.

A tip o' the hat goes to GM's FYI Blog.

[Source: Harris Interactive; the full press release is posted after the jump]


IRVINE, Calif., May 10, 2006 – New-vehicle launches creating the most buzz differ greatly by demographic and vehicle consideration groups, according to the 2006 AutoVIBES Demographics reports, now available from online research leaders Harris Interactive® and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research. The annual AutoVIBES Demographics series of reports provide significant insight into the diverse vehicle shopping preferences and opinions of different age groups, ethnicities and segment consideration groups.

Most Buzz-Worthy New Nameplates Among Demographic/Vehicle Consideration Groups


New-Vehicle Nameplate Seen as Having the Most Buzz

Generation Y (Born from 1977-1986)

Chevrolet Cobalt

Generation X (Born from 1965-1976)

Hummer H3

Baby Boomers (Born from 1946-1964)

Dodge Charger

Pre-Boomers (Born 1945 and earlier)

Ford Five Hundred


Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500


Lexus 400h


Dodge Charger

Luxury Considerers

Mercedes-Benz CLS

Minivan Considerers

Ford Freestyle

Truck Considerers

Dodge Charger

SUV Considerers

Hummer H3

Sporty Car Considerers

Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500

Sedan Considerers

Ford Five Hundred

Hybrid/Alternative Fuel Considerers

Dodge Charger

AutoVIBES examined 49 new-nameplate launches in 2005, 25 of which were domestics. Car-buyers in 14 demographic/vehicle consideration groups rated 12 domestics and only two imports as being the most buzz-worthy.

"Domestic manufacturers have recently introduced some exciting new products that are catching the eye of many consumers," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "The highly-anticipated Dodge Charger is making waves among buyers in many different demographics."

The new AutoVIBES study also shows vehicle shoppers of all generations see domestic vehicles as the most buzz-worthy, although each generation rates a different domestic vehicle in the top spot. The youngest age-group surveyed, Generation Y, and the oldest age-group surveyed, Pre-Boomers, had only one vehicle in common on their top five buzz list: Dodge Charger.

Different Generations Weigh In: The Top Five New-Vehicle Nameplates with the Most Buzz


Generation Y

(Born from 1977-1986)


(Born 1945 and earlier)


Chevrolet Cobalt

Ford Five Hundred


Dodge Charger

Buick LaCrosse


Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500

Cadillac DTS


Hummer H3

Ford Freestyle


Pontiac G6

Dodge Charger

While different groups chose a variety of vehicles as most buzz-worthy, there was universal agreement among all that the Mercedes-Benz CLS was the most "sophisticated." In addition, the Pontiac Solstice was rated high by all groups for being "exciting," "youthful" and "imaginative."

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