Google's Most Searched Cars of 2015
With 2015 nearly over, Google has released its annual tally of the most-searched terms in a variety of categories, including cars. These rankings are fascinating because they provide a little inside into what models the average buyer finds most attractive. The booming popularity of trucks and crossovers is blatantly obvious here, and Chevrolet has a commanding presence on the list.
10. Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson was the 10th most-searched vehicle in 2015, and the crossover's handsome styling overhaul likely explains some of the popularity. Hyundai also updated the crossover's powertrain with an available 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The Tucson's suspension ability to isolate the cabin from a bumpy road impressed us during the First Drive.
9. Lexus NX
The Lexus NX arrived on the market late in 2014, but searchers remained curious enough about the model to put it in ninth place on 2015's list. With the CUV's sharp angles and odd nose, Lexus' compact crossover looks like nothing else in the segment. You can understand why people might look online to figure what this vehicle is.
8. Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet has a hard time keeping up with demand for the midsize Colorado pickup, and people are looking for them online, too. Chevy added the torquey Duramx diesel model this year to lure even more people to this award-winning truck.
7. Jeep Renegade
The Jeep Renegade is an attractive entry point into the offroad brand, and people are clearly curious to learn more about it. The little CUV features a chunky design and a starting price below $20,000. The Renegade even stands up to competitors on the road.
6. Fiat 500X
The Fiat 500X is the Renegade's cousin with the same platform and powertrain range, but it ranks one spot higher among the most popular searches. Where the Jeep's angular lines look brawny, the Fiat brings some Italian curves. The differences are apparently significant enough for people to hit Google and check them both out.
5. Honda HR-V
The compact crossover segment just keeps expanding, and the HR-V is Honda's entry into that exploding market. The Fit-based model has a subdued exterior but offers a modern interior with lots of room. We now get to live with an HR-V for a long-term test, but we found it to be among the better drivers in the class during the First Drive.
4. Chevrolet Camaro
Practical trucks and crossovers dominate Google's list of top automotive searches this year, but people show they can have fun, too, by putting the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro in fourth place. The sixth-generation of the pony car rides on a lighter platform and offers the choice of a V8, V6, or turbocharged four-cylinder. Motor Trend even liked the new Camaro enough to name it the magazine's Car of the Year.
3. Toyota Tacoma
The midsize truck market is incredibly competitive right now with entries like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota's newly updated Tacoma. In addition to the upgraded styling, the Toyota's pickup gets a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 to replacing the aging 4.0-liter. The improved model proved itself adept offroad, too, when we drove it.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet refreshed the Silverado for the 2016 model year, including a significant facelift, and the new look was enough to make the truck the second most-searched vehicle of 2015. The updated styling included a redesigned grille that sliced into the headlights and tweaks to the hood. The eight-speed automatic transmission is now also available on some trims with the 5.3-liter V8.
1. Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet has four entries among the most-searched vehicles of 2015 – more than any other brand – including the 2016 Malibu in first place. Chevy's goal with the new model is to rejuvenate the company's position in the midsize segment. The latest version wears more coupe-like styling but grows 2.3-inches overall for more room inside. It also weighs about 300 pounds less than the previous gen. Most trims get a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, but there's also a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo. A hybrid joins the range in 2016, too. This early popularity online suggests the Malibu could be a hit.