Two Nameplates Dominate New-Vehicle Research at Kbb.com

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IRVINE, Calif. — When shoppers went to Kelley Blue Book to review options for a new-vehicle purchase in 2009, they flocked to models from two nameplates significantly more than all others.

Kbb.com officials determined the most-researched new vehicles on their Web site in 2009 predominately were made by either Honda or Toyota. In fact, of the top half of the Top 20 individual vehicles researched most, more than half of them were produced by one of those Japanese nameplates.

The Honda Accord led off this list, followed closely behind by the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry. Kbb.com pointed out that those three vehicles have been the top three most-researched vehicles annually since 2004.

Honda's other models on this list were the CR-V, Pilot, and Odyssey. Besides the Camry, Toyota's vehicles that drew plenty of research interest in 2009 on included the Corolla, RAV 4, Highlander, Prius and Sienna.

While the Honda and Toyota vehicles have been mainstays, site officials also highlighted some of the units that made their most-researched list that were not among the top choices of 2008.

Two vehicles made by Chevrolet appeared for the first time — the Camaro and the Equinox. Two other newcomers were the Lexus RX 350 as well as the Ford Fusion, a unit that brought plenty of awards to the nameplate as 2009 closed.

Kbb.com also noticed a distinct change in the overall composition of its list of most-researched vehicles for 2009. As gas prices stabilized well below the $4-per-gallon peak of 2008, consumers shied away from smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. The 2009 list didn't include some of the highly sought-after vehicles from the previous year such as the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Mini Cooper.

Another vehicle has dropped off greatly in research interest, but this wasn't likely due to fuel economy. Kbb.com pointed out that its list topper for 2008, the Chevrolet Malibu, wasn't even among the Top 20 this past year.

Despite a drop in Malibu interest, Chevrelot remained one of the top five nameplates with the greatest share of market interest in 2009, according to site officials. Kbb.com said Toyota led the way, followed by Honda and Ford. Nissan also was included among the top automakers.

"The site traffic on Kelley Blue Book's Bbb.com demonstrates what is on the minds of today's new-car shoppers, especially when examining the most-researched new-vehicles of 2009," explained James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

"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," Bell continued.

"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," he concluded. 

 Kbb.com's Top 20 Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2009
Rank  Model 
 1.  Honda Accord
 2.  Honda Civic
 3.  Toyota Camry
 4.  Honda CR-V
 5.  Toyota Corolla
 6.  Toyota RAV 4
 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

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