TORONTO: Despite reports of growing demand for SUVs, pickup trucks lead the charge when it comes to consumer interest across Canada, according to 2019 data just released from autoTRADER.ca's annual Top Searched vehicles list.
Featuring hundreds of thousands of vehicles for sale, autoTRADER.ca, Canada's most trusted automotive marketplace, mines and analyzes its site search data each year, to capture the pulse of Canadian car buyers' interests.
The Ford F-150 continues to dominate as the top searched vehicle on autoTRADER.ca for the fifth consecutive year, says Dustin Woods, associate editor, autoTRADER.ca. However, this year's list marks the addition of another truck - the Ram 1500 - which climbed from spot #32 in 2018 to #7 in 2019. It's been five years since more than one pickup made the Top 10, indicating a renewed passion for larger utility vehicles among car shoppers.
Canadians' penchant for large trucks challenged that of SUVs, as the beloved Jeep Wrangler fell off the list for the first time since 2014. In addition, autoTRADER.ca observed pickup truck listings were up 21 per cent from January to December 2019, while SUV listings experienced a 5 per cent decrease over the same period. The findings further indicate that the truck category is revving up with Canadians.
2019 Top Searched Vehicles in Canada
BMW 3 Series
autoTRADER.ca's 2019 data also revealed some key regional taste differences for car shoppers across the country
Quebecers prefer function over form The practical Honda Civic held its title as the #1 top searched vehicle in Quebec for the third consecutive year (compared to the national list where it placed #2). Quebecers' preference toward functional vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Toyota Corolla - this year's #2 and #4, climbing from #5 and #9 in 2018 - continues to signal an affinity for practicality when it comes to car shopping. With just one luxury brand making the top 10 list, Quebec saw the Chevrolet Corvette knock out the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (ranked #6 in 2018), suggesting a resurgence of interest in classic nameplates.
Ontarians leave luxury behind This year marked a shift away from luxury brands, replacing the 2018 ranking Porsche and Mercedes for Toyota and Ram. In fact, when it comes to luxury, only the BMW 3-series made the Top 10 list in Ontario. Further, classic commuter favourites, such as Toyota's Camry and Corolla rocketed from #12 and #15 in 2018 to #8 and #7 respectively in 2019, suggesting sedans have retained their popularity in the province.
Maritimers are the new truck lovers Move over Western Canada! This year the Maritimes had more trucks on the list than any other region across the country. The Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tacoma all made the Top 10 list in the Maritimes.
Utility still reigns in Western Canada In addition to Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 making the list, B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba all continued to show an affinity for SUVs, with more ranking in the Top 10 than any other region. The Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4 continued to be national favourites, while this year's addition of the Ford Escape is unique to the Western provinces.
Other findings include
Spring is king As the ground thaws and Canadians seek to spruce up their vehicles for the new season, buying and selling is top of mind. In 2019, March and April were top months for search volume on autoTRADER.ca.
Classic car colours, please autoTRADER.ca site data suggests that classic shades - black and white - accounted for the most popular vehicle colours sought by Canadians, making up more than half of all colour queries (29.5 per cent and 21.8 per cent respectively). Other popular colour choices, include grey (8.7 per cent), blue (8.4 per cent), red (6.0 per cent) and silver (5.4 per cent).
Electric Vehicles on the rise This year, data indicated a more than 50 per cent increase in search volume for hybrid, electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in-hybrid vehicles (PHEV), when compared to 2018. Of those searches, nearly half were for hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, which continued to lead interest in the category. For EVs, the Chevrolet Bolt EV garnered the most search volume this year, while the BMW i8 came out on top in the PHEV category.
Based on autoTRADER.ca's data analysis, Woods suggests there are three future trends to watch for in 2020
Retro in or out? 2019 saw the last Volkswagen Beetle produced, marking the end of an era. As we speed into the future, a few classic styles are left behind while others, like the Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender, are making powerful comebacks. With brands revisiting their heritage to find inspiration for new models like the Mustang Mach-E, some classic designs will be refreshed, while others will likely be retired.
Do more EV options = more EV adoption? With a 50 per cent increase in search volume on autoTRADER.ca, the announcement of Tesla's Model-Y and almost every manufacturer committing new investment into EV technology, 2019 was yet another pivotal year for electric vehicles. Woods predicts 2020 will see a steady rise in EV adoption due to new inventory, affordability and increased infrastructure, allowing for more accessibility.
All-wheel drive, all the way - Driving in the Canadian outdoors year-round means difficult terrain and unruly weather. Beyond SUVs, Woods expects to see manufacturers offer all-wheel drive (AWD) in models that typically do not offer the feature (such as sedans and hatchbacks) - as recently illustrated by the launch of the new 2020 Toyota Camry AWD.
2019 search data suggests it's an interesting time for Canadian auto shoppers, says Woods. In many ways, we're seeing paradoxes new vehicles with classic designs, compact vehicles with sport-utility features and a growing EV inventory alongside a strong truck market. The newly announced electric Ford F-150 and Tesla Cybertruck are perfect examples of how Canadians will see these trends merge in the coming year.
Methodology Analysis was performed based on site analytics from autoTRADER.ca using Canadian search data from January 1 - November 30, 2019. Year-over-year analysis was based on data from January 2018 to December 2019.
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