Utility vehicles have edged out sedans and some luxury cars this year when it comes to Canadian car buyer preferences. AutoTRADER.ca's annual top 10 most searched vehicles list for 2018 reveals a shift from premium sedans to sturdy SUVs.
"For the fourth year in a row, the perennial Ford F-150 has retained the #1 spot on the list, but this year, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have climbed into top positions as Canadian favourites, claiming spot #7 and #10 respectively," said Michael Bettencourt, Managing Editor, autoTRADER.ca. "As a result, sedans appear to be taking a back seat in 2018's top 10 list compared to previous years."
The news aligns with manufacturer plans to trim sedan models from their lineup. This includes OEMs like Ford, and to an extent General Motors, who recently announced the upcoming 2019 closure of its Oshawa assembly plant. The plant is responsible for the production of certain sedan models, among others.
An annual holiday light vehicle study form Desrosiers Automotive Consultants' also reveals that SUVs are a top vehicle preference for Canadians.
2018 Top 10 Most Searched Vehicles in Canada
1. Ford F-150 2. Ford Mustang 3. Honda Civic 4. BMW 3 Series 5. Jeep Wrangler 6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 7. Honda CR-V 8. Porsche 911 9. Chevrolet Corvette 10. Toyota RAV4
Data from the report also indicates that Quebecers have a preference for practicality, as the #1 most searched vehicle in the province was the Honda Civic. The Toyota RAV4 and Corolla also made the list, displacing vehicles like the Porsche 911 and Jeep Grand Cherokee that appeared as #5 and #9, respectively, on the 2017 list.
Ontario car buyers showed a preference for classics with the Ford Mustang taking the #1 spot as the most searched vehicle in the province. The BMW 3 Series was bumped down to second place this year. The Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911 also made the list.
In the Maritimes and Prairie provinces, utility vehicles took the lead over luxury. Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet are the top three car brands in these regions. The only luxury model to make the list was the BMW 3 Series, and only for the Maritimes and Manitoba.
In the Territories and Manitoba, the list of most searched vehicles included primarily SUVs and trucks. This was especially the case for the Territories.
"This year's search data and the future trends we have identified are all pointing to the fact that we are slowly approaching a tipping point in our industry," said Bettencourt. "We're witnessing a significant shift in consumer preference, as cars that were once a staple for one generation, are no longer for another. This will have a direct impact both economically and culturally, affecting the automotive industry and beyond."