The five car companies that interested car-buyers most in 2009 were Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan, in that order, according to the Kelley Blue Book. But, the top five specific models researched were all named Honda and Toyota.
The Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Honda Civic have been the top three researched models on the KBB website in one order or another since 2004. Rounding out the high five for 2009 were the Honda CR-V and Toyota Corolla.
Ford and Chevrolet models were in the top 20, not the top ten. Chevrolet’s all-new redesigned Equinox SUV and Camaro muscle car both made the most researched list for the first time. That’s good news for beleagured General Motors, which started 2009 by declaring banruptcy.
Also new to 2009 top 20 are the revamped Lexus RX 350 SUV and the Ford Fusion, which was Ford’s top-selling model in 2009. KBB says website interest in Ford grew steadily throughout 2009. KBB says its because Ford — unlike GM and Chrysler — stayed out of bankruptcy. I say its because Ford kept making good news headlines, with the Fusion and Taurus getting top safety ratings, and with new technology breakthroughs such as inflatable seatbelts for rear seat passengers.
The combination of lower gas prices and last summer’s phenomenally successful “Cash for Clunkers” drew buyers away from subcompact cars such as the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and MINI Cooper, which were heavily researched in 2008.
Here’s the complete list of the top 20 most researched cars of 2009: