Which cars saw the biggest rise in search interest throughout 2013?
In-demand brands from the used car market can differ dramatically from those in the new car market. When it comes to the best-selling new cars of 2013, Ford really cleaned up. Although, when it comes to used cars, some surprising names have become popular.
In terms of percentage change in typed searches from Jan 2013–Jan 2014, the Toyota RAV4 notched up a startling 129% increase. The Fiat 500 came next in the list with a 41% increase, Audi TT 32%, Mercedes C-Class 31%, Skoda Fabia 19%, BMW 1 Series 19%, Micra 19%, Audi A5 17%, Mini Cooper 15% and Polo 14%.
The figures taken from Motors.co.uk show a trend towards the mid-size SUVs, which increasingly dominate our roads. The modern SUV was pioneered by brands like the Qashqai, and the theme was developed by larger versions of the Mini and the Fiat 500. It’s nothing new, before they called them an ‘Estate’ (longer chassis), now they call them ‘SUVs’ (bulkier dimensions).
The standard Fiat 500 seems to be consolidating its cult status with a 41% increase in searches. A car as stylised as the 500 always runs the risk of becoming a ‘hairdresser’s car’. However, this model has gone the exact opposite way due its understated elegance, and high build quality.
The RAV4 is most surprising with that 129% increase in searches. Perhaps it was too expensive fresh from the forecourt but a superb option at a knockdown used price. The RAV4 is a logical choice for the savvy buyer.
The Mercedes C-Class is also surprisingly popular for a pricey executive car. This may be because it has some excellent diesel models – CDI Blue Efficiency - and pristine build quality. Although the car is on the larger side, it isn’t a huge cruiser so the running costs may be much cheaper than you imagined.
Running costs are the prime objective for the modern buyer and all the cars on the list are frugal in one way or another. In terms of value the Skoda Fabia may be the best used car in the UK, with big depreciation figures and solid build quality.
The omission of Ford from the list may come as a surprise, but this might just be because Ford is such an established brand that their search figures don’t waver. It would be hard to find two better cars than last year’s Fiesta and Focus, but the figures are nevertheless hugely telling.
We can extrapolate that Toyota is a brand people still trust, the Fiat 500 is a modern classic and the mid-size Estate/SUV still has a big potential market.
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