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KBB.com Names Most-Researched New Vehicles, Brands of 2012; Redesigned Honda CR-V Tops List
Asian Automakers, Models Dominate Most-Researched List Year-Over-Year; Honda Leapfrogs Ford in Market Share

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The redesigned Honda CR-V is No. 1 on the list of the most-researched new vehicles of 2012 on www.kbb.com announces Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new and used car information. In addition, Kelley Blue Book reveals the top 20 most-researched new vehicles and the top five brands with the greatest share of market interest on its website for 2012.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/LA08161LOGO)

KBB.com's Top 20 Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2012


1. Honda CR-V

6. Ford F-150

11. Chevrolet Equinox

16. Kia Optima

2. Toyota Camry

7. Hyundai Sonata

12. Toyota Highlander

17. Toyota RAV4

3. Honda Civic

8. Ford Escape

13. Ford Focus

18. Toyota Corolla

4. Honda Accord

9. Nissan Altima

14. Volkswagen Jetta

19. BMW 3 Series

5. Hyundai Elantra

10. Mazda Mazda3

15. Kia Sorento

20. Honda Odyssey

This year's success story is the Mazda3, entering the top 20 most-researched new vehicles of 2012 at No. 10, making significant climbs from its spot at No. 29 in 2011. The Mazda3's victory can be attributed to the vehicle's fuel efficiency and affordability, sparking interest among car shoppers.

"The Mazda3 resonated with KBB.com visitors during 2012 as gas prices were fluctuating, and due to its affordability it continues to remain top-of-mind among new-car shoppers," said Akshay Anand, market intelligence Web analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "During 2012, Mazda had a solid year with its refocused brand image and Skyactiv® Technology, which touts fuel efficiency and technology innovations. With a redesign of the popular Mazda3 on the horizon and the mid-size Mazda6 redesign set for release early this year, Mazda will drive more consumer interest to the brand in 2013."

KBB.com's Top Five Brands with Greatest Share of Market Interest among New-Car Shoppers in 2012

Brand

2012 Share of Market Interest on KBB.com

Toyota

15.4%

Honda

13.7%

Ford

13.5%

Chevrolet

10.6%

Hyundai

8.2%

Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and Hyundai (respectively) are the top five brands with the highest share of market interest, defined as the percent of new-car shopper activity for a particular brand, on Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com for 2012. 

Toyota retained its No. 1 spot and the brand's market share increased 1 percent on KBB.com in 2012.  Meanwhile, this year Honda moved up one position to the second most-researched brand on KBB.com, increasing 0.5 percent from 2011.  Ford moved down to No. 3 on the list, while Chevrolet and Hyundai maintained the same positions when compared to 2011 as the fourth and fifth most-researched brands, respectively.

"Holding the No. 1 spot as the most-shopped brand on KBB.com year after year, Toyota's brand interest in 2012 primarily was propelled by the redesign of its immensely popular flagship," said Anand. "Toyota really hit the mark with its redesigned Camry, and millions of KBB.com visitors proved their interest as this model was the second most-researched vehicle on the site in 2012.  When redesigning the Camry, Toyota successfully created a stand-out vehicle in the extremely competitive mid-size sedan segment."

Regaining the title as the second most-researched brand on KBB.com since it last held the position in 2010, Honda leapfrogged over Ford (which held the No. 2 spot in 2011) driven by the success of the redesigned CR-V and Accord. The redesigned CR-V captured the most attention of KBB.com visitors during 2012, increasing shopper activity and moving the model from No. 4 in 2011 to No. 1 in 2012. 

Since 2004, the Honda Civic, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry remain among the top five most-researched new vehicles on KBB.com. While these models remained among the top five once again in 2012, several other vehicles either entered the list for the first time or significantly shifted position when compared to recent years. New entrants to the top 20 most-researched new vehicles in 2012 include the Kia Sorento and the Kia Optima. In addition, the BMW 3 Series appears on the list again this year for the first time since 2010.

"Jumping 19 spots from 2011 to 2012, the Optima's impressive increase in popularity on KBB.com this year proved that Kia has done a remarkable job sustaining interest in the model with clever advertising and new trim options, despite the fact that the Optima was not a new redesign in 2012," said Anand. "Meanwhile, the BMW 3 Series was the only luxury vehicle on the top 20 most-researched new vehicles list on KBB.com for 2012. The 3 Series is a longtime stalwart in the entry-level luxury vehicle category, and its recent redesign coupled with its impressive heritage remains an advantage to BMW against its competitors."

A number of popular new or redesigned models also increased their standing for 2012 versus 2011, including the Ford Escape, up 12 positions from 2011 to No. 8 in 2012, and the Nissan Altima, increasing three spots to No. 9.  At the same time, many vehicles that are standard candidates on the annual most-researched new vehicles list dropped a few positions in the 2012 rankings. The Honda Odyssey fell five positions to No. 20 for 2012, while the Toyota Corolla fell four spots to No. 18. Vehicles that claimed a top 20 spot on the 2011 list but did not secure a spot for 2012 include the Toyota Prius, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Fusion and Ford Explorer; however, each model ranked among the top 30.

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb, and get updates on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+kbb/.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. KBB.com provides consumer pricing and information on cars for sale, minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity and was named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year by the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader Group.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

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