Ford F-150 is Canada’s Top Searched vehicle, while luxury cars hold steady according to 2020 Canadian car shopper data

Source: NewsWire

2021 Ford F-150 - All The Important Stuff Is Under The Skin

TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2020 /CNW/ – Despite the impact of the global pandemic, searches for luxury vehicles show little signs of slowing down in Canada, according to 2020 data released today from autoTRADER.ca, Canada’s largest automotive marketplace. The company’s annual Top Searched vehicles list noted favourites from 2019, including the beloved Ford F-150, Honda Civic and Toyota RAV4 remained in the top 10, while half (50 percent) of this year’s list consisted of premium nameplates, pointing to a range in Canadian vehicle preference. Additionally, BMW and Mercedes-Benz were the first and second most searched vehicle brands on autoTRADER.ca this year.

2020 Top Searched Vehicles in Canada

  1. Ford F-150
  2. Ford Mustang
  3. BMW 3 Series
  4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  5. Porsche 911
  6. Honda Civic
  7. BMW M
  8. Chevrolet Corvette
  9. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  10. Toyota RAV4

Provincial Search Breakout

2020 provincial search data revealed key regional preferences for car shoppers across the country.

BC leads with luxury. BC leads the country when it comes to interest in luxury vehicles, with the Porsche 911 rising three spots from #5 to #2 on the province’s Top Searched list. The BMW M (#4), BMW X5 (#8), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (#5), and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (#7) were new entrants in 2020. The rest of Canada shares the west coast love for premium vehicles with at least one luxury model appearing on every regional top searched list with the exception of Saskatchewan.

Alberta lusts after larger vehicles. In a province where trucks have always led the way, it’s no surprise that the Ford F-150 is Alberta’s top-searched vehicle for another year running. Surprisingly, the Ram 1500, a truck that has traditionally held a lot of popularity in the region dropped from this year’s Top Searched list as Albertans welcomed new luxury entrants like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (#6), BMW M (#7) and BMW X5 (#10). Unsurprisingly, the region has a long-term affinity for larger vehicles with the Toyota RAV4 (#4), Jeep Grand Cherokee (#8) and BMW X5 (#10) also making the top 10.

Saskatchewan flexes muscle. While Saskatchewan may be the only region in Canada without a luxury vehicle on their top 10 list, they do like to get behind the wheel of some North American muscle. The Ford Mustang (#2), Chevrolet Corvette (#3) and Chevrolet Camaro (#5) all made the top 10 list this year. The province also stands out as having the lowest number of cars on the list, instead favouring utility vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (#4), Jeep Wrangler (#6), GMC Sierra 1500 (#7) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (#8).

Ontario is captivated by cars. Cars reign supreme in Ontario making up 80 percent of the province’s top searched list, followed by British Columbia and Alberta. This year, half of Ontario’s top 10 list consisted of premium vehicles. True to Ontarian preferences, the province was only one of two regions across the nation where the Ford F-150 did not rank #1 – instead, Ontarians favour the sportier Ford Mustang. Practical vehicles, such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry, were just shy of making this year’s regional top 10 list.

Québec keeps it practical. The perennial Honda Civic continues to dominate Québec’s Top Searched list for the fourth consecutive year, reinforcing the prioritization of function over flash in la belle province. The arrival of the Jeep Wrangler (#9) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (#10) hints at an increased interest in recreational vehicles, and the Porsche 911 (#7) shows that while Québecers prefer practicality, they are not averse to the finer things.

Manitoba goes off-road. Manitoba saw a spike in searches for off-road vehicles with the Jeep Wrangler (#8) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (#10) debuting on the region’s Top Searched list. The province witnessed a slight increase in luxury vehicle interest, adding two premium models to its Top Searched list. The Ford F-150 remained Manitoba’s #1 searched vehicle, while the Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Ford Escape and Toyota Corolla slipped below the top 10.

Atlantic Canada finds balance. The east coast saw the most even representation of vehicle types across their top 10 list. The classic Ford Mustang (#2), functional Toyota Tacoma (#3), practical Honda Civic (#4), and recreational Jeep Wrangler (#6) all made an appearance, a reflection of well-rounded vehicle preferences in the Maritimes.

Evolution of Car Shopper Sentiment

autoTRADER.ca conducted ongoing consumer studies throughout 2020 to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian car shopper sentiment and inform what may be expected moving forward. Findings include:

Green, green growth. 

2020 was yet another big year for electric vehicles with more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full EVs listed across the marketplace. Green vehicles launched this year span all different body styles and prices, giving Canadians more options than ever before including the Toyota RAV4 Prime, Porsche Taycan, Audi e-Tron Sportback, Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Ford F-150 Hybrid. Further, new developments that may drive greater EV adoption in the coming years include the launch of faster 800V charging rates by Porsche and Hyundai, and Québec’s commitment to stop selling new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. autoTRADER.ca data also indicates national searches for electric and hybrid fuel types increased 19 percent year-over-year. EV adoption is expected to increase through 2021 and beyond as more makes and models are introduced, charging speeds increase, travel range expands, and greater infrastructure is developed.

Car shoppers go digital. 

While a portion of car shoppers still seek an in-person dealership experience, a survey of autoTRADER.ca users revealed that 71 percent are interested in buying a car digitally since the start of the pandemic. This year, autoTRADER.ca became the first major marketplace in Canada to launch digital retail on its platform, meaning for the first time, Canadians can buy a vehicle 100 percent online. Based on the higher consumer engagement experienced by dealers who currently have digital retailing enabled, autoTRADER.ca anticipates this sentiment will hold strong. The added safety and convenience of completing varying portions of the vehicle transaction online is resonating with car shoppers across the country.