Millennials shopping for car value – and personal expression

millennialWhen millennials – young adults, or Generation Y – shop for cars, they’re mostly looking for compacts, reports Cars.com, the car shopping website.

Toyota Corollas (1), Honda Civics (2) and Nissan Sentras (3) – something under $20,000, the study says.

In fact, three brands, Nissan, Honda and Kia, each make the list with two models, while American automakers crack the millennials’ top 10 with only two models total.

“As recent graduates begin their careers and consider purchasing a new car, the majority will focus on affordability first and foremost,” said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for Cars.com.

But infotainment and navigation systems also rate highly in this age group, other studies show.

“Millennials know they have options, and they rely on their smart phones more than any other generation to make sure they’re getting the best deal they can while on the lot. Retailers would be wise to take note and prepare to work with this well-informed, tech-savvy group of car buyers.”

Among findings of the research, based on shopping patterns at Cars.com:

About 70 percent of millennials ages 21-24 and 55 percent ages 21-35 are looking for vehicles that cost less than $20,000.

Millennials are more likely than shoppers 35 and older to visit an additional dealership because they found a better-priced vehicle nearby.

A greater percentage of millennials are likely than shoppers ages 35 and older to conduct research on the dealership lot.

Almost two-thirds of the age group (18-34) uses a smart phone for research before a dealer visit.

“The compact car segment is the top choice for the millennials as the models in this category nicely fit the needs of the first-time buyers with their low cost of ownership and increasingly seamless integration of digital lives to the built-in infotainment systems,” said Toprak of Cars.com.

Additionally, one of the main takeaways from a previous study by AutoTrader.com was that a car isn’t simply a way for millennials to get from point A to B. “Millennials place great value on individuality and personal expression. They view their car as a means to tell the world who they are,” the report said.

Besides the top three models above, the highest-ranked vehicles based on year-to-date sales and priced under $20,000 are Mazda 3, Kia Soul, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit and Kia Forte.

Results of the latest study were published on Cars.com’s Dealer Advantage blog.

 

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