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Most And Least Popular Car Segments By Region
Posted Jan 9, 2014
Where you live in the U.S. can influence a lot of things: Your accent, what kind of pizza you like, and, not surprisingly, what kind of car you drive.
Kelly Blue Book used data from 10 million car shoppers to trace the differences in car shopping from region to region. Midwesterners buy American-made vehicles, crunchy West Coasters consider hybrids in huge numbers and Southerners in oil rich states go in for big SUVs, for instance.
Head through for a closer look at the data and see why American car markets are shaped the way they are.
Western states see a ton of electric and hybrid vehicle shoppers. It's easy to see why, considering they are usually the first to feel rising gas prices. While a Tesla Model S might seem exotic rolling through the rest of the country, these kinds of hybrids and EVs are common out west.Western Region Most Popular: Hybrids
Despite offering only one model, the Model S, that has recently been under scrutiny for potential engine fires, Western shoppers from Nevada to Oregon are much more likely to consider Tesla than the rest of the country. The Tesla Model S isn't just a slick electric car with an incredible 300 mile range, it's also one of the safest vehicles on the road. The Toyota Prius is another beloved vehicle west of the Rockies. In fact, the venerable hybrid has consistently been the best-selling car in California month after month.
They may be roomy and versatile, but for a place as fuel-conscious as the West, full-sized, low-mpg crossovers are often seen as wasteful and impractical. Cars like the Buick Enclave are some of the least likely to grace western roadways.Western Region Least Popular: Full-Size Crossover
In complete contrast to their western counterparts, shoppers in the Midwest considered full size crossovers and heavily favored American brands like Chrysler and Buick when compared to the rest of the country, according to the KBB data. In the Midwest, weather can be unpredictable, leading shoppers to prefer something like the Ford Flex, which is big and heavy, allowing drivers to tackle the rain, snow and sleet. Midwesterners are also loyal to American automakers, all of which are based in the Detroit area.Midwest Region Most Popular: Full-Size Crossover
Other popular full-sized crossovers in the Midwest include the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia.
Compact luxury cars fair poorly in the Midwest, according to the study. German and Asian cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Lexus IS, are generally shunned in a place where American auto manufacturing still drives a huge portion of job creation. Additionally, many compact luxury cars are rear-wheel drive, making them a poor choice for the rain and snow.Midwest Region Least Popular: Compact Luxury
Northeastern denizens buy across all segments, but give compact crossovers slightly more consideration than any other type of car. What they lack in segment devotion they make up for with brand loyalty. Northerners are 56 percent more likely to consider a Subaru and 45 percent more likely to consider a Volvo when making a car buying decision.Northeast Region Most Popular: Compact Crossover
Compact crossovers are a sensible choice if you live up in the Northeast. They are relatively fuel efficient and effective in the snow, making them a versatile enough to handle the multitude of different driving conditions for which the region is known.
Folks living on the coasts have a reputation for being more environmentally conscious. While the west coast picked hybrids above all other segments, northerners show their green by rejecting huge SUVs. Heavy duty gas guzzlers like the Dodge Durango don't see much love in places like the New England states.Northeast Region Least Popular: Full Size SUV
In stark contrast to their neighbors to the north, Southerners like to shop for big SUVs, regardless of the manufacturer. Popular models for those down in Dixie include the Infiniti QX80, a big, luxurious utility vehicle. Interestingly, Infiniti is very popular in southern states, likely because the Japanese automaker's American headquarters is located in Tennessee.Southern Region Most Popular: Full Size SUV
Other popular large SUVs include the Chevrolet Suburban and Toyota Sequoia.
In oil country, hybrids like the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid are almost completely off the map. Less than 20 percent of southerners would consider a hybrid when car shopping, according to the study. Texas, included in KBB's southern region, even bans the sale of the Tesla Model S, one of the most popular electric cars just a few states away.Southern Region Least Popular: Hybrid
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