Most Popular Passenger Cars on MSN
The cars that shoppers on MSN are researching most.
In the U.S. automotive market there are four general classifications of passenger cars: subcompact, small, midsize and full-size. The market's bread-and-butter segments are small and midsize vehicles, and their proliferation is evident among the 10 most popular cars on MSN Autos.
Japanese automakers dominate this list, taking eight of the 10 positions. Toyota and Honda cover seven of the top cars; Honda leads the charge with Accord and Civic in the number one and two spots, respectively. Toyota follows immediately with the Corolla and Camry taking the third and fourth positions.
The only domestic offering on the list is the Ford Focus. The automaker's entry-level car is also its most fuel-efficient vehicle, which has no doubt added to its popularity.
In anticipation of an e-mail flurry about the preponderance of vehicles from the Land of the Rising sun on this list, please note that the 10 vehicles are determined by shoppers using the MSN Autos Web site for research, not the editors of MSN. The most popular passenger cars on MSN Autos are determined quarterly by tabulating the number of views of each vehicle’s information pages.
There's no doubt this list reflects the high cost of fuel, with every one of the top 10 rated at more than 30 mpg on the highway. Only one of the entries — the Toyota Prius — is a gas-electric hybrid.
The 10 most popular passenger cars on MSN Autos are determined by visits to the site's vehicle research pages during the third quarter of 2008. Here is the complete list:
1. Honda Accord
According to Automotive News, the Accord is currently the second-best-selling passenger car in America, trailing the Toyota Camry by some 36,000 units. Accord sales are up over last year's levels, due in part to an all-new design for 2008. Longer and wider than its predecessor, the new model is the roomiest Accord ever offered. The Accord is available as a sedan or coupe, with the coupe measuring 3.2 inches shorter than the four-door, with more aggressive and distinct styling. Both the 4-cylinder and V6 engines are more powerful than previous iterations and offer impressive fuel economy.
2. Honda Civic
Part of the Civic’s recipe for success is offering a style for everyone — the small car is available as a sedan, hatchback or coupe with powertrains ranging from super efficient to high-revving performance versions. The entire Civic line was all-new for 2006, and in 2007 a sedan version of the sporty Civic Si was added to the lineup. For 2008 Honda adds more features for the Civic EX-L, including heated seats and side mirrors, and leather trim for the steering wheel, seating surfaces and center armrest. A Civic MUGEN Si sedan is also available, featuring a high-performance suspension, forged aluminum 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels, a full aerodynamic body kit with an adjustable rear spoiler, a rear diffuser and a sport-tuned exhaust system.
The Corolla is Toyota’s compact sedan, with the 10th generation debuting for the 2009 model year. More than 30 million Corollas have been sold worldwide since its introduction in 1966, making it one of the best selling cars of all time. Virtually the same length as the outgoing version and with an identical wheelbase, the 2009 model is almost 3 inches wider and an inch shorter, giving the new Corolla a more stable appearance. For the first time, the Corolla will be available with such items as a touch-screen navigation system, real-time traffic updates via XM NavTraffic and a JBL audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. The new model gets a slight horsepower increase, but it remains one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles available in America.
4. Toyota Camry
Owning the title again as the best-selling car in America, the redesigned Camry is currently the second-best-selling vehicle of any kind in the U.S. The Camry received a total makeover inside and out last year, with more modern styling and increased performance. The midsize sedan is available in a number of trim levels, with a choice of fuel-efficient 4- or 6-cylinder engines. Toyota also offers the Camry with a gas-electric hybrid powerplant, which is rated at an impressive 33 mpg in the city, 34 on the highway.
The Altima is Nissan's best-selling car, available as a midsize sedan or coupe. First introduced in 1992, the Altima moved into its fourth generation with a redesign for the 2007 model year. Featuring distinctive styling, the new Altima provides improved body rigidity and a redesigned suspension. A coupe version of the Altima was added to the lineup for 2008. Smaller, shorter and lighter than the sedan, the coupe boasts a sporty exterior design highlighted by a unique grille, a new front headlight design, and distinctive rear combination lights. Not only is the Altima popular with MSN shoppers, it is currently the fifth-best-selling car in America, showing a sales increase of 9 percent in the first eight months of 2008 — an impressive feat in this tough market.