Cars.com has announced that for the first time ever, the Toyota Prius has become the most searched for new vehicle on the popular vehicle classifieds site — surpassing long time favorites such as the Accord and Camry.
Not only that, their top ten list for new car searches (see below) now contains mostly fuel-sippers including the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit.
The Prius first appeared in the top 10 most searched vehicles list last summer.
Patrick Olsen, Cars.com editor in chief, had this to say about it:
“It’s not surprising that the Prius became the No. 1 most searched vehicle on Cars.com at the same time gas reached a $4 national average. Surveys have shown $4 to be the tipping point in consumer purchase behavior, and we are seeing that ring true in shopping patterns on Cars.com.”
One of the surveys he’s probably referring to in his statement was recently conducted by the Ipsos News Center on how high the price of fuel has to go before Americans change their driving habits. The main conclusions of that survey are:
- 67% say they have already changed their driving habits as a result of rising gas prices.
- Of those who have already made changes to their driving habits, the pressure price for this group was $3.20/gallon.
- At $3.00/gallon, 35% of Americans had changed their habits.
- By $4.00/gallon — now a reality in the US — it is 74%.
- By $5.00/gallon, 85% of all Americans will have changed their driving habits
The Ipsos study also found, interestingly, that one in ten Americans say they will never change their driving habits, regardless of the how high the price of gas climbs.
Cars.com Top Ten New Car Searches for May 2008:
|6||Honda Civic Hybrid|
I don’t know about you, but to me that Ford Mustang sure looks out of place on this list.