What do Canadians look for when vehicle shopping?

OpenRoad Audi show room
A recent survey shows Canadian consumers are saavy when it comes to shopping for cars, revealing some interesting stats.

Fall is officially here, which means the leaves are changing colour, the days are becoming shorter, and car shoppers are on the hunt for good deals as the model years switch over. If you’re wondering what exactly it is consumers want when shopping for vehicles, autoTRADER.ca recently conducted a survey probing Canadians about that very question, and these are a few of the results they came up with.

Can you guess what the three most important factors people consider when they are purchasing a new car? It turns out 77 per cent of respondents ranked cost as their number one consideration, followed by fuel efficiency and then reliability. When it comes to pre-owned, cost is still king at 63 per cent, but the number two and three spots are taken by mileage and condition, respectively.

Hyundai Accent

Speaking of cost, a good example of a budget-friendly vehicle, especially for students, is the 2015 Hyundai Accent. Starting at $13,249, it is one of the most affordable in its segment while still being practical and fun at the same time. With seating for five coming in either a sedan or hatchback format, it’s available in manual and is powered by a 138-horsepower engine.

IIHS Top Safety Pick awards

Interesting factoid: women rank safety above reliability compared to men. Looking for a safe mode of transportation? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts annual tests to determine how well any given automobile protects its passengers during a crash. Their highest rating is the Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+), meaning it must score well in overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as feature exceptional frontal crash prevention.

Audi braking guard

With the help of its available Driver Assistance package that includes Audi braking guard and adaptive cruise control, the Audi Q5 luxury crossover earned an IIHS TSP+ for 2015.  Other TSP+ winners include the current Infiniti Q70 and Honda CR-V.

Some additional survey statistics: 71 per cent of Canadians head to the Internet to peruse websites and online reviews when buying a new or used vehicle, 20 per cent ask friends and family for advice, and 7 per cent turn to the newspaper. In B.C., 73 per cent of drivers are interested in hybrid or pure EV ownership, up from the 57 per cent in the Prairies. And finally, 64 per cent of our nation’s motorists prefer a car straight from the factory, 28 per cent like second-hand, and 8 per cent don’t mind either way.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights