With the year coming to a close, we thought it might a good time to look into the hottest cars of the year for consumers on CarGurus. So we dug into our data mines to determine exactly which vehicles were generating the most interest among our users this last year. These are not necessarily the most purchased vehicles, but rather the vehicles most inquired about by CarGurus users.
“We didn’t put all of the investment into this product and put in all the features with an expectation to be No. 2.”
That’s the kind of brash, confident talking I like to hear from an auto exec. It might sound like something you’d expect to hear from the head of VW or Chrysler, but in this case the quote is from Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, in reference to the 2013 Nissan Altima.
Yes, Nissan is serious about its latest sedan. Not only does it want a larger share of the market, it thinks it can take down the perennial number one, the Toyota Camry.
Compared to the other worldwide brands sold in the U.S., we don’t seem to hear much about Nissan cars—unless somebody is reviewing the Juke, the Cube or the Murano CrossCabriolet, and poking fun at them.
Autobloggers had a field day with the CrossCabriolet, the N.Y. Times writer cited above calling it “the ride of Frankenstein.”
How come we don’t get reviews of the Altima, Nissan’s best-selling car in the U.S. with sales up 22.7 percent over last year? That car was just approved for use in New York’s taxi fleet (hybrid and non-hybrid versions). The NV200 was recently selected as the city’s next large-volume taxi. The company’s U.S. June sales as a whole rose 11.4 percent.
The Leaf recently won the top safety awards from both NHTSA and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). It’s beating the Volt in sales, with Nissan “selling 3,875 of the Leaf in the United States to GM’s 2,745 Volts,” a substantial margin.
In case you thought it was impossible to make the Honda Fit look any weirder, check out the non-Photoshopped image above of the Honda Fit Shuttle.
The front three-quarters looks like a regular Fit, but the rear looks like the regular Fit has filled its diaper.
And what’s with the tri-color pointy C-pillar? The Fit Shuttle is certainly an odd duck, but as of now it is meant only for the Japanese market. Which is mostly OK with me, except I think it would make a perfect teen car here in the States. It’s ugly, not too fast, but reliable, and able to haul sports equipment and musical instruments. Because that’s what teens do with their cars, right?
Over the last decade or so, scrappy newcomers have chipped away at the old timers’ rule by introducing new styling and lots of standard equipment. Today we see names like Altima, Kizashi and Optima right up there with, and sometimes on top of, Camry and Accord.
Consumer Reports released its June issue yesterday, and the capable testers there have let us know which four-door, four-cylinder sedans have laid claim to kings of the mountain.