Greatest Showing in Years: Luxury Vehicles Take Over Most Researched New Car List

Mercedes C-Class, E-Class and CLK Join the List

IRVINE, Calif.

Kelley Blue Book, the trusted resource for used and new automotive information, generated more than 28 million consumer pricing requests on its Web site in September. Based on pricing reports generated, Mercedes bucked the pickup trend with several of their luxury models unexpectedly making the September list.

With the phenomenon of zero percent financing, no interest ever, and some of the best deals in decades, many consumers are finding their way into luxury vehicles.

"The amount of money it once took to buy a Chrysler Sebring or 300m, can now buy a Mercedes C-class," said Charlie Vogelheim, executive editor of Kelley Blue Book. "The current economic conditions and dealer incentives allowed companies like Mercedes and BMW to sell into new markets and have a huge presence on our top 50 list for September."

Another mover and shaker on the 'Top 50 Most Researched' list was the 2003 Nissan 350Z. It's no surprise that this car moved up 16 notches to No. 11 on September's list. This racing-inspired sports car hit the market in September with a lot of hype and double the interest.

Predictably, September's top five are a carbon copy of the last several months, but in shuffled order. Chevy/GMC Silverado and Sierra trucks again top the 'Kelley Blue Book Top 50 Most Researched' list at No. 1. Honda still holds two coveted spots in the top five with the Accord and Civic and have been jockeying for position against the pickups all year -- and even succeeded a few times.

Rated one of America's best-selling vehicles, the Toyota Camry holds strong to number five this month. While the company has yet to clench the No. 1 position, Toyota regularly sees nine of its models on the Kelley Blue Book list each month.

SUVs remained strong in September with Ford leading the charge with its Explorer, Expedition and compact model, Escape.

About Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book, ( the most trusted vehicle information resource, provides comprehensive automotive information and up-to-date pricing on thousands of used and new vehicles. Since 1926, the company has empowered car buyers and sellers by providing them with accurate information to make well-informed automotive decisions. Kelley Blue Book offers timely and reliable vehicle pricing via products and services for both the auto industry and the general consumer, including the famous Blue Book Official Guides, software and the Internet. Launched in 1995, has become the No. 1 automotive information site according to Nielsen//NetRatings, and JD Power and Associates studies show that more consumers purchase vehicles after visiting than any other Internet site.

  Top 50 - Most Researched Cars at During September 2002

   1      Chevrolet / GMC          Pickups (Silverado & Sierra)
   2      Honda                    Accord
   3      Ford                     Pickups (F Series)
   4      Honda                    Civic
   5      Toyota                   Camry
   6      Ford                     Explorer
   7      Nissan                   Altima
   8      BMW                      3 Series
   9      Volkswagen               Jetta
   10     Nissan                   350Z
   11     Dodge                    Ram Pickups
   12     Ford                     Mustang
   13     Volkswagen               Passat
   14     Chevrolet / GMC          Tahoe / Yukon
   15     Toyota                   Highlander
   16     Toyota                   Tacoma
   17     Toyota                   Corolla
   18     Honda                    Odyssey
   19     Ford                     Escape
   20     Chevrolet                TrailBlazer
   21     Honda                    Pilot
   22     Ford                     Expedition
   23     Toyota                   Sequoia
   24     Mercedes-Benz            C-Class
   25     Jeep                     Liberty
   26     Chrysler / Dodge         Voyager / Caravan
   27     Nissan                   Maxima
   28     Jeep                     Grand Cherokee
   29     Ford                     Focus
   30     Audi                     A4
   31     Mitsubishi               Eclipse
   32     Honda                    CR-V
   33     Mercedes-Benz            E-Class
   34     BMW                      5 Series
   35     Mercedes-Benz            CLK-Class
   36     Toyota                   Tundra
   37     Acura                    TL
   38     Acura                    MDX
   39     Dodge                    Dakota Pickups
   40     Nissan                   Xterra
   41     Chevrolet / GMC          S10 / Sonoma
   42     Toyota                   4Runner
   43     Ford                     Ranger
   44     Hyundai                  Santa Fe
   45     Toyota                   RAV4
   46     Infiniti                 G35
   47     Toyota                   Avalon
   48     BMW                      X5
   49     Nissan                   Sentra
   50     Mini                     Cooper


SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard of Kelley Blue Book, +1-949-770-7704, ext. 8349,

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