Kbb.com Names Most Researched Vehicles of First Half of 2005

Domestic Vehicle Breaks the Top 10 for the First Time

IRVINE, Calif.

Kelley Blue Book's No. 1 and most visited new car shopping Web site kbb.com, names the most researched vehicles so far this year. Information was collected among more than 40 million unique visitors generating nearly 180 million pricing reports.

The newly redesigned Ford Mustang has generated so much consumer interest this year that it is now the first domestic vehicle to break into kbb.com's Top 10 Most Researched vehicles list. This is only one of few accolades Ford has earned from Kelley Blue Book over the last several months, including Best Redesigned Vehicle of 2005 and recently Kelley Blue Book market analysts uncovered that the excitement of the all-new pony car has extended to include the Mustang's previous body style raising the sale price of a 2003 or 2004 model by $500 to $1,000.

"While this is the first time Ford has cracked the top 10, they are no stranger to our Most Researched list," said Jack R. Nerad, editorial director and executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "Ford had a great run with the Explorer, but in 2005 it vanished from the top of consumer shopping lists."

       Kbb.com's Most Researched Vehicles of the First Half of 2005

    1. Honda Accord         11. Toyota Sienna
    2. Honda Civic          12. Toyota 4Runner
    3. Toyota Camry         13. Ford Escape
    4. Ford Mustang         14. Infiniti G35
    5. Honda Odyssey        15. Acura TL
    6. Toyota Corolla       16. Mazda MAZDA3
    7. Toyota Highlander    17. Mercedes C-Class
    8. Honda CR-V           18. Chrysler 300
    9. Honda Pilot          19. Toyota Avalon
   10. Nissan Altima        20. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Additional newcomers to the Most Researched list include Mazda with their sporty MAZDA3 and the Acura TL.

Aside from the vehicles securing top slots month-after-month and year-after-year (Accord, Camry, Civic and Corolla) it's the vehicles that rank 10-20 that define the new vehicle shopping market.

"Crossover vehicles, or utility vehicles on a car platform, seem to be what consumers are looking for and they are finding it in the Toyota Highlander, Ford Escape and Honda Pilot," said Nerad.

Kelley Blue Book began tracking car-buyer's interests and purchase intentions in 1999 by reviewing the number of pricing reports requested for each make and model of vehicle. Kelley Blue Book also tracks car-buyer purchase intentions through the Auto VIBES study, an ongoing joint research project between Harris Interactive and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research.

About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)

Kelley Blue Book is the most trusted vehicle information resource by both consumers and the auto industry, providing research tools and up-to-date pricing on thousands of new and used vehicles, including the company's New Car Blue Book Value, which reveals what a new car is actually selling for. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company reports vehicle prices and values via products and services including the famous Blue Book Official Guide™, software and Internet site, kbb.com. Kbb.com has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings as well as No. 1 and first visited automotive site by J.D. Power and Associates seven years running. No other medium reaches more in-market car buyers than kbb.com; one in every four American car buyers completes their research on kbb.com.

SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard, +1-949-268-3049, reckard@kbb.com, or Joanna
McNally, +1-949-268-3079, jmcnally@kbb.com, both of Kelley Blue Book

Web site: http://www.kbb.com/

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