Top 5 Reasons Car Shoppers Buy Certain Cars

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

Reliability is a growing concern amongst new car buyers, while fuel economy is slowly falling as a priority.

This is according to a new J.D. Power survey that set out to determine the most important factors for car buyers in 2016. The results are based on responses from nearly 26,500 owners who registered a new vehicle in April and May 2015.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Reasons Why Car Shoppers Avoid Certain Cars

Other interesting findings include the fact that buyers are doing less window shopping these days, with the average buyer only physically cross shopping three different models.

Let us know what you look for in a new vehicle and read on to see the top 5 reasons for car purchases among non-premium brands.

5. Performance

While not everyone wants a thrilling ride, 45 percent of respondents said that performance is a main factor they considered before buying a new vehicle. The need for performance has actually increased compared to 2015 and may be tied to falling gasoline prices.

4. Gas Mileage

While 54 percent of respondents listed gas mileage as a major reason to purchase a car, that is actually down 4 percent compared to last year and is currently sitting at a five-year low in terms of how important it is to new car buyers. Fuel mileage was also cited much less frequently as a reason to reject a model. The lack of importance placed on fuel economy can likely be attributed to falling gasoline prices.

3. Reliability

Unlike gas mileage, reliability of new cars has become an increasingly important factor, with 56 percent of respondents saying it is a top reason to purchase a new car. Concerns over reliability grew by about 5 percent compared to last year, and are up 8 percent compared to 2013, when 48 percent of new-vehicle buyers listed reliability as a main reason for purchase.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands

“With so many auto recalls in the news and challenges with the introduction of new technology, consumers are even more attuned to the expected reliability of new vehicles,”said Dave Sargent, vice-president, quality practice, J.D. Power. “This impacts which models consumers avoid and which ones they ultimately purchase.”

Perceived reliability is also an issue, as 24 percent of respondents said that they avoided domestic brands because of reliability issues compared with just 13 and 12 percent for European and Asian brands, respectively. According to J.D. Power’s reliability information, the reality is that domestic brands are competitive with foreign brands when it comes to reliability.

2. Interior Style and Comfort

Because drivers spend so much of their time inside their vehicles, the interior needs to be stylish and comfortable, with 57 percent of respondents listing it as a major purchase concern. It is also the second most popular reason new car buyers avoid certain vehicles.

1. Exterior Styling

But everything falls short to one simple element of a vehicle: the way it looks. Just edging out interior styling is exterior styling, also with 57 percent of respondents listing it as a main reason for buying a new car. That is actually down one percent compared with last year.

Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

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