A row of cars at a used car dealership.

Canadians are seeking aspirational vehicles, yet buying practically

Data released December 11, from AutoTrader, provides a revealing look at vehicle shopper preferences in 2023. In a year marked by economic turbulence and higher-than-ever vehicle prices, marketplace search data suggests vehicle buyers still hold an optimistic outlook.

Among AutoTrader’s Top Searched Vehicles of 2023, 60 per cent of the list comprises luxury sedans and sports cars. The Porsche 911 rose for the first time to the #2 spot nationally, up from #6 last year, moving the Honda Civic down one spot to #3. The Ford F-150 made its ninth appearance as Canada’s most sought-after vehicle and the Dodge Ram 1500 climbed its way back into the Top 10 – the second truck to break through since 2019.

While AutoTrader’s Top Sold Vehicles of 2023 includes many commonalities with the Top Searched Vehicles, this list is decidedly more practical in nature. Ninety per cent of the Top 10 vehicles sold in Canada according to AutoTrader are functional, utility vehicles, like trucks and SUVs, with not a single luxury brand appearing. The departure between the search and sold data sets, perhaps suggests that in a year where wallets are top of mind, Canadians may be interested in aspirational vehicles, but they are landing with more practical purchases.

2023 Top Searched Vehicles

2023 Top Sold Vehicles

     1.   Ford F-150     1.   Ford F-150
     2.   Porsche 911     2.   Dodge Ram 1500 
     3.   Honda Civic     3.   Ford Escape
     4.   BMW 3 Series     4.   Chevrolet Silverado 1500      
     5.   Toyota RAV4     5.   Honda CR-V
     6.   Ford Mustang     6.   GMC Sierra 1500 
     7.   Mercedes-Benz C-Class                         7.   Toyota RAV4
     8.   Mercedes-Benz E-Class     8.   Nissan Rogue
     9.   Chevrolet Corvette      9.   Jeep Wrangler
     10.  Dodge Ram 1500     10.  Honda Civic

Provincial Canadian vehicle buyers’ interests and provide insights into their most coveted vehicle selections. 

With 11 million Canadians visiting AutoTrader.ca to browse hundreds of thousands of vehicles for sale each month, AutoTrader mines and analyzes its search data annually to capture the pulse of on the Top Searched Vehicles list per region, the data revealed key preferences across Canada.

Maritimes backpedal on downsizing – Atlantic provinces are shifting their focus back to larger vehicles, with trucks and SUVs seizing 70 per cent of this year’s list. Compared to last year where the Maritime provinces moved away from upsizing, and leaned into smaller options, this year’s trend is the opposite. The elimination of the Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Camaro for the Dodge Ram 1500 (#8) and Toyota Tundra (#9), leaves the Honda Civic (#2), the Ford Mustang (#5), and the Chevrolet Corvette (#10) as the only sedans on this year’s Top Searched list.

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