Monday, April 30, 2012

Analysis: Edmunds lists last month's 20 quickest-selling cars...what stands out?

Yesterday, Edmund's Inside Line listed the 20 quickest-selling cars of March.  Many of the vehicles on the list make sense; cars such as the Prius C, Hyundai Elantra, and Subaru Impreza are high-volume, well-priced machines with high consumer appeal, high practicality, and/or great gas mileage.  Others are updated versions of previous high-demand vehicles, and one is an all-new, trendy-as-Apple-crossover, the Land Rover Evoque.  Despite this, there are two examples that either don't fall into these categories or just don't make sense.  So what made the list, but probably shouldn't have?

Audi Q7 - Source

With an average of 11 days between the time the dealer takes delivery and the day the car is sold, the Audi Q7 was second on the list.  Released to generally positive reviews, the Q7 is a full-size crossover with a solid engine, a well-appointed interior and a reasonable entry price of $46,000.  The fact that the Q7 made the list isn't surprising; the fact that the smaller, more efficient, and less costly Audi Q5 was lower on the list is.  Ringing in at 4th, the Q5 had an average "time to turn" of 13 days.
Audi Q5 - Soure
This is a clear example of how people with money want to spend it, gas mileage, prices and size be damned.  Although the gas mileage difference isn't huge (Q5's 22 combined vs Q7's 18 combined), gas is still expensive and people still have to pay to fill up the tank.  So much for logic on this one; the days of the fullsize crossover are still upon us.

Even more surprising: the BMW X6 made the list at 5th, with an average lot time of only 14 days.  How this happened is beyond my comprehension; I simply can't wrap my head around the idea of the X6 being in such high demand.  So much emphasis is placed on practicality that a buyer must be absolutely dead-set on making a fashion statement when they pick the X6 over the X5 parked next to it at the local BMW dealer.  Not only does the X5 have the same engines, more practicality (35.8 cubic feet of interior cargo volume for the X5 vs. 25.6 cubic feet for the X6) and a whole lot less of the ugly gene, the X5 boasts a $12,000 lower entry price.  The premium demanded for the X6 goes entirely toward styling and making a statement that you care more about design than the usefulness of your brand-new BMW.  Whether or not you like the X6's appearance is personal preference; it definitely doesn't fall under the "everybody loves it" styling that the new Jeep Grand Cherokee does (I challenge you to find somebody who dislikes the Jeep's sheetmetal).  That being said, I don't think I will ever fully understand the X6 making this list.

BMW X6 - Source
All in all, there weren't many in the way of surprises on Edmund's list.  These two stood out as being surprising nearly to the level of shocking, though.  Next month will likely be more of the same, and I'm placing my bets on the Prius C taking the #1 spot next month.  Only time will tell.

- Ross B

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