Several regions across Canada saw changes in behaviour when it came to the vehicles consumers wanted.
AutoTrader put together a province-by-province review of how car shoppers’ behaviours have changed — or not changed — in 2023 compared to the year before.
Here’s what they found:
After two straight years of a growing emphasis on economical vehicles, the appearance of the BMW X5 (No. 7 on the list ) could indicate the tide is turning back to luxury vehicles. Composed of 60 per cent luxury, BC’s top searched vehicles list has the highest number of luxury brands of all regions in 2023.
The Wildrose province maintained its affinity for larger vehicles. The majority of Alberta’s top searched vehicles consisted of trucks and SUVs. The entry of two trucks, Toyota Tacoma (seventh) and the Dodge Ram 1500 (third) demonstrate how larger vehicles are continuing to dominate in Alberta.
It’s much of the same in Saskatchewan. The province is known for its penchant for practicality and that hasn’t changed. The Dodge Ram 1500 (second) and Toyota 4Runner (ninth) made up 80 per cent of the most functional vehicles. Luxury brands continue to be out of the running in the province, and the Honda Civic and Jeep Grand Cherokee fell off the Top 10 list.
Manitoba leads the country when it comes to SUVs, with 40 per cent of the province’s top searched list occupied by the Toyota RAV4 (second), Honda CR-V (fifth), Jeep Wrangler (seventh) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (ninth). The Toyota Highlander and luxury vehicles — Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series — were pushed out by the Dodge Ram 1500 sixth), Toyota Tacoma (eighth) and Chevrolet Corvette (10th). The drop out of luxury vehicles from the province’s Top 10 list indicate that Manitobans are prioritizing pragmatic vehicles this year.
Ontarians want sedans. Cars continue to be the segment of choice in Ontario. Trucks are slowly gaining momentum as The Ford F-150 claimed the top spot in the province, with the Dodge Ram 1500 (10th) pushing the Honda Accord off the Top 10 this year. Ontario continues to lean towards luxury with four of the Top 10 vehicles featured on this year’s list consisting of luxury nameplates. Economical options are limited to the Honda Civic (down two spots to third), following the loss of the Honda Accord.
Economic styles remain popular in Quebec. The top five contenders on Quebec’s top searched list remained consistent with 2022. Ruling the province is the tried-and-true Honda Civic, followed by the Porsche 911, the Toyota RAV4 — which dropped the BMW 3 Series to fourth — and the Ford F-150 to round out the top five. The only new vehicle to make it on this year’s list is the Jeep Wrangler ninth), pushing out the Mazda3. The national champion, the Ford F-150, has remained stagnant in Quebec, with the lowest ranking in the country, coming in fifth spot.
No more downsizing out east. The Atlantic provinces shifted their focus back to larger vehicles with trucks and SUVs taking 70 per cent of this year’s list. Compared to last year when 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 (eighth) and Toyota Tundra (ninth), leaves the Honda Civic (second), the Ford Mustang (fifth), and the Chevrolet Corvette (tenth) as the only sedans on this year’s Top Searched list.