Cars and Drivers

This Is the Internet's Favorite Car

bluebeat76 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

One reason car sales have surged this year is the pent-up demand from when people could not visit dealers during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. New car sales in the United States looked like they would rise above the magic 17 million vehicles a year, a level at which the industry’s financial health is considered robust.

The car unit sales growth took a horrible hit as the supply of semiconductor chips used in vehicle electronics systems effectively dried up. Dealer lots started to empty. Popular models were not available at all. Car companies started to shut down assembly lines. The effect was that both new and used car prices soared as demand outran supply.

Among the other changes this year is that more people started to shop online. Once again, people could not go to dealerships for weeks. E-commerce had been a major part of the sales of other products. One only has to look at Amazon to see that. So, dealers became creative. People could buy cars and have them delivered to their homes.

How often a car was mentioned on the internet became an important measure of potential sales. Additionally, people looked for cars that were rare but popular, in some cases because of their astonishing performance.

Researchers from Zutobi looked at “makes and models [that] create the most buzz across online platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Reddit by looking at the number of times they are mentioned and posted about.” These three are among the most widely used social media, so they are a reasonable proxy for internet interest.

Car popularity was measured on a scale of 1 to 10. The top car on this basis was the Nissan GT-R with a score of 8.66, well above the car in second place.

The Nissan GT-R was launched in 2007. It is among the vehicles that are known as supercars. These have massive engines that put out high horsepower and tremendous acceleration, and they excel when tested on professional tracks. The current model has a 3.8-liter DOHC 24-valve twin-turbocharged V6 engine and four-wheel drive. The engine puts out 600 HP. The GT-R is priced from $114,000 to $210,000, depending on the configuration.

These are the 25 most popular cars on the internet and their popularity scores:

  • Nissan GT-R: 8.66
  • Ford Mustang: 7.10
  • Honda Civic: 7.02
  • Range Rover: 5.16
  • Tesla Model S: 4.75
  • Mazda3: 4.68
  • Porsche 911: 4.62
  • Audi R8: 4.26
  • Toyota Corolla: 3.97
  • Toyota Supra: 3.95
  • Subaru WRX: 3.86
  • Tesla Model 3: 3.77
  • Jeep Wrangler: 3.68
  • Volkswagen Golf: 3.62
  • Fiat 500: 3.59
  • Mercedes-AMG GT: 2.93
  • Toyota Camry: 2.91
  • Dodge Charger: 2.90
  • Chevrolet Camaro: 2.87
  • Lamborghini Aventador: 2.81
  • Jeep Cherokee: 2.69
  • Honda NSX: 2.65
  • Audi RS6: 2.65
  • Chevrolet Corvette: 2.62
  • Subaru Forester: 2.56

Click here to see which is the fastest-selling car in America.

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