Over the past decade, cars have become smarter and more efficient, incorporating gadgets and features that make driving easier and safer.
While cars themselves have been changing, what about the popularity of the various marques and models? We’ve analysed Google search data to see how the popular appeal of car manufacturers and their vehicles have changed over the past ten years.
Search popularity: car brands
There was a clear winner when it came to brands, with searches for the electric vehicle brand Tesla increasing by an incredible 1,262% since 2010. While Elon Musk’s company was started back in 2003, their popularity (along with electric vehicles in general) has only really taken off in the second half of the decade, as charging infrastructure improved.
Some of the brands which saw their popularity drop over the course of the decades include Fiat (down 52%), Citroën (down 48%) and Vauxhall (down 45%).
Search popularity: car models
Next, we took a look at some of the most popular car models on the roads, to see which have seen their popularity rise and fall the most over the last ten years.
The car which saw the biggest increase in popularity was the MINI Hatchback, with an increase of 146% in searches, showing that even as the iconic vehicle enters its seventh decade, it’s still a firm favourite.
Two Vauxhall vehicles occupied the bottom two spots, with the Corsa and Astra seeing interest decline by 72% and 66%, respectively, over the decade.
Search popularity: vehicle types
As technology changes and we start to take our carbon footprint more seriously, it’s perhaps no surprise to see hybrid (304%) and electric cars (182%) amongst the vehicles which have seen the biggest increase in popularity over the decade.
On the other hand, flashier vehicles such as sports cars (down 23%), coupes (down 15%) and convertibles (down 13%) were among the few vehicle types to see searches fall.
For each car make, model and type, we used Google Trends to determine the level of search interest in both 2010 and 2020, before calculating how this has changed between the two.
Google Trends normalises search volume data by giving a score out of 100 for each month in a given period, with 100 being the month which a term received the most searches.
Using this, we looked back to the beginning of 2010, taking an average score for 2010 and an average score for 2020, before comparing the two.