Teenagers want a Volkswagen Beetle, Honda Civic or BMW 3-Series sedan — not a Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Stratus, GMC Envoy, Subaru Legacy or Toyota Scion tC.
That's the finding of a national survey of 16- to 19-year-olds conducted by market research firm TNS Automotive to learn what vehicles are on teen wish lists.
The survey also gauges how effective manufacturers have been in attracting much-coveted youth to their brands.
“The auto makers are improving (in youth marketing) but still have work to do and would make a mistake in assuming teens have the same preferences as adults,” says TNS President Andy Turton.
Brands teens most desire: VW, Honda, BMW, Pontiac and Mazda. Least desirable: Jaguar, Scion, Kia, Dodge, Chrysler and Subaru.
Chevrolet and Ford are middle-of-the-road choices among teens, considered safe and reliable, but “nothing special when it comes to styling,” Turton says.
That's significant because the No.1 reason teens give for favoring a car is exterior styling. Forty-three percent say so.
Turton says that while adults have gravitated toward trucks in recent years, teens favor sedans (37%) or coupes (33%) as their first choice in what to buy. Only 14% of teens favor pickups, 8% SUVs.
One surprise: Scion, Toyota's so-called youth brand, apparently is failing to capture much attention from teens.