Generation Z Helps Keep the Daewoo and Other Forgotten Vehicles on U.S. Roads

“If you can drive a Daewoo while all of your friends are driving newer Hondas or Toyotas, you can kind of stand out from the crowd.”

Who says that kids these days have no appreciation for history? When it comes to car shopping preferences, Generation Z is playing its part in keeping some ancient and forgotten vehicles on the road today.

According to an Edmunds.com analysis of vehicle registration data from Polk, U.S. shoppers age 18-24 bought 181,906 used cars this year (through April), compared to just 27,670 new cars. In other words, America’s youngest car shoppers buy 6.5 times more used cars than new cars.

And while it’s not exactly a stunner that college kids are buying used cars, a deeper dive reveals some fun and interesting insights. A look at used cars purchased this year, for example, finds that the top three vehicles with the highest share of buyers age 18-24 are true blasts from the past: Daewoo Lanos, Eagle Talon, and Nissan 240. Incredibly, out of the top 20 used vehicles with the highest shares of Gen Z buyers this year, only one—Mitsubishi Lancer—is still slated for ongoing production.

 Vehicles with Largest Share of 18-24 Year Old Registrants*

Model Share of Registrations by 18-24
DAEWOO LANOS 7.0%
EAGLE TALON 6.2%
NISSAN 240 5.5%
ACURA INTEGRA 5.1%
HONDA PRELUDE 5.0%
MITSUBISHI LANCER 4.7%
ACURA RSX 4.7%
KIA SEPHIA 4.7%
FORD ASPIRE 4.7%
DAEWOO LEGANZA 4.6%
SATURN AURA 4.6%
PONTIAC G6 4.3%
SCION TC 4.3%
DODGE DART 4.3%
SUZUKI FORENZA 4.3%
MITSUBISHI GALANT 4.2%
PONTIAC AZTEK 4.2%
DODGE CALIBER 4.1%
SUZUKI VITARA 4.1%
DODGE NEON 4.1%
*Edmunds.com analysis of vehicle registration data from Polk; includes used car models with a minimum of 100 total sales from Jan-Apr 2016. Only model years from 1996 to 2016 were included in the data.

“For most young car buyers, it’s price first and then everything else is gravy,” says Edmunds.com director of industry analysis Jessica Caldwell. “There’s no doubt that you’re probably getting a good deal these days on an Eagle Talon or a Ford Aspire—both of which ceased production in the ’90s. It’s easy to look at this list and have a good laugh, but the kids buying these vehicles see them almost like a fashion statement. If you can drive a Daewoo while all of your friends are driving newer Hondas or Toyotas, you can kind of stand out from the crowd.”

So where’s the used car sweet spot for 18-24 year old buyers? Edmunds found that this group is mostly likely attracted to cars that are 10-15 years old. Gen Z’ers have bought more than twice as many 2001-06 model year vehicles this year than they have brand new 2016 vehicles.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.

Car shopping destination Edmunds.com serves nearly 20 million visitors each month. Regarded as one of the best places to work in Southern California, Edmunds.com was also named one of “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Automotive” by Fast Company. The company is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Michigan, but you can find Edmunds from anywhere on YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and Flipboard.

Photo: Svyatkovsky / Shutterstock.com

 

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