TrueCar.com Study Identifies Top 10 Vehicles in Wealthiest Zip Codes Half of Vehicles are Non-Luxury Brands; Only Two Vehicles Over $50K

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Just because you're wealthy doesn't mean you drive the flashiest car on the block, according to a recent TrueCar.com study that reviewed the top vehicles purchased in the wealthiest zip codes. While admittedly, luxury cars may fit into the stereotype lifestyles of these rich and famous, TrueCar data shows there are plenty of wealthy consumers who opt to drive mainstream brands. 

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TrueCar.com, the authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasting information, examined the car buying preferences of residents in the 10 wealthiest zip codes in the United States, as determined by the Internal Revenue Service to determine the most 10 most popular vehicles sold in America's wealthiest neighborhoods.

Among the top 10 most popular vehicles in America's wealthiest neighborhoods, half are non-luxury vehicles. And in a demographic where a car budget doesn't seem to be much of a concern, all vehicles are priced less than $50,000 -- with the exception of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW X5.

Some of the key findings in the data include:

  • The Toyota Prius was the most popular vehicle in Ross and Century City, Calif.
  • Of the top five vehicles purchased in Downtown Chicago, none were from luxury brands
  • The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was the most expensive model purchased in top ten wealthiest Zip codes
  • Manhattan represents the city with the wealthiest zip code and the most popular vehicle purchased was the Mercedes-Benz E-Class while the Honda CR-V rounds out the top five
  • SUV's are popular in Greenwich, Conn. with four out of the top five
  • The Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are the only two minivans to make the top five purchased by residents in Medina, Wash.

"Luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus are the top choice for the well-off, but with wealth often comes freedom of choice. The data demonstrates, that wealthy consumers of today make value a top priority as half the vehicles purchased are from mainstream brands including Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen that offer the best in vehicle amenities and comfort that near those of some luxury models," said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. "For affluent buyers who live in places where environmental concerns reign supreme, the Toyota Prius is the ultimate status symbol in eco-luxury."

Most Popular Cars Sold in America's Wealthiest Zip Codes

Rank

Make/Model

Segment

MSRP*

Market Average**

% Discount from MSRP***

1

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Luxury Car

$51,365

$48,068

6.4%

2

BMW 328

Luxury Car

$35,795

$34,461

3.7%

3

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Luxury Car

$36,095

$34,144

5.4%

4

Lexus RX

Luxury SUV

$39,950

$37,628

5.8%

5

Toyota Prius

Small Car

$30,565

$29,525

3.4%

6

Volkswagen Jetta

Small Car

$26,085

$24,978

4.2%

7

Honda CR-V

Midsize SUV

$29,575

$28,875

2.4%

8

Honda Accord

Midsize Car

$23,070

$21,210

8.1%

9

Toyota Camry

Midsize Car

$25,535

$23,871

6.5%

10

BMW X5

Luxury SUV

$58,595

$54,995

6.1%

Wealthiest Zips data based on IRS Tax table, filtered for zip codes with a thousand returns or more. If the particular zip code didn't have a large enough sample size, it was expanded to include surrounding zip codes. Zip codes are in the file that are associated to the location. *MSRP is based on the most popular trim. **Market Average is estimated based on the national average of recent vehicle transactions, including destination and delivery charges after incentives that are subject to change, but does not include tax, title, licensing, documentation or processing fees, other state and governmental charges and/or fees, or any other charges or fees allowed by law. ***Percent Discount is rounded to the nearest tenth.

For more information on the most popular cars broken out by the wealthiest zip code, please visit the TrueCar Blog at blog.truecar.com.

About TrueCar, Inc.

TrueCar, Inc. is an online automotive information and communications platform focused on creating a better car buying experience for dealers and consumers.  Consumers want a hassle-free car buying experience and dealers want high-quality sales velocity.  TrueCar helps achieve these goals by providing unbiased market information on new car transactions and by supplying an online communications platform through which dealers and consumers can communicate with each other.  TrueCar's market-based information provides both consumers and dealers with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of what others actually paid recently for similar vehicles, both locally and nationally.  TrueCar's communications platform then allows informed, ready-to-buy consumers to communicate directly with participating dealers.  Some of the nation's largest and most well respected membership and service organizations rely on websites powered by TrueCar to help educate their members and customers who are in the automotive market.  TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, and has offices in San Francisco, CA, and Austin, TX.  After experiencing dramatic growth since 2006, TrueCar is developing a suite of products and services centered on radical clarity through the comprehensive analysis of market data and information.  TrueCar's participating dealer partners have sold over 500,000 new vehicles to TrueCar users nationwide.

You can follow TrueCar on Twitter (@TrueCar) and become a fan of TrueCar on Facebook and Google+.

SOURCE TrueCar.com



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