Cash for clunkers: Top 10 most popular new cars and trade ins

Consumer Reports News: August 25, 2009 01:05 PM

The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program concluded last night, in theory, though dealers have been allowed to submit claims today, as well. Ongoing computer challenges hampered the claims process, leading to the official extension to 8 p.m. EDT this evening. As the final figures are being tallied, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided a preview of the most popular vehicles purchased and traded in through the " cash for clunkers" program.

The latest data shows an average 15.8 mpg fuel economy on traded-in models and 25 mpg on the new, replacement vehicles – an overall 9.2 mpg increase.

Thus far, 84 percent of trade-ins under the program are trucks and 59 percent of new vehicle purchases are cars. The most-popular new cars bought through the program all offer very good fuel economy, contributing to the significant fuel savings.

Top 10 cash for clunkers purchases
  1. Toyota Corolla
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Toyota Camry
  5. Hyundai Elantra
  6. Toyota Prius
  7. Nissan Versa
  8. Ford Escape FWD
  9. Honda Fit
  10. Honda CR-V AWD
The above links point to model overviews, available to online subscribers.
Top 10 cash for clunkers trade ins
  1. Ford Explorer 4WD
  2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
  3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
  4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
  5. Ford Explorer 2WD
  6. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan
  7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
  8. Ford F-150 Pickup 4WD
  9. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
  10. Ford Windstar
This list highlights the potential safety improvements the program has brought with the newer cars. While many of the clunkers traded in were larger, none of the top-10 offered electronic stability control side-curtain air bags, or tire pressure monitoring systems. All were standard features on most of the top 10 new purchases under the program. (Read: “ Cash for clunkers: The safety advantages with new cars.”)

Have you traded in a clunker? Share your experience in our cash for clunkers forum

Jeff Bartlett

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