Contrary to what the research showed just five years ago, the number of millennial car buyers is growing. Even as early as 2015, there were signs that millennials were buying more cars. So we checked sources such as The Detroit Bureau and Quote Wizard to learn more about the automobile buying trends for this generational cohort.
Surprisingly, the top five most popular cars for millennials aren’t SUVs. Recovering from heavy student debt and a slow economy, millennials are gaining more earning power, but they’re going for more practical cars and affordable brands.
Millennial new car buyers on the rise
According to this 2018 Pew Social Trends report, millennials with a full-time job and a bachelor’s degree had a median household income of $56,000. And by 2020, millennials will overtake Baby Boomers in buying most of the cars in the US.
Currently, 51% % of buyers of new sedans in the US are ages 25-54. However, Automotive News tells us, millennials alone will be responsible for 40% of all new car purchases by the end of 2020.
The 5 most popular new cars for Millennials
Quote Wizard provides a list of the top 10 cars millennials are driving. As you can see, millennials are buying smaller, less expensive cars than their baby boomer parents. Here are the top 5:
1. Honda Accord – $23,720
The Honda Accord is worth falling in love with at first sight. Just look at the tweet above. The 2019 Honda Accord has standard features like LED headlights and taillights, dual-zone climate control, and a digital driver’s meter. The vehicle also comes with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist technologies.
2. Nissan Altima – $23,900
The Nissan Altima rivals the Honda Accord in affordability and popularity among millennials. According to Consumer Reports, the 2019 Nissan Altima has a standard 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.
In addition to Bluetooth pairing, it comes with voice-recognition services through Google Assistant/Siri. Owners can use the remote lock/unlock and engine stop/start features with Android Wear and Apple Watch by accessing the NissanConnect Services App.
However, there are still manual knobs for volume control and audio tuning. The climate controls on the dash also have traditional buttons and knobs. As a new addition, Consumer Reports notes, the Nissan Altima is equipped with Intelligent all-wheel drive.
3. Honda Civic – $19,450
Another practical favorite, the base model for the 2019 Honda Civic comes with a 5-inch display screen. The media hub contains a standard Bluetooth, four speakers, and a USB port.
Beyond the basics, there is a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system available that provides support for CarPlay and Android Auto. Like the Nissan Altima, there is a traditional physical volume knob on the dashboard to control the volume, plus the center stack has climate control knobs. The vehicle also comes with the Honda Sensing driver assistance and safety package features.
4. Toyota Camry – $23,945
Rated by US News and World Report as the year’s top sedan, standard features for the Toyota Camry include the Entune infotainment system with its 7-inch touch screen and a six-speaker audio system.
Bluetooth, a USB port, and a Wifi hotspot are also included, as well as the Siri Eyes Free voice recognition system. New for 2019, Camry’s Entune infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. Y
ou can also get an upgraded infotainment system that comes with an 8-inch touch screen plus two additional USB ports. A nine-speaker JBL audio system and a satellite radio complete the upgraded infotainment system, U.S. News tells us. Lastly, the vehicle comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense suite.
5. Hyundai Sonata – $22,500
Car and Driver report that the 2019 Hyundai Sonata comes with a standard infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen, and is equipped with standard features Apple CarPlay and Android Apple. The vehicle also has an optional feature offering of an eight-inch touchscreen.
Hyundai’s Blue Link services are available for controlling vehicle functions plus monitor maintenance with smartphone apps and Amazon Alexa. Driver-assistance equipment is available, Car and Driver notes, but these features are mostly for the top-model trims.
In short, millennials are in fact driving, but they aren’t going for the SUV’s and the luxury models that attracted the baby boomer generation. They’re driving smarter, buying less expensive cars at this time, and will be the main consumer of new U.S. cars in the future.