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With the rise of ride-sharing apps, remote work, and multi-generational households, owning a car has become less critical for some. Generation Z, also known as “Zoomers,” has caught some flak for not wanting to purchase a car like their forbearers. However, Gen Z still loves their cars, with the Toyota Camry topping their following five favorites for 2023.

1. Toyota Camry

There’s a lot to love about the Camry. Its trim levels provide ease of use, intuitive technology, and a bevy of standard safety features. With 15.1 cubic feet of truck space, it’s more than enough for a weekly trip to the grocery store. As well, there are 100.4 cubic feet of total passenger volume, which means you can fit nearly everything but furniture when moving into your first apartment. 

It’s no good if a car has a history of breaking down or poor crash test ratings. Fortunately, the Camry passed each with flying colors. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gave the five-seater sedan a five-star safety rating. Moreover, there are no lingering recalls.

2. Toyota RAV4

Although it’s the only SUV on the list, the Toyota RAV4 is an unsurprising pick. Based on the company’s smaller offerings, it provides drivers will ample space and excellent fuel economy wrapped in a reliable package. Like most Toyotas, it’s available in a hybrid spec, which is as good to Gen Z as big engines were to Boomers.

Fuel economy and space aside, the RAV4 is also one of the safest SUVs on sale. iSeeCars rates it 10 out of 10 but also gives it top marks for resale value. Out of all hybrid SUVs available today, it ranks number one with an 8.8 out of 10 for value retention.

3. Toyota Corolla

If size is a concern for youngsters living in urban areas, the Corolla is optimal. With a starting price of just over $20,000, it’ll fit the most meager budgets. Moreover, the Corolla can now be had in a hybrid spec. Therefore, spending nearly $10,000 more for a Prius is unnecessary.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is also rated as a safer car than the Prius. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Corolla its Top Safety Pick designation for this year. Ratings apply to both the sedan and hatchback configurations.

4. Honda Civic

The Civic has been a youthful favorite for all generations. But the new car isn’t your parents’ Civic. It has gained size in its age but provides more power to match its spacious cabin. But if Gen Z drivers want a potent powertrain, the spicy Type-R has returned this year boasting 315 horsepower.

But if safety is a Gen Zer’s bag, the Civic has them covered. Rounding out the top of iSeeCars’ safest small cars list is the Honda Civic. It also had the highest reliability score in the segment with an 8.6 out of 10.

5. Chevrolet Silverado

Most wouldn’t expect a full-size pickup truck to be the center of attention for TikTok-loving Gen Zers. However, Business Insider asserts it’s a favorite among the generational cohort. With a 310-horsepower four-cylinder in the base model, it’s one of the most fuel-efficient Silverados to date. A base price above $40,000 may seem like a lot, but it’s one of the cheapest full-size pickup trucks available in 2023.

But if a new Silverado isn’t in the budget, a used one is a reliable pick. iSeeCars reports that at least 2.3% of all Chevrolet Silverados on the road have over 200,000 miles. Therefore, if Gen Zers find one with a good amount of miles on it, it will likely serve them well for long.

Why did Gen Z like the Toyota Camry so much?

The Toyota Camry is one of Gen Z's favorite cars
2023 Toyota Camry XSE | Toyota

With a starting MSRP of $26,200, the Toyota Camry—the best-looking model thus far—comes in 13 trim levels. That includes the various hybrid configurations. Standard Camrys stocked with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel drive will manage 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive drops the figures by a few but makes the Camry a near-perfect all-weather car.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is just over $2,000 more, but the fuel savings will make up the bill quickly. Drivers can expect an impressive 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. But both variations have the concern-quelling Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, rear-seat alert, traffic sign recognition, and many more.

While Millennials love their Japanese cars, Gen Z drivers may be more shrewd owners. Hagerty reports that Gen Z is the only generation that calls them for insurance quotes on more Asian cars than European. They are also three times more likely to quote a Japanese car compared to their Gen X parents. Furthermore, Zoomers account for 11 percent of all quotes for Korean cars, raising the desirability for the folks at Hyundai and Kia.


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