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Consumer Searches for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Start to Cool Off as Gas Prices Decline

For the first time in several months, consumer searches for fuel-efficient vehicles have begun to fade, according to the latest Consumer Search Index.

Searches for popular fuel-efficient vehicles like the Toyota Prius showed a significant decline month over month as gasoline prices began to fall. The Prius, which was among the top 10 most-searched vehicles on in previous months, now leads the list of largest used-car search decreases. Other used, fuel-efficient vehicles now showing declines after gaining significantly in previous months include the Honda Insight, Geo Metro and Toyota Echo.

Despite search declines, fuel-efficient vehicles still dominate in terms of lead activity, a strong sign that fuel economy is still a key consideration for purchase. Honda's fuel-efficient models drove more email inquiries to dealers than any other used vehicles.

New Vehicle Introductions Spur Consumer Interest

As new vehicles and redesigned 2006 models are introduced into the market — accompanied by major marketing campaigns and increased public relations efforts — there is typically an immediate boost in consumer search activity. The Jeep Commander and Ford Fusion are two vehicles that have seen significant increases in both new- and used-vehicle searches as a result of successful marketing campaigns.

About the Consumer Search Index

The Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the internet search behavior of visitors. The statistical information is compiled by tracking the more than 6 million unique visitors who log on to each month and the vehicles that are most popular. The lists are based off a minimum of 4,000 searches for any given vehicle. Dealer inquiries measure the volume of emails consumers send to dealers seeking information about a particular vehicle. The information is supported by expert analysis from the editorial staff. More statistical information to support automotive-related stories is available upon request. Please contact Steve Nolan directly at 312-601-5163.

About lists more than 1.4 million vehicles from 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of consumers connect with sellers each month.

About Classified Ventures

Launched in June 1998, is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, (, which is owned by six leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).


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