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Searches for Fuel-Efficient New Cars Heat Up on Cars.com

High Gas Prices Have Consumers Shopping for Hybrids Again

As gas prices start to rise, searches for hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars have once again become popular among Cars.com visitors.

Subcompacts like the Toyota Yaris and hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid all made the list of new cars experiencing the largest month-over-month gain in search activity. On the flip side, of the new cars experiencing the largest decrease in searches, seven out of the top 10 are trucks or SUVs.

"This is fairly consistent with what we experienced last year," said Patrick Olsen, managing editor of Cars.com. "Many consumers see gas prices rise and want information about more fuel-efficient cars. What's different this year is that supply for some of these vehicles has caught up with demand, which means that consumers might be able to find a better deal on popular hybrids like the Prius."

In addition to getting a better deal on many hybrid vehicles, consumers might also be looking to take advantage of tax credits before they're reduced and ultimately phased out for certain hybrids. Once a manufacturer hits the 60,000-sold mark, tax credits begin to be phased out. Toyota is the only automaker to have reached the mark, having sold its 60,000th hybrid car in summer 2006. Starting Oct. 1, 2007, Toyota and Lexus hybrids will be ineligible for tax credits. For more information on hybrid tax credits, visit Cars.com's Hybrid Buying Guide.

Below are lists of the most-searched new cars and the new cars experiencing the largest increase and decrease in searches on Cars.com.

New Cars With Largest Increase in Searches (April)
1 Honda Civic Hybrid 15 %
2 Volkswagen Jetta 9 %
3 Toyota Yaris 9 %
4 Jeep Patriot 8 %
5 Mercedes C-Class 7 %
6 Toyota Prius 7 %
7 BMW 335 7 %
8 Ford Mustang 7 %
9 Toyota Corolla 5 %
10 Chevrolet Cobalt 4 %

Top New Car Searches (April)
1 Honda Civic
2 Toyota Camry
3 Honda Accord
4 Nissan Altima
5 Acura MDX
6 Honda CR-V
7 Ford Mustang
8 Toyota RAV4
9 Chevrolet Silverado
10 BMW 328

New Cars with Largest Decrease in Searches (April)
1 Jeep Grand Cherokee 16 %
2 Ford F-150 14 %
3 Pontiac G-5 13 %
4 BMW X5 13 %
5 Honda Pilot 12 %
6 Honda Odyssey 11 %
7 Mazda CX-7 10 %
8 Ford Explorer 10 %
9 Dodge Ram 9 %
10 Dodge Avenger 8 %

Email Leads Sent to Dealers (April)
1 Honda Civic
2 Toyota Camry
3 Honda CR-V
4 Toyota Prius
5 Toyota RAV4
6 Toyota Corolla
7 Honda Accord
8 Honda Odyssey
9 Toyota Tacoma
10 Toyota Sienna

About Cars.com

Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 2 million vehicles from 13,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer the more than 9 million unique visitors who log on to the site each month the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Cars.com 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 car shoppers connect with sellers each month.

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

About the Cars.com Consumer Search Index

The Cars.com Consumer Search Index offers a comprehensive look at the internet search behavior of Cars.com visitors. The statistical information is compiled by tracking the more than 9 million unique visitors that log on to Cars.com each month and the vehicles that are most popular. The lists are based off a minimum of 10,000 searches. Dealer inquiries measure the volume of emails consumers send to dealers seeking information about a particular vehicle.

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