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High Gas Prices Have Consumers Searching for Hybrids on Cars.com

With gas prices again topping $3 a gallon, consumer interest in hybrid vehicles on Cars.com has increased dramatically over the past month. According to Cars.com's latest Consumer Search Index, all hybrid vehicles on the site have experienced an increase in consumer searches. Six of the top 10 and 12 of the top 25 new cars experiencing the largest increase in search activity over the past month are hybrids.

The Toyota Prius continues to dominate among hybrids, leading the way among hybrid searches. It also ranks high among overall new-car searches, coming in with the sixth most searches of any new car on Cars.com.

"This has become an ongoing occurrence: Consumers see gas prices at the pumps go up and they research what types of alternatives are available," said Cars.com managing editor Patrick Olsen. "The Toyota Prius is obviously the hybrid that gets the most attention, since it has been on the market for several years. But consumers are starting to discover that there are now dozens of new hybrid cars and SUVs on the market -- and more are on the way."

The Ford Escape Hybrid, which was the first hybrid SUV on the market, had a record number of searches in November and ranked second to the Toyota Prius in total number of searches for a hybrid. The Honda Civic Hybrid ranked third.

Top New-Car Searches Overall (November)
1Honda Accord
2Honda Civic
3Honda CR-V
4Toyota Camry
5Nissan Altima
6Toyota Prius
7Toyota Corolla
8Ford Mustang
9Toyota RAV4
10Mercedes-Benz C-Class

New Cars With Largest Increase in Searches (November)
1Mazda Tribute Hybrid123%
2Ford Escape Hybrid93%
3Honda Civic Hybrid51%
4Chevrolet Malibu46%
5Mercury Mariner Hybrid41%
6Audi S537%
7Chevrolet Malibu Classic33%
8Lexus LS 600h32%
9Toyota Prius31%

Top Hybrid Searches (November)
1Toyota Prius
2Ford Escape Hybrid
3Honda Civic Hybrid
4Toyota Camry Hybrid
5Honda Accord Hybrid
6Nissan Altima Hybrid
7Lexus RX 400h
8Saturn Vue Green Line
9Mercury Mariner Hybrid
10Lexus LS 600h

New Cars With Largest Decrease in Searches (November)
1Mercedes-Benz C-Class29%
2Nissan Pathfinder25%
3Nissan Frontier23%
4Chevrolet Suburban23%
5Honda Accord23%
6Honda Pilot22%
7Volkswagen Jetta22%
8Dodge Nitro21%
9Jeep Liberty 21%
10Nissan Altima21%

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 8 million unique visitors that log on to Cars.com each month and the vehicles that are most popular. Cars need to meet a minimum number of searches to qualify for the various top ten lists.

About Cars.com

Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their websites, Cars.com (www.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 15,000 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. 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).

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