After a few difficult years, Canada’s economy is in a relatively good place — and it’s causing our collective taste in cars to get a whole lot flashier.
Online automotive marketplace autoTRADER.ca revealed the most-searched cars on its website in 2017. They totally defy any national stereotypes about Canadians being humble and modest. Quite the contrary: these babies are fast, sporty, and muscular.
Topping the list is the Ford F-150 pickup truck.
With models that can run as much as $70,000, the truck, whose popularity can be attributed to its versatility and rugged aesthetic, has long ranked as one of the best-selling vehicles in the country (and the most frequently stolen).
In second place is the Ford Mustang (starting price: $26,000), followed by the BMW 3-Series (starting price: $41,000).
Even cars at the bottom of the ranking tended to be of the more upscale variety. These include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, various models in the BMW M Series, and Porsche 911 models.
But consumers aren’t just searching these for these cars on their lunch break — they’re actually going out and buying them.
Another report from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants found the brands that had the biggest increase in Canadian sales this year were all high-end: topping the list were Volvo, Volkswagen, and Porsche.
Right now, the national unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since early 2008. That’s caused improvements in both spending power and consumer confidence — but the flipside is that consumer debt also shot up again this year.
Auto loans account for much of this debt: an RBC report from June found that car loan debt quadrupled over the past 10 years, pushing car sales to record highs.
All data considered, “it makes sense that Canadian car shoppers may be considering more upscale brands,” said Michael Bettencourt, managing editor of autoTRADER.ca.
Just make sure it doesn't set you off-course from your own financial goals. Getting a nicer car because your neighbour upgraded theirs is rarely a good idea — after all, your mileage may vary.