CarMax 2015 Used Car Shopping Report: Nissan Altima the No. 1 choice for used car shoppers for the second year in a row

Second annual CarMax Used Car Shopping Report reveals popular add-on and upgrade features

Richmond, VA, 2015-6-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Nissan Altima was the No. 1 choice for used car shoppers at CarMax for the second year in a row, according to the company’s 2015Used Car Shopping Report published today. Data from the nation’s largest used car retailer also indicates domestic models are gaining favor: Five of the 10 most purchased vehicles from CarMax stores were made by American manufacturers, across all age groups.

Results are based on more than 550,000 vehicle sales at CarMax’s more than 140 stores nationwide between March 2014 and February 2015.

New to this year’s Used Car Shopping Report is insight into desired add-on and upgrade features. The most popular add-on purchased by CarMax buyers was leather interior, based on CarMax sales data. According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax, there is also interest in convenience and entertainment or luxury upgrades, such as navigation systems and satellite radio.

“At CarMax, knowing our customers’ wants and needs is critical to providing them with the best shopping experience possible,” said Cliff Wood, executive vice president of stores for CarMax. “For the second year in a row, Americans have chosen mid-sized sedans as their vehicle of choice. When it comes to add-ons and upgrades, features that keep consumers connected and comfortable continue to be popular.”

Malibu Passes Camry for No. 2 Spot

While the Nissan Altima remained CarMax’s top selling car, the Chevrolet Malibu sped into the No. 2 spot, passing the Toyota Camry, which fell to No. 4. Honda had two cars in the top five, the Accord (No. 3) and the Civic (No. 5).

Ford continues to perform well, occupying four of the top 20 spots overall. Ford vehicles especially appeal to Gen Xers, who purchased Fords more than any other age group, earning three spots in that generation’s top 10 vehicles. Ford also scored with Millennials, though their model preferences differed. Older generations most often purchased Explorers, Escapes, and F150s, while Millennials purchased the Fusion and Focus.

The majority of domestic vehicles moved up in rank above foreign cars, compared to last year. Gen Xers purchased cars from American manufacturers more than any other age group – of the top 10 vehicles purchased, six were from domestic makers.

Add-on Features Vary by Age and Region

While leather interiors rank at the top of add-on features among overall CarMax buyers, the popularity of other features purchased at CarMax locations varies in different parts of the country. Remote start technology, which held the No. 1 overall spot last year, still sells the most in the colder climates of the Midwest and Northeast. Leather interiors are more in demand in warmer climates of the West and South.

Wish List If Upgrade Features Were Suddenly More Affordable

CarMax also commissioned a survey with Ipsos Public Affairs that revealed consumers’ interest in vehicle convenience and entertainment or luxury upgrades.

When asked if purchasing a used car were to make convenience upgrade features suddenly more affordable, just under a third of respondents (30 percent) said that they would be most interested in a navigation system, while one in five would opt for remote start (21 percent). Park assist is more popular among Millennials than Baby Boomers (14 percent vs. 9 percent).

When it comes to entertainment or luxury upgrades, satellite radio and stereo systems were preferred by one in five (19 percent and 18 percent, respectively). Leather interior and sunroof followed in rank, with Millennials being more likely than Baby Boomers to opt for a sunroof. Nearly one in five Gen Xers (19 percent) were among those most likely to choose a back seat/headrest video system for their used car.

Self-Cleaning Car Tops Americans “Greatest Wish” List

When looking beyond the upgrade features that are available now when purchasing a used car, nearly a quarter said that a self-cleaning car (23 percent) would top their “greatest wish” list.

An infographic highlighting the results and a video showcasing the top five vehicles and add-on features is available.

About CarMax
CarMax, a member of the Fortune 500 and the S&P 500, and one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, for 11 consecutive years, is the nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., CarMax currently operates 147 used car stores in 75 markets. The CarMax consumer offer features low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified used vehicles and superior customer service. During the twelve months ended February 28, 2015, the company retailed 582,282 used vehicles and sold 376,186 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at

About the Ipsos Survey
These are findings from a survey conducted May 7-8, 2015 by Ipsos Public Affairs. For the survey, a sample of 1,004 U.S. adults age 18 and over was interviewed online. A factum of survey results is available at

Media Contacts

Casey Werderman, CarMax Public Relations, (804) 747-0422, ext. 4773
Twitter: @CarMax Facebook:

Lauren Llewellyn, PadillaCRT, (804) 675-8153,