Auto Smarts: Cartelligent releases its top car brands of 2014 — BMW takes first

The BMW X5 crossover tied for first in Cartelligent’s volume of sales by individual models. The California-based company connects car buyers with the vehicle they want (Provided).

SAN FRANCISCO (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cartelligent has released its annual list of top-selling car brands, with BMW ranking on top.

The company said it’s unique in that it works directly with individual clients and helps them weigh their options to decide exactly which car is best for them.

According to the San Francisco-based venture, people often ask what brands are most popular with Cartelligent clients.

What follows is a list of the top results in 2014, which Cartelligent says contain “some surprises” from the brand’s figures a year earlier including a new top brand and top selling vehicle.

- 1. BMW (2013 Ranking – 2). BMW had a strong year among Cartelligent clients in 2014, reaching the top position, the company said. Boosting the numbers was the introduction of the 2 Series, 4 Series and the plug-in i3. The car broadened its reach and brought a number of first time buyers to the brand. Top sellers include the 3 Series, 4 Series, X1, X3 and X5.

- 2. Toyota (2013 Ranking – 1). For the first time, Toyota was not Cartelligent’s top selling brand. However, its reliability, resale value and fuel-efficiency kept its sales steady in the runner-up position. Top sellers include the Prius family, Highlander, Sienna, Tacoma and Camry.

- 3. Audi (2013 Ranking – 3). The clean lines and sporty handling of the brand make it a perennial favorite. In 2014, Audi added the A3 sedan and Q3 crossover to its line and both are already in demand with Cartelligent clients. Top sellers include the Q5 and Q7, A4, A6 and allroad.

- 4. Volkswagen (2013 Ranking – 4). Volkswagen offers a sporty drive and a variety of fuel-efficient engine choices including hybrid and diesel options. With the Golf and GTI winning the North American Car of the Year, it’s no surprise they’ve been a prevailing choice this year. Top sellers include the Jetta and Jetta SportWagen, Golf and Tiguan.

- 5. Honda (2013 Ranking – 5). Hondas remain a great option for those looking for a fun-to-drive, reliable vehicle that holds its resale value. Both the Fit and the Odyssey showed an increase over 2013 sales. Top sellers include the Odyssey, Accord, CR-V and Fit.

- 6. Mercedes-Benz (2013 Ranking – 6). The stylish GL-Class SUV and luxurious E-Class sedans remain the top selling Mercedes-Benz models, but the newly introduced CLA-Class and GLA-Class are off to a steady beginning with Cartelligent clients. Top sellers include the GL-Class, E-Class, C-Class, GLK-Class and ML-Class.

- 7. Lexus (2013 Ranking – 7). Lexus remains the leader in the luxury hybrid space and even falling gas prices haven’t decreased the demand for its hybrids with Cartelligent clients. Top sellers include the RX350 and RX450h, ES300h and CT200h.

- 8. Ford (2013 Ranking – 8). With its EcoBoost gas engines, hybrid models and Energi plug-in hybrids, Ford is building a reputation as a leader in fuel-efficiency. Ford trucks and SUVs remain solid choices while its sedans are achieving a growing loyalty with Cartelligent clients. Top sellers include the Fusion, Explorer, F-150 and C-Max.

- 9. Subaru (2013 Ranking – 9). Subaru’s combination of all-wheel drive, durability and fuel-efficiency make it for the outdoorsy crowd. Additionally, the brand’s EyeSight crash prevention system received the highest ranking possible by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Top sellers include the Outback, Forester and XV Crosstrek.

- 10. Jeep (2013 Ranking – 10 ). Jeeps remain a top choice for both families and outdoor enthusiasts. The refresh of the ever-popular Grand Cherokee and the complete redesign of the Cherokee led the brand’s sales growth. Top sellers include the Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Wrangler.

Meanwhile, Cartelligent cited the leading models by sales, which wound up as a tie at the top.

The Toyota Prius, which was third the year before, “remains the undisputed leader in hybrids and an attractive choice for clients who are looking to cut their spending on fuel,” the company said. It tied with the BMW X5, which was sixth in 2013. “With an available third row, the X5 combines the utility of a full-size SUV with the luxury and performance of a BMW,” according to Cartelligent.

In 2013, the Prius was dethroned as Cartelligent’s No. 1 seller by both the Audi Q5 and the BMW 3 Series. This year, the introduction of the 2 and 4 Series has diluted sales of the 3 series enough to bring it down to No. 4 on this list while the Audi Q5 was narrowly edged out for the best-selling vehicle, the company said.

Formed in 2000, Cartelligent for more than a decade has connected auto buyers with the new car they want, at a below market price, it said.