Here at High Gear Media, we're deep in the first-drive cycle for the 2011 model year, even as you're still shopping and reading up on 2010 models. But with 2011 models available in showrooms on a case-by-case basis, those new vehicles are surging on our monthly list of the most-researched vehicles at TheCarConnection, our flagship new-car review site.
As it was in August, September proved to be a strong month for the brands that surveys have shown are the most-shopped in today's car market: Ford, Hyundai and Kia. Some brand-new models are in the mix as well, and it's a striking point to see how many mainstream brands--and how many utility vehicles--still are at the top of your click-throughs.
There has been some change in the past month. Our most popular reviews in August included the Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Equus and Ford Transit Connect. They're still in the hunt, but have been displaced this month by a pair of new family cars and a returning favorite from Toyota.
For the month of September, these are the most popular new-vehicle reviews at High Gear Media:
1) 2010 Kia Soul: The Soul outsmarts fun urban wagons like the and Nissan Cube with uniquely kicky styling, more room, and an easygoing attitude.
2) 2011 Ford Edge: The newly updated crossover includes MyFord Touch, a tech-heavy, user-friendly way to control car functions and reduce button daze
3) 2010 Kia Forte: A strong contender in every way—a surprisingly good-looking, enjoyable-to-drive car that will hold the budget down.
4) 2011 Honda Odyssey: The class-leading minivan for driving feel and interior quality hits its target again, though it still lacks the ultimate flexibility of the Chrysler minivans.
5) 2011 Hyundai Sonata - Hybrid - 2.0T turbo: One of the most highly-ranked family sedans is a huge win at its sub-$20,000 price point--and Hybrid and Turbo models are coming soon.
6) 2011 Kia Sportage: With a little more SUV baked into its shape than its cousin Tucson has, the Sportage feels a bit more authentic--if you'll pardon the marketing-speak.
7) 2011 Toyota Sienna: With more room and adult-duty second-row seats, the Sienna leaves ultimate flexibility and entertainment to the competition.
8) 2011 Ford Fiesta: A stylish and small subcompact that falls just size-shy of the roomy Honda Fit.
9) 2010 Toyota Venza: Toyota's hatchback-sedan-crossover blend resurfaces on our top-reviews list; will it show up on sales charts strongly, too?
10) 2010 Ford Fusion: Proof that Detroit can build a comfortable, high-quality, fine-driving, and hyper-efficient sedan.
For the 2011 model year, High Gear Media is bringing you full reviews of nearly every new car on the market, reviews that give you our take on styling, performance, comfort, safety and features, with a numeric score. This year we're bringing them to you in a new, easy-to-read format with more of the information you need to make an informed decision. If you'd like to see more, different or better reviews on our flagship site, TheCarConnection.com, let us know at feedback [at] highgearmedia (dot) com, via Twitter @highgearmedia, or on our Facebook fan page.