How Polar Vortexes Changed Car Shopping Preferences


The harsh winter, during which many areas of the us saw temperatures dip well below zero degrees, changed car shopping preferences, according to a new study from, with utility vehicles replacing certain other car segments like a popular choice in several locations.

While it makes sense to find out the winter elements encourage a shift to larger utility-type vehicles, the latest winters was without this influence on shopping patterns, said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of However, a regular wave of arctic-type conditions may have contributed to this winter’s shift in shopping preferences in many parts of the country.

Utility vehicles saw big spikes in interest during the period of this frosty winter, although midsize sedans remained typically the most popular segment for consumers. About fourteen percent of car shoppers preferred midsize crossovers (up from 9.2 percent last winter), 13.2 percent preferred full-size crossovers (up from 7.5 percent) and 11.8 percent preferred midsize SUVs (up from 6.9%).

Compact crossovers and SUVs, in addition to entry level cars were noticeable exclusions from this winter’s most-preferred list.

According to Swapalease, and the corresponding percent of car shoppers that opted for a particular segment, below are probably the most-shopped types of cars from winter 2014.

Upper midsize car (14.3 percent)

Midsize crossover (14.1 percent)

Full-size crossover (13.2 percent)

Midsize SUV (11.8 percent)

Entry midsize car (9.4 percent)