Baby boomer preferences about used cars

Baby boomer Paul Briand keeps his finger on the pulse of baby boomer trends for What he writes about today is our preferences for cars … used cars. Maybe we grew up with tin-can imports … but the world has changed.

When it comes to buying used cars, Baby Boomers favor foreign over domestic.

CarMax, is the nation’s largest retailer of usedvehicles, has just published its inaugural CarMax Used Car Shopping Report and it shows foreign makes — led by theToyota Camry — represent eight of the Top 10 used vehicles sold to Boomers in fiscal year 2014.

There was a time - decades ago - when many young boomers were defined by the VW "bug."

There was a time – decades ago – when many young boomers were defined by the VW “bug.”

Here are the Top 10 used car sales among Baby Boomers:

  1. Toyota Camry
  2. Nissan Altima
  3. Ford Escape
  4. Ford F150 pickup truck
  5. Honda Accord
  6. Toyota RAV4
  7. Honda CR-V
  8. Toyota Corolla
  9. Honda Civic
  10. Hyundai Sonata

Furthermore, CarMax says that Baby Boomers are more likely than any other age group to buy (and test drive) foreign cars.

Now, compare those findings with the overall population. Here are the Top 10 used cars purchased:

  1. Nissan Altima
  2. Toyota Camry
  3. Chevrolet Malibu
  4. Honda Accord
  5. Honda Civic
  6. Ford F150
  7. Hyundai Sonata
  8. Ford Escape
  9. Toyota Corolla
  10. Chevrolet Impala

Ford is a popular manufacturer among both Millennials (ages 18 to 33) and Generation X (ages 34 to 49).

CarMax says the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord revealed themselves to be “everyman” vehicles, transcending all generations. Both models ranked in the top five for sales in every age group last year.

“The hardest part about buying a car is finding the right one for you, no matter your age,” says Cliff Wood, executive vice president of stores at CarMax.


  1. An interesting read, but somewhat predictable. I happen to be a boomer with a loyalty to Ford cars and trucks. When I graduated high school in 1965 my wonderful uncle presented me with a new Mustang. Over the 49 years since that monumental event, I have owned one Toyota; a 1972 Corona Mark II station wagon, a 1979 Subaru 4×4 Wagon and two Honda Accords; a 1994 Special Edition and a 1997 EX-L (each of which were purchased new).

    Each day as I drive to work, I am surrounded by Altima’s which must make Nissan happy, but they are so common as to be boring. I feel the same about the Toyota Camry – boring and stale design.

    My current ride is a 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium, which has advanced styling, ride, handling, performance and fuel efficiency with its Ecoboost engine and all the latest electronics to make the experience in step with a car well suited to the 21st Century. My other car is a 2013 Lincoln MKX crossover and that too is amazing and a great car for getting out of town and hauling all of the things necessary for a weekend or week long vacation trip.

    GM (Government Motors) and Chrysler vehicles are no longer a consideration, given I was one of the many who didn’t agree with the bailout of two companies who couldn’t compete without taxpayer dollars or quality cars.

    So for this boomer, Ford has my business and my vote as #1 car and truck company. I couldn’t be happier or more satisfied and my loyalty to the brand is and will continue to be strong.

  2. I love my 1999 Ranger pickup and my 1991 Geo Metro convertible. They are high mileage, but fun to drive. Certainly not milquetoast vehicles by any stretch of the imagination. For travel we have an ’05 Mazda MPV which has also been an excellent ride. I spread my tastes around, but drive what suits my fancy.

    The Geo is a great single occupant car. Carry a passenger and performance goes out to lunch. Three cylinders can do just so much even with a manual transmission.

    No new cars for us any time soon.

  3. Gotta put in a good word for Subaru — my last used car was a Subaru wagon with 150,000 miles but it served me well for several years before I sold it when I moved.

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