Consumers base their new vehicle selection on a number of factors. According to the 2014 NADA New Car Shopper Preference Survey, consumers apply different sets of criteria to different vehicles. This is especially true for those in the market to buy a new SUV or pickup truck.

When analysts considered the intentions of all buyers in the market, they found that the top criteria for purchase, in descending order of importance, are:

  • Fuel economy
  • Cost of ownership
  • Power and performance

However, when analysts looked only at SUV/truck buyers, the priorities are different. Quality and reliability topped the list with 79% of potential buyers calling that feature important or very important. 71% of SUV/truck buyers ranked versatility and utility as important or very important. For these buyers, cost of ownership is in third place at 70%. Here’s how the other factors come in for percentages of buyers who say they are important or very important:

  • Vehicle design 68%
  • Power and performance 68%
  • Fuel economy 62%
  • Brand 61%

Analysts point out that while automotive brands often emphasize horsepower and towing capability when promoting trucks, buyers are actually ranking other features like versatility and utility much higher. When the analysts isolated truck and utility vehicle buyers, they found that the power and performance category became more important.

About 6.5% of U.S. adults will be in the market for a new pickup truck this year. Their interest in vehicle utility is supported by their active lifestyles. Over 40% of likely pickup truck buyers enjoy camping/hiking and 25% also hunt and shoot. These numbers are over 100% higher than average.  AudienceSCAN data shows that around 40% of these consumers will be in the market for a new HDTV or bed/mattress this year and they’ll likely carry their new purchases home in the back of their truck.

Pickup truck buyers are more likely than average to be influenced by a number of advertising formats. In the past 30 days, over 30% of these consumers have taken action after seeing sponsored search or Internet banner ads, and after hearing radio ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.