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Orphans being adopted by Millennial buyers

Dodge Magnum tops list of used vehicles bought by newest generation

Published: September 10, 2015, 4:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:22 PM

2004 Pontiac Aztek

The latest data of used car purchases from Edmunds.com shows that orphan cars such as the Dodge Magnum (which went out of production in 2008) can still find loving homes, adopted by the youngest generation of car buyers – Millennials.

2007 Chrysler Pacifica

The analysis of purchases over the first six months of 2015 shows that over a quarter of all Magnums sold were bought up by the latest generation of buyers (aged between 18 and 34), outpacing the industry average of 16.8. The full-sized wagon version of the Charger sedan is a perennial favourite with Millennials, topping their used-car shopping lists for three years in a row.

“Millennials are more practical used car shoppers than we might otherwise credit them,” said Edmunds.com Analyst Jeremy Acevedo. “When it comes to used cars, value and utility appear to trump just about anything else for many Millennial buyers.”

As proof to that statement, the Edmunds data showed that six of the ten top used vehicles purchased by Millennials are orphans. The Chrysler Pacifica (a mid-sized crossover derived from the Chrysler minivans) was second on the list only slightly behind Magnum (at 27.3 percent buy rate by Millennials) and the Chevrolet TrailBlazer (a mid-sized SUV that went out of production in 2009, but whose name carries on as a crossover in Asia) ranked fourth with 25.9 percent acceptance rate.

2009 Saturn Outlook

Other orphans taken in by Millennials were the Volkswagen R32 (a performance version of the Golf hatchback), Pontiac Aztek (a mid-sized crossover) and the Saturn Outlook (a mid-sized crossover related to today’s Buick Enclave, Chev Traverse and GMC Acadia).

The top ten list also shows that Millennials have eclectic tastes, and aren’t always just about utility or entry-level brands. Third on the list, behind Magnum and Pacifica, was the compact Subaru WRX (performance versions of the Impreza sedan and hatchback), the R32 mentioned above, the Nissan GT-R high-performance sports coupe, and the compact Lexus IS-F performance sedan.

Made in Canada - An assembly plant in Windsor, ON, originally built in 1928, has expanded over the decades to become a sprawling 4.4-million-square-foot facility that is now the sole source of the company’s popular minivan models. The Windsor plant began building its segment-setting Magic Wagon minivan in 1985 and today produces the Dodge Caravan (scheduled to be phased out in 2015) and Chrysler Town & Country models, as well as the Ram Cargo Van. Until recently, it also built the Volkswagen Routan van plus the right-hand-drive Lancia Grand Voyager for overseas markets.

Other trends in the data are that Millennials like minivans, with the Volkswagen Routan (another orphan, created for VW in Windsor by Chrysler) topping the list. The Nissan Quest and Honda Odyssey followed closely behind.

And another orphan that didn’t make the top ten, but was a top seller in hot weather markets of Houston and Phoenix, was the compact crossover Pontiac Torrent (a version of the Chevrolet Equinox that replaced the Aztek, and was replaced by the GMC Terrain).