News and Reviews

The ‘most distinctive’ cars bought in each New England state

“NPR-loving New England enjoys their Volvos,’’ Popular Mechanics concluded. Flickr Creative Commons / Automotive Rhythms

A few common loves unite New Englanders: Tom Brady, lobster rolls, complaining about winter…and Volvos, apparently.

That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by Popular Mechanics and the industry analysts at IHS Automotive to figure out the “most distinctive’’ car in each state. Four of the six New England states had some model of Volvo as their most distinctive vehicle.

As Popular Mechanics put it: “NPR-loving New England enjoys their Volvos.’’

It’s important to note that doesn’t mean Volvos are the most commonly purchased vehicles in New England. A list of the most popular car in each state would have been filled with Ford F-150s.


Tom Libby, the auto analyst at IHS, found the popularity of each car at the national level, then did the same at a state level and came up with a ratio comparing the two. So if one out of 10 people nationwide bought a Volvo, but two out of 10 people in New England bought a Volvo, then Volvos in New England sold at 200 percent of the national average. (Please note that these figures are only an example and don’t reflect the IHS data at all.)

Story continues after gallery.

16 of the longest-lasting cars in New England:

[bdc-gallery id=”1419616″]

“It’s an interesting methodology,’’ Libby told Popular Mechanics. “You’re basically able to compare the individual demand of a model in a state with the individual demand at the national level, and see what ways is each state unique from the nation.’’

Here’s how New England stacked up against the rest of the country:

Connecticut – Subaru Impreza: Sells at 441 percent of the national average.

Maine – Volvo V60 Cross Country: Sells at 554 percent of the national average.

Massachusetts – Volvo XC70: Sells at 305 percent of the national average.

New Hampshire – Volvo V60 Cross Country: Sells at 597 percent of the national average.

Rhode Island – Hyundai Elantra Coupe: Sells at 452 percent of the national average.


Vermont – Volvo V60 Cross Country: Sells at 841 percent of the national average.

Popular Mechanics turned data from each state into a cool map infographic here.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on