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When searching for a car, it usually goes without saying that people know exactly which make and model they are looking for. However, in some rare cases, it turns out that people in the UK and around the world get themselves mixed up.

We took a look into monthly and yearly search volumes to see which car models people were mismatching, and accidentally attributing them to the wrong manufacturers. For example, have you ever heard of a Ford Corsa? They don’t exist of course, as the Corsa is a Vauxhall model, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people from searching for them on Google!

Key Takeaways:

  • “Mercedes A1” is the most commonly mismatched car in the UK
  • Brits mix up Mercedes, Audi and BMW models more than any other brands
  • Nissan has the most incorrect searches of any car brand in the UK
  • The Honda Civic is the most confusing car globally and in the US

Mercedes A1 is the Most Common Incorrect UK Search

Of the mismatched car models in the UK, ‘Mercedes A1’ was the most commonly searched with an average yearly total of 15,600. Of course, the A1 is a popular model for Mercedes’ direct rival Audi, so these slip-up searches are unlikely to go down well in either camp.

This was a whole 6,000 yearly searches ahead of the next closest mismatch, the ‘Vauxhall Polo’, with an average of 9,600 yearly searches in the UK, and 800 per month.

Brands beginning with the letter V are the most confusing with Vauxhall and Volkswagen often being mistaken for each other. ‘Vauxhall Golf’ was the third most commonly mismatched car brand for UK searchers. This has a current average of 8,400 searches per year and 700 a month. Volkswagen is of course the correct manufacturer for these models, but it’s easy to see why this mistake was made.

most mismatched car brands in the UK

Nissan is the Brand with the Most Incorrect UK Searches

Of the 278 incorrect mismatches that we found, Nissan was the most common manufacturer that people attributed the wrong model to.

The list featured such gems as the Nissan Tucson (3000 UK searches per year), Nissan Jazz (1800), Nissan Corsa (1200), Nissan Niro (1080), and Nissan Yaris (960).

Ford was not too far behind, with 22 incorrect models attributed to them. These included Ford Corsa (4800), Ford Astra (4200), Ford Golf (2400), Ford Panda (2400), and Ford Zafira (1200).

Top UK Mismatched Searches

Manufacturer

Number of Mismatched Searches

1. Nissan

23

2. Ford

22

3. BMW

21

4. Vauxhall

20

5. Toyota

19

6. Kia

17

7. Fiat

16

8. Audi

14

9. Renault

14

10. Mercedes

13

UK Drivers Mix and Match Audi, BMW and Mercedes Models the Most

From the hundreds of car models we looked through the search data for, Audi, BMW and Mercedes were the models most commonly mistaken for each other.

In addition to the Mercedes A1 being the most common search, the following all appeared in the top 15 for the most mismatched UK searches:

Top Audi, BMW & Mercedes UK Mismatches

Searched Term

Yearly UK Search Volume

Mercedes A1

15,600

BMW A1

7,200

Audi A Class

7,200

BMW A3

6,000

BMW A Class

6,000

Mercedes A3

5,400

Mercedes 1 Series

5,400

BMW Q3

5,600

BMW ID3

4,800

The Honda Civic is the Most Confusing Car Model Globally

When overall global searches were analysed, two models topped the charts – but they don’t actually exist. The Honda Civic is the correct car model, but searches for ‘Hyundai Civic’ (156,000 yearly searches) and ‘Toyota Civic’ (105,600) made it into the top spots.

It’s not just UK searchers that get BMW, Mercedes and Audi mixed up either, as ‘BMW A1’ (86,400), ‘BMW A3’ (81,600), ‘Mercedes A1’ (79,200) and ‘BMW Q3’ (67,200) all appear in the global top ten. 

Top Global Mismatched Car Searches

most mismatched car brands globally

“Toyota Civic” & “Ferrari Mustang” Catch Out US Drivers

United States search data reveals more bad news for Honda. Four different incorrect ‘Civic’ variations can be found in the top ten, including Toyota Civic (24,000 yearly searches) in the top spot this time. Hyundai Civic (16,800), Nissan Civic (8,400) and Ford Civic (6,000) also feature towards the top of the US list.

Toyota is currently the most popular car brand in the world in terms of sales, with 10.5 million vehicles sold in 2021, so we can see why they would be the go-to brand for a guess.

The Mustang is also a common slip-up, with Ferrari Mustang (7,200) and Chevrolet Mustang (6,000) taking positions five and six in the American list. Even though Ford is one of the most popular car manufacturers, selling 3.9 million cars worldwide in 2021, its models are still incorrectly attributed to other manufacturers.

Top US Mismatched Car Searches

most mismatched car brands in the US

Methodology

For the purpose of this study, we used the Keywords Explorer tool on ahrefs.com and entered the names of popular car models, then added a filter to remove the correct manufacturer for each model and pick up mentions of other car brands.

This then left us with the search volumes for ‘mismatched brands’, which match up the wrong manufacturer to the wrong model. For example, ‘Mercedes A1’ (with 15,600 average yearly UK searches) is a mismatch as the ‘A1’ is an Audi model. This process was completed in July 2022 for search volumes in the UK, USA, and an overall global total.


 

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