According to AutoTrader's study, which interviewed 1,900 new and used car shoppers, millennials are "big on small" vehicles, which tend to be more affordable and easier to operate in the urban settings where many of them live. Their desire for more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles also sparks an interest in alternative-powered vehicles, though they generally can't afford them.
Price is a big factor in millennials' purchasing decisions, influenced by economic realities. The generation faces higher levels of unemployment, lower pay and the likelihood of greater college debts.
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They're also more likely to live in cities and may be somewhat less interested in owning a car—at least for now. Research suggests that as they begin to age and start families, in many cases moving back to the suburbs, their tastes shift to reflect those of Gen-Xers and boomers.
That suggests they'll want bigger, more powerful and luxurious vehicles when they can afford to spend more.