Latinas’ Growing Importance to the Automotive Industry Can’t Be Ignored

Where do Latinas go when they are ready to make a large purchase such as a vehicle for their family? According to the recent Savvy Latinas on Wheels Survey commissioned by Kelley Blue Book, more than half of Latinas (56 percent) say their first step when purchasing a car would be to conduct research online. In fact, nearly half (40 percent) of Latinas ages 20-39 feel they know more about the car-buying process than their significant other.

“With the Hispanic market’s purchasing power expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 20191, Latinas’ growing importance to the automotive industry can’t be ignored by automakers and dealerships,” said Mark Williams, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

So, what else do Latinas want in a vehicle? We are busy, active, and ambitious. What kind of vehicle will meet our needs?

Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Car Review - QueMeansWhat

I had the opportunity to drive a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL for a week. With mi familia,  we joined our friends at the park, drove it to a movie screening, took it for a day trip to watch my niece play softball and squeezed in our regular weekly errands. The interior kept the outside noise out while giving us a great view through the sunroof. The four of us stayed comfortable with plenty of space to bring along our bags and coolers for drinks and snacks.

Driving my family around in the Mitsubishi, I kept in mind the results from the KKB.com Savvy Latinas on Wheels Survey:

  • Unlike many other Millennial consumers, Latinas in their 20s place significantly more importance on fuel efficiency (60 percent) and safety (57 percent) over technology features, suggesting that more practical features are more important to them than the latest tech innovations when buying a car.
    • I don’t necessarily agree about not wanting the latest tech innovations. I want them! This Outlander had a Bluetooth connection for my phone, GPS navigations system, 6.1-inch Touch Panel display and rearview camera system. And still, the ECO Drive Support System helps you drive in a more environmentally friendly fashion. I kept it engaged the entire week and drove almost 427 miles before needing to refuel.
  • Latinas want to be comfortable while driving, and dual air conditioning control is a favorite feature for most respondents (51 percent), followed by heated/cooled seats (37 percent), keyless entry and start (36 percent), and a sunroof (21 percent).
    • Check off all of the above comfort features on this Outlander. One of my favorite convenient features is the power remote liftgate. Anyone who has ever had to load grocery bags or camping equipment in and out of the car can appreciate the power remote liftgate.
  • Among the safety features Latinas look for, collision prevention and automatic brakes top the list at 44 percent, followed by blind spot monitoring (35 percent).
    • Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Mitigation are available on the Outlander SEL and some of the best safety features.
  • Latinas may be looking for a vehicle that can move their family around, but that doesn’t mean they are willing to forego style. Only 6 percent say they want their next vehicle to be a van, while more than a third (34 percent) prefer SUVs, and nearly a third (32 percent) want a sedan. In addition, 14 percent of Latinas ages 20-29 would like their next vehicle purchase to be a luxury car.
    • The Mitsubishi Outlander is no van. However, it does seat seven. You can see if the photos below that the back row doesn’t have a lot of room but it is easy to fold up and down.

Latinas are rapidly becoming a key driver of the U.S. economy, staking their claim in major family financial decisions like vehicle purchases. If that’s you, consider this vehicle with its affordable $26,000 starting price point. You are a savvy Latina! You likely already know how to do your research before making a vehicle purchase. Just in case you don’t, visit kbb.com.

The Kelley Blue Book Consumer Rating

According to the Kelley Blue Book website, the overall review for the Mitsubishi Outlander (from 36 consumer reviews) is 8.6 out of 10. We give it a 9. I appreciated the gas efficiency, the comfort and safety features and I like the unique front-end design.

The only thing that I didn’t appreciate about  my experience is that I didn’t have an opportunity to go on a camping adventure. This is a great vehicle to pile in the camping gear and head to the great outdoors. Then bring it come home, clean it up and it’s stylish enough for a night on the town.

What do you look for when you are considering a vehicle purchase?  

Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Car Review

The 2016 Kelley Blue Book Latinas on Wheels Survey reveals Latinas' automotive preferences. (PRNewsFoto/Kelley Blue Book)

The 2016 Kelley Blue Book Latinas on Wheels Survey reveals Latinas’ automotive preferences. (PRNewsFoto/Kelley Blue Book)

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

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