Auto Trader registered an amazing 29 million searches on its website for the compact executive model in 2007 – nearly as many as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra managed together. The Volkswagen Golf was the top rated model in 2006, but it was the second most popular car this time around. The evergreen Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra ranked third and fourth respectively.

Superminis also figured highly on the Auto Trader top 10 list, with the Vauxhall Corsa in fifth position. It was rated more highly than both the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio, which finished sixth and seventh respectively. The only executive model to make the top 10 was the BMW 5-Series, but no SUVs or people carriers appeared on the shortlist. Meanwhile, Auto Trader is facing up to some stiff competition in 2008 from eBay.

The auction site has relaunched its motoring section, making it more user friendly, with new search menus; eBay also aims to attract even more dealers by revising its fees to appeal to garages with fewer cars to sell. That should see the choice of models on the site increase.

Most searched for online...

1. BMW 3-Series: 29,012,654
2. Volkswagen Golf: 28,492,001
3. Ford Focus: 15,673,867
4. Vauxhall Astra: 15,118,665
5. Vauxhall Corsa: 14,158,359
6. Ford Fiesta: 12,482,050
7. Renault Clio: 12,405,486
8. Honda Civic: 11,459,877
9. BMW 5-Series: 10,251,116
10. Audi A4: 10,228,715
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