Autosavant’s Most Popular Posts of 2011

By Chris Haak

Those of us who work for Autosavant don’t do it for the money.  Believe me, we don’t do it for the money!  We write for this website in order to share our passion and interest in cars and the car business with you, our readers.

At the end of each year, we have traditionally used our Google Analytics data to ferret out which of the previous year’s articles were the most popular, solely in terms of pageviews.  Note that this year, we are not counting pre-2011 articles that appeared in the top 10, even though some of our old work (like the eulogy to the Chrysler PT Cruiser penned by Roger Boylan in July 2010) continues to enjoy strong traffic.

10.  Review:  2011 Nissan Juke SL AWD
Nissan took some serious styling risks when it trotted out the Juke, its crossover/sports car thing.  Overall, we liked it, aside from poor fuel economy and terrible driving range thanks to its minuscule fuel tank.

9.  Review:  2011 Toyota Camry SE V6
Clearly not the most exciting car on the block, even though it’s the most exciting Camry.  That’s like saying someone’s a friendly armed robber.  OK, not quite, but you get the idea.  The new-for-2012 Camry promises higher content levels, better fuel economy, and more refinement.

8.  Saab Launches High Performance Products for US Market
Respected Saab tuning firm Hirsch announced at the Detroit Auto Show a year ago that it would begin selling its Hirsch performance parts in the US market.  Our man Kevin Miller was on the ground and among the first to cover this news.

7.  Review:  2011 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
It’s not the most exciting C-segment car amidst newer offerings like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra, but the Lancer GTS still holds its own in many respects as a more luxury-oriented variant of the aging Mitsubishi Lancer.

6.  First Drive: 2012 Honda CR-V
We were among the first in the world to post first-drive impressions of the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V.  The verdict?  More of the same, but improvements in key areas should keep Honda’s strong seller near the top of the sales charts despite strong competition.

5.  Product Review:  OnStar FMV
When OnStar started dropping press releases about the launch of its FMV (For My Vehicle, get it?) aftermarket mirror that brings most of OnStar’s suite of services to non-GM vehicles, I pinged OnStar PR to ask about giving the service a try.  Our man in Detroit, Charles Krome, grabbed the ball and reviewed the product as installed in an F-150.  As we were one of the first to do this, we still find ourselves today on the first page of Google results when searching for OnStar FMV.

4.  Review:  2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
The great thing about having outstanding, well-connected freelance writers working with us is that even when I want to cover a significant new car like the Sonata Turbo and can’t get it, others can do it for me.  Charles Krome handled this one too.  Funny enough, he had to report on traffic stats shortly after his review went live, and they weren’t very large at the time, but now it’s the fourth most popular article we wrote in 2011.  First page of Google results again for us.

3.  Review:  2011 Ford F-150 Lariat EcoBoost
Ever since our first seat time in a Ford EcoBoost V6, we’ve been fans of this engine.  We tried it in the Taurus SHO, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT, and Ford Flex, and liked it in every application.  Now that it’s available in the F-150, we were excited to get our hands on this truck to put it through its paces.  Our reviewer liked it so much, we decided to make the F-150 EcoBoost the first of two long-term Ford EcoBoost test vehicles (the other being our Ford Flex EcoBoost).  Stay tuned for updates on how these two long-termers are doing while they deal with the demands of daily life.

2.  Review:  2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew
As we’re now into 2012, the one thing that perhaps impressed me most about 2011 was the remarkable turnaround in Chrysler’s lineup.  Literally, almost every vehicle was substantially revised.  The Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country were the beneficiaries of significant upgrades for 2011, including a new engine, re-tuned suspension, new interior, and revised front and rear sheetmetal.  The former interior quality laggards are now setting the benchmark, they handle well, and are the fastest minivans available.  All this happened in a single model year.  I’m glad Chrysler didn’t die after sampling a T&C myself, not to mention a new Charger.

1.  Spying for Savings:  Progressive Snapshot
Go ahead and Google progressive shapshot (without quotes).  I’m sure someone in marketing or leadership at Progressive Insurance has done so.  When you (or they) do, you’ll see that Autosavant’s article has the highest page ranking of any page not on Progressive’s own website.  Despite the huge (for us) number of comments on this article (44 and counting), Kevin Gordon’s balanced piece has proven to be a great discussion topic, with people falling on either the “no more big brother!” side or the “what’s the big deal?” side, and very few in the middle or indifferent.

A common theme among these articles is that they are either exclusive Autosavant content, or something that Google’s search bots picked up and gave us great page ranking thanks to our high-quality, original content.

Remember, you can always keep track of our comings-and-goings and new content via RSS, Facebook, or Twitter.

Happy New Year!

Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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  1. That’s interesting. But, like you say, if the response by page views straddles two calendar years, as in a popular post published in December of 2011, then your response numbers could be misleading. I know you have to start somewhere, but I’m just saying.

  2. That’s a very nice list @Chris. I haven’t read much of them, but i personally liked the “2012 Honda CR-V” post. Now I’ll surely go through the remaining ones.

  3. @Todd – here are the top ten traffic-wise regardless of when published:

    10. Is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Coming to the US?
    9. Review: 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
    8. Review: 2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4×4 V67. Review: 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat EcoBoost
    6. Review: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew
    5. Spying For Savings: Progressive Snapshot
    4. 2008 GMC Sierra Denali AWD Review
    3. Rare Vehicle Sighting: 1973-78 GMC Motorhome
    2. First Drive: 2011 Buick Regal Turbo
    1. PT Cruiser, RIP

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