Or does it just seem that way?
Let’s clear up that confusion for a Seattle newcomer.
No, not everyone here drives the Japanese car beloved by the REI crowd. But if you feel like you see a Subaru everywhere you look, it’s not just your imagination.
According to survey data from market-research firm Nielsen Scarborough, 1 out of every 10 car owners in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area owns a Subaru. Nationally, it’s just 1 out of 35. More people in Seattle drive a Subaru than a Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai or Dodge.
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As much as we love Subarus here, we’re still just the No. 2 market — but you only have to head over the mountains to find No. 1. Yes, Spokane edged us out for having the highest concentration of Subaru owners among U.S. metros.
That made me think. We’ve got a lot of state symbols in Washington. There’s a state vegetable (Walla Walla sweet onion) and a state amphibian (Pacific chorus frog). Perhaps it’s time for the Legislature to adopt Subaru as the official state car?
A surprise in the Subaru rankings — Insurance capital Hartford, Conn., stole the No. 3 spot from outdoors-loving Denver and Portland.
I also took a look at the Nielsen Scarborough data to see if Subaru is the car make that is most disproportionately popular in the Seattle area, when compared with the national average. Sure enough, it is, and by a wide margin. But we also have a thing for some other European and Japanese makes: Audi, Mazda, Volvo and Volkswagen round out the top five, in that order.
And cars we don’t like? Chevrolet is the least-popular make in our metro area, relative to the nation — we’re 34 percent less likely to own one than the average American.