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Top 12 Hardest New Cars to Get – Summer 2009

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By using inventory data and the average number of days each vehicle sits on the lot, we get the supply rate for the car. The final number amounts to how long the current inventory will last, in days, if no other cars are produced.

While many factors can influence this final number, such as how fast cars fly off the lot, number of cars produced by the manufacturer, etc.; the results are that you’ll have a harder time getting these cars with the options and color you want, or finding them at all. In addition, you’ll be hard-pressed to negotiate a deal and you’ll most likely pay close to MSRP because the dealer knows if you do not buy the car, someone else will.

12. MINI Cooper (tie)

June/July Average Supply (in days): 30.4

Mini Cooper. At the halfway point in our scheduled year with the MINI, we've clocked nearly 6,500 miles on the sporty red hatchback, including three roundtrips from Southern California to Las Vegas. Our MINI has yet to get up close and personal with a service bay of any sort, and other than a mysterious dash light that appeared suddenly at 4,500 miles and vanished almost as quickly, we've had nothing to trouble our minds. In fact, the only wear and tear to mention is a loose battery cover on the key fob. As long as we can continue to unlock and start it, we're looking forward to another six months of happy MINI motoring.


12. Audi S5 (tie)

June/July Average Supply (in days): 30.4

The automotive world isnt lacking for high-performance luxury coupes -- Mercedes-Benz, BMW and even Infiniti have sold them for years. So it might be hard for Audi to muscle into the mix so late in the game, right? Wrong. As it turns out, Audis late arriving coupe is a strong contender that should have its competitors watching their backs.

The basic A5 coupe is an enticing offering thanks to Audis renowned sense of style, quattro all-wheel drive and the robust performance of its strong V6 engine. Those looking for an even more capable coupe can choose the V8-powered version, the S5, which offers all the style of the A5 along with sharper handling and nearly 90 extra horsepower.


10. Ford Escape/Escape Hybrid

June/July Average Supply (in days): 29.4

While many other crossover SUVs are getting sleeker, more urban exteriors, the Ford Escape Hybrid has received a rugged redesign. The heightened beltline and sculpted hood remind us that the Escape Hybrid may offer great fuel economy, but first and foremost it is an SUV.

Ford's design team takes its environmentally friendly vision even further by using 100-percent recycled seat materials, and Ford purports that, through a carbon off-set program, it has countered any greenhouse gases created by its production. Add to this SUV-like versatility, cargo room and four-wheel drive, and the Ford Escape Hybrid seems a natural choice for those who like to rough it without roughing-up the planet.


9. Toyota RAV4

June/July Average Supply (in days): 28.5

Toyota RAV4 Limited. In 1996, Toyota transformed the SUV market when it released the original car-based RAV4. Today these crossover vehicles are the fastest growing segment in America, offering drivers a civilized ride with the image and versatility of an SUV. Toyota continues to pioneer this niche with its newest RAV4, which is the largest CUV on the market.

The new RAV4 is modern and muscular in design, focusing on comfort, utility and convenience. Available in three trim levels, the RAV4 has wide-spread appeal and can be equipped to meet almost every need or want. The first crossover to offer third-row seating, the RAV4 maintains its car-like personality while adapting to the growing needs of its buyers.


8. Infiniti QX56 (tie)

June/July Average Supply (in days): 26.6

While you wouldn't think that full-size SUVs have much of a leg to stand on these days, there are some exceptions to that, and this is one of them. The 2008 QX56, one of only two Infiniti vehicles to see a sales increase last year.


7. Toyota FJ Cruiser (tie)

June/July Average Supply (in days): 26.6

Toyota. FJ Cruiser. The Toyota FJ Cruiser was inspired by a rugged off-road vehicle Toyota sold for more than two decades -- the FJ40 Land Cruiser. Subsequent Land Cruisers morphed into the suburban-crawling SUV that is sold today, and the Toyota 4Runner stepped in to fill the void for a more basic 4-wheeler, but it, too, migrated upscale. So Toyota decided to meld the 4Runner chassis with the throwback styling of the original FJ.

The FJ Cruiser backs up its cool, retro styling with serious off-road features like body-on-frame construction, big tires, available four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case and an available locking rear differential.


6. Lexus RX 350/RX Hybrid

June/July Average Supply (in days): 25

2010 Lexus RX 350. The third generation RX comes in two flavors, the traditional RX350 and the hybrid RX450h. Both models feature standard front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive also available. The latest Lexus RX benefits from a host of safety, engineering and technological updates, yet stays true to the formula that originally made it a success.


5. Nissan Murano

June/July Average Supply (in days): 24

Nissan Murano. The new Nissan Murano invokes strong emotions. Its provocative design is a head-turner, but while many vehicles in the segment are offering three rows of seating, it has remained resolutely a five-seater even after a serious re-design for the 2009 model year. Style rather than passenger-carrying capacity is the Muranos calling card, and the Murano was one of the first crossovers to take this tack. The Ford Edge and Mazda CX-7 are other vehicles playing in this sandbox.

If you have serious off-road aspirations, go elsewhere. The Nissan Murano is a stylish road car meant for the urban jungle.


4. Toyota Matrix

June/July Average Supply (in days): 20.9

Toyota Matrix. In terms of coolness, four-door wagons tend to score pretty low. People often assume that practicality and style are mutually exclusive but that need not be the case. Take the Toyota Matrix for example. It is a reasonably priced, practical little car that offers eager handling and a stylish exterior, proving that buyers dont have to choose between utility and fun.

Beyond its modern design the Toyota Matrix proves exceedingly practical. A roomy, flexible interior and available all-wheel drive help the small wagon adapt to the varying needs of drivers with active lifestyles.


2. Toyota Prius (tie)

June/July Average Supply (in days): 18.5

Toyota Prius. Whether youre concerned about the environment or just want to save a couple bucks at the gas pump, the Toyota Prius is the hybrid du jour. The Prius avant-garde design will remind you daily that it is different from other cars, and its class-leading fuel economy will keep you on the road for hundreds of miles between fill-ups.


2. Chevrolet Camaro (tie)

June/July Average Supply (in days): 18.5


1. Audi Q5

June/July Average Supply (in days): 16.8

How does Audi do it? Each vehicle looks better than the last, as exemplified by the all-new Q5 crossover, one of the best-looking vehicles in a segment that is blessed with some attractive designs. Certainly Audis recent success in the styling arena is no fluke. With its 18-inch wheels, muscular yet sophisticated proportions and almost whimsical attention to detail, the Q5 is another in a series of stunners. So we asked Stefan Sielaff, Audi AGs head of design, to give us a walk-around of his companys latest creation to give us clues on how the brand goes about the business of design.

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