Americans Revive the Sunday Drive and Use Their Cars as Much-Needed Escape During the COVID-19 Pandemic




Amid stay-at-home orders nationwide, Cars.com™ (NYSE: CARS) announced new insights from its research to understand the ways American drivers are using their cars. Just about everyone has encountered new challenges, and research reinforces that our cars represent safety, freedom, and even escape.

“People may be sheltering in place across the country but make no mistake, they are hitting the roads for a brief escape from their homes,” said Matt Schmitz, Cars.com assistant managing editor for news. “Our research shows that people just need a break from the daily monotony, and cars are serving as a safe, personal retreat for families. We are even seeing a resurgence in an American pastime: the family Sunday drive.”

Cars.com research revealed the following three trends since the outbreak of COVID-19¹:

 

  • The return of the family Sunday drive. Nearly 60% of parents and 45% of non-parents have resurrected the leisurely Sunday drive as an activity to get out of the house. 
  • Parents are hiding from their kids. Parents (53%) admitted to using their cars as an opportunity to get away from their homes and kids.
  • The car is the new office. As many adjust to a work-from-home lifestyle, more than 1 in 4 Americans are using their cars as a makeshift office — particularly parents.

 

As digital engagement remains strong for car shopping, consumers are taking advantage of Cars.com’s new Virtual Appointment and Local Home Delivery badges on more than 1.5 million vehicles on its site2. The new badges indicate that local dealers across the country are meeting shoppers where they are and ensuring safe digital car sales.

Shoppers may want to consider the following vehicles as top choices for getting out of the house based on ride comfort, visibility and spacious interior:

  • 2020 Volkswagen Atlas: Cars.com’s 2020 Family Car of the Year boasts a spacious interior and a comfortable, quiet ride. A roomy third-row provides enough space even for adults to enjoy the ride, while the bench-style second row easily allows three child seats to fit across. Moonroof option available. MSRP: $31,545-$49,195
  • 2020 Hyundai Palisade: Cars.com’s 2020 Car of the Year carries seven to eight people comfortably depending on its roomy second- and third-row seating configuration. The luxury-grade interior provides riders with a relaxing, quiet ride, and large side windows and an optional moonroof are great for a lively game of I Spy or car bingo. MSRP: $31,775-$46,625
  • 2020 Subaru Outback: The Outback has a loyal following for adventure-seeking families due to its quiet, spacious interior, excellent visibility and affordable pricing. With comfortable seats in the front and back for a family of five, this popular wagon sports plenty of legroom and a backseat that sits slightly raised, providing stadium-style seating to help passengers see out the front windshield. MSRP: $26,645-$39,695
  • 2020 Chrysler Pacifica: The Pacifica is popular among minivan fans because of its roomy interior, optional captain’s chairs or bench seating in select models, and quiet, comfortable ride. Seating seven to eight people, the ample legroom and storage make it a perfect fit for busy families. The rear-seat Uconnect Theater system and optional panoramic moonroof offer all riders an escape. MSRP: $34,045-$44,795.

 

To learn more about the recent consumer driver survey or how Cars.com made recommendations for its top vehicles, please visit cars.com/news.

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