The latest Price Index highlights the BMW 3 Series has been the most searched car on Autotrader.co.uk for the past three years, with nearly 119 million searches during the period.
The Volkswagen Golf was the second most searched car and the Ford Focus third, with 105m n and 73m searches respectively. In 2011 Autotrader.co.uk attracted 1.32bn searches.
While the BMW 3 Series remains the most popular car, with a 20 per cent increase in the number of searches compared with 2010, the biggest increase in searches was recorded by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with an increase of 27 per cent.
And although the top three cars have remained the same, there have been some changes further down the list.
The Audi A4 moved up one place to fourth ahead of the Vauxhall Astra, which dropped down a place, while the Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa swapped places.
The BMW 5 Series finished in eight; the Audi A3 in ninth; and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class finished in tenth.
Tim Peake, group strategy director, Trader Media Group said: ‘The fact that the BMW 3 Series has headed the search list for the past three years is testament to its fabulous reputation, its qualities and its desirability and doesn’t really come as much of a surprise.
‘What is probably more surprising is that the same 10 models have attracted the highest number of searches in each of the past three years with very few significant changes in position.
‘But with a plethora of new product launches expected in 2012, the competition is likely to hot up and may start putting some of the ‘old favourites’ under pressure.’