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Favorite cars in SLO County are a Honda and a Ford

The most popular vehicle in the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo region is the Honda Civic, followed by the Ford F Series pickup.
The most popular vehicle in the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo region is the Honda Civic, followed by the Ford F Series pickup.

Where you live in California says a lot about what kind of car you buy. And here in San Luis Obispo County, our favorite car is the Honda Civic.

That’s according to 2016 vehicle registration data collected by IHS Markit, an automobile industry watcher. The second-most popular car in the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo region was the Ford F Series truck, followed by the Honda Accord, Chevrolet Silverado and Honda CR-V.

In Bakersfield, on the other hand, people really enjoy the Chevrolet Silverado — it was the top-selling car there in 2016. In fact, pickups represented four of the five top-selling vehicles in that region.

Throughout the state, the Honda Civic was the most popular car last year. That fuel-efficient sedan was followed by three similar ones: the Honda Accord, the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Camry. But the fifth-most popular car was the Ford F Series truck and the sixth-most popular was the Chevrolet Silverado truck.

Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association, said people in a state as large as California have always had different vehicle preferences.

“The number of Priuses sold by a Toyota dealer in Bakersfield is not the same as the number of Priuses sold by a Toyota dealer in Santa Monica,” Maas said. “Dealers spend a lot of time, money and effort to figure out the appropriate vehicle product mix to serve their clientele.”

In the San Francisco Bay Area, only one class of pickup — the Ford F Series — ranked among the most popular vehicles. The Honda Civic was the most popular new vehicle in 2016, followed by the Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Camry. The Ford F Series ranked fifth.

Sedans dominated the Los Angeles market, led by the Civic and Accord. Toyota’s Corolla and Camry and the Nissan Sentra completed the top five.

Overall, Californians registered about 2.3 million new vehicles during the year ending June 30, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. That was down slightly from the previous fiscal year, but still 156,000 vehicles more than the new vehicle registration total in 2014-15.

Sacramento Bee reporter Jim Miller contributed to this story.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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