Tesla may be closing in on BMW in the luxury car sales race in the United States, but a new study shows Lexus is picking up steam for the most-shopped luxury brand. At least that’s according to the Q3 2021 study conducted by Cox subsidiary Kelley Blue Book, a study that BMW has dominated for no fewer than 13 quarters in a row.

The German premium brand still retains its top spot, but barely. Of all customers shopping in the luxury car segment, the number of people who considered buying a BMW dropped from 23% in Q2 2021 to 19% this past quarter. For the sake of comparison, the Bavarians were at 22% in the third quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s premium division is consistent among the preferences of luxury car buyers as the percentage in Q3 2021 remained unchanged compared to the previous quarter, at 19%. If you’re wondering how the analysis is made, Cox explains the “Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch report is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in consumer shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors in a dozen factors key to a consumers’ buying decision.”

BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe Aventurinrot

BMW had the biggest drop among all 20 brands included in the rankings, mainly because cars like the 3 Series, 5 Series, and the X5 are no longer listed in the Top 10 most popular luxury cars among shoppers. The desire to buy an X3 also dropped, by 5% compared to the previous quarter. As for Lexus, the 19% shopping consideration is an achievement considering the limited inventory the Japanese automaker had to face in Q3 2021. In fact, Lexus had the lowest inventory of all luxury brands, with available stock crippled by the lack of semiconductors.

The difference between the two rival luxury brands at the end of last quarter? Less than a tenth of a percentage point in BMW’s favor. As for the last high-end car company to climb the podium, it was Mercedes-Benz with 17% or 2% more than the previous quarter. At the very bottom of the rankings, Volvo’s electric spin-off Polestar is dead last, with newcomers Lucid and Rivian slightly ahead. Fabled Italian brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati are also towards the end of the list, with only 2% among the preferences of luxury car shoppers.

You can read the full report with rankings at the source link below.

[Source: Cox Automotive]