• Mar 27, 2008


Click above for live high-res images of the JCW Minis from Geneva

Car-obsessed readers of Autoblog may not have any problem thinking of their car as a social expression of who they are, but that's not necessarily true for the majority of the population of the world. Many people consider their car a necessary appliance, something required in life that they care little about. But recently, stylish, trendy and lovable vehicles are causing more people to form a personal attachment to their car, one that they would like to share with others. A look at social networking sites such as Facebook shows that people are interested in getting to know other drivers with the same type of car.

So, with that information established, what kind of car is most likely to attract attention? According to a recent survey by the U.K. "used car hypermarket" Carcraft shows that MINI owners are the most likely to reach out on the interwebs, with Honda Civic owners coming in at a distant second. Follow the break for Carcraft's list of the Top Ten "Friendliest" Cars, along with the accompanying press release.

[Source: Carcraft]

PRESS RELEASE

WANT MORE FRIENDS? BUY A MINI

Could the car you drive really boost your social life? It could if you choose the right model according to new research into online social networking.

Research published this month by Carcraft, the UK's longest established used car hypermarket chain, found that many thousands of car owners are joining Facebook groups set up specifically to exchange messages and advice with fellow owners of the same make of car.

Mini Cooper drivers were the friendliest of all, according to the Carcraft survey, with more than 20,000 drivers networking across more than 300 groups.

Barry Nightingale, managing director at Carcraft, says: "It is interesting to see that cars are not only viewed as a symbol of wealth and status but they are increasingly becoming a crucial part of people's identity and social life. This is reflected online with large numbers using sites such as Facebook to network with like-minded drivers.

"The website is even encouraging the trend by introducing a 'garage' application, which allows users to publish the make and model of their car on their personal profile page."

Since it launched four years ago, Facebook has become one of the most popular social networking sites, with more than 61 million active users and countless special interest groups.

Frances Brown, a 26-year-old Mini Cooper driver from Manchester has discovered that car interest groups have a number of uses besides boosting her tally of Facebook friends.

She explains: "Facebook groups are a good way to chat to likeminded people and to discuss different car makes, as you can read about people's actual experiences. They can help you save money and keep you up to date with new launches. I regularly post messages to other Mini drivers in the group to share information on anything from repair costs to different models and new accessories."

The top 10 'friendliest' cars according to Carcraft's research* are
:

Car

Number of fan groups

Total number of fan group members (approx)

Mini Cooper

310

23,756

Honda Civic

187

11,102

Ford Fiesta

145

3,603

Ford Ka

81

1,902

VW Golf

70

1,455

Renault Clio

68

1,343

VW Polo

56

1,247

Vauxhall Corsa

41

1,369

Toyota Yaris

30

1,869

Audi A3

23

1,610


*Research based on the top 30 makes and models of car and figures calculated in March 2008
.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      What about xB drivers? First gen only.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What you're saying is... if I buy a Mini, I'll get laid?

      Sign me up!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find it interesting how the kindness or friendliness of another human being bothers another. Cuteness without aires is all it is. And a childlike quality. Funny how that disappears once one becomes an "adult."

      It's fun to drive my mini. Sadly most mini drivers I see look pretty miserable. And the funny thing is, more often than not, most scion drivers I'm next to on the freeway try to race up hills but need a head start at the bottom, whereas, I can be at the bottom going 45 and hit 80 in no time. Leaving them in my dust. LOL.

      I don't agree on the getting laid and getting more chicks thing. It's the car dudes. Either you got it or you don't. Lol, no offense kids.

      Oh yeah, the honking and waving thing goes way back. Its a way of saying thumbs up, you're cool or how sweet your car looks. Its a flattering of the vehicle. But since most people have lost their flair for the fun in it all and let it freak them out, its no fun anymore.

      Oh, and a lot of these mini communities do have rally's to raise money for charitable causes. Like finding a cure for Autism, MS, and the like. Cultish or weird, its all for a good cause. They rally, have bbq fund raisers and donate the cash in my area.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great to see such passion for cars expressed through community.
      • 6 Years Ago
      bought a Mini for my wife - it certainly improved my life!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am a Scion driver and there are a few forums I know that we are involved with like ScionLife.com and YourSciontC.com are the 2 that I am involved with, there's gotta be thousands of people on those sites. I think they are generally cool places to find out stuff about your car but also meet like-minded people like the article said.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I ordered a Cooper S about a year before it came to the US and got one of the first S's in North Carolina (Dark Silver/Lapis-Black w/ Stripes and Spots). I tell you, it was like being the best friend of a rock star driving that thing around. I can't tell you how many attractive single women would just walk right up and talk to you out of the blue. On that note, my wife also loved it, despite the attention I (the car) was getting. I've moved on but that car was a blast and the web community was second to none.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's because it was new. I used to get that in California, but out here in the DC Metro--and given the brand's advancing age--they're fairly common, so those halcyon rockstar days are gone, regrettably.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are you talking about the classic Mini Cooper or the Bmw?
      • 6 Years Ago
      We are not weird, we are eccentric and love the life of owning a mini. If I could, I would also own a vintage mini. In my opinion, they happen to be the cutest car in town. Its like driving around in a miniature dance club....hehehe.

      I AM NOT WEIRD....lol. Just a little eccentric.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Happy Motoring is the tag line of Mini. If you can't be happy while driving your mini, pull it to the curb. The Mini is Happy Looking. If another Mini driver waves they are just sharing the joy of the open road.
      I bought my 2002 Mini over the phone, site unseen. I was going through breast cancer treatments and my coping skills were wearing thin and I was driving a 1991 Range Rover that was giving me problems. The older RR are called trucks and mine really was driving like one. I was told by my local Mini dealer that it would be a 5-6 month wait. I looked on line and found one in Vegas, bought it over the phone and had it shipped to me. I have never been happier with a car. It is Yellow with black trim. It looks like a bubble bee. It makes me smile now and especially then when I really needed a smile.
      And Yes I named him, Monty.
      http://www.haralee.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember when I used to drive the EP Honda Civic Si (the 3 door hatch), and this other (EP Si) driver rolled down his window, honked, and gave me the thumbs up during one roadtrip.

      Another time, someone wrote the url of the EP hatch forums on my rear windshield (it was dirty from salt spray in the winter), although I was already a member there so I found it kinda funny.

      Nothing of this sort ever happens with my Camry. Other than the fact that other Camry owners occasionally look and smile when I end up parking next to them. But it's definitely not the same intensity as with Civic enthusiasts.

      I do get more questions from people about whether they should buy a Camry now though. One was a lady in her 60's, and one was a girl in her 20's...go figure.
      • 6 Years Ago
      if i were mini's ad agency, i'd change my strategy immediately from "Mini. Let's Motor." to "Mini. Buy One and Get Some."
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