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Consumers prefer cars to be angry-looking and dominant. That's the official word from a team at the University of Vienna after studying a group of male and female volunteers. Each were asked to rate the design features on 38 passenger cars introduced between 2004 and 2006. After rating the vehicle's physical traits, the researchers asked if the subjects saw "faces" (it's a phenomenon called "pareidolia") in the vehicles' appearances. Lastly, they asked participants which cars in the group they preferred. Interestingly enough, the more a vehicle bore characteristics appearing mature, dominant, masculine, arrogant, and angry-looking, the better the research subjects liked the cars. While the study didn't correlate actual sales figures with implied vehicle attitudes, it does add credence to the fact that emotion sways consumers towards certain models and adds yet another meaning to the familiar mid-cycle "facelift."

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[Source: MSNBC via Kicking Tires]