The No. 1 car purchased by men was the Porsche 911, while the car with the highest percentage of women buyers was the Volvo S40.

Some stereotypes are true. Men like V8s. Women like I4s. According to the third annual demographic study by TrueCar.com on the car buying habits of the sexes, men continue to fixate on size while women care about efficiency and price.

The No. 1 brand for women – the brand with the highest percentage of female buyers – was Mini at 46.2 percent. Nissan was No. 2 with 45.7 percent and Kia third with 45.6 percent.

Men, as expected, dominated the exotic brands with Ferrari sales being fueled by the most testosterone – 92.5 percent of buyers being male. Bentley was the No. 2 brand with 83.4 percent of its buyers being male and Maserati having 82.8 percent male buyers.

"The price point for many of the cars and crossovers women buyers wanted started at or below $25,000, while men tended to spend more money for their vehicles," said Kristen Andersson, TrueCar.com senior analyst in a news release. Furthermore, women focused on smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles while men gravitated toward fast exotic cars, big pickups or SUVs.

Indeed. The No. 1 car purchased by the highest majority of men was the Porsche 911. The car with the highest percentage of women buyers was the Volvo S40, with 57.9 percent of the customers buying it being female.

Twelve out of the top 20 brands that the most men turned to were luxury or exotic brands.

"Safety is also something that women seem to have a higher priority," Andersson said.
However, according to the numbers, unlike the Mars and Venus stereotypes, it's men who enjoy being pampered when it comes to luxury vehicles, which Andersson attributed to more buying power for men.

Twelve out of the top 20 brands that the most men turned to were luxury or exotic brands. The remaining brands included SUV or full-size truck brands such as Land Rover, GMC and Ford.

"The SUV and truck heavy mix of the domestic automakers continue to generate a disproportionate number of male customers," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com in their news release, "while the exotic brands remain to be the best medicine for a midlife crisis."

Not for women, apparently, as they opted for reliable import brands over domestics, with 16 of their top 20 brands coming from overseas. (Really, that number is 17 of 20, as Fiat was considered a domestic brand for the study, placing 12th.)



For one car in particular, the study comes as good news. The new Beetle, introduced in 2011, underwent a dramatic overhaul to toughen up its image in attempt to appeal to more masculine buyers. It appears the redesign has worked.

In 2010, 39.4 percent of Beetle buyers were men, no doubt secure in their masculinity, dash mounted flower vase and the fact that the Beetle was the car with the highest percentage of female buyers in America. In 2011, with the vase removed, the roof flattened and general aggressiveness added from bumper to bumper, the Beetle lost the top female spot and 45.4 percent of Beetle buyers were men.
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Men Prefer Flashy or Brawny Vehicles; Women Prefer Import Brands and Smaller Vehicles According to TrueCar.com Study

Volkswagen Beetle No Longer Holds Top Spot Among Women New Car Buyers;
Porsche 911 Still Has The Highest Percentage of Male New Car Buyers


SANTA MONICA, Calif. (April 23, 2012) – TrueCar.com, the authoritative voice in new car pricing and industry trend information, has released its third annual demographic study based on car-buying behavior in 2011, examining gender differences in auto buying. TrueCar.com's study was based on over nine million retail purchases in 2011.

"While gender preferences amongst the buyers of various automotive brands still exists, the gap is narrowing," said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. "The SUV and truck heavy mix of the domestic automakers continue to generate a disproportionate number of male customers, while the exotic brands remain to be the best medicine for a midlife crisis."

Some of the key findings of the TrueCar.com study include:
  • The brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2011 continues to be MINI (46.2 percent), followed by Nissan (45.7 percent), and Kia (45.6 percent) compared to 2010 when MINI (47.9 percent) came in first, followed by Kia and Honda respectively (46.8 percent and 46.0 percent). There were fourteen brands with a female ratio over 40 percent in 2011 and newcomer FIAT landed at 41.9 percent
  • Males continue to be the majority of exotic new car buyers but in 2011, there was only one exotic brand with 10 percent or less retail sales to women, Ferrari (7.5 percent), compared to 2010 when there were six brands.
  • Sixteen of the top 20 brands in 2011 with the highest percentage of female buyers were import brands, while domestic brand FIAT landed at 12. Chrysler, Buick and Jeep bottomed out the list at 18-20. Only three luxury brands made the top 20, with Lexus (44.2 percent) being the only luxury brand over 40 percent.
  • Thirteen of the top 20 brands in 2011 with the highest percentage of male buyers were either exotic or luxury brands. When including luxury brands, nine of the top 20 were domestic. GMC and Dodge brands both had over 70 new car male buyers in 2011.
  • The new Volkswagen Beetle, introduced in 2011, had a higher percentage of male buyers in 2011, with 45.4 percent of buyers being male. In 2010, the Volkswagen New Beetle had only 39.4 percent of male buyers.

"Female car buyers really gravitated toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and crossovers," said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. "It was the complete opposite for male buyers, who preferred either a fast and sporty vehicle with distinctive curb appeal or a big vehicle, like a large truck or SUV."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      ravenosa
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The Pilot however no one screws with, no one cuts me off, if i wanna get into a spot in the next lane they let me have it, and I honestly half the time on interstate road trips outside the metro area can't even keep a pack of cars in front of me, if I match their pace, they always move over, and then when I check my rear view there's always two or three cars that have formed up on the Pilots tail using it to set the pace, it is never a follower in a pack of cars, always a leader." 'Lil Joe, you just perfectly described a log jam. Please keep your station wagon in the slow lane and let real cars pass Thanks, buddy!
        Joe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ravenosa
        Whaddya think I am? Slow? No.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be nice to know statistics based on primary driver of the vehicle, not just who signed on the dotted line at time of purchase.
      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      This article is misleading and the study is useless. What does Porsche 911 being purchased mostly by men has to do with them wanting bigger cars with bigger engines!? Last time I saw 911 with my own yes, it wasn't that big, in fact it's pretty damn small which is why is it handles so well. And the study basically tells us if there is someone in the world that is loaded and has enough money to buy an exotic, it's going to be a man. That does not surprise anyone. The study/article doesn't even mention what car men prefer to buy the most when their income is bellow 50 thousand dollars, which newsflash; is where the majority of men around the world sit. Most men can't even afford a luxury vehicle, so a vehicle that goes from a to b comes in mind.
        Carbon Fibre
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dennis Baskov
        I agree, but it seems they refer too the amount of males over women ratio on THAT specific car...may be wrong.
      mikemaj82
      • 2 Years Ago
      i don't understand where the penis comments come in here. Women can have 30 pairs of expensive shoes in their closet...it doesn't mean they have a small vagina.
        Joe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikemaj82
        Welcome to Autoblog, if There is an insult out there you'll most likely find someone throwing it at someone here. For an epic example of this, please search up the 2013 Malibu Turbos horsepower rating article. That was a funny one.
      MikeInNC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seriously, this study is really useless. This doesn't say any more about the Volvo S40 than it does about a Toyota Tercel. There is so much missing info this is nothing less than fodder for those that feel bolstered or insulted somehow by useless data. I see tons of SUV's and nearly 70% of them have women in them. Pick-up's do seem to be a bit more skewed towards males but it's rare that I see something like a Lexus RX with a guy in it unless he's driving his wife's car. Of course, that's perception and may not reflect reality. People tend to buy based on a matrix of need, cost, features, style, mpg and a litany of other small and large reasons. To read a big amount of anything into a small percentage difference on a national scale is folly. I've owned everything from BMW's, Porsche's, a Maserati a Dodge Dakota pickup and yes, even an S40 (6 speed T5). This is a snapshot with little science behind it and we're cherry picking data just so we can argue about crap that doesn't mean anything. NEXT!
      DC386
      • 2 Years Ago
      Your teaser sentence in red says "The No.1 car purchased by men was the Porsche 911..." That's clearly not what the study is saying.
      Bruce Lee
      • 2 Years Ago
      So this study mostly just shows that most cars are purchased almost 50/50 by men and women...the "mostly female" cars aren't even that heavily female-all the numbers are in the 40's and 50's except for the exotic sports cars.
      oRenj9
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Highest percentage of retail sales to females" Which means this article is mostly worthless. Car shopping as a female is a terrible experience, and would not be surprised if women actively avoid it when possible. Every time I've assisted a woman that I knew with purchasing a car, I see more and more how big of scumbags dealerships are. Fun Fact, in the 90s, a car salesman actively *refused* to sell my mother a Corvette. Flat out refused, they tried to point her to an automatic, V6 Firebird instead, claiming it was "more her style."
      Joe
      • 2 Years Ago
      I could see how they came to this, I drive the only SUV in the house and I like the visibility, I like that I can see from a higher vantage point than I would the van or Accord, not to mention the respect that people give you. When taking trips with my parents in the Accord, people are always cutting it off, they don't move over if it comes up behind them on the highway, they don't let me in with it, no respect. Or my grandpas compact rentals that i sometimes drive are even worse.The Pilot however no one screws with, no one cuts me off, if i wanna get into a spot in the next lane they let me have it, and I honestly half the time on interstate road trips outside the metro area can't even keep a pack of cars in front of me, if I match their pace, they always move over, and then when I check my rear view there's always two or three cars that have formed up on the Pilots tail using it to set the pace, it is never a follower in a pack of cars, always a leader. Ive most definitely become drawn to the respect that the car gives me, and it has definitely influenced my taste in cars. I think it's more that guys prefer respect whereas girls don't care so much, they just wanna get there.
        ravenosa
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joe
        "not to mention the respect that people give you." As an SUV driver, you think you get an ounce of respect? You must be joking. You guys look so tiny standing next to your glorified station wagons and you drive some of the worst handling and inefficient vehicles on the road. I think most people have disdain or sympathy for SUV drivers. Nevermind most SUV drivers don't seem to have very good control of the wagons nor know how to use their turn signals. If you wanted guys to respect you, get a real car.
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ravenosa
          I actually use my turn signals, and do not drive like a jackass. Why do I have the car? Because I'm 20, and it's the one that my parents gave to me, you think I got the car by choice? No, I did not. I just happen to like the car, I do not treat it like oh my god I have a big car and I'm a badass, you want that, then look at my friend who won't shut up about his Wrangler. I have VERY good control of my car, it does not have stability control, and I've never lost control on slippery surfaces unlike friends I know in regular cars who have embedded their cars in snow banks and slipped off the road, I know it's on me if I screw up. It's not the f*cking car, it's the damn driver behind the wheel. Some kids do not get the freedom of choice with what they drive and make do with what they got, and I'm sorry it's a damn crime to actually like the car I have.
          WillieD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ravenosa
          I don't really think SUV drivers are worse with blinkers than others, especially BMW and Mercedes drivers. Though I do think way too many people have SUVs that don't have a valid use for them. And I give respect to others based on how they drive, not on what they drive.
        torqued
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joe
        There is so much wrong with this post I don't even know where to start. If it's a troll, it's a good one.
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @torqued
          No. I'm a 20 year old with an older car that my parents gave to me. Sorry that's so offensive.
        fragmit50
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joe
        If I come up behind you in the left lane in my GT, it's not to "set pace". Sounds like you are holding up traffic.
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @fragmit50
          You know what's funny, the Mustang I moved over for a month ago was the one who got pulled over by trooper 39 seconds later. If someone wants to go quicker than me I move over. I do not hold people u, like that mustang, let them speed and get the ticket from the trooper up ahead for me.
        Joe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joe
        Have any of you ever been in a car with me? No, you have not, so no you cannot judge how I drive because you have never seen me do so, yeah I know most SUV drivers are jerks and have caused stereotypes to come about, believe me i do, one guy in an XL7 tried to cut me off on an icy bridge, unfortunwtely for him he did not know very much about rear weight transfer and how it can affect you on slippery surfaces, his front end stayed with him but his back end going, as a result I and several others around me (thankfully everyone behind saw us brake and no one got in his way) watched as his car zigzagged several times across all lanes of the highway before finally plowing into the median wall. And then another ******* in a RAV4 who was driving like the snow that was falling was not even there, he hammered the gas from stoplight next to me on a four lane road and disappeared into the uphill right hand corner ahead, but not for long, When I came over the top of that hill I saw him... Sideways in the wall across my lane... Front end destroyed and engine smoking.. That was a fun one to avoid. So yes, i see what you are all talking about because i too am a motorist myself. but then again, as automobile enthusiasts signing into this site, none of us qualify as most people for anything, because we actually know things about car control and mechanics that the common person would not, and as such can use the knowledge to be smoother better drivers and take better care of our cars. Come on guys lets get along, everyone has their opinions and most of us come here to share them not argue, not everyone is gonna agree with everyone else and I agree I coulda worded the original post better, but in the end it's opinion, at the end of the day we have what we have and we just gotta work with it.
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joe
          Torque- first off yeah let me apologize that post came off horribly, I dont use the car to bully people.. No reason to. To explain that one part of the post I mean they move over when they see me coming up faster than them, not terribly fast mind you like flying into their rear view mirrors but at the same time they see me coming and move, I don't ride their bumpers or what not, you can check my post in the left lane loiterers article for proof. When I say line of cars behind me I mean like two or three that see I'm setting a slightly faster pace than the flow and form up behind me, that's what I meant, not holding them up. Believe me if I see a car that wants to go quicker than I'm comfortable with I move over, I get uncomfortable with people right up my bumper because then i have no room for a panic brake application if i need it (like if somebody cuts me off), I have a habit of checking my rearview mirror before braking that has actually prevented quite a few rear enders. You are right I do take driving very seriously, my technique emphasizes situational awareness, from time to time I check around my mirrors and if I come up on other cars or an intersection where I have the right of way, my eyes are always scanning trying to anticipate the moves of others so I can react accordingly, like this one time I was driving near my school coming up on a light at a tricky intersection, just getting out of the school area,but i saw a girl walking in the crosswalk on her phone, just getting to the sidewalk, but she didn't seem to be paying attention and I had a feeling judging by the way she was walking that she was going to turn where I was driving, so Instead of increasing my speed to account for the change in speed limit I set my foot up on the brake instead (but not actually pressing the pedal) accordingly, and yes, my hunch was correct, she walked out in directly in front of me, because I had anticipated it I was able to react coolly and all I had to do was actually hit the brake, and because I was going slower already I didn't have to panic stop in such a way where itd take the guy behind me by surprise. , the girl next to her was trying to pull her back to no avail, she didn't actually look to see what was up until she was directly in front of my car, which I had already stopped, if I hadn't anticipated it I either wouldve been rear ended or hit the girl. To respond to your final point, I have driven several smaller cars, like my grandpas rentals, or even that Accord from up above, but to tell you the truth I'm most comfortable with the Pilot, I know it's handling best and how it will respond in a variety of situations, i can even tell if a tire is down on air throuGh the feeling in the wheel, that car/driver connection that I have established with it makes me comfortable. Sure it's not small, and it's not the most agile, but knowing what it can do is more than fine by me. Hopefully no hard feelings Torque and others, my apologies for earlier.
          torqued
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joe
          If you're 20 and driving the car that your parents gave you, then it's pretty much all you know. That's fine and I'm glad you like it. I drove a Chrysler minivan! You first post made you sound like a "typical SUV driver" - a road bully who thinks a bigger car means you're more important. "Keeping pace" with the car in front of you will never make them move over unless you're uncomfortably close. You mentioned a line of cars behind you - aren't they keeping pace too? But you don't move over because they are leaving a reasonable following distance. Your follow up posts sound like you do actually think about driving and take it seriously. That's pretty rare and I commend you for it. Hopefully it doesn't take an accident for you to get a feel for good following distance. Most drivers where I live (New England) don't leave nearly enough, and I could see an inexperienced driver thinking that's the norm. Finally, I recommend driving a couple smaller, more agile cars when possible. Many people feel more confident and even safer in small agile cars because they're more in control.
        ChadS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joe
        Are you sure you don't have a vagina "Joe"?
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ChadS
          No.. I just don't drive with my head up my a*s.. I know it's a shocker right?
      Relyat08
      • 2 Years Ago
      It may be that men buy more SUVs, but, at least where I live, its women that are driving them. I would bet that at least 75% of the SUVs in my area are driven by a woman in her mid 30s with her family stickered on the back window.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      Males tend to need something that represents how they want to be perceived by the opposite sex (and to a lesser extent their buddies), be it big and tough or agile and athletic. Of course price matters too since it's important for a male to appear financially successful. This is what fuels the huge pickup truck sales in this country even though 90% will just sit in traffic, getting 14 miles to the gallon, never towing or hauling anything. Women on the other hand tend to not care about any of that, they just want the most efficient way to get around. That 39% of male Beetle buyers? Well some guys are practical too.
        ravenosa
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        It's all about compensation. Large, high-riding wagons are the high-heeled hiking boots of the road. These guys aren't fooling ANYBODY.
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        In other words, men perceive cars the way women do clothes, shoes, and hair. Interesting...
      stas.kuchmanyuk
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks like most males want a penis extender...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stas.kuchmanyuk
        [blocked]
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