Frugal Shopper: Women Prefer Practical, Frugal Cars, Men Don’t?

June 11, 2010
2010 Nissan Rogue

2010 Nissan Rogue

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2010 Volvo S40

2010 Volvo S40

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When it comes time to purchase a car, men look for bold design statements, sexy sheetmetal, and scorching performance while women—well, women want something practical, economical, and safe, right?

You’d think times would have changed, but it appears not. The pricing intelligence firm TrueCar recently crunched the data—looking at vehicle registrations rather than the purchaser information, to eliminate the idea of household decision-making, and the survey says that women overwhelmingly prefer practical cars and small cars.

Kia ranked highest for female registrations, with nearly 46 percent of female vehicle registrations. Suzuki and MINI both ranked around 44 percent. TrueCar says that safety and value ranked high for all ten of the ten brands with a female ratio over 42 percent, which included Volvo, Subaru, and Hyundai.

Price and value seemed especially important, judging from those top ten brands. Other than for MINI and Subaru, all of these most popular brands with women had a discount of between five and ten percent off MSRP. In tenth place with women, Mitsubishi vehicles were discounted 10.1 percent from MSRP, on average, while 41.5 percent of them were registered to women.

No single brand has more female buyers than male buyers.

Exotic cars and exclusive ultraluxury brands are almost exclusively registered by men. TrueCar found that zero percent of Bugattis were bought by women, while Ferrari, Lamborghini, Tesla, and Aston Martin followed—all with less than ten percent. Specialty sports-car maker Lotus ranked just after these brands, with only ten percent purchased by women.

On a make-model basis, several truck models from GMC, Dodge, and Hummer also ranked near the top among vehicles that were mostly purchased by men.

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