Gender Car Wars: Women Buy Practical Cars, While Men Go For Looks

April 8, 2011
2011 Honda CR-V

2011 Honda CR-V

Adding a little spice to the automotive buyer behavior debate, a just-released TrueCar demographic study based on 2010 car buyer behavior finds that women and men approach the purchase of a car from totally different perspectives.

At least, that’s what TrueCar’s findings show. The study was based on more than eight million retail car purchases in 2010.

In a statement guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers, Jesse Toprak,’s vice president of industry trends and insights says “The study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle.”  

In other words, women buy practical cars and men buy on looks (and performance).

What women buy

Three brands rated highest in percentages of female buyers in 2010, according to the TrueCar survey. MINI was number one with 47.9 percent, followed by Kia (46.8 percent), and Honda (46.0 percent).

Drilling down to the specific car choices women made last year (in this survey), here are the top 10 models with more than 50 percent retail sales to females and at least 1,000 annual retail sales in 2010. Note how many of these do double duty as family cars, CUVs, and SUVs.

Volkswagen New Beetle – 60.6%

Nissan Rogue – 56.3%

Volkswagen Eos – 55.3%

Volvo S40 – 54.5%

Jeep Compass – 54.3%

Honda CR-V – 53.8%

Nissan Sentra – 53.5%

Hyundai Tucson – 53.2%

Toyota RAV4 – 52.7%

Toyota Yaris – 52.7%

What men buy

TrueCar’s study found that the highest percentage of male buyers bought primarily exotic brands. The top three brands men bought in 2010 were Ferrari (93.6 percent), Maserati (94.4 percent), and Porsche (80.3 percent).

As for makes and models, the following top 10 represent those with more than 50 percent retail sales to men and at least 1,000 annual retail sales last year. Interesting how trucks outnumber performance cars – but trucks get the job done and performance cars, well, they perform.

Porsche 911 – 87.9%

GMC Sierra – 87.4%

Chevrolet Corvette – 86.7%

Chevrolet Silverado – 86.3%

Ford F-Series – 86.3%

BMW M3 – 85.6%

Ford Ranger – 84.4%

Toyota Tundra – 84.3%

Dodge Ram – 84.2%

Audi S5 – 83.0%

For reviews of all of the models mentioned, check out TheCarConnection.

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[PR Newswire, TrueCar]

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