What Do The 1% Drive? The Top 10 Cars In Wealthy ZIP Codes

August 8, 2012

When you think of the wealthy -- if you do -- what do imagine them driving? A Porsche 911? A Lamborghini Gallardo? An old-school Rolls-Royce? 

Eh, not so much.

Sure, six-figure supercars are the province of the uber-rich, but by and large, America's wealthy families drive fairly mainstream vehicles. That news comes from TrueCar, which rounded up the ten most popular cars in our wealthiest ZIP codes.

The company began by identifying those ZIP codes based on data from the Internal Revenue Service. At the top of the list, we find 10274 -- lower Manhattan -- with an average income of $5.7 million. That's followed by Fisher Island, Florida (33109); downtown Chicago (60604); Atherton and Century City, California (94027 and 90067); New Vernon, New Jersey (07976); Greenwich, Connecticut (06831); Palm Beach, Florida (33480); Medina, Washington (98039); and finally, Ross, California (94957), boasting an average income of $497,000 .

TrueCar then used that data to pull the most popular vehicles sold to residents of each ZIP code. The findings were occasionally surprising:

  • In the wealthiest ZIP code, the Honda Accord was the third most popular car, falling behind the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW X5. The Honda CR-V came in at #5.
  • The only top-five car approaching the six-figure range in any locale was the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Porsche Panamera appeared in one ZIP code -- in Fischer Island's #5 spot. 
  • Of all ten ZIP codes, Chicago seemed the most down-to-Earth: the eminently affordable Volkswagen Jetta was the most popular ride there, followed by the Honda CR-V, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Camry, and Honda Civic.
  • Jeep was the only Detroit brand to make any of the top-five lists: the Wrangler was hugely popular in Greenwich, and the Grand Cherokee was a winner there, too, as well as Chigago.
  • Less surprising was the fact that the Toyota Prius took the #1 or #2 spot in all three California ZIP codes.

When all was said and done, TrueCar compiled all that data to come up with a list of the most popular cars in America's ten wealthiest ZIP codes. Interestingly, eight of the ten are priced below $40,000. The models that didn't make the list are almost as interesting as those that did:

10. BMW X5
9. Toyota Camry
8. Honda Accord
7. Honda CR-V
6. Volkswagen Jetta
5. Toyota Prius
4. Lexus RX
3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2. BMW 328

And the most popular car in America's wealthiest ZIP codes is the...

1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Does this list surprise you? Is there a brand missing that you expected to see? Did one make the list that completely confuses you? Let us know in the comments below.

The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from The Car Connection. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.