Automobiles that men like to drive range from the ferocious Ferraris to the ruggedly handsome Hummers. These cars have etched a special place in men’s choosy nature when it comes to driving vehicles. This fact is anchored on the craving of men for showy performance and lots of power under the hood. The domineering aspects of these cars boost every man’s desire for action and adventure.
“So many of these cars are prototypical ‘guy cars’ – it’s kind of funny,” said Imre Molnar, the dean of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mich., where he oversees one of the world’s largest transportation design programs. Molnar called ‘men’s vehicles’ bold and assertive. “But with some of these cars, you can’t help but see cliché qualities coming to the fore,” Molnar added. “They affirm the aggressive male stereotype.”
In 2006, the CNW Marketing Research, a Bandon, Ore.-based firm, conducted tens of thousands of phone surveys on a range of topics about car buying and ownership. The survey data revealed the highest percentage of male drivers based on the number of respondents who said they were the primary driver of a particular model.
The list of the most preferred cars by men points to one thing and that is no less than power. This settles the love affair of men with muscle dream cars that could deliver more than 400 horsepower.
According to CNW data, women are not as concerned with making a statement about their image when buying a luxury car. The data shows that a high percentage of well-heeled female drivers prefer cars such as the Audi A6, Lexus LA and various Volvos – cars that are speedy, fashionable and luxurious, but that have understated design and quiet sophistication. Audis’ comfort, Lexus’ technology, and Volvos’ safety draw women closer. The Audi radiator, Lexus exhaust and the Volvo head gasket as well as pampering accessories and amenities are just some of the reasons that lure women. They are not just attention-grabbers like a yellow Lamborghini or a stretched Rolls-Royce.
“This list is filled with ‘image vehicles,'” said Art Spinella, the president of CNW. “Men don’t seem to be basing their decisions on practicality; their choices are pretty testosterone-based. Women are more practical.” Molnar concurred, “Men’s identities – the way they see themselves – are often tied to their cars. Women don’t see perceived value in macho, boys’-boy qualities.”
The Mercedes’ G Class and the GL Class were not primarily built for men but they are loved by males. “Both these vehicles have a rugged-luxe persona that’s reflected in their styling, athletic stance on the road and – particularly with the G-Class – their off-road capabilities,” said Joe Richardson, the spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz. “The G- and GL-Class attract those who aspire to lead a similarly adventurous and refined lifestyle, regardless of whether they happen to be men or women.”
Other manufacturers are more unabashedly embracing the male aficionados who love them back. “No other name in automotive history says ‘muscle car’ like the three letters ‘GTO,'” said Michael Albano, the spokesperson for GM and Pontiac. “The distinctive, tautly stretched exterior, the aggressive lowered stance and sleek, simple form all help express the clean, athletic styling direction of Pontiac – a design formula that has attracted men to the GTO for years,” he noted.