Men Love European Sports Cars, Women Want Korean Crossovers, Survey Says – Forbes
Sometimes it seems automakers should just stop trying to play both sides of the proverbial fence and develop distinct vehicle brands that are designed to appeal specifically and separately to men and women. According to a recent study of gender-specific online car shopping habits, those of the male persuasion are four times more likely to shop for a luxury sports car than their female counterparts, with Maserati and Porsche being the most male-specific brands. Meanwhile, those car shoppers lacking a Y chromosome are 67 percent more likely to look for a crossover SUV, with Kia and Hyundai being the most revered nameplates in that regard.
Talk about a gender gap.
That’s according to an analysis of more than 30 million used-car listings and hundreds of thousands of consumer inquiries to dealerships conducted during the past 12 months by the vehicle shopping site iSeeCars.com.
Pickup trucks, non-luxury sports cars and convertibles round out the top body-style preferences sought out by the guys, with women instead favoring wagons, SUVs and sedans. Not all is night and day between the sexes, however. “While men and women have many differences in their vehicle preferences, they do share some similarities,” says Phong Ly, CEO and co-founder of iSeeCars. “For example, men and women equally prefer minivans and hatchbacks.”
Perhaps more accurately (at least from a “glass half empty” perspective) both genders seem to dislike minivans and hatchbacks with equal fervor, given the paucity of interest in either segment these days.
Though this all seems to be carved with the blade of sheer obviousness, the iSeeCars.com study did come up with a few interesting insights.
For example, men are four times more likely than women to buy a model costing more than $45,000 and twice as probable to pick a car or truck in the $30-$45,000 bracket. Male shoppers are 13 percent more likely to look at both recent-model (2012 and newer) cars and significantly older rides (from 1999 and earlier) than women, who show a greater preference for vehicles from the 2000 and 2011 model years.
The top brands searched by female used-car shoppers were found to be Kia (two times more likely), Hyundai (+67 percent), Saturn (+63 percent), Scion (+58 percent) and Volkswagen (+56 percent). On the testosterone-paved side of the street, men most often researched models from Maserati (10 times more likely), Porsche (4.6x), Hummer (2.8x), Jaguar (2.1x) and Cadillac (2X). If there’s a middle ground to be found, it’s among vehicles from Toyota, Dodge, Volvo, Jeep and Mitsubishi, which the study determined carry equal interest among male and female shoppers.
“All in all, the data signals women maybe more sensible in their preferences for cars that are reliable and affordable while men go for the flash like a Maserati even if it means shelling out a lot more money,” Ly explains.
One might even go so far as to suggest that women are the smarter shoppers, choosing a car for its inherent utility and value. Men, on the other hand, instead seem to squander their money on models that deliver plenty of flash, dash and brand cachet for bragging rights and (seemingly counterproductive to what the numbers might otherwise suggest)…to help attract women.