Friday, November 02, 2007

Hemi-Schemmy

Being a feminist I hate the notion that there are “chick cars” versus “guy cars.” Car manufacturers have stopped developing cars aimed at women because historically they do not sell well; where women will still go and buy “guy cars,” men will never buy a “chick car” which cuts out a large chunk of the population who would consider purchasing the vehicle. Forbes recently published the top men’s and women’s cars after studying the vehicle buying trends between the sexes. While none of the cars on the list came as a surprise, there was little explanation on what qualities really landed each of these cars on the list. While I have no scientific or economic reasons to add to the studies conducted by Forbes, I do have plenty of social commentary to share around the reasons for the gender discrepancy in purchasing the following vehicles.

Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty
  • Owners: 93% male
  • MSRP: $22,225
  • 6-liter V8, 353 horsepower engine
  • 373 foot-pounds of torque
  • 6.8-liter turbocharged diesel engine is an optional upgrade
Men feel totally comfortable with a car containing “Heavy Duty” in its name, probably even being lured in by the image the phrase evokes. Women however would most often associate the adjectives of heavy duty with trash bags, maxi-pads and diapers and would prefer not to drive a vehicle with a moniker that uses the same words.

Ford F-350
  • Owners: 93% male
  • MSRP: $22,380
  • 6.4-liter, 350 horsepower diesel engine
The female obsession with weight comes with a deep laden fear of gaining so much that she tips or breaks the scale. For most standard bathroom scales this event would occur at 350 pounds leaving very little chance of a woman buying a car that is a constant reminder of that number.

Nissan Titan
  • Owners: 91% male
  • MSRP: $23,700
  • 5.6-liter V8 engine with 305 horsepower
  • 5-speed transmission
Wasn’t that cute little merman, the father of Ariel, in The Little Mermaid named Titan? The Japanese tried to make a big, tough, manly vehicle and gave it a cute little name from mythology and men are still buying this thing.

Chevrolet Corvette
  • Owners: 90% male
  • MSRP: $45,170
  • 7-liter V8, 436 horsepower engine
This ain’t your mother’s midlife crisis. Where men will spend money on a corvette to make them feel young again, women are more apt to take a trip, a class or maybe get a little nip and tuck. While those options do not look sexy in the driveway, they are usually a hell of a lot cheaper.

Dodge Ram
  • Owners: 89% male
  • 3.7-liter, V6 engine with 215 Horsepower
  • 4.7-liter, V8 with 235 Horsepower is an optional upgrade
Have you ever attempted to get up into one of these cars with a skirt on? Imagine how much crotch we would see if Brittany or Lindsay owned one of these numbers. Most of the women on the planet do everything they can to keep their privates under cover in public, and a good game plan is avoiding one of these super trucks on the list.

Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible
  • Owners: 63% female
  • MSRP: $17,635
  • 5-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower
It is way too cute for any straight man to consider although it does provide ample headroom for those who are vertically gifted. The Bug comes in a wide variety colors to suit every personality and the dashboard has a vase for flowers, or more importantly, pens or lipstick. If it makes you look and feel anything like Felicity Shagwell it is worth the ridiculous price-tag.

Hyundai Tucson
  • Owners: 60% female
  • MSRP: $16,995
  • 4-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower
Just as women would not be caught dead driving a car with "Heavy Duty" in the name I would assume that men would prefer to avoid anything Mini. Mini-SUVs are very popular with women and this one seems a little lower to the ground; easier to get into then larger SUVs which allows young children to crawl into the car by themselves. All this with in a vehicle that is named for a city famed for their beautiful spas.

Saturn Vue
  • Owners: 60% female>
  • MSRP: $18,100
  • 4-cylinder engine with 144 horsepower
  • V6 engine with 248 horsepower is an optional upgrade
  • V6 engine with 170 horsepower hybrid is an optional upgrade
Saturn dealers are known in the industry as being more touchy feely and catering to the needs of their female clientele from the sale to the shop, giving it an edge with many female buyers. While I personally find this to be one of the uglier cars in the market, I appreciate that women want to buy from someone who they trust and the introduction of Saturn’s crossover opened the market to all the women with rugrats who wanted to buy a car from someone they trusted.

Honda Element
  • Owners: 57% female
  • MSRP: $18,980
  • 4-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower
  • 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive models available
You know how sometimes women go out with a guy because they feel sorry for him? Or sometimes women adopt a puppy or kitten because they are so ugly they are cute? Women often fall for the ugly underdog which is really the only way I can explain why anyone would purchase this vehicle.

While it is offensive to think women don’t know or care about cars I do admit that most women will neglect to ask about the horsepower or the torque when buying a vehicle. Most women don’t give a damn if a car has a hemi so most women would be uninterested in the vehicles that top the men’s list. The cars making the women’s list are going to experience the kiss of death; any man catching the study in Forbes magazine will steer clear of these chick cars and honestly; I would too. Women’s cars are going to have substance and style; the power and room to cart around everything from dogs and kids to furniture and the a style that matches their personality.

Last year I was chatting with my gas station attendant because we both have the same car and love it; a 2004 Jeep Liberty Limited. He and I were both upset when his children told him the Liberty was a chick Jeep. Lies! There is nothing "chicky" about a Jeep. When I purchased the Jeep I wanted something tough and rugged and decidedly not feminine. A great deal of thought and deliberation went into the decision. I wanted an SUV but not one so large that I couldn’t afford the gas. I loved the tough V6, 210 horsepower engine with great towing capacity because someday I will own a boat. The four-wheel drive and heated leather seats are both crucial features needed to make it through our winters in Minnesota. The roomy back seat area was necessary to haul stuff around and give our dogs plenty of room to get around. My Liberty takes regular unleaded gas, which is becoming increasingly important as prices rise and a 19.5 gallon tank which means fewer trips to the station. Most importantly, the Liberty came in Forest Green, Molten Read and Patriot Blue. I got the blue one, her name is Romy. I look so good in blue.





7 comments:

Ronald said...

Interesting. I used to have a Honda CR-V, which was one of the top "female" cars on that Forbes list. Appropriately, now my mom drives it. :) (I drive an Acura TSX now... wonder if that's more of a guy or chick car?)

BTW, Ariel's father in The Little Mermaid is King Triton. :D

Explosive Bombchelle said...

Ron, you beat me to it... I realized it was Triton after I posted and was about you change it! Too funny. Still, it is just wrong to have a Japanese muscle truck.

Stormy said...

My wife's Liberty is silver. And she loves the seat warmers in winter. And the towing package makes towing our camper easy. Plus, we get around 25 mph on the highway! We've had hers for four years, and love it on trips!

Diane said...

For Chelle, it's an interesting article, since this is the first car she's ever owned. For entertainment value, let's review my car purchases....

10 year old Ford Escort - doesn't count. Everyone had one! We were in college and broke, it had an engine and lasted until graduation.

Honda Del Sol. Damn, I loved that car. Definitely a chick car! No self respecting man would own a 2 seater "convertible" (that was really a one-piece T-top), even if it did have the cool James-Bond inspired commerical (that was pulled after 2 weeks due to copyright infringement).

Saab convertible. I'm going to go with guy-car, only because of the whole jet-engine engineered thing. I fully support this, since I got more tickets in that than I did in all my other cars combined (not counting rentals).

Old-School Nissan Pathfinder. Guy car. The thing barely had seats, let alone heated seats!

Land Rover Freelander. Piece of sh#@ - had to be a guy car. Talk about showing panties - the thing was so high off the ground you practically saw bra too! You actually needed to use your key to unlock the gas tank to fill it up. Like I'm going to risk my manicure twice? Victor always wondered why HE needed to put the gas in it all the time....

Chrysler Pacifica.... hmm... pretty even split from what I see on the road, but I'm going with chick car - if guys wanted a car that carries 6 and a load of groceries but doesn't fit in the garage, they'd buy a Hummer!

NeeNee said...

it does annoy me when I hear the word "chick car". I know more about cars then my husband which he tells me frequently. We have been car shopping several times and they always talk to Matt, and then he tells them, Well you should talk to my wife.

My favortie car is the Ford Explorer, Manly? Who cares! It gives me good Highway gas mileage with the cargo room I need. That is why I shop for trucks.

My new favorite is a Ford Edge which can be considered a "chick car", but I love me a ford.

drew said...

Chicks dig my Metro SmarTrip card. It's way more manly than the paper fare cards.

Explosive Bombchelle said...

Stormy, 25MPG?!?!?!?! I am so jealous. I'm getting about 18 Hwy (although I so rarely get Hwy miles working 5 miles from the house).

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