Male Drivers Prioritize Performance, Power and Style – We Asked the Experts Why.
Car Gear recently discussed the Women’s touch – Best Woman-Owned Car?, which was based on an exhaustive 2016 study by automotive search engine and research site iSeeCars.com. Now, with input from a pair of automotive experts, we’ll explore iSeeCars’ equivalent list for male drivers.
iSeeCars analyzed 54 million pre-owned car sales and over 500,000 consumer inquiries of cars for sale from its site over a 2.75-year period. From this data, it identified 10 cars where more than 85 percent of prospective buyers were men (complete list below).
“Males tend to seek performance, style and power from their cars,” said Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com, a major automotive aftermarket retailer. “Fast and powerful cars scream ‘cool’ and ‘status’, which many men seek.”
Incredibly, the average price of the cars most sought by men was $49,224, compared to a paltry $14,870 average for vehicles on the corresponding list for female drivers.
“Men typically believe that the more expensive the car, the better chance they have of receiving respect [or] of looking desirable and cool to their ideal mate and friends,” said Robert Moore, Editor-in-Chief of popular automotive website TopSpeed. “Women, on the other hand, don’t try to look ‘cool’. They want something functional or cute, without concern of price.”
“When men think about their ‘dream cars’, it is likely that they are aiming high,” Reina explained. “While these men likely have a great car that’s suited to their needs, this doesn’t stop them from looking forward to the future when they can afford a more expensive and luxurious car.”
Age appears to be a significant factor in male car shoppers’ tastes: in short, starting out looking for fast, flashy cars as young men; getting more practical in mid life; then returning to some of their youthful auto preferences – only on a bigger budget – as empty-nesters or retirees.
“Depending on what stage of their life they are in, their priorities may shift,” said Reina. “A man seeking a functional, day-to-day car may be more interested in its performance, reliability and efficiency. A man who is retired or has a disposable income for a second ‘toy’ or hobby car might look for style and customization capabilities.”
While it tops-out with the $113,000 Bentley Continental GTC, iSeeCars’ Top 10 Cars Men Want list also includes three more utilitarian rides: the Ford F-350 Super Duty and GMC Sierra 2500 HD pickup trucks, and the Chevrolet Cargo Express van.
“The F-350 and Sierra 2500 aren’t bottom dwellers in the model pool, so you still get some pretty luxurious features while getting plenty of power and good looks,” said Moore. “Plus, the country lifestyle is making a comeback, so trucks (and big diesel engines) and lift kits are also more popular now.”
“In the last decade or so, trucks have become status symbols as much as luxury cars,” Reina continued. “Many now have high-tech and luxury features, allowing the ‘work truck’ to transition seamlessly into a great road trip vehicle for families.”
Here are our experts’ takes on the vehicles that made iSeeCar’s Top 10 Cars Men Want list.
1. NISSAN GT-R (avg. price: $80,450; inquiries by men: 99.1%)
“[The GT-R] is familiar to recent generations of gamers who have raced virtual versions of it,” said Reina. “It’s priced to compete with some of the best European sports cars, which doesn’t stop men from fantasizing about putting their favorite wheels from Forza into their garage.”
The Nissan GT-R has long been an icon in the automotive world. From obsessing over the R34 GTR in the days of 2 Fast 2 Furious to obsessing over the vintage 2000 GT-R, Godzilla has never had trouble finding love in the automotive community.
Before the Model S came out with its ludicrous speed mode, the GT-R was one of the most formidable opponents you could find at a drag strip or 0-60 race. With a 3.8L twin-turbo V6 supplying the car with 565 hp and 467 lb-ft of torque, what’s not to love?
2. BMW M3 (avg. price: $35,763; inquiries by men: 92.2%)
“The first M3 was sold in the mid-1980s, so men have had lots of time to lust after these Bavarian hot-rods,” Reina explained. “Those who may have seen an older relative drive an M3 are now at the age where getting one of their own is possible, and a used one is all the better.”
Germany’s Mustang. The BMW M3 has been a long-standing icon in the automotive world just like the GT-R. Even since the days of the E30, M3s have been blowing us away with incredible handling, a perfect balance of power and beauty, and enough room for the whole family.
Unlike the Mustang, the M3 is also available as a proper sedan, making it just versatile enough to fit both the need to get your kids to soccer practice and the need to do a sweet burnout from time-to-time.
3. PORSCHE CAYMAN (avg. price: $43,303; inquiries by men: 91.9%)
“After many attempts to build an affordable Porsche (914, 924, 944), Porsche got the formula right with the Boxster … [For] more secure year-round driving, the Cayman hardtop was launched,” Reina explained. “Porsche will always be an aspirational brand for men, and the Cayman remains an affordable way for guys to get into the club.”
Porsche’s marketing team has done an incredible job of convincing human males that owning a Porsche is a staple of being successful. There seems to be some subconscious recognition by pretty much every guy out there that if they really want a solid, refined driving experience and a bit of luxury, Porsche is the ideal brand.
While the Boxster gets a bit of hate for being Porsche’s ‘Ferrari California’, the Cayman seems to escape this designation entirely, despite being essentially the same car. The Cayman is arguably the best street Porsche there is. It isn’t insanely fast but it still has a great punch, it handles great, it looks fantastic, and it checks all the sports car boxes.
4. PORSCHE 911 (avg. price: $65,081; inquiries by men: 91.5%)
“Like the GT-R, this comes down to legacy. The 911 is a legendary car, and once you own one, you’ll always want another,” said Moore “Even if you never get another, you’ll always remember and wish you had your first one.”
Let’s be honest here, the Cayman might be the approachable Porsche, but the 911 is the most iconic by far. If you really want to up the ante, this is how you do it. The least powerful 911 has 20 more horsepower than the most powerful Cayman (350 hp). The range of the 911’s performance extends all the way to 580 hp
I seem to have a few different memories of Porsche owners proclaiming to me that Porsches are the ultimate driving machine and that aside from BMW, nobody else comes close. While I have yet to be able to properly road-test this claim, it seems that many people agree.