Are You Too Sexy for Your Car?

Looking for a new vehicle?  Looking for a new relationship?  A recent survey by suggests that the type of vehicle you drive is directly correlated to the expectations members of the opposite gender have about your physical appearance.

The online survey polled two thousand male and female licensed drivers aged 18 and over from different regions of the country.  Participants were asked to respond to a variety of questions about vehicle body style, color, make and model, as well as some related questions about vehicle upkeep.

Once the results were correlated, the survey yielded these bottom line results.

Women who participated in the study indicated that attractive men tend to drive black Ford F-15 pickups. In fact, 32% of women ranked pickup trucks as the vehicles they associate most with attractive men.  Sports cars were a close second, at 27%.

Only nine percent of women said they associate hybrids and electric autos with attractive men.  Men and women apparently have very low expectations for drivers of minivans.  Only two percent of men and four percent of women ranked minivans as vehicles that good-looking members of the opposite sex would drive.

Male participants in the survey said that attractive women typically drive red BMW sports cars.  Men also ranked Mercedes-Benz and Porsche as vehicles attractive women would drive.  Forty percent ranked red as the color of vehicle they associate with attractive women. Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell and Automotive Editor Mike Magrath say some of the survey results seem perfectly logical, but question others.  According to Caldwell, “there’s just something about a truck, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re in Santa Monica or San Antonio. It’s rugged, but it’s still a guy who’s put together enough resources to buy one and keep it on the road.” She argues, however, that “some women like a lot more cosmopolitan guy, driving a Range Rover or Tesla Model S.”

Caldwell also sees a problem with men’s association of the red BMW with the attractiveness of female drivers.  McGrath says it’s not the make of the vehicle, but the color, which she says seems “a little high maintenance.”  BMW Group Designwork USA Lead Color, Material and Finish Designer Alexandra McGill offers a contrary point of view. “Red has a visceral effect on the human body and psyche,” says McGill. “Not only does red quickly catch the eye, it makes the pulse quicken, blood flow faster and increases adrenalin. Red is associated with athletics, energetic activities and fast speed. It is popular for sports cars, coupes and convertibles. More red cars are sold in the United States than anywhere else in the world.”

Perhaps more important than the age, color, make or model of a vehicle is how well the owner maintains it.  Of the women who participated in the survey, 45 percent ranked cleanliness as the most important factor, ahead of the vehicle’s reliability, age or cost.  Forty-three percent of men also said that a clean vehicle was the most important consideration.  Twenty-three percent of men and women ranked cigarette butts in a vehicle’s ashtray as the biggest “turn-off.”

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