Top 10 Luxury Cars Driven by Women

Subtlety, sophistication and safety are among the attributes that matter most to women who buy luxury cars. But horsepower has its place, too.

By Stephen Milioti:

Thelma and Louise sought top-down glory in a light blue 66 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Carol Brady settled for a Plymouth station wagon, an eminently practical choice and about as exciting as a soft-boiled egg. The luxury vehicles with the highest percentage of women drivers today arent at either of these extremes. Rather, theyre some of the most well-balanced cars out there, from a shapely, sporty BMW roadster to a quartet of super-safe yet chic Volvos.

The common denominator with most of the vehicles on this list is that theyre all sophisticated, refined vehicles with complex surfacing and highly-evolved design, says Imre Molnar, dean of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mich., where he runs one of the worlds largest transportation design programs.

Molnar calls out the flame surfacing that chief BMW designer Chris Bangle employed sometimes controversially when creating the BMW Z4, which heads up our list of the top 10 luxury cars driven by women. The Z4’s body blends convex and concave shapes inspired by a flame. When designing the car, Bangle even commissioned a group of dancers so that he could model the roadster’s form in part based on their spontaneous body movements. "Women are responding to this fluid, organic, inspired form, Molnar says.

Besides sophistication, women are also looking for subtlety. I think women have such a good eye for detail, says Vicki Vlachakis, designer of the Saturn Sky, which is popular with women, according to CNW Marketing Research data, but isn’t on our list because it’s not a luxury car. The attention to detail is really important on the interior; on all of the key driving interfaces such as the gauges, shifter area, steering wheel and seats.

Styling and aesthetics alone won’t win women over, though. To put it bluntly, women are more practical than men when it comes to cars, says Art Spinella of CNW Marketing Research. Whereas men tend to buy cars that are more testosterone-based and macho [see our men’s list], women are into cars that are sophisticated and sensible. The Lexus IS, which ranks 10th, offers strong performance from two available V6 engines, but still returns decent gas mileage at an estimated average of 27 mpg for combined city/highway driving in the IS 250. Likewise the sporty BMW Z4, which cranks out more than 200 hp but gets 30 mpg on the highway.

The Volvo C70 is fourth on the list. The Audi A3 hatchback (ranked third) and Volvo V70 wagon (ranked fourth, along with the Volvo C70) further prove the practicality point with versatile interiors that can be configured to accommodate lots of cargo. Women dont see any perceived value in the macho qualities that are in mens favorite cars, like the Hummer, Molnar says. Theyre completely unseduced by the idea of a cars primary purpose being an image-maker.

Safety is another top concern among female drivers, which explains why Volvo, whose reputation is built on safety, has several cars on the list. Women generally care much more about safety than men, says Marti Barletta, founder and president of consulting firm The TrendSight Group, and author of PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds and Business of Boomer Big Spenders. “Take the Volvos on the list: The company doesnt do much marketing specifically to women, yet women gravitate toward their safety features and are clearly responding to the brand.”

This list includes the top 10 luxury vehicles with the highest percentage of female primary drivers based on CNW Marketing Research survey data. The Bandon, Ore.-based firm conducted more than 15,000 phone surveys during 2006 on a range of topics about car buying and ownership. The list does not account for yearly vehicle sales volumes. Rather, it measures which vehicles have the highest percentage of female drivers based on the number of respondents who said they were the primary driver of a particular model. We excluded vehicles below $30,000 that weren’t part of a luxury brand, as well as models that have been discontinued for 2007.

The Range Rover Sport makes the eighth spot. The percentage of primary male drivers for our list of the 10 vehicles most driven by men averaged 90.8 percent, versus an average of 51.9 percent for women. Thats a big difference and, while it clearly cant account for all buyers of high-end cars, the discrepancy between the percentages of male versus female primary drivers does imply that men are buying more high-end cars than women.

Barletta was surprised to see the womens numbers so much lower than the men’s but says that this will change. Female baby boomers have just started spending and they are about to ramp it up. “The baby-boom generation is moving into the post-family stage 50-70 years old and now that theyve taken care of everyone else, they’re ready to spend on themselves,” she says.

Youll see women buying more luxury cars and sports cars," Barletta says. "The cars atop this list, and car manufacturers that didnt make it, will all have to pay more attention to women drivers in the near future. The companies who make the mistake of not doing so will find themselves way behind.

Hello Ladies, so what’s your favourite? My favourite cars are the BMWs - classic.

Merz E series… :wink:

BMWs are nice and elegant looking for ladies but for me, I like Nissan Skyline R33 & R34.

Ever notice that the husbands drive 10-20 year old jelopys to work, while the wives drive the brand new, all-terrain 4x4 behemoths to pick up the children?

Works well for me though, as I drive a 20 year old car. Though I’d like a bike. (CBR 600)

Women dont see any perceived value in the macho qualities that are in mens favorite cars, like the Hummer, Molnar says. Theyre completely unseduced by the idea of a cars primary purpose being an image-maker.

I just noticed this.

You’ll be surprised at how many women will get a hummer in the US. I’m not kidding. They all go for the Hummer H2, sure the numbers aren’t as high as BMW and Volvos, but there are plenty around.

could someone please do some research and post up those top 10 car of the ladies favorite??

thanks…hehe…

  1. Honda Fit
    The Honda Fit is just one of a handful of subcompacts now on the US and Canadian markets, but few others can match the Fit’s balance of front seat, back seat and trunk room. The Fit is especially handy in urban areas, where its small size allows it to nip through traffic and squeeze into tiny parking spots. Its fuel-efficient 1.5 liter engine has plenty of get-up-and-go, even with an automatic transmission, and Honda quality means it’ll last an eon.

  2. Mazda 3
    Mazda’s new compact brings with it a combination of style, space, and driving pleasure not often found in this class. The 4-door costs less initially but we recommend the 5-door for all-round practicality, not to mention a little elbow room for a growing family.

  3. Mazda MX-5 Miata
    The Miata is a great set of wheels for a woman who doesn’t have a family, and an excellent second car for one who does. Few cars deliver the Miata’s combination of fun in the sun and raw driving thrills, and even fewer deliver such great fuel economy while doing it. Though trunk room is tight, the Miata offers just enough room for a romantic weekend getaway for two. And on a day-to-day basis, it’s a great way to put a little sparkle into your commute.

  4. Volkswagen Jetta
    Volkswagen’s compact sedan offers up enough individuality for an independant woman, enough cachet for the up-and-coming executive, and enough room for a growing family. We’re especially enamoured of the hot-rod turbo version, which has the same engine as VW’s boy-racer GTI. (We like the other versions too, especially the super-frugal diesel-powered Jetta TDI.)

  5. Ford Focus
    The Ford Focus has a markedly different character than most Ford products sold in the US and Canada. That’s because it was developed by Ford of Europe – that’s right, this is an honest-to-goodness European car. The tall cabin, upright driving position, roomy interior and trunk and smile-generating driving experience all come courtesy of the Focus’ old-world roots, but with the humble Ford badge on the boot – er, trunk – you aren’t paying for a fancy European name.

  6. Subaru Forester
    The Forester toes the line between car and SUV, but unlike most crossovers, the Forester does everything well. On the road it offers invigorating handling and performance; off road it’ll keep up with many bigger, brawnier SUVs. And when the weather turns foul, the Forester is one of the best vehicles of any size for safely negotiating slick roads. All this plus lots of cargo space and good fuel economy. The downside? Awkward looks and a tight back seat. Overall its an outstanding package.

  7. Toyota Camry
    There’s a reason the Camry is the best selling car in the US, and has been for years: It does just about everything well. It’s roomy, quiet, comfortable, and built like the proverbial brick outhouse. With the new-for-2007 redesign, the Camry offers more choice than ever. Most buyers will opt for the well-priced and well-equipped Camry LE, but don’t overlook the fuel-efficient Camry Hybrid, luxury-oriented Camry XLE and sporty Camry SE.

  8. Mazda 5
    Mazda’s answer to the minivan is the 5 – a one-box minivan-like design (complete with sliding doors for the back seats) built on the platform of a subcompact. The result: A 6-seater that’s fun to drive and gets great fuel economy.

  9. Honda Civic
    Civics are everywhere, and with good reason: They’re economical, easy to drive, and they run like a Swiss watch. With their blue-chip resale values and impeccable build quality, Civics are good investments both short- and long-term. Innovations like a totally flat passenger floor (no center “tunnel”) make the Civic comfortable and practical. Hybrid and natural-gas powered versions are perfect for the cost- and environment-conscious. Without question, this is the compact-class leader.

  10. Mercedes-Benz E-class
    You’ve worked hard. Now enjoy it! The Mercedes E-class offers more prestige of the three-pointed star. The E is ideally sized, big enough for the family to ride comfortably (without a chorus of “Mom, he hit me!” “She hit me first!” from the back seat), but small enough for easy parking and urban handling. The E is the practical way to treat yourself right.

DO you think this list is relevant?? Taken from Here!!

[quote=“smallee”]could someone please do some research and post up those top 10 car of the ladies favorite??

thanks…hehe…[/quote]

Why…want to buy one for yer gal? Fuyoo…I once like was craze about Hummer and Rover, tapi balik balik BMW.