When it comes to who drives certain kinds of cars and why, there are all kinds of stereotypes out there: Some have a basis in actual facts, even if they no longer apply, while others have unknown origins. Let’s jump into 12 common stereotypes about car brands.
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Pontiac Montana – Dads in Denial
Many men cringe at the thought of driving a minivan despite how efficient they are for families. The Montana, due to the name, made dads feel a little better about driving one.
Dodge Caravan – Soccer Moms
The Caravan really ushered in the age of the minivan. It’s true you often see moms using them to schlep the kids everywhere. However, many others have warmed to them for their features and versatility.
Any Big Pickup Truck – Insecure Men
There’s long been a stereotype that men in big pickups are trying to compensate for something. However, most people driving big pickups just like bigger cars. A lot of women are behind their wheels, too.
Volvo – Helicopter Parents
Helicopter parents are infamous for a manic focus on safety, among other things. Long touted for their safety features, Volvos became associated with safety-obsessed parents. The heyday was when Volvo station wagons were a big thing.
BMW 3-Series – Young Aggressive (Male) Drivers
Good performance and a reasonable price tag, especially for used ones, make the 3-Series BMW affordable for many young people. Unfortunately, they do attract a lot of young men who drive aggressively. Now, the stereotype is widespread.
Subaru Outback – Eco-Conscious Lesbians
Rumor has it that Subaru did market its vehicles to LGBT customers, so this stereotype may have a real basis. However, you’ll see that Outbacks are enormously popular in areas with a lot of outdoor activities. Colorado seems to be the Outback Capital.
Mercedes S-Class – Too Good for the Rest of Us
Take a look at the price tag of a S550, and you’ll see why many see them as a status symbol. This one has some truth, too. Studies show that drivers of luxury cars are less likely to stop for pedestrians, let others merge, etc.
Toyota Prius – Slowpokes
People commonly complain about Prius drivers going under the speed limit. Some assume it’s because they’re in no hurry since they get such great gas mileage. In some cases, that might be true, but it’s also true that they don’t do well going uphill.
Buick – Old People
Buicks tend to appeal to people looking for a conservative design with good comfort. Naturally, that will tend to attract older buyers. But young people drive them, too, especially the newer small SUVs that are broadly popular.
Old Toyota 4 Runner – Outdoor Enthusiasts
The 4 Runner is one of the few stock SUVs that performs really well off-road. It makes sense, then, that outdoor enthusiasts love them, and the old ones weren’t too expensive. They also seem to run forever, which makes them appeal to anyone who wants the most life from a vehicle.
New Toyota 4 Runner – Pretenders
By contrast, you don’t see nearly as many newer 4 Runners off the road as you do older ones. Maybe that’s because they’re bigger and a lot more expensive. Nevertheless, to many nowadays, squeaky-clean new 4 Runners symbolize people wanting a rugged look while never leaving the pavement.
Saab – Yuppies Who Want to Be Different
As stereotypes go, the BMW has always been the ultimate yuppie car. Back when Saabs were still in production, they were an alternative. Those who liked the unique look of Saabs could have a European luxury car while not looking like everyone else. Of course, some people just liked them for their own sake.
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