New Cars: What Men Want

Last Updated Apr 12, 2011 3:30 PM EDT

This article is part of a package on gender differences in car buying. Read the other article: What Cars Do Women Want?
Men fall for a shapely fender backed by awesome acceleration. They also like brute power and big hauling capacity. That's how automotive preferences showed up in a study by auto pricing site TrueCar.com.

TrueCar checked out 8 million new-car purchases in 2010 to see which brands and models were preferred by men and women. "Men purchased vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle," says Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights for TrueCar.

Because the ranking focused on segments most dominated by male buyers and not total vehicles sold to men, the top two brands for men were Ferrari and Maserati - Italian brands that specialize in selling small numbers of sports cars whose price tag is as breathtaking as their profile. Similarly, the top model for men -- the Porsche 911 (at right) -- is a beautiful speedster whose list price runs from $78,000 to $106,000 and whose buyers are 88% male.

On the other hand, when it comes to individual models, pickup trucks take five of the top 10 spots. Two of those, the Ford F-Series (left) and Chevrolet Silverado (just over 86% of both were bought by men) are the two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. overall, with each selling more than any car model. Because of the pickups' clout, the top 10 male brands include Detroit truck specialists Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge. That's in contrast with brands bought by women, where nine of the top 10 brands are imports.

Because this list is dominated by sports cars and trucks, the mileage ratings are much lower than the models on the women's preferred list. But with gas prices rising and federal requirements for average mileage toughening by the year, some pickups are starting to sport decent mpg. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is rated at 20 mpg city, 23 highway. The Ford F-150 with a V-6 Ecoboost engine is rated at 16 mpg city, 23 highway.

Men apparently are a bit more at ease negotiating about price at car dealerships. Research shows that 76% of men haggled over price vs. 68% of women. (We've got a full set of shopping tips at the end of the women's list, since women tend to overpay at the dealership.)

Top brands for men (with percent of all buyers who are male):
  • Ferrari - 93.6%
  • Maserati - 84.4%
  • Porsche - 80.3%
  • GMC - 74.3%
  • Jaguar - 73.0%
  • Dodge - 72.8%
  • Land Rover - 72.0%
  • Ford - 68.9%
  • Chevrolet - 68.8%
  • HUMMER - 67.9%
Top models for men (again, with the percent of all buyers who are male):
  • Porsche 911 - 87.9%
  • GMC Sierra - 87.4%
  • Chevrolet Corvette - 86.7%
  • Chevrolet Silverado - 86.3%
  • Ford F-Series - 86.3%
  • BMW M3 - 85.6%
  • Ford Ranger - 84.4%
  • Toyota Tundra - 84.3%
  • Dodge Ram - 84.2%
  • Audi S5 - 83.0%
Photos courtesy of the manufacturers
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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.

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