A car is a big investment. For many, it’s not just a mode of transportation but also contributes to one’s identity as it can say a lot about who you are as a person. Some spend months, even years, searching for just the right vehicle customized with exactly the right features, paint color, trim, and so on to ensure that it perfectly fits their personalized needs. I once drove six hours to purchase a limited edition of my SUV that was apparently extremely limited and nowhere to be found locally even though I lived in a huge city.
Some people are so particular about driving the best cars that they lease their vehicles so that they can upgrade it every time a newer version of it comes out, or any time their personal taste changes. This is because people spend a lot of time in their cars, sometimes even giving colleagues or potential lovers a lift, so they want to make the best impression. So, for a lot of people, a car can say a lot about themselves, especially when common stereotypes about different cars already exist. Unless you want to fit a certain mold, you’ll know which cars to avoid and which cars you’d better identify with. Here are fifteen common stereotypes about cars we see everyday and the drivers who drive them.
15. Honda Civic – Ricer
Spot one of these on the highway and chances are high that they’ll be driven by either a young Hispanic or Asian male. Honda Civics are souped-up cars that are usually over ten years old and prepared for a drag race or import show of some sort. Because they’re known to have engines that are easy to fix and parts that are ideal for swapping out, they’re a top pick among street racers or ricers. This means that if you’re in the market for a used car, Honda Civics aren’t always the best option because they’re not usually resold with the original parts.
14. Subaru Outback – Outdoorsy
Subaru Outback’s are a fashion statement, and a pretty strong one because everyone who drives one shares this stereotype. They pretty much want to make it known that they identify with the trending outdoorsy, backpacking, camping, biking, and hiking culture whether or not they actually engage in any of these activities. These drivers are likely older millennials in their 30’s and are establishing their careers as either project managers or engineers. Because they’re stuck in front of the screen all day, they want to make it known that they live a pretty adventurous life outside of the work. A life literally in the outdoors.
13. Honda Odyssey – Soccer Mom
If you live in a suburban middle-class community, you probably spot several of these every day. Nothing says you’re a mom of three and shuffling between school, piano lessons, and soccer tournaments more than driving around a Honda Odyssey (or even a Toyota Sienna). This is because no one dreams of owning one of these big boys… the decision just sort of happens because minivans make the most sense once your sedan is too small to fit more than two car seats. Also, automatic sliding doors and roomy trunk space comes in handy for those Costco runs when you’re buying a month’s supply of goods and food that will probably last you less than a week.
12. SUV – First-Time Parents
First-time parents are super cautious and probably purchased their first brand new SUV a couple months prior to the birth of their firstborn. These are usually Toyota Rav4’s, Honda CR-V’s, Nissan Murano’s, Ford Escapes, and Jeep Grand Cherokees. These are among the most popular for first time parents. These nervous parents assume that bigger is better and safer, especially for keeping their little prince or princess safe in the case of a car accident. I admit, my husband and I made our first purchase of our brand new SUV just two months before welcoming our little guy into the world. We have absolutely no regrets about it.
11. Charger – A Lot of Car for a Little Guy
If you can’t beat them, why not get the kind of car that can? This must be the mentality of every little guy driving an oversized Charger who might be inwardly struggling with an inferiority complex. You’ve probably seen these guys on the road and they don’t hide behind their cars. They usually roll their windows down and rev their engines a little louder to let everyone else around them know who’s the big guy now. But hey, if you’ve got it, you might as well flaunt it. After all, a car can do a whole lot for someone’s self esteem.
10. VW Beetle – College Student
The Beetle is the signature vehicle, if not mascot, of every college sorority and fraternity. I actually knew about six different friends who drove these things in college. Just visit any college campus and you’ll see several of these parked in the dorm lots. These cars don’t really have much going for them besides being economical as well as quirky and retro in style – the only traits that really matter to a typical college student trying to stand out on campus anyway. As for professionals and parents, these aren’t typically the vehicle of choice as they don’t offer much space, practicality, or horsepower.
9. Toyota Prius – Self-Righteous or Religious
If you want to know where to go to find the most Priuses in one place, visit a church parking lot on a Sunday morning. Driving a Prius is like making a public statement that you not do you only care about the environment, but also about a lot of other things. And you don’t just hold strong stances, but you practice them. Also, chances are pretty high that you won’t be able to spot a Prius that isn’t labeled with a ton of political or religious bumper stickers. If you meet a guy or gal who drives a Prius, you can expect your conversation to be pretty lengthy and possibly heated.
8. Buick – Grandparents
Buicks simply aren’t the vehicle of choice among people under forty. This is because they haven’t really been that big of a deal since prior to the seventies. Remember Patrick Swayze’s 1965 Buick Riviera seen in the classic movie Roadhouse (came out in 1989)? So whenever you see a Buick, it’s probably a used vintage driven by an older gentleman who has been preserving it the best way he can since the past couple of decades. This doesn’t go to say that there aren’t some pretty impressive Buicks on the market today, but simply that they’re among older and classier options.
7. Chevy Malibu – Rental
If you’re renting a mid-sized vehicle but don’t know what you’re going to end up with until the day of, chances are pretty high that you’ll end up with a Chevy Malibu. These American bad boys are an all-time favorite among rental companies most likely because they’re reasonably affordable, dependable, and versatile. Nowadays it’s pretty rare to see a Toyota Camry or Honda Civic among the rental choices (unfortunately). So if you see a Chevy Malibu on the road, you’re probably looking at an out-of-towner cruising your city in their rental. And if the Malibu isn’t a rental, it was probably purchased used or pre-owned by a rental company.
6. Chevy Silverado – Redneck
Nothing says all-American redneck more than a beastly Chevy Silverado setting the scene for a country music video. You’re probably picturing the Miranda Lambert music video for “Automatic.” If a Chevy truck isn’t seen in the video, she’s probably singing about it. It’s maybe mentioned in the lyrics a couple times here and there. Chevy Silverado’s are more popular among suburban or countryside communities rather than in cities and among minorities. These customizable full-sized trucks are huge and are built to handle tough labor. It’s no wonder they’re ranked #4 among pickup trucks by US News and World Report.
5. Lexus – Chinese
Driving a Lexus (or “Lay-zus”) is seen as a symbol of wealth and social status among Chinese families. This is why every Chinese family strives to own one (I would know). Even if all of the other cars the family owns are decade-old Corolla’s and Camry’s, there will be at least one Lexus stored in the garage and only driven when going out to social gatherings and events where other Chinese families will be present. Drive by the parking lot of a Chinese wedding or new year celebration, and you’ll see at least a third of the lot filled with these luxury vehicles.
4. Toyota Camry – No Personality
Some people drive their cars to make a statement or because they identify with this hefty investment in a meaningful way. Neither of these are true when it comes to driving a Camry. These Japanese vehicles are simply reliable cars and that’s it. There’s not much else to them in terms of style, space, or customization, so if all you care about is reliability and you can’t really make up your mind about what to drive, you might want to go for a Camry. Unfortunately, it doesn’t say much (or anything at all) about your personality and might even say that you don’t have much of one.
3. VW Golf – Teacher
And if not a teacher, then an engineer or even a librarian. If you’re a dude, you’re probably wearing a button-up tucked into a pair of Dockers, and if you’re a lady, you’re sporting a cardigan and a knee-length skirt. I’ve actually had four teachers in my lifetime who fit this mold to the T. VW Golf’s are the ideal vehicle for someone who wants just a tad bit of style without overdoing it while looking classy and smart. Sounds just like a teacher, right? If you don’t believe me, just drive by your local public school and look at the parking lot. There’s likely a handful of these hanging out there.
2. VW Camper – Hipster
What comes to mind when you think of who’s driving this camper? Probably someone wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses with their long, straight hair blowing in the wind as their windows are rolled all the way down. VW Campers are the classic symbol of the seventies. But not only were they a favorite vehicle of choice among hippies in the seventies, but today as well. That’s because hippies are still around today – but nowadays, we refer to them as hipsters. But before being too quick to judge, Campers are actually surprisingly comfortable vehicles to travel in and even live in.
1. Audi – Fashionista
My hair stylist drives an Audi and so does my friend who happens to also be a fashion blogger. I’m not really sure how it happened, but there must be an elite style or fashion club that exists somewhere in the universe and one of the requirements for membership is that you must drive an Audi. Contrary to popular opinion, stylists can make a ton of money, explaining why they’re able to afford such an expensive luxury vehicle. Not only are these a statement of prominence, but they’re super sleek, modern, and stylish vehicles, making them a perfect fit for a fashionista.
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