Cut off by a BMW driver? Saw a Subaru at Pride? This is why.
You don't have to be a car enthusiast to know that, like a dog, a car and its owner usually have similar personality types. Aggressive cars help some people recapture their youth or add to a tough persona while luxury vehicles can help those with inferiority complexes feel better than everyone else. And just like certain canine breeds come with stereotypical personalities, so do cars and their owners. Here are five of our favorite car and owner stereotypes.
When the average person thinks about a BMW, they see a young lawyer with some newfound spending cash hogging whatever lane tickles their fancy without so much as a flashing yellow light to indicate their intentions. Enter the BMW stereotype, the one where jerks of all kind can find refuge. BMW owners like to think that their leather seats and car's German pedigree makes them better than everyone else on the road. This is typically the case for owners of lower trim BMWs as they are usually relieved that they are behind the wheel of something that isn't a Toyota Corolla for once. The horrors aren't just reserved for the road though, BMW owners who fit the stereotype typically like to bring their show of dominance to the parking lot.
Now that the horsepower wars are at full tilt, there are multiple automotive options for those that like to smoke some rear tires on a budget and look cool while doing so. The problem is that since muscle cars are so easily attainable, unqualified drivers have an easy time getting behind the wheel of a car that's too fast for them. For whatever reason, their muscle car of choice seems to be the Ford Mustang. With a reputation forged through countless botched exits at Cars and Coffee events to videos of teenagers getting their dream 'Stang only to wreck it a minute later, the Ford Mustang is known all around as the unofficial "Performance Student Driver" car. Not all Mustang drivers are bad though, especially those with the last name Block.
Subaru stereotypes break down differently depending on the car and owner in question. For enthusiasts, there is the WRX STI, but every other Subaru is known as a "Lesbaru," or a car for lesbians. It's unclear exactly when the Subaru brand became the go-to car for lesbians, but lesbian women are four times more likely to own a Subaru than the average consumer. Subaru realized this in the early 90s and began targeting gay couples in its advertisements using incognito references that were lost on straight audiences, effectively securing the attention of lesbian car buyers and flying over the heads of those who would be offended. This clever marketing solidified Subaru as the typical car for professional active lesbian couples.
Nobody knows exactly how the Volkswagen Jetta got to be the "hot girl" car, but it's a stereotype that's perpetuated itself in movies and Internet chat spaces. It's hard to lend any credibility to either of the two sources, but when vetting the Jetta's characteristics, it's easy to see what makes it such a prime choice. First is its styling. While polarizing, it makes the Jetta one of the only cars in its price range that has a soft feminine look. But is this what lulls in young female buyers? Maybe, but another possibility is the fact that it's a good car. A recent study showed that women weigh cars differently than men do when buying cars. Men tend to go for emotional cars while women want what's practical, which is something the Jetta certainly is.
It's easy to be envious of the driver in the Chevy Corvette that pulls up at the stoplight, but take a moment to scan them and see past the facade cast by Plastic Fantastic. Chances are the driver has grey hair, sunglasses, and an In-n-Out shirt depicting a 1970s car meet outside of the burger joint. In all likelihood, he's a lifelong gearhead and a loyal employee at whatever company he retired from, but he couldn't quite make enough cash to buy a Ferrari. Who needs one anyways when you have one of the best bang for buck sports cars on the market? With or without Ferrari prestige, at least the owner can claim that their sub $100,000 sports car will scare the crap out of a Porsche 918 Spider on the race track in Z06 spec.