The expression “You Are What You Drive” is often heard in Los Angeles, considered by many to be the Car Capital of the world, where there are more cars than any other American city, and the variety is unmatched.
The choice of car you drive in LA or anywhere else, says a lot about you. It sends a message of how you want others to perceive you, and it demonstrates your priorities, whether it is price, utility, function, safety, or a combination thereof.
The car you drive tells a story by representing the type of person you are and the type of life you lead. At the risk of stereotyping, car owners tend to fall into categories. Young men drive Mustangs, young women drive compact cars, soccer moms own minivans, and the wealthy drive anything they want, but it is often a Bentley.
An automobile purchase involves spending a significant amount of money, so the decision is an important one. The key factors include the cost of purchase, cost of ownership including fuel economy and maintenance, size needed to transport the family or cargo, individual tastes regarding design and color, and many more.
American men, as a group, tend to place the expression of personal character at the top of their priority list, followed closely by a car’s performance. Men are often seen driving sports cars, SUVs, and trucks that express power and speed. American women, on the other hand, drive “chick cars,” that tend to be small, slow and “cute.”
The following is a list of cars that men should never own.
20 Porsche Boxster
On the long-running Warner Bros. TV comedy series, Two and a Half Men, Allen shows brother, Charlie, his new car, a Porsche Boxster.
“What do you mean, cute?”
“I mean, it looks like my car's hot little girlfriend.”
“Are you saying this is a chick car? Because it isn't.”
“It's a Porsche.”
The origins of the Boxster chick’s car label are vague. Perhaps it is the image of a woman driving an open-air car, her hair blowing in the breeze, or maybe it’s the performance specs that don’t match its big brother, the 911S.
However, the Porsche Boxster 718 is a high-performance, two-seater roadster that boasts a mid-engine for exception road-handling characteristics. The turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder generates 300 hp and accelerates from 0-60 mph in a mere 4.9 seconds.
While the Boxster’s performance doesn’t match the 911S at 420 hp and 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, it sells at half the price. But alas, the stigma alone is enough to discourage any man from owning one.
19 Toyota Yaris
For the few men who consider a car to be a means of getting from point A to point B in the most economical method possible, with no consideration for style or performance, the Yaris may be a good fit.
A low sticker price and good fuel economy at an EPA city/highway driving rating of 30/36 mpg along with the Toyota Entune infotainment system are the Yaris’s best features.
The 106-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder and four-speed automatic make the Yaris slower and louder than the other cars in its budget category. Even the Ford Fiesta with an acceleration of 0-60 mph at 8.7 seconds outruns the Yaris at 10.2 seconds. But perhaps more disappointing is the lack of power at highway speeds when passing is required. Acceleration from 50 to 70 mph can take a disturbing 7.3 seconds.
18 Smart ForTwo
The Smart Fortwo was introduced in the U.S. in 2004 and sold through Mercedes-Benz dealers. At the peak of the economic recession, it offered a mode of transportation that was both fuel-efficient and easy to park on congested city streets. The wheelbase and body is so short (8.2 feet) on the Fortwo it parks where no other car can fit and even ninety degrees to the curb in a space that would be tight for a pedestrian.
No man should own one simply because its endearing (for women) and compact size requires a man to fold in half just to get in and out of the sardine-can mini vehicle.
The 2018 Smart ForTwo, available as a two-seater, coupe or convertible, is now sold only as an electric vehicle but remains the easiest car in the U.S. to park on crowded streets. With limited battery range, it may only be efficient in the city.
17 Kia Soul
According to Market Watch, the Kia Soul makes the list of cars more likely to attract female buyers, but it may be more appealing to geeks (either men or women). While most men prefer sports cars, women and geeks gravitate toward utilitarian-type vehicles.
The Kia Soul has very few performance features demonstrated by the 1.6L four-cylinder engine with 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque available in the LX model. Sufficient for a single driver, the underpowered Kia is sluggish when loaded with four adults.
However, the geek features in the tech package are numerous including Bluetooth, a windshield de-icer, dual center console USB charging ports, power heated side mirrors, power windows, and keyless entry power locks. The list continues with Kia’s UVO infotainment center with 8-inch touch-screen display, Premium Navigation, HD radio, Harman/Kardon audio system and even a heated steering wheel.
16 Chevy Sonic
How many guys put a priority on safety features when shopping for a car? High performance and safety are frequently contradictory, and the Chevy Sonic falls into the safety category. It offers typical mediocre power for a car in its class, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 138 hp and a turbo four rated at 26 MPG (city) and 36 MPG (highway).
However, safety features abound: passenger and driver front and rear head airbags plus front and rear side airbags, 4-wheel ABS, front disc/rear drum brakes, electronic stability control, and more.
With so many safety features Chevrolet recognizes the appeal to parents of young drivers and therefore offers a student bonus for the purchase of a Sonic. No man should own one of these, but it is a wise choice for his kids.
15 Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta has long been a favorite woman’s car. It won the Women’s World Car of the Year award in 2013 for the 1.0-liter EcoBoost model, beating out competition from Mazda CX-5, Range Rover, and the Porsche Boxster S. Again in 2017 the Fiesta was a favorite winning the Women’s World Budget Car of the Year.
A worldwide panel of eighteen female automotive journalists select the best car in several classes, including best vehicle overall. The choices are based on criteria that women use when buying a car. Their priorities are aesthetic appearance, safety, storage space, value-for-money, ease-of-driving, child-friendliness, sex appeal, color, and environmental footprint.
While some of these criteria may also be priorities for men when shopping for a car, the performance feature is an obvious missing element, making the Ford Fiesta a mandatory exclusion from most men’s list.
14 Hyundai Accent
For the student on a budget, cost of ownership and fuel economy top the list of car purchase priorities, and the Hyundai Accent is the solution. An inexpensive car with a sleek style, the Accent stock engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder DOHC I4 that produces 130 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque and permits the Accent to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.0 seconds.
The fuel efficiency rating of the vehicle 30 MPG (City) and 40 MPG (highway) is one factor that makes the car suitable for the budget conscious.
The other is the excellent guarantee, one of the best in the industry. It includes a 60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10 year or 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty. While the Accent is not the car most men would claim to own, they will be thrilled with the low costs incurred by their student offspring during the first years of car ownership.
13 Honda Civic
All the Honda models rank near the top of the list of cars preferred by women and the Civic is considered one of the most popular “Chick Cars” of all time. It has a long track record of excellence with emphasis on safety. The stock Civic engine is a 1.8 liter four-cylinder that generates 143 hp with a fuel economy rated above average at 28 MPG (city) and 39 MPG (highway).
The only Civic that a man should own is one that has been modified for performance. Carroll Shelby once said he was impressed with guys who tinkered with their Hondas to make them go faster. It doesn’t take much tinkering to improve the acceleration of a lightweight car like the Civic. It only takes a few modifications to unleash the full potential.
12 Kia Forte
Ranked at number 9 in the Compact Car class by U.S. News, the Forte is an extremely affordable car that has become a favorite for females of all ages who like small, stylish automobiles. The standard engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 148 horsepower, and the optional upgrade is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 173 hp.
The Forte is only average for fuel efficiency with a 21 MPG (city) and a 29 MPG (highway).
However, the features which may be most attractive to the female buyer are the well-built interior (one of the best in its class), a user-friendly infotainment system, ample cargo space, and roomy seats.
For the male buyer, the Forte is not a good choice with reviews that indicate a car with underpowered engines and dull handling capabilities.
11 Toyota Corolla
No man should ever consider purchasing a Corolla simply because it is the most anonymous and unambitious vehicle ever made, without a personality or even style. Nor is it fun to drive.
Equipped with a V-4 rated at 132 horsepower in the base model, it achieves a top overall speed of 111 MPH, and a fuel economy of 29 MPG (city) and 37 MPG (highway). It accelerates at a snail’s pace, 0-60 mph in an agonizing 10.5 seconds and the best compliment it can receive is its utility as a daily drive around town mode of transportation.
Despite its mediocrity, the Toyota Corolla is extremely reliable and has been the best-selling auto in the world with more than 40 million vehicles since its introduction in 1966.
10 Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai launched a revision of the Elantra in 2017 with qualities to compete in the compact segment against the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
Like the Civic and Corolla, the Elantra delivers average performance with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder stock engine rated at 145 hp. The upgraded optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 173 horsepower.
The design of the new Elantra places heavy emphasis on safety features including various grades of steel strength to enhance driver and passenger safety as demonstrated in crash tests. An advanced braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) is standard on all derivatives, and the Elantra Sport offers an electronic stability program (ESP).
While the excellent safety features are a big draw for woman drivers, the disappointing performance specs, typical of cars in the compact category are a disappointment to most men.
9 Chevrolet Spark
Perhaps the ultimate “chick car” was the Dodge La Femme, Custom Royal Lancer with pink trim and a special calfskin pink purse produced in 1955. It was discontinued after the 1956 model.
Now, General Motors is attempting to outdo Chrysler with the Chevy Spark, a modern version of the ultimate chick car available in Techno pink.
GM states that 29 percent of Spark buyers are under 35, and 51 percent are women, more than any other Chevrolet vehicle.
If those statistics are not enough to discourage any male from purchase, the specs should seal the deal. A four-passenger subcompact with front-wheel drive, the Spark is powered by a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 98 hp and gets an estimated 30/38 mpg city/hwy.
Although best suited for a trip to the local grocery store, the trip will be safe since the Spark boasts ten airbags and offers an optional forward-collision warning and lane-departure alert system.
8 Kia Rio
A Recent survey conducted by TRUEcar.com shows that women car buyers purchased 60.8% of all Kia Rio cars sold. That statistic along with its “cute car” appeal puts the Rio in the Chick car category and therefore a vehicle no man should own.
Kia maintains its position at the lowest price point of the subcompact segment with the Rio model LX. Equipped with crank windows and manually adjusted side mirrors, it offers few luxury amenities. None of the tech features available on most modern cars, even those in the lower segments, like cruise control, Bluetooth, a backup camera, and keyless entry are available.
Kia sold nearly 450,000 Rio units globally in 2017; their best-selling car. The 2018 is a redesign intended to maintain international popularity in the subcompact segment.
However, Kia has decided to eliminate factory navigation as an effective way to keep the price within reach of the Rio’s youthful and feminine demographic.
7 Nissan Versa
The Nissan Versa is one of the least-expensive cars sold in America, and perhaps the ugliest. One buyer suggested the addition of daisies painted on the side would improve its appearance, making a chick’s car even more feminine.
The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 107 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower is unimpressive and seems sluggish even during a routine traffic stop. Only available with a five-speed manual transmission the Versa gets average gas mileage at 27 MPG (city) and 36 MPG (highway) for such a small car.
The interior is simple, what you would expect from an inexpensive car. More luxurious interiors are optional with an upgrade in trim line to the S Plus, SV, SR or SL, but the price goes up accordingly.
6 Volkswagen Jetta
While the Volkswagen family of cars is attractive to the female buyer and therefore most models should never be owned by a man, the Jetta has some characteristics that might make it an exception.
The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is offered with a balanced chassis and three turbocharged engines giving it a mature, albeit a semi-sporty feel.
The Wolfsburg Edition with SE trims comes equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 engine that produces 150 hp and 184 lb-ft torque. Add the 5-speed standard manual transmission and you have a peppy vehicle with some man appeal. For the female owner, the optional 6-speed automatic and EPA estimated 40 mpg on the highway might be more alluring than the horsepower.
Driving the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta is an enjoyable experience, demonstrating the maturity that comes with many years of development but is still a favorite among younger female drivers.
5 Mazda MX-5 Miata
After years of driving minivans and providing taxi service to all the family events, many men seek out a sportier driving experience. Call it a midlife crisis or just a long overdue change of pace, the convertible sports car that offers some speed and road handling characteristics has a lot of appeal.
While the convertible Miata may appear to meet these requirements, a closer look at the car’s specs reveals a modern sports car with modest performance features.
All the Miata models come with a relatively lackluster 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that puts out 155 hp. The curb weight is only 2,300 pounds permitting the Miata to achieve 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, but the performance is not spectacular especially compared to the Boxster at 4.9 seconds.
No man should ever compromise when it comes to purchasing an exotic convertible with the power to blow away the competition. Unfortunately, the Miata is just such a compromise.
4 Fiat 500
Known as the “Cinquecento” in Italy, the older Fiat 500 is still revered as the decisive classic Italian car. Produced from 1957 to 1975 the original was equipped with a 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, designed for the narrow Italian city streets. It was referred to as the “Bambina” and succeeded the Fiat 500 Topolino (little mouse).
For 2018 the non-Abarth models now receive a turbocharged 1.4-liter I4. Power output is improved over previous models, to 135 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. All variations feature front-wheel drive, and buyers can choose between a six-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
While the 2018 Fiat 500 is a far cry from its original version, no man should ever own a car that was once referred to as the “little baby” or “little mouse.”
3 Ford KA
Ford addressed the nearly impossible problem of producing a good-quality, profitable, city car by joining up with Fiat and split the development costs for the Ford KA. As a result, new 2018 Ka shares 80 percent of its components with the Fiat 500.
Despite their effort, the Ford KA remains a disappointing, albeit affordable city car. Powered by a 1.2 liter, Duratec gasoline engine and coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission, the Ford KA accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in a pathetic 15.3 seconds and produces a maximum speed of 98 mph.
Clearly, Ford has targeted the female segment looking for the least expensive means of transportation available with their tiny, “cute” car. It has been offered in pink, but even in other colors, no man should consider ownership.
2 Volkswagen Beetle
No man should own a Volkswagen Beetle unless he slaps a bumper sticker on the back that reads, “My other car is also German…a Porsche 911S.”
While Volkswagen and Porsche share common roots in World War II Germany, their development took opposite paths. The “people’s car” was designed to be friendly; affordable to purchase and economical to drive.
The original rear-engine Beetle gained popularity all over the world, enjoyed a “hippie” cult following in the 60s, and was a favorite among California surfers. It became one of the best-selling cars in history.
The modern Beetle, while it retains the characteristic upside-down bathtub shape outside, is made of refined, high-grade materials and includes state of the art technology inside. Gone is the rear engine. The new Beetle is powered by a water-cooled front-mounted motor. While the Beetle won’t appeal to a performance car enthusiast, it is much faster and safer than its predecessor.
No man should own a Mini Cooper unless he wants to be identified with the bumbling and incompetent nerd, (although hilariously funny) Mr. Bean. He drove several different models during his television series that ran from 1990 to 1995. Add to that the chick’s car reputation and the “cute” Mini Cooper must be stricken from any man’s potential car list.
However, Mini is no longer made by a small British manufacturer but is owned by BMW. The new Minis benefit from the BMW technology and performance experience.
The premier version is the John Cooper Works edition, available on the convertible, two-door hardtop and Clubman models. Equipped with a turbo-4 engine, the Mini generates 228 heart-pounding horsepower when coupled with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Mini offers over 10,000,000 ways to customize each model including some daring, bright colors that can make a statement. With the right combination, perhaps both the Mr. Bean and chick’s car images can be eliminated!