Some cars are blank slates that are whatever their drivers want them to be. A Toyota Corolla can be as mild as grandma’s church commuter, or an older one can be an overpowered tire shredding drift hero. A Camaro can be a brutal high-tech road racer, or a trailer park trawling mullet mobile. Other cars come with what seems like a built-in stereotype, and it’s usually the derogatory kind. Here’s ten of the most (in)famous cars and their occasionally accurate stereotypes.
Also known as the asshat parker, this Bimmer driving idiot is a common sight in every urban center in America. Expect to get cut off by the average 3-Series driver, and the bonus middle finger salute if you honk. It’s more understandable when you learn the entry-level BMW doesn’t come with turn signals. Also, the park assist feature demands you park over three open spaces in a crowded lot.
Any real Jeep
Land Rovers usually stay on the road. Most full size pickups usually stay on the road. A Hummer always stays on the road. Jeeps get muddy. While most highly capable vehicles are kept clean and on-road as a display of wealth and/or stupidity, Wranglers, Cherokees, and whatnot are always filthy. It’s good most Jeep enthusiasts enjoy off-roading, as with a suspension designed by Aristotle, it feels like they are off-roading even on flat perfect roads.
Any Scion (minus FRS)
Scion was created by a snoozefest car company realizing they were a snoozefest, and that they needed some younger buyers to be excited about their products. Rather than build exciting, affordable products, they turned to PR. Economical transportation like the Corolla became the equally exciting xB and tC. Baby boomers bought them up, somehow feeling edgy as they blast dubstep and pop Lipitor.
What exactly has an Explorer ever explored? Yard sales? During the late ‘90s, some drivers found their Firestone tires made them take sudden off-road adventures, but that’s about the extent of it. SUVs used to be tough off-road brutes, like the original Ford Bronco, International Scout, or Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The Explorer was dumbed down to the point of being a super inefficient minivan. This is the one that started the current SUV “soccer mom” stereotype, and it usually lives a very sheltered life in suburbia.
No, not the “Hur hur, look at those gay guys in the chick car” stereotype. The Miata is known for something else. Every Miata owner notices the crisp steering and nimble handling, unlike almost any other vehicle on the road. Even the ladies that bought it because “it’s cute” notice. Even the broke dudes that found a clapped out Miata to use as a commuter notice the world class handling, and start modding. The Miata is bought by true car people, or it turns its unsuspecting owners into them.
Corvettes are a bargain sports car with impressive value for the buck. The same cannot be said of the owners. While they might be used as weekend track stars or just sunny day cruisers, ‘vette owners are usually grumpy old guys that think they have the best car ever made. From the clapped out, smoking and cracked C4 that looks like the automotive equivalent of herpes, to the carbon fiber embellished, nasty idling Z06 that will never race a car in its life, the ‘vette owner is a post midlife crisis personified.
The Volkswagen Golf is a nice enough car, and usually wins many awards. Golf drivers are quite a bit different, and were inspiration for the TV series Weird Loners. Golf drivers feel the need to explain their automotive buying choices, and why they are right. It doesn’t matter that they paid nearly 3 Series money for a hatchback; they’re European dammit! No, it’s not as fast or good looking as a Focus RS and ST, but look at the European-ness! Don’t play Balderdash with this guy. You will lose.
Ford Mustang convertible
Women make up 50% of Mustang sales. This is great for Ford, as it means more sales (just ask Trans Am owners, a whopping 8% were women). The convertible seems to be even more female friendly, with ‘verts commonly adorned with “princess” graphics and bright pink paint. Look, I get it, women need stylin’ rides too, but “girly” chrome wheels, leopard print seats, and a pink fur steering wheel cover just scream “Look at me! I’m a girl!” Thanks for sharing.
The SMART Fortwo is the answer to a question no one asked. It’s automotive punishment for commuters that can’t be bothered to care about cars. It’s smaller than a Yaris, but more expensive. It’s slower than a Prius, but doesn’t get the gas mileage. The transmission was taken from a forklift, and the interior designed by Fisher Price and built by blind Oompa Loompas. The SMART is driven by people who are not. If a SMART car owner offers advice, plug your ears and walk away.
Okay, so it’s not a car, but can you think of a vehicle with a bigger stereotype? Harley owners don’t just buy a bike and go out riding. They buy the entire truckload of HD Kool-Aid and it becomes a lifestyle. Suddenly your average middle management guy is showing up to work in leather and bandanas, and tattoos seem like reasonable anniversary gifts. Oh, and don’t forget the mandatory gray hair. I’m pretty sure, in the entire history of the company, no one under 50 has ever bought a Harley. They probably hang out with the ‘vette guys.
By Andy Jensen – Contributor