April 7, 2011 / 5:42 PM / 8 years ago

Men like looks, women practicality in cars: study

A customer looks at a Maserati while browsing at Foreign Cars Italia, a Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina, December 29, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane

DETROIT (Reuters) - Men prefer their cars beefy or fast, while women go for lower price tags and higher miles per gallon, according to a survey released on Thursday.

TrueCar.com, which studied data from 8 million purchases in the United States last year, found BMW AG’s Mini had the highest percentage of female buyers at 48 percent, while 93 percent of buyers for Fiat SpA’s Ferrari were men.

“The study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle,” TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak said in a statement.

Following Mini with the women were Kia Motors Corp (47 percent) and Honda Motors Co Ltd (46 percent) branded vehicles, according to the study. Last year, General Motors Co’s Saturn and Kia tied at 45.2 percent, followed by Mini at 45 percent.

There were 15 brands with more than 40 percent female buyers, TrueCar said.

Maserati (84 percent), Porsche (80 percent) and General Motors’ GMC (74 percent) followed Ferrari for the highest percentage of male buyers, according to the study.

The top-selling model for women, with a minimum of 1,000 retail sales, was Volkswagen AG’s New Beetle at 61 percent, while for men it was the Porsche 911 at 88 percent, TrueCar said.

Reporting by Ben Klayman, editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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