Ever since Fred Flintstone first climbed into his Flintmobile and stepped on the gas (or in his case, the soles of his feet), the choice in automobile has come to represent a lot about that particular car owner's personality. Fred Flintstone's car had plenty of space for his family and room for a pet, clearly demonstrating that he was a loving family man, who was also a blue-collar worker (Fred's boss, Mr Slate, showed off his white-collar status in a clearly niftier Stone Age sports car).
Another famous example of a car saying a lot about a person is Batman's choice of vehicle, the Batmobile. Dark, streamlined, aggressive and with a lot of power under the hood; a fitting description for both hero and automobile. You could somehow imagine plain old Clark Kent trundling along in his 1984 Volvo 245 whilst Bruce Wayne streaked past in a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 accompanied by two giggling Victoria Secret's models, who proceed to flash their generous assets at Superman's alter ego, who then proceeds to careen his Swedish contraption into the nearest ditch. What would Lois Lane say?
There is a multitude of different car types: city, hot hatch, grand tourer, camper, off-roader, midsize trucks, etc. This list contains ten of the most popular types currently sold in the USA; so unfortunately, there are no Kammbacks, Landaulets, Phaetons or Baquets. What could owning one of these vehicles potentially say about your particular personality?
10 Coupe: Driven by Extravagant Youngsters
Family cars are boring vehicles unpopular among young people who have just got their license, but the dream cars are out of reach because of financial restrictions. For the lucky few that can afford amazing vehicles at tender ages, the chances of crashing them are high (no thanks to "role models"... we are looking at you Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, even if you are fleeing from paparazzi). A coupe is a reasonable compromise for a young driver to look snazzy on the road without needing to be a multi-millionaire starlet. This is for the brash, loud, carefree set with a "look at me" mentality. The pony car Dodge Challenger would be ideal for them.
9 Full-size pickup truck: Driven by Highway Heroes
You've been working hard in the forest all day, sweat pouring down your back; the calluses on your palms are sore and red. You wipe your brow with a grubby flannel-covered forearm, take a large gulp of water from a worn out flask and then toss some heavy-duty equipment into the back of your Ram 1500. It's a long drive back home, but this is a vehicle for highway heroes: no-nonsense, useful, strong, hard-working. Just like its operator. Stereotypical and cliché indeed, but there is a reason why pickup trucks frequently appear in a certain movie genre; no self-respecting action hero would be seen dead (or at least horrifically injured and in urgent need of medical care, but this is Hollywood, so still able to drive a 15,000-pound vehicle) without one.
8 Muscle car: Driven by Enthusiastic Petrolheads
Some young coupe drivers will eventually progress to muscle cars, and some full-size pickup truck drivers will enjoy downtime tinkering with their muscle car once their 80-hour working week is at an end. These cars appeal to both personalities: road warriors who get away with wearing leather driving gloves and mirrored Ray-Ban Aviators. If a coupe says you're a fun-loving party-goer and a pickup says you're the hard-working blunt type, then a muscle car says you know your engines, you love to drive and you are the first person to call in case of an alien invasion. Although there are many choices to be had, any Ford Mustang has to be near the top.
7 Station Wagon: Driven by Tireless Matriarchs
Marge Simpson drives a 1975 Ford LTD Station Wagon Red whilst Lois Griffin drives a 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Station Wagon. What does this say? Both these women have to deal with demanding families, including selfish husbands who constantly make their better halves' lives shockingly difficult. A station wagon driver isn't bothered about appearance or power; this is a practical person with a lot of menial chores to get done before picking up the son from school, the daughter from band practice, and the father from The Drunken Clam/Moe's Tavern.
6 Minivan: Driven by Sports Fans
What sort of person would drive a Honda Odyssey? Someone who likes going to events and gatherings, with friends and family, whilst also carting along sports equipment/family pets/kegs of beer. The minivan driver is a social creature who loves to plan and organize, and probably could be considered a confident (i.e. "bossy") person. But secretly, in the darkest recesses of their souls that the minivan driver tries not to glance at, they would love to ram station wagons off the road if they could get away with it...
5 Luxury: Driven by Overpaid Entertainers
There was a time when only royalty and the business elite would own a luxury vehicle. This was a car that told the world someone important was inside, and that would be the very core of the nature of the person in it: (self-) important, satisfied, comfort-seeking. But with the celebrity culture that smothers the developed world in a blanket of mediocrity, suffocating those underneath with an unstoppable tidal wave of real-life tat and manufactured cacophony, it seems the luxury car has been roundly abused by the egotistical, the selfish and the pampered. But even the staunchest socialist espousing financial equality would soon exchange his gray overcoat for a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class once his Minecraft: Das Kapital app had been downloaded 20 million times.
4 Compact: Driven by Broody Couples
Happy people drive compact cars. They go on road trips, picnics, vacations. They can take the weekend off and use the rear seating to carry useful items for a break at the lake. Cheerful, happy-go-lucky, youthful people swarm the roads in their compact cars, looking at each other wistfully, discussing the next logical step in their perfect relationship. But what they don't notice, as they cruise along in their Mazda 3 or Honda Civic, is the tired washed-out faces occupying the station wagons that pass them by, trying to drown out the noises of bickering and screaming children in the back, reminiscing of the days when they too drove a compact car...
3 SUV: Driven by Suburban Farmers
The term "suburban farmer" may seem like an oxymoron, but that is the term being coined for drivers of SUVs (sport utility vehicle). Built like they should be tearing up the countryside with a couple of pigs oinking furiously in the rear, these vehicles are more likely to be seen in the suburban school runs, where the suburban farmer has to collect their "livestock" whilst navigating the hostile terrain (speed bumps, crossing guards, other SUVs). SUV drivers have busy minds; they are restless and concerned about public opinion of themselves. Their Jeep Grand Cherokee is a protective bubble for their little world.
2 Crossover: Driven by Indecisive Worriers
You want a hatchback...but you like the sturdiness of an SUV...but you are attracted by the passenger features of a station wagon...and possibly something that is mini...or compact...maybe mid-sized...or what about full-sized? A lot of the population consists of indecisive worriers, which is not something to be ashamed of. We live in an age of choice and features; it's easy to make a choice between two options, but what about when there are 50? Crossover drivers aren't weak-willed, they just worry too much. Economy, environment, gas prices, wear and tear, cup-holders: these are things crossover drivers think about. Expect to see Subaru Outbacks, Honda CR-Vs and Ford Escapes dominating the roads in the near future.
1 Sedan: Driven by Discerning Ponderers
There is a reason why Honda have sold a gazillion (not official figures but representative) Accords in the US since it first appeared in a sedan variant in 1989. Sedans offer so many details and trim packages to potential buyers that purchasing one is a dream come true for the type of person who likes to examine finer things and consider options in a thoughtful manner. Whether it is a Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion or Volkswagen Passat, the sedan is the vehicle classification of choice for people who like to deliberate, evaluate, cogitate and ruminate (watch this space for the Honda Ruminate anytime soon).