Every year the automotive industry spends piles of money developing and designing new vehicles in an effort to make us, the consumer, part with our money and sign on the dotted line at our local car dealership. We are usually confronted with a host of options and items to consider when purchasing a car and it can all get quite overwhelming to many of us. What type of engine are you looking at? What accessory or luxury level are you looking for? Does the vehicle need to have any off-road or other special capability? In the end there can be a lot to take in to make sure we get a vehicle we’ll be happy with for at least the next few years.
For many people, what determines which car they end up driving off the lot relates to the car’s design and overall looks - yes, we realize that doesn’t explain the people who purchased the Pontiac Aztec but that’s a whole other article. Many people car-shop with their eyes and all the other features and capabilities of an automobile can become secondary when you see that ride that just looks right. Add the right color option to the perfect design and we could care less if the car we are about to buy gets terrible gas mileage or spends more time in the garage than on the street.
The following list looks at cars based on looks – albeit with a twist. These are feminine cars which are regularly driven by guys. Some may be quick to label such vehicles as ‘chick cars’ – a term which is meant to be derogatory. These are not necessarily ‘chick cars,’ just cars which many people think of as being feminine. What makes a car feminine? Size matters here and small size is usually one of the primary requisites. The ability to go topless also adds to the feminine qualities of the following cars. Some cars can drop the top and stay gender neutral but many can’t. There are a variety of other features which determine which cars go on this list and internet forums and auto articles are full of debates concerning this issue. Just keep in mind that if your car is on this list it doesn’t mean it’s a girl car – but you may want to reconsider that boys name you’ve attached to your ride.
15 VW Cabrio and Cabriolet
Yes, this particular Golf-derived VW is often referred to as the poster child of ‘chick cars.’ People associate this car with teenage girls and retirees driving around with the top down. But just because the Cabrio is associated with female drivers doesn’t mean it’s feminine. No, that quality is exuded by the car’s design features. Just looking at one of these convertible Golfs it’s hard to see much masculinity. It’s small, convertible and often described as sporty, fun and cute. When you see a guy driving one of these it’s hard not to think that he must be driving his daughter or wife’s car.
14 Honda Fit
This Civic hatchback replacement has been a real hit in North America. Like the VW Cabrio, the Fit has developed a reputation as a ‘chick car’ thanks largely to the statistics that show 80% of Fit owners are women. Ok, that in itself doesn’t mean the car is feminine – but the looks do. Some have criticized the Fit for looking like a shrunken down version of a Honda mini-van. The car’s small tires and ‘smiling’ front end add to the cute features of this car which only amplify the overall feminine qualities of this Honda. To make male owners cringe more, Honda has released a special Fit in Japan called the Fit She’s which is pink and comes with all sorts of features supposedly just for women.
13 Pontiac Sunfire Convertible
The Pontiac Sunfire was built between 1995 and 2005 and quickly developed a reputation as a ‘chick car.’ The Sunfire lacked any sort of masculinity despite the best efforts of owners to add rims, spoilers and loud exhausts to ‘butch up’ their ride. For the most part a rather bland design, the Sunfire has a rather feminine front and rear end (no pun intended). The convertible version put it over the top and definitely moved this somewhat androgynous car into the feminine column. Guys driving this car just look out of place. Then again, anyone driving a convertible Sunfire just doesn’t seem right.
12 2007+ Fiat 500
It’s small, round and cute. This usually means a ‘check’ in the feminine column. The new Fiat 500 can be seen all over the place. Like most cars on this list, seeing a guy driving one doesn’t result in ridicule or laughing because the 500 is an all-round practical little car. It is, however, very feminine. This small round car sports round headlights which give the car a distinctive face. Despite its feminine looks, guys don’t mind driving it. Even Formula One stars like Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa own a Fiat 500.
11 Honda Del Sol
Another popular car with the tuner community, the Honda Civic Del Sol is definitely a feminine looking car. Small and sporting its Targa style roof, no matter what angle you look at it from there is not a lot masculine about this mid-90s car. Despite this, a lot of guys buy these cars and modify them extensively to increase the horsepower and handling. Light-weight and with increased power, the Del Sol handles like a go-kart, even if it does look like a Barbie accessory.
10 Nissan Micra
Currently in its fourth generation of production, Nissan’s compact Micra is a popular choice for anyone looking for a small and versatile hatchback. Sold with a variety of sub-2 litre, three and four cylinder engines, the Micra is classified as a supermini car. Looking at it, it has similarities to the Fiat 500 and even the Smart Fortwo (which we’ll get to). This small hatchback naturally looks feminine. The front end only enhances this characteristic with a headlight and grill configuration which makes the Micra look as though it has a face – a rather cheery looking face.
9 Smart Fortwo
Even seeing Pro-Bowl selection and Super Bowl winning linebacker James Harrison behind the wheel of this car doesn’t decrease its feminine characteristics. When you look at the Smart Fortwo head on it seems like this little car is actually looking back and smiling at you. It’s small and quirky looking and the car’s femininity is only increased with its convertible top. For driving around the city and congested areas where space and parking are at a premium, the Fortwo is a fantastic idea. We’re sure a lot of the male drivers don’t really care how feminine their car is when they manage to squeeze into that tight parking space in the downtown core.
8 2001+ Mini
In reality, we could have included all Minis dating back to the 1960s here. When first introduced, the Mini was versatile and ground-breaking with its transverse engine and front-wheel drive. It influenced all the cars that came after it, but it was still feminine. Comically small with a ‘cute’ front end, the Mini was what it was. BMW’s reincarnation of the iconic British car in 2001 retained much of the Mini’s original heritage and design – even all of the Mini’s femininity. Its small size, ‘cute’ and sporty appearance and availability of a convertible all contribute to the feminine characteristic – but the label of ‘chick car’ has never effectively stuck to this little car.
7 Dodge Neon
The Neon was a cheap car that Chrysler turned out beginning in 1994. It wasn’t overly reliable, had a cheap build quality and if you ever got into a crash in one of these you would most likely be hurt or killed. That said, because it was cheap, people bought them and for much of the 1990s and early 2000s you’d find Neons everywhere. The Neon was small, curvy and looked like a toy car – all helping it to get a solid feminine characteristic. The icing on the cake was the front end which looked like a smiling face and gave the car a ‘cute’ look.
6 2001+ Lexus SC 430
The first generation SC didn’t look masculine or feminine, it just looked the part of a typical Japanese mid-sized luxury coupe of the 1990s. Then in 2001 the second generation of the SC came out and it was very different. The SC 430 was a two-door, four-seater convertible – a design feature which naturally leans in the feminine direction. The car’s body lines and especially roof lines gave the stock SC 430 a rather feminine look. The fact that the car seemed to be driven by a lot of retired women also didn’t lower this quality. While it did race successfully in the Japanese Super GT series, there’s no denying the SC is a feminine car that men drive.
5 Mitsubishi Eclipse
Each new generation of Mitsubishi’s sporty Eclipse only became more and more feminine. The Eclipses produced between 1990 and 1999 were capable cars with their AWD and turbocharged engines. These early Eclipses were favorites of the tuner and track community – something which can’t be said of the Eclipse which came out after. After 2000, Mitsubishi did away with turbochargers and AWD. This, in itself didn’t make the car feminine but the design changes to the car, especially its exterior, did. Whether you’re looking at the front end or the rear, this car doesn’t look masculine in any way and adding a soft top to the package only amplifies this.
4 1998-2006 Audi TT
Those looking for a sporty and compact import with a higher level of refinement in the late 1990s need only turn to the Audi TT. This small car was available in FWD or Quattro configurations and was powered by one of Volkswagen’s 1.8L turbocharged or 3.6L VR6 engines. The small and sporty TT stood out from much of the crowd but it was also a rather feminine looking car. The first generation variant had some similarities to the ‘new’ Beetle (oh we’ll get to that soon enough) and it’s ‘bubble’ design and body lines gave it anything but a masculine appearance. Recent generations have changed the look and feminine qualities substantially.
3 VW Eos
When Volkswagen retired the Golf Cabriolet they replaced it with the new Eos. Now, considering Volkswagens are considered by almost every guy who doesn’t own one as a ‘chick car’ the small two-door Eos was destined for this list. The fact that it’s convertible adds to the feminine quality along with the fact the tabloid magazines love snapping pictures of Jennifer Lawrence driving hers around town. Pushing this car across the ‘feminine cars that guys drive’ line is the fact that Eos is the name of the Greek goddess of dawn.
2 1998+ VW ‘New’ Beetle
Designed by Ferdinand Porsche and pushed into production by the Nazis in 1930s, the original Beetle was rugged, versatile, simple and cheap. For these reasons it remained in production for 65 years and could be found almost everywhere on the planet. In 1998, the modernized Beetle was unleashed upon the public to much fanfare and hype. The car was more polished, rounded and sleeker than its predecessor – all of which gave it an unmistakable feminine quality. Even slapping a turbo badge on the back, adding a spoiler and body kit did nothing to diminish this car’s feminine side. Those who resisted to see it that way surely gave in once they got inside and found the standard feature vase mounted near the steering wheel.
1 Mazda Miata
Produced since 1989, the MX-5 Miata is the best-selling two-seater sports car ever made. To be honest, when it comes to pros and cons, there’s very little going against this car. The Miata is rear-wheel drive, relatively cheap, reliable and fun to drive. The MX-5 is also very feminine – especially the first generation of this iconic car. Mazda has tried to tone this down over the years with changes to the design but it’s just one characteristic that sticks. Such observations always lead to a slew of male owners trying to prove the masculinity of their MX-5 by posting pictures of the car racing. To this we would post a picture of Danica Patrick – she too has done a lot of racing and not lost an ounce of her feminine quality.