top ten cars for men - male preference
why do some cars particularly appeal to men? read on
No list of 'Mens' Cars' can be definitive. Just because a car is listed among those favoured by either men or women doesn't mean that it isn't also often bought and enjoyed by members of the opposite sex. We've simply listed the cars in this way because over time, for a multitude of reasons, they've come to be associated with either men or women drivers often much to the irritation of their makers. Want to disagree? Please do. Want to break the stereotype? Even better.
No one but an utter petrolhead would buy one of these. They're impractical, noisy, useless on anything but a twisting country road, hopeless on long journeys - and brilliant fun. A male friend once told me that if he saw an eligible lady driving one of these, he'd want to date her immediately: sadly, it hardly ever happened. The current generation restyle dealt with the previous version's slightly quirky looks and further improved the car's legendary road responses. As a weekend funcar, the Elise has few peers - at any price.
2. Volkswagen Golf
We're thinking here mainly of the R32 'hot' version. Its V6 engine is one of the biggest yet shoehorned into a compact family hatchback and is quite ridiculously powerful. Do you really need to travel at well over 150mph in your shopping hatch? Most women would sensibly say not. Many men however, would simply reach for the car keys..
3. BMW 3 Series Saloon
The company car that every up and coming executive wants. The badge of someone rising through the ranks. It's merely a happy coincidence for most users that this car remains arguably the best compact executive car you can buy: its rear wheel drive layout makes it certainly the best handler in the class. There's tough competition in this market but the car's street cred remains as strong as ever.
4. Porsche 911
It's refreshing that this car still exists -and that its virtues haven't been too diluted over the decades it has remained on sale in all its various forms. Why does anyone buy a Jaguar XK, a Mercedes SL or a Lexis SC430 when a 911 does the Grand Touring thing just as well but can also cut it with the world's finest-handling sportscars when the circumstances demand it? Perhaps we'll never know.
5. Jaguar XJ Series
The current XJ attracts much the same male-dominated Directorship-level audience as the old versions always did. Which is a pity since it deserves a new lease of life across a wider audience. This all-aluminium-bodied luxury saloon is probably the most entertaining model of its kind ever made - which makes it a pity that it will probably so rarely be driven in anger - or even on a country lane, unless that lane is a rat run to the nearest motorway.
6. Ford Mondeo
'Mondeo man' is a cliche this car has struggled to shift. It's still the car you expect every photocopier salesman to be driving. But who cares? The latest version handles well and in its sportier forms, might actually be a rather appealing thing to have on your driveway. There's a feeling too with this Ford that driving excellence is engineered in - rather than stuck on in the form of spoilers and stickers as with so many rivals.
As Rowan Atkinson once remarked, the kind of man you expect to see driving a Morgan is the kind you'd have expected to find in the 1st World War trenches. A bluff kind of cove with a wispy moustache, a barking voice and a couple of spaniels at his side. Who else would pay all that money for an ancient roadster with a wooden frame, wait all that time for it to be delivered (order books still stretch back years), then hardly ever drive the thing. Barmy.
8. Subaru Impreza WRX
The affordable performance driver's icon of the late Nineties. Even now, if you don't care about the airfix quality of the interior fittings or the bland looks, this is what you buy if you simply want the most performance bang for your buck. Endless turbocharged urge, four-wheel drive traction and huge chuckability. The country is full of bemused housewives who, forced to drive a 'Scooby' by their partners, just don't get it.
9. Jeep Wrangler
Want to talk impractical? Let's talk really impractical. Why on earth would anyone really want to drive, much less own, a vehicle originally designed only for use in World War 2? The Jeep Wrangler might be of some use if the Grand Canyon was in your backyard but even then, there are other 4x4s that do the job better. In suburban England, it's just an anachronism.
10 Ferrari F430
What is this car doing here? Surely everyone, regardless of sex, wants to drive or better still own a Ferrari? Well maybe. In practice, when it comes down to actually writing a cheque for over six figures, many women take a more sensible view of things than men. Can't the same kind of performance be bought for half the amount? Won't the upkeep be an expensive pain. Isn't it totally impractical? The answer to all these questions is a resounding 'yes'. Women, it seems, have more self-control. Women can walk away from the Maranello car's seductive charms. Men, so often, just can't.