The automotive marketplace is one that is unfairly dominated by men. Car commercials are almost always directed at men, with burly-voiced males singing the praises of horsepower and towing capacity, and other vehicular traits that stereotypically appeal to men. If a couple is driving in an ad, the man is almost always the one behind the wheel. Many couples report that when they go car shopping together, the car salesperson interacts far more with the man. And there are very few women who have been hired as high ranking auto executives.
This is a pretty large oversight by the automotive industry. As reported by Forbes, there are more females than males holding a driver’s license in America, and according to NPR, women play the leading role in 85% of automotive purchases across the country. By these numbers, it’s clear that women are not only an important demographic in the automotive marketplace, but the most important demographic. Which begs the question: what features do women most desire in a car?
Both men and women love the obvious desirables in a new car: great style, a nice color, excellent safety, and a great deal. But there are a few features that women tend to prefer more than men do - though it goes without saying that every car shopper is different. Here are the top ten features that women want in a new car.
1. Ample storage space
Female drivers love storage: for groceries, material items, and even people. Women prioritize the number of seats in a car (though they still prefer compact vehicles to SUVs, in general), as well as the space that their passengers will have in those seats. A decent amount of trunk space is a huge asset for many female car shoppers, and rear seats that have the ability to fold down are an important part of that.
2. iPod and smartphone connectivity
Every driver loves technology and modern features, but different people have different tech priorities. iPod and smartphone connectivity is the most important tech feature in vehicles for female drivers. Audio systems that have a built-in auxiliary port are a major selling point for women shopping for a new car.
3. Bluetooth connectivity
When it comes to tech features, Bluetooth connectivity is right behind iPod and smartphone connectivity. Female drivers love both technology and safety, and Bluetooth connectivity is an intersection of both, as it allows drivers to safely use their cell phones while operating the car.
4. A great warranty
A good warranty may not sound like a traditional “feature,” but it’s a very important one. On the whole, women tend to have a more practical approach when car shopping than men do, so warranties are especially important for them. A good warranty not only gives a driver peace of mind, but it can potentially save them thousands of dollars over the life of their vehicle.
5. A quality GPS system
As advanced as smartphone GPS apps such as Google Maps and Waze have gotten, they still aren’t as good as built-in GPS systems, which offer the same information on a larger screen. An ideal GPS system has a large, high-quality screen, and a very easy-to-use and intuitive interface, so that drivers can easily and quickly get a route planned out, and can see the directions without taking their eyes off the road for very long.
As previously mentioned, female drivers highly value practicality and safety, making a top-quality GPS system one of their most important features.
6. Automatically operating trunks and hatchbacks
An automatic trunk or hatchback may seem like a small luxury, but to many women drivers, it’s a pretty important feature. A trunk or hatchback that can open automatically makes packing and loading a vehicle much easier and more practical, which is very desirable to most drivers.
7. Charging stations in the rear seats
Even with the extreme rise in the popularity of smartphones, iPods, and other devices that can be used in the car, many vehicles still have front seat 12-volt sockets, or cigarette lighters, as their lone source of cabin power. Lots of automakers, however, have adapted to the changing times and have either added 12-volt sockets to the rear seats, added USB charging ports, or both.
These charging ports are a very important feature for many female drivers, who care about their friends or children being able to easily charge their devices from all passenger seats.
8. Up-to-date safety features
All drivers care heavily about safety features, but studies have shown that female drivers care a little bit more. A female driver is more likely to make sure that her car has the newest technology in advanced safety features, so manufacturers that are staying with the times are more likely to get business from women drivers.
While safety basics (such as number of airbags) are always important, female drivers are especially interested in technologies such as blind spot and lane merging monitors, rear-facing cameras, and collision sensors. They’re also more likely to look at safety ratings.
9. Cup holders
Cup holders are the last thing that a lot of drivers think about, but they’re a pretty high priority for many drivers. Female drivers in particular care about having a large amount of cup holders, and having them be adjustable. As many women drivers care more about practicality, convenience, and cleanliness than the average male driver, it’s easy to see why good cup holders would be a priority.
10. Excellent visibility
No car has perfect visibility, devoid of all blind spots. But some vehicles (especially smaller ones) have better visibility than others. Female drivers (who, once again, are even more interested in safety than male drivers) place a strong emphasis on having good visibility in their vehicles.
There’s not a huge contrast between the preferences of men and women as it pertains to vehicles, but there are some notable differences. In general, women look for safety, convenience, and practicality in a car, and that is reflected in their favored features. And if you’re in the market for a new vehicle and prioritizing these features, you can hire a reputable mechanic from YourMechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection to make sure that your new car not only has these safety features, but that they are in perfect working order as well.