Auto expert Kristin Varela once counseled a woman who was trying to find a mate with values that matched hers. "She was very socially conscious, had been asked out by a slew of men who drove things like Hummers and had turned them all down," recalls the Denver-based Varela, who is "chief mom" at MotherProof.com, a website providing information for moms seeking appropriate vehicles for their families. "She wound up marrying a guy who drove a Prius."
Yes, driving the right car can help a guy mate. And while it's not necessarily true that owning a 1983 Plymouth Reliant will exclude you from consideration with all women (just most of them), having the right vehicle in your garage can rev a lady's interest in you the same way a V-10 Quattro powers an Audi R8.
"A car tells so much about anyone's personality," Varela says. "The type of car, how well it's cared for, its cleanliness -- it all can speak volumes. Do you want to date someone driving a car that's over the top and flashy? Or do you want, as I would, to date someone driving a car that has some thought behind it, such as a car that you know will allow you to be returned home safely?"
Another issue is style, she says. Most women would prefer someone who is conscious of the style of clothes he wears, and the car he drives. "That's the great thing about being in America in 2011, we don't have to choose between form and function," she says. "So many cars fit both bills."
Agreeing on the style points is New York City-based auto industry PR veteran and car lover Jocelyn Johnson. "I personally would have a hard time dating a guy who drives a Honda sedan," she admits. "Convertibles are the most fun. They give off a sense of energy, of someone who likes to be active and outdoorsy. Guys, the sportier the better if you're looking to lure the ladies!"
Of course the sportier cars generally also carry higher car insurance rates - but hey, what price love?
The list: Cars that attract the ladies
Ford F-250. "There are parts of the country where having a Ford F-250 with a power-stroke diesel engine would be considered the ideal vehicle to attract the ladies," says Leigh Anne Sessions, senior associate editor with Irvine, Cal.-based KBB.com
"This is something the guy uses for work, he hauls with it, which is why he wanted the diesel. He's a salt-of-the-earth dude's dude."
Infiniti FX. Varela calls this a "great little crossover" with all-wheel drive and a different, interesting look that's both functional and fun to drive.
"I think it'd be representative of someone who's a little bit more adventuresome, and would be up for some interesting weekend getaways," she says.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class convertible. This vehicle looks great, says Sessions.
And it's a car that makes you look considerate: "It has this system called AirCap, which deflects air so when you're driving with the top down, you don't have as much air going through. If you're a woman and spending a lot of time fixing your hair, you'll appreciate this car."
The man she imagines driving an E-Class convertible is probably a guy who likes a sunset drive and dinner at the pier. "He thinks of the sensory experience of being out there," Sessions speculates. "He's a romantic."
Mini Cooper S.Not all cars have to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, Sessions reminds. The Mini Cooper S is a great pick for a guy who's practical with money. "It's fun to drive, it's the perfect car for city living because it's small and easy to park," she observes. "And it's a conversation starter."
The man she imagines tooling around in a Mini Cooper S is someone who likes to drive and wants to get maximum pleasure from his short city commute.
"He's a practical, hip and sporty guy," she says.
Volvo C30. At the top for Varela, a divorcee who will soon remarry, is her own vehicle, the Volvo C30 coupe. "I can put my kids safely in the backseat, and it's kind of fun and sexy," she says. "If I'm test driving a car that's maybe a little frumpy, I can jump into my C30 for a girl's night out and feel a bit flashy."
Her image of a guy who drives a C30? "He'd be ideal for a cougar: a younger guy who thinks outside the box, is in tune with pop culture and the music and movie scenes," she says. "In fact, the C30 was featured in the Twilight series."
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