By on February 21, 2013

Until the research arm of TTAC gets more funding, we’ll have to rely on data from third-parties like J.D. Power. The venerable outfit recently compiled a list of the Top 10 cars with the highest percentage of Gen Y buyers. The results aren’t entirely surprising.

J.D. Power’s definition of Generation Y consists of buyers aged 16-35. Rather than the penniless youngsters mostly covered in this series, their study also takes into account older members of this cohort who are earning much more, with stable career prospects – maybe even families. No surprise then that four door cars, whether sedans or hatchbacks, tend to dominate the list. Of the 10 cars, only one was a domestic and only one came from a luxury brand. The rest were from mainstream imports, with 6 of the 10 from Japanese brands and 3 from the Germans. No Korean cars cracked the list, which at first glance seems surprising. But we’ve heard through the grapevine that Hyundai products, even the Veloster, tend to skew older.  Also missing was Honda, something that would have been unthinkable not too long ago, though Acura was well represented.

10. Acura TSX 

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y:  34.3

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: +0.7%

Comment: The bright spot of Acura’s car lineup. Just premium enough to look successful, but also sensible. Does not have the negative connotations that come with certain luxury brands.

9. Dodge Charger

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 34.7

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: 0.9%

Comment: The lone domestic. Notice there are no Ford hatches here. It looks like a brawny, masculine car…perfect for those who need a family sedan but can’t bear the thought of a CamCord.

8. VW Golf

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 34.7

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: 1.6%

Comment: The “premium” choice for C-segment cars. Not a surprise. The TDI is lumped in with the Golf.

7. VW Jetta

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 35.2

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: 33.9%

Comment: Not a surprise. VW badge has cachet, the price is right.

6. Subaru Impreza

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 37.4

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: -7.1%

Comment: Subaru is a bit of a quirky choice but a darling of the winter sports crowd and those who grew up on Gran Turismo.

5. Mazda3

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 40.2

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: -2.3%

Comment: A good sign for Mazda. The 3 is also seen as a bit of a step up from the usual choices, and Mazda can only benefit from a younger customer base.

4. Acura ILX

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 40.2

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: N/A

Comment: I was wrong here. I panned it for being a silly product with no appeal. These figures don’t tell the whole sales story, but they do tell something.

3. VW GTI

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 44.5

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: -0.8%

Comment: Ask any car guy or girl what they’d buy for under $30k and there’s a good chance it’s a GTI. No surprise here.

2. Mitsubishi Lancer

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 48.6

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: 5%

Comment: The Ralliart and EVO are lumped in with Lancer, but it may also have something to do with Mitsubishi’s financing deals. This car is a dog.

1. Scion tC

Percent of 2012 buyers in Gen Y: 50.2

Year-over-year change in Gen Y buyers: -0.4%

Comment: The FR-S gets all the hype, but the tC is top dog. Maybe things will change next year?

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154 Comments on “Generation Why: J.D. Power’s Top Ten Gen Y Vehicles For 2012...”


  • avatar

    Yes, I’m surprised, too. Seems like VW gets lot of love from America’s youth. As does Acura. BTW, Derek, do you figure most Acura buyers are aware they’re buying a Honda? And is that god or bad?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I would be very interested to see these figures split into “buys” and “leases” (I’m sure they are combined) VW and Mazda push “sign and drive” type leases in my part of the world, I assume this is where a large chunk of the Gen Y volume is coming from.

      • 0 avatar
        Sttocs

        Cars hipsters buy themselves vs cars bought for hipsters by their parents. That could be interesting.

        My coworker did buy his daughter a Civic. It would be interesting to know what she would have bought with her own money (statistically, something from the list above). I’ve always heard that some of the more “funky fresh” youth-oriented cars are typically bought by AARP members — could this be parents buying cars for their kids?

        Then a third statistic to look at — what are hipsters actually driving? A fixie bike, most likely. But you see what I mean. Probably a Volvo 240 wagon or something suitably ironic. I.e., we aren’t seeing used cars sales break-downs, something increasingly important post-carpocalypse.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’d also be very interested in both the hipster-purchase-by-proxy stats, but even more in used car sale demographics post 2008. I did some calculations a while back and after 2007, car sales fell dramatically from something like 16 million units to I think around 9 million, and stabilized in 2010-11 at around 12 million units. I doubt it will ever recover to 16 million units, heck I think 12 might be the ceiling for the interim. This 2007 and earlier glut should start to be exhausted around 2017, then the fireworks should really begin in the used car market.

        This article has some nice charts

        http://seekingalpha DOT com/article/605651-why-u-s-auto-sales-are-still-too-low

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        Combining numbers of purchases (ownership) with leases (long term rentals) ruins any hope of drawing meaningful conclusions about who “buys” what. Take myself as an example: I might merrily lease (long term rental) any number of colorful cute Minis, Alfas, Fiats, or VWs, but I would actually purchase only a Honda or Toyota…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s true Tosh, but from the industry perspective whether its a lease or buy, its still a “sale”, which is the data I imagine we’ve been presented with. I would wager a significant portion of the models named to be leases and not buys, having this data would give us a better picture of the Gen Y buyer.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        Perhaps it would be most accurate to combine the numbers of leases with fleet sales, and then compare that against the number of actual purchases?

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        @Sttocs, the most hipsterish guy I know just bought a kia sedona, the ultimate anti-cool I don’t give a shit what you think about what I drive, vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        I’ve seen a fair number of young hipsters driving old Detroit land yachts. I wonder if they start out driving these things ironically, and then actually grow to like them as they get used to the room, comfort, features, power, and RWD. Perhaps some of these folks go on to buy a Charger in a few years when they come into a bit more money and want something with the new car smell and a warranty?

        Also, as others have pointed out, a large percentage of a small number doesn’t amount to much. Subjectively, I seem to see a lot of youngish people driving around in Wranglers, but they don’t make this list. On the other hand, I still haven’t spotted an ILX in the wild.

    • 0 avatar

      They are vaguely aware. I think it’s mostly seen as vaguely upscale without projecting the “douchebag” vibe.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I’m a Gen-Y Acura driver. One of the main reasons I bought it was the knowledge that I was essentially driving a gussied-up Accord and could get it serviced as such once the warranty expired.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      You have to remember that this is not a list of the cars that are most popular with people under 35. It is a list of cars with the highest percentage of people under 35 buying them.

      For example, if 5,000 gen y buyers bought car A, and 5,000 people over 35 bought car A, the percentage of gen y buyers would be 50%.

      On the other hand, if 20,000 gen y buyers bought car B, and 40,000 people over 35 bought car B, the percentage of gen y buyers would be 33.33%.

      But with 20,000 gen y buyers for car B, vs. 5,000 gen y buyers for car A, car B is four times more popular with gen y.

      Put another way, the sales of the Mitsubishi Lancer suck for buyers under 35, but they really suck for buyers over 35.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        very good point.

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        Egg-zactly. So if you pull up to a shiny new tC at a stoplight, your odds of seeing a Y’er behind the wheel is roughly 50%. Doesn’t mean it’s the most popular car among Y’ers (though maybe it is — but this data doesn’t break it out that way). I’d like to see the data crunched in straight popularity: shoot it to me straight, gimme the top 10 for Y’s. (Heck, I think it’d be interesting to see the top vehicle sales for every demographic while we’re at it.)

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Domestic, safe bets are:
        1) F-150
        2) Camry
        3) Accord

        I know, I know …

    • 0 avatar
      mklrivpwner

      “(Are) most Acura buyers aware they’re buying a Honda?”
      In regards to the Gen-Y, especially the younger Gen-Y: no, most aren’t. Who owns whom isn’t an “important” fact for most of the younger guys. Or they just don’t care enough for it to register at the time of purchase.

      “And is that good or bad?”
      Mostly good. I’d say 70% good, 25% neutral, 5% bad. You have “trendies” buying Acuras because they’re neat and their friend’s mother’s college roomate’s son just posted on facebook that he bought one. They’re popular, but just outside the realm of “everyone buys them”, so it’s okay to buy one to be “different” but you’re not too different so you don’t outcast yourself and… (welcome to Facebook Psychology 101…). The side effect is they get Honda quality and are happier for it without ever realizing. You also have the “social concious” who buy a Honda because “that’s what everyone does”. The side effect is they get a touch of Acura luxury (thanks to packaging and mass production) without getting nailed in the checkbook. There are also the “counter-cultures” who “hate” Honda but will still shop Acura. And the “ironc non-conformists” who buy a Honda because “everyone buys Honda, so the world expects me to *not* buy a Honda, so I bought a Honda to rebel against cultural expectations of my non-conformity (is that even a word), which you think is conforming to society at large, but I put a DMB sticker on it so it’s okay” (welcome to Facebook Psychology 102)…
      In all cases, Honda wins.

      This is all supposing, of course, that your questions reference the Gen-Y crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Yes they do…every Acura owner I’ve ever met knew that Honda was the parent and didn’t ever see it as a negative. I also don’t know any Lexus owners who see Toyota parentage as being a negative either, the parent companies both have good reputations so it’s just the upmarket version of already excellent cars.

        This constant BS about how everyone young is a moron really has to stop, they might not care about the same things in a car as older enthusiasts do but they’re not idiots.

        Anyways, these aren’t the most popular cars with Gen Y people anyway, they’re just the cars with the largest percent of buyers in Gen Y…the most popular cars amongst Gen Yers are still going to be popular cars to begin with like the Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      piggybox

      As a Gen Y Acura owner (1st gen RDX SHAWD), I do realize it’s a Honda thus for the reliability (much better than Q5 and X3). Though I can afford a Q5/X3/GLK, these brands are for my boss. I don’t want to drive a car so shinning to grab the attention of my boss. If Mazda CX5 came out a few years earlier I probably would buy that then.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Re WV; the most surefire way of standing out from your parent’s generation, is to drive a car noone old enough to have previous experience with them, would ever drive :)

      As for Acura, the best is to drive the same car as their parents; only with a different badge affixed.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    With the exception of the Charger, all of these are C-segment small cars. So on the whole Y’s are downsizing?

    • 0 avatar

      Impreza is not small at all. I got a ride in one on a road trip. The car was owned by a Gen-Y dude who works as a French chef in a reasonably upscale place (although not the finest French eatery in town). It’s a manual. I asked him why he’s not gottnen STi if he liked driving with a manual. He sayd he could not afford it. Imprezza is really, amazingly cheap (I forgot the exact number, but it was just over $20k) and STi is above $40k. Also, the large car offers certain advantages, apparently. No, I didn’t ask if it included frolicking in back seat.

    • 0 avatar
      geee

      28 cars later – you cant infer that, unless you know that the top 10 vehicles here actually make up a large share of total gen y sales. I dont think that it is likely, since many of these cars are low volume.

    • 0 avatar
      moedaman

      I didn’t get married until I was 32 and, with the exception of a couple of VW Microbuses, never owned anything but compact cars. I didn’t buy larger vehicles until I had kids. For a 20-something single person, there is no need for a larger vehicle.

      Now most of the people I knew did own larger (on the outside at least) vehicles. But those Camaros and Monte Carlos had the interior room of my 1979 Horizon or my 1983 Cavilier.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “For a 20-something single person, there is no need for a larger vehicle.”

        I’m going to be 32 now, am single, and I respectively disagree. I have never owned anything smaller than a Saturn SL2, and even that is too small IMO to carry any rear passengers for any length of time. There are buyers who want the smallest/fuel efficient car for their money, but by-and-large American enjoy larger choices no matter their age, hence the ‘Americanization’ of some models such as Civic. The continue volume sales of Pickups, SUVs and CUVs along with ‘larger’ sedans such as Impala, Taurus, Accord and Camry also reflect this demand.

    • 0 avatar
      marjanmm

      TSX is Euro market Accord meaning D segment car. In UK it is considered a pensioner’s car, quite a difference in perception to US.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Interesting, what is “cool” in the UK at the moment?

      • 0 avatar
        spreadsheet monkey

        @28carslater, the “cool” new cars in the UK are probably similar to ones in this list, only without the Hondas and Toyotas. Mostly small and/or performance oriented. Golf/GTI (or pretty much any small fast hatchback), Impreza and Lancer, Fiat 500, Range Rover Evoque.

        As already stated elsewhere, there is a big disconnect between new cars that are considered cool (and bought by people in their 30s and 40s), and the actual cheap old cars bought by the cool kids with limited budgets. 80s and 90s French and German cars are popular. Golf, Peugeot 205, (original) Mini, that kind of thing.

      • 0 avatar

        I object, my 84 year old father, who lives in East Sussex, UK, thinks his Accord is really cool, and he considers himself young.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      28-Cars-Later, these data only show how these cars were sold, but doesn’t show what Gen-Y actually buy.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I am guessing the EVO and the Ralliart versions account for most of the young buyers for the Lancer. The base model Lancers are pretty much rental fleet vehicles.

    The Acura ILX is the big surprise here though. This is one awkward, ungainly vehicle. What is going on here?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I asked a similar question when it was first introduced, a TTACer (whom I do not recall the name of) replied the ILX was $13/month more than Civic when he was leasing for his daughter, so he opted for it. If this is accurate, I think this explains ILX sales.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      The EVO statistic is probably right considering the last time I drove by a Mitsubishi dealer all I could see on the lot was EVOs. No SUVs or Galants etc..

      The ILX seems to be good value for the money. A good lease deal will make that even better.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    Not your fault Derek-but kind of a garbage list on the low volume vehicles.

    Vehicle like the ILX sold 12k units for all of 2012. So 40% of that is about 5000 annual sales.

    A vehicle like the Fiesta or Sonic with 80,000 annual US sales (Sonic) could have a 15% take rate at Gen Y and crush the Acura numbers overall.

    The higher volume vehicles (Mazda 3/VW’s) shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  • avatar
    joneill1955

    Headline is “J.D. Power’s Top Ten Gen Y Vehicles For 2012″, and yet article describes cars with highest percentage of Gen Y buyers. These are not the same concepts. Most of the cars on the list are lower volume cars. For the headline to accurately describe the top ten Gen Y vehicles, it should list the cars most purchased by Gen Y buyers. My guess is that this list would include the usual top sellers, i.e. Camry, Accord, etc.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    The Charger is really puzzling….

    I know it would probably be dang near impossible to figure out, but I’d love to see a similar list based on drivers rather than buyers. When a parent buys their highschool/college aged kid a Civic, JD Power lists that as a Gen X 50 year old buyer (give or take) rather than a Gen Y driver.

    Just a grain of salt to consider these 10 with. And to be clear, I know it’s not possible to actually dig down that deep from an industry level. I bet most of the auto companies have the market research dept to dig into that (and have dug into it).

  • avatar
    mechimike

    Between the Dodge and all the VW’s, this list is really heavy with vehicles that also take bottom marks for reliability in the most recent surveys (somewhere a few weeks back on TTAC).

    Yet again my own demographic makes me just shake my head.

    • 0 avatar

      I noticed that too, but in the same time Acura is bulletproof. Clearly the preferences of Gen-Y buyers on the reliability and durability score are bifurcated. This basically throws the premise of the report into question. If they are this diverse, is it possible or meaningful to chase the demo as a block?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Acura certainly isn’t Yugo, but if bulletproof comes to your mind you missed the TL transmission fiasco less than ten years ago friend.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Agreed with 28-cars-later. Acura WAS bulletproof. Not so much anymore. Definitely better than the dark days of failure on demand 5-speed automatics in the mid 2000′s (and like so many other failures of this type, not too long after the warranty expired).

        I also observed that the Generation that screams I will never buy XYZ because their quality sucks, apparently love buying makes/models that have sucky quality (agreed though with Pete partially in that the Acuras are the bulletproof cars on this list).

        VW, Mitsubishi, Dodge, and Subaru aren’t exactly know for being quality darlings.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have also observed the hypocracy APaGttH, I think they are looking for “definition” in their buying choices by simply conforming (so and so’s Golf is awesome, so and so’s Elantra is hip). I suspect as Gen Y ages some of these brands will make it into the “XYZ category” in their minds. I was amazed in private school (hs and college) to how many VWs you’d come across. I don’t run into many of those people now but when I do, I don’t see VW products save the occasional Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Yet again my own demographic makes me just shake my head.”

      Agreed, much facepalm to be had.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        LOL you made me choke on my coffee

      • 0 avatar
        mechimike

        To be fair, I have never bought, nor do I ever plan to buy, a new car. Anyone plunking down 1/2 of their yearly net income on a transportation device needs to have their head examined. Especially on one that I’d run screaming from once the factory warranty expired.

        Roughly 1/2 of the per-mile cost of a new car comes from its depreciation. I once figured out that even at my daily average use (~50 miles per day) the car would either have to get 80 mpg or gas would have to double in price just to break even on the monthly payments, versus my less efficient but fully paid for and depreciated DD.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        @mechimike, that’s a good way to be. However, if you buy with the intent to keep the vehicle for 150k+ buying brand new can be a smart move. After the brunt of that initial depreciation curve is absorbed the price of the car per mile, or per month (however you care to measure it) begins to decrease sharply.

        At the end of the day buying a CPO vehicle with a dealer documented service history may be the most fiscally wise and hassle-free way to purchase a vehicle, but if you do intend to keep the car until the wheels fall off it is nice to get a car optioned exactly as you want it without having to search far and wide for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        That isn’t true about depreciation anymore. Resale values are up a lot, fuel and insurance costs are up even more.

        The industry TCO tools put 5 year depreciation at less than a third of the total cost of owning a new Camcord, less than a quarter of the cost of a new F-150.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Interesting figures mechimike, gives one alot to think about.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        mechimike, you really should read some books on basic economics, such as “Why Popcorn Costs So Much In A Movie Theater”.

        — From someone who only buy brand new cars.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      There’s nothing on the list that I’d be scared to lease for 3 years. It’s really hard to buy a car that’s not reasonably reliable during the warranty period. The differences in reliability show up later.

      Regarding Acura reliability, the Honda automatic transmission design uses a fairly simple arrangement of gears similar to a manual (no planetary gears or bands) combined with relatively small diameter clutches. They had trouble with the clutches wearing out prematurely, especially for V6/automatic combinations. On the other hand, a reasonably competent transmission shop can rebuild and reinstall this simple automatic for <$2000 and the large number of failures meant transmission shops got lots of practice.

  • avatar
    fr88

    Did anyone notice the price range of these cars pretty much matched the age range of the demographic? 16-35.

    With the exception of the Charger, most of these cars are entry level models appropriate for younger buyers. I am surprised by the Charger, tho. Personally, I love my new one, but thought I was the exception. Apparently, a lot of other younger buyers are looking outside the (econo)box, and have realized they can have it all with a Charger: style, performance, engineering, room, and surprising economy.

    • 0 avatar
      challenger2012

      I own a Challenger, you a Charger. Both cars are much better looking than the bland offerings listed above. How sad is it, when a generation buys cars that are no better looking than a refigerator?

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve been oolging the Charger since I test drove a 300S at the LA auto show. It’s too big to be sporty, but I love the space (I’m 6’4″), the exterior and interior design, and the infotainment. Sadly everyone I know poo poos Dodge one way or another. Time will tell on their current generation model’s reliability, but that brand has suffered a lot of damage.

  • avatar
    geee

    This doesnt really mean anything in and of itself. A high share of a car is one thing – what you want is the high share of ALL gen Y sales. Now, you could back into this. Just get the complete list of cars and their % volume that is gen Y, and then get the total sales by model. Then do the math, and you might be able to draw better conclusions about what Gen Y wants, rather than what a model gets in terms of Gen Y.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Exactly.

      As I noted below Acura can barely sell 1,500 ILX’s a month – the fact that 40% are Gen Y buyers isn’t significant in the big picture because the ILX is rightly maligned as an overpriced Civic.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So between the Dodge, the Subaru, the VWs, and the Mitsubishi, it appears Generation Y loves to complain about bad quality in cars while choosing makes/models with a history of having bad quality.

    This is a pretty amazing list (above snark aside) as so many vehicles “targeting” Generation Y are not on the list.

    A couple of vehicles on this list are a bit of, “so what,” because their sales numbers are so bad to begin with. I guess congrats goes to Acura for find 1000 to 1500 people a month to buy an ILX, 400 odd Gen Y buyers a “winner” does not make. Are any of these cars top 20 – 25 sellers?

    Is today’s VW Golf Gen Y buyer a Passat buyer in 7 years, or do they have less brand loyalty?

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      “So between the Dodge, the Subaru, the VWs, and the Mitsubishi, it appears Generation Y loves to complain about bad quality in cars while choosing makes/models with a history of having bad quality.”

      My thoughts exactly. I looked at this list and thought “this might not end well”

      I’m surprised that the Civic/Elantra/Accent doesn’t fall on this list. Nevermind the enthusiast crowd, what about the everyday female non-car-blog-reading public that doesn’t car about turbos? These are affordable cars, if they don’t fall on this list, then Gen-Y is intentionally avoiding Gen X and the boomer’s preferred brand choices.

    • 0 avatar
      Mykl

      I fall into this age range and I have a GTI that I purchased new.

      VW can suck it. I let them trick me into purchasing a neutered hot-hatch (can’t disable stability control, despite the button that says it can be disabled), so I’ll be looking elsewhere in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Pull the ABS module fuse when you want to hoon 100%. I had the similar problem with my Charger. In factory form, with the ESP button “off”, you can do burnouts provided the car stays straight. No donuts allowed!

        Yank the ABS module logic fuse, seeya in hell stability control.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        If you’d done your research beforehand, you’d have known the stability control is non-defeat. It’s in pretty much every professional review of the car.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        As I understand it, that doesn’t work in the GTI the same as it works in other cars. If I pull the ABS fuse I also lose XDS, which is VW’s electronic LSD (which actually works surprisingly well), not only that but it’s reported that the car’s brake balance gets a little wonky because it’s dynamically controlled by the same sensors that get shut down when you yank the ABS fuse.

        I’d be pretty ticked if I had purchased a Charger and learned that, much like I’m ticked now with VW. I shouldn’t have to modify my car to un-neuter my “hot” hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        @30-mile fetch. I was one of the initial adopters of the car and not many reviews had been written and that information was not readily available (I bought the car less than a week after it was officially released to dealers). What I *should* have caught was the fact that the 2009 model cars wouldn’t allow you to fully defeat ESP, but I didn’t expand my research to include those cars.

        What I did is sit in the car, look down, and see a button very clearly labeled “ESP OFF” and simply assumed that a car company wouldn’t so blatantly lie to its customers.

        I was wrong. VW would so blatantly lie to its customers.

      • 0 avatar
        dts187

        I fall in this age range and bought a new 2012 GTI.

        The fact that it’s “neutered” is one of the reasons I liked it over the WRX and Speed3.

        I wanted something that would be fun to drive and mod but be comfortable and sedate when needed. The GTI fit the bill perfectly. The interior and ride quality are both a solid 2 notches above a WRX or Speed3 but it can still be a hoot to drive for the occasional exit ramp or weekend blast down WV-15. Also, the DSG gives me piece of mind so the girlfriend can drive it without destroying the clutch (she has no interest in learning to drive a manual).

        Different strokes, I suppose.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        By “neutered” I don’t mean that the car can’t perform and isn’t desirable based on how it performs. I mean neutered in that I can’t set my hair on fire and drive it like a hooligan.

        Neat and tidy is the only way to operate the GTI. Slow and sloppy with a bit of opposite lock isn’t an option.

        Hot hatches are supposed to be *FUN*. Neat and tidy is fun when you’re being timed and you’re trying to take home a trophy on a Sunday afternoon. But isn’t is also fun to chuck a car into a corner going a touch too fast and letting the rear end hang out while you dial in some counter-steer and catch the car with the throttle?

        Why shouldn’t I be allowed to have that kind of fun in a comfortable and sedate car?

        • 0 avatar
          dts187

          I’ve had no problem getting my GTI a little sideways. With ESP on, it will interfere when trying to accelerate out. However, I’ve not experienced much interference with ESP in the “off” mode.

          It’s likely you’re looking for a bit more hoon than I am.

      • 0 avatar
        Charlie84

        Mykl, two points:

        1. You don’t need to disable ESP. Simply raising it’s limits (via the aforementioned “ESP Off” button) and adopting smooth, by-the-book driving techniques is sufficient even for autocrossing. Driven correctly, the raised ESP should basically never intervene. I understand your frustration, but I would hardly call the car “neutered”. I guess I also understand your desire to hoon your GTI as if your hair was on fire, but that sort of thing really isn’t how German engineers tend to think. They worked hard to make your GTI as composed and all-around proficient as they could. I don’t think they would look at a Mazdaspeed3 and think “raucous fun”. I think their reaction would be more like “under-engineered and dangerous”.

        2. If you have a Mk6 GTI, this should work: http://www.goapr.com/support/esp-defeat.html

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        Yes, I understand that taking the “smooth is fast” approach doesn’t cause the car’s stability control to have a fit. You can autocross or run at the track or down your favorite backroad and if you keep it smooth, neat, and tidy it won’t bother you.

        But what about when I want the tail end to swing out, so I can catch it with the throttle and steering wheel? Does this not bring a smile to anyone else’s face? Surely I can’t be the last person on the planet who enjoys a little oversteer on corner entry in a nicely balanced car. That’s all I’m saying.

        ….and that hack only works on the 2012 and 2013 cars. The 2009-2011 owners are out of luck.

      • 0 avatar
        Charlie84

        Mykl,
        I think oversteer would be hard to come by in this chassis, anyways. When I autocrossed my Mk6 Golf 2.5, I found that trail-braking would result in a perfectly neutral cornering attitude. As I understand it, this is what the “control-blade” rear suspension is designed to do.

        Sounds to me like a new Focus ST would be right up your ally!

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        Maybe it’s because I got used to Subaru’s “pre-apex understeer is the best and only way” approach to handling with the WRX/STI (owned one of each), but I actually find my GTI very easy to coax the rear end around. No brakes required, just gently bend the steering wheel into a corner you’re going slightly too fast into and the rear of the car (at least mine) breaks away before the front plows.

        But just when it’s about to be fun, right when I’m thinking about how much opposite lock to dial in as I start to squeeze the throttle….. *BRRRRRFPFPFPFF* goes the front outside brake caliper, ending the fun.

        I think I would really enjoy a Focus ST, but the GTI is the car I bought and it’s the car I’m going to keep. I’ve learned to live with it, but I still choose to be vocally angry at VW because if they had honestly labeled that button I would have started asking questions. If I had still chosen to purchase the car I at least would have done so without feeling lied to.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      as a mid forties VW sportswagon TDI owner here i would say most VW golf owners stay golf owners as long as they can rather than upsize ( and if they do it is into a Jetta sports wagon) If the buy TDI ‘s the only game in town ( for now) to trade up to in size is VW other options, and very few TDI’s are leased I would think less than 5%.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Quality issues aside, fr88′s comment about appropriate pricing probably explains a chunk of these sales

    • 0 avatar
      Grahambo

      Subaru may not be Honda or Toyota (who else is?), but by no means can be lumped in with VW, Dodge, and Mitsubishi with respect to a history of quality (or lack thereof). By that standard, all brands other than Honda/Toyota have a history of poor quality. In fact, you can point to quality lapses with respect to essentially any manufacturer (as demonstrated above by the Greek Chorus that chimed in about the Acura automatic tranny issues, which never affected the TSX as well as those who inevitably pipe up about sludging in older Toyotas). Ultimately, Subaru, like Mazda and VW, provides more character than the average Honda/Toyota with – to varying degrees – less reliability. For that matter, the Golf tends to be amongst the most reliable VWs. This is not a Toureag.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Subaru was notorious for head gasket issues in the 2.5 sohc and dohc for a long time, I’ve heard mixed things about the 06 and newer Subarus. Overall I like the brand more-so than of the others named and I agree it provides character the others lack, its just important to remember a little “caveat emptor” no matter what you buy.

        http://users.sisna DOT com/ignatius/subaru/headgasket.html

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @28-cars-later but sadly Subaru is working fast and furious to dequirkify it’s product line and make it as bland as possible.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        @ PaGttH

        With every bit of bland that Toyota can inject into Subaru.

        Toyota is a toaster company, which is fine for people who simply want an appliance that does the basics with very few hassles, problems or headaches, but in the end, milquetoast toast is produced in spectacular fashion.

  • avatar
    otter

    I hate the often-useless essentializing that is behind labels like “Gen Y” but, aside from that general point, the label in this case seems to be so broadly defined as to be nearly meaningless. The buying patterns of any group of 22-year-olds, never mind 18-year-olds, is bound to be markedly different from that of 35-year-olds.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      Excellent point. By the definition above, I’m in Gen Y being 34. But I’ve always considered myself to be between X and Y because, well… 34. I don’t think or behave like someone 10 years older than me, nor 10 years younger than me.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    I was thinking somewhat along these lines as I was looking at some of my car books that covered automobile advertising. When Detroit was at it’s peak, advertising was generally directed at the men. “The man who has arrived”, “the man who knows his own mind”, “the man who wouldn’t settle for anything less”… That’s Detroit’s problem in a nutshell. The United States hasn’t produced a real man since probably 1925.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “United States hasn’t produced a real man since probably 1925″

      Who is Charlie Sheen for the win, Alex?

      Sorry, I had to poke fun. However I’ve noticed this trend before, in the United States, men are not allowed or expected to be men anymore. So now automobiles are to be bland beige unisex tripe so as to not offend anyone.

      Found this while googling “Badass Americans” found it interesting/entertaining

      http://badasshistory DOT com/taylor.html

      • 0 avatar
        otter

        I dunno, last time I rode through Wrigleyville the bro-ness was thicker than the snow was deep.

        If I grant your premise as a thought experiment, I will insist that at least we are not Australia, where the women are men and the men are something and sheep are somehow involved. Take it away…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think there may be some folks in parts of the country who agree sheep are somehow involved as well :)

        I can’t speak for Australia, but I think in the US the blandness, or “styling malaise” as it were, may be tied to the scourge of political correctness. Here everyone is equal, but the truth is some are more equal than others, and marketeers chase the trends of these folks.

      • 0 avatar
        doug-g

        Thanks, I enjoyed the Taylor link. :) Part of the problem, as mentioned here, is all the PC baloney. Since Taylor was military, let’s talk military. Our troops are the best armed in the world and they have to fight with one arm tied behind their backs because we are a “civilized nation”. We even have lawyers involved in battles. I bet if a general told our troops, “boys, you’ve got a war to fight and an enemy to defeat. Go out there and do whatever you need to do!” that 90% of our troops would strip off most of that gear and go unleash a flurry of whoop-a$$ like the world has never seen before. Then, after they win the war, they need to head home and tell their wives to, “get your a$$ in that kitchen where it belongs”!

        I’m really enjoying my brief time in my imaginary world! :)

  • avatar
    thisismylogin

    Go around any Army post, there are more Chargers than you can shake a stick at. Any kid straight out of AIT can go to a dealership off post and pick up a base model Charger with no issues. That seems to be the way with most bottom end domestics.(Cobalts, Impalas, Calibers, Nitros, that type of crap.) It’s quite sad.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Yep, the charger is definitely the choice for this demographic, before 2011, they used to come standard with the 2.7L POS and 20 inch rims. Living in a major military city I can’t believe how much used chargers/magnums/300s go for on the used market compared to what they go for even 50 miles away. Are people really dumb enough to not drive up the coast to save 5,000?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Gen Y here (30 years old). Owned 2 Imprezas (’93 and ’01) and 1 GTI (’07). Only the GTI was bought new. Smallish, fun cars with a little character… I’m not surprised that things like standard plaid cloth seats of the GTI tend to appeal to younger folk than older.

    Anyway, I’ve moved on to a couple Toyotas. As far as being cars, my 4Runner and Prius fit my needs better than a small hot hatch. I miss having a “fun” car as my daily driver, but having something that works for my wife and daughter and the subsequent vacations, jogging strollers, and mountain bikes is a higher priority than getting my heartrate up while driving.

    Interesting to note that all of these cars are available with a stick shift… except the Charger.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    My son takes driving very seriously, not just an exercise to get from point A to B. He is 21 and a junior in college. He drives a GTI, his second choice was a Jetta GLI or Audi A3. Anyway, we love German cars and he loves his GTI.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Dear Dad, While it’s true that you and I and everyone else loves _driving_ German cars, I tell anyone who will listen that they are unreliable rattletraps, but I wait until you’re not around because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I should have told you this sooner, but you always seem so blissful taking your Audi back to the shop. Love, Your Son (SWilliamsJr91)

      • 0 avatar
        ZekeToronto

        Tell that to my four-year old A3 that’s never seen a shop except for oil changes.

      • 0 avatar
        swilliams41

        OK Tosh, folks need to know you are NOT my son. I drive a 5 series and a Passat V6. Both are pretty reliable and I am obsessive about maintenance. Neither of my cars, or my sons GTI are rattle traps and in fact they are very solid and don’t rattle at all. We bought these cars because we love to drive (first!) Reliability and economy were secondary to that! That’s why I spend more time reading TTAC than Consumer Reports! BTW I love the A8 of any vintage, shop queens, sure they are, I still love ‘em. Well time to go watch RONIN…again.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “HA!” I thought to myself clicking on this, “At the upper end of gen Y, and a born contrarian, this is going to be a list of cars I’d NEVER buy new, let alone already own. They can’t pin me, I’m different.”

    BAM! Second car on the list, Dodge Charger.

    You win this time, J.D. Power.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Gen Y here, and the Charger is the only one of those I’ve ever actually cross shopped. Went from a Fleetwood to a Grand Marquis to a Mustang.

    Looking at that list, it’s apparent that I need to re-examine my priorities, as I must have lost touch somewhere along the way.

  • avatar
    rustyra24

    I think going to 35 is a stretch for Gen-Y. I am 30 and coupes were pretty sought after cars in my early twenties. It would be interested to see how these lists differ age group to age group. I own a outback xt now but with age comes practicality. I have to sell my 3000gt vr4 not family friendly.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I’m surprised about the Acura’s too. Most Gen why’s that I know can barely afford to put gas in there cars let along a 30-35K car. The only car on this list that I would give a crap out is the Charger but I miss the Gen why label by a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Most Gen why’s that I know can barely afford to put gas in there cars let along a 30-35K car.”

      The power of lease compels you.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      “Most Gen why’s that I know can barely afford to put gas in there cars let along a 30-35K car.”

      Bit of a generalization. I guess it shows the flaws of anecdotal evidence. Myself and many of my friends can easily afford a 40k car. Oddly enough, those of us who could genuinely afford it have the sense not to.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Please define afford… cash sale, buy, or lease? I can theoretically afford to buy or lease the same 40K car, but could not afford a cash sale, thus in my mind I can’t truly “afford” it.

        …never mind I’m on crack I misread your post… been a long day

        • 0 avatar
          dts187

          No worries. I get what you’re saying. I was speaking more in the terms of a responsible finance. Not a lease or cash sale.

          In my mind a responsible finance is no more than 5 years, at least 20% down, and interest rate under 4.

          YMMV

  • avatar
    raded

    I’m smack dab in the middle of what car companies consider the “Generation Y” demographic (too young to be Gen X, too old to be Gen Y) and my fiancee and I bought a new Mazda3. VW Golf and Subaru Impreza were in the conversation, as was the Ford Focus.

    We might be buying a car for her in the next year or two. She really likes the Scion tC but I’ve been trying to talk her out of it. She currently drives a Jetta. We’d both love a GTI if it made sense for us financially.

    Of the 7 cars I just mentioned, 6 are on this list. I’d say it’s pretty accurate. Don’t understand the Acuras though.

  • avatar
    vwgolf420

    I feel like those of us born 1975-80 can go either way as far as X or Y depending on various factors. I’m 36, so a year out of the ages studied, though I was note quite 35 when I bought my Golf.
    Does make me laugh that they call the Golf a premium choice. I paid less for my stripper Golf than a Civic, Focus, Cruze and even a lot of Fiestas and Fits. Had one friend get in the car and seem perplexed that one had to use a mechanical lever to move the seats. I love my car immensely, but a gas engine Golf is not a premium choice.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Sure it is – have you driven a Corolla? A Golf is like a BMW in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Yep, that may be true. But BMW isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some may prefer the Mercedes in the Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        raded

        I switch between a 2012 Mazda3 and a 2010 Corolla for driving. I’d have a VERY hard time figuring out something about the Toyota that’s better than the Mazda. Maybe the softer suspension if you’re into that sort of thing.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      What I’ve read is Gen X starts around 61 to 64 and ends around 78 to 81

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        I’ve often heard of X as being either ’64 or ’65 to ’81. Some people say ’80 for some reason. Baby Boomer (aka the people who mostly pillaged our country and left the rest of us to pay for it) is usually stated as ’46-’64, so ’65 makes more sense to me.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        Boomer’s end at ’65, the year the birth control pill first became widely available.

        Gen-Y is by definition the children of the boomer’s. Since the peak number of Boomers was born between 1960 and 1960, 80-82 is a good time period to mark the start. Though not commonly used, my preference would be to start at 1983, for anybody who was born after the first Star Wars trilogy.

        Gen X whatever comes in the middle.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The Charger is here because it is good value. For the size and power it is hard to beat. Not to mention for 33k MSRP you can get an AWD R/T with leather, navigation, beats audio and the 5.7L.

    It also looks very cool and not really like anything else.

  • avatar
    Byron Hurd

    Interesting that the tC is the only car Scion nailed demographically given that the entire brand was essentially designed to appeal to the Gen Y buyer.

    And for all the grief we give Acura, it appears their marketing efforts (targeting younger, more tech-savvy luxury buyers) works. The Audi A3, for example, is conspicuously absent.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hmmm… to bad there isn’t bigger market for domestic RWD family cars. Dodge seems to own it and I doubt the Chevy SS is gonna amount to more than a mosquito bite for the Charger. It would be nice if Ford had a 4dr Mustang of sorts since the Mustang itself is probably seen as little more than a poorly handling old man’s drag racing car to the gen Y crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “I doubt the Chevy SS is gonna amount to more than a mosquito bite”

      The Chevy SS is not intended to be much more than a mosquito bite per GM.

      “It would be nice if Ford had a 4dr Mustang”

      Maybe even as a Lincoln?

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Dang it, I know better with the SS, would be nice though if it sold out really fast and completely or enough to prompt GM into doing more than limited niche run.

        As for Lincoln (what supreme coincidence that president Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre) making a sporty 4dr using future Mustang bits and pieces. I would say to little to late and most likely would end up being disaster in terms of styling and marketing.

        Knowing the marketing folks at Lincoln, they wuld think it clever to call this sporty Lincoln the MGT.

        Nope, I’d rather it be Ford – what a sweet car it would be if Ford were to put the Boss motor along with the Tremec TR6060 in about a 3800-3900 pound car that could seat four comfortably with tidy packaging and nice chassi.

        Oh well, a guy can dream cant’t he?

  • avatar
    Charlie84

    Gen Y here,
    Some background: I’m 28. Urban area. College educated. None of my friends give a damn what they drive or even like cars. They largely perceive cars to be an expensive nuisance that are a continuing threat to the further development of alternative forms of transportation. Basically, it’s a lifestyle choice they wish they didn’t have to make. I’m neither supporting nor condemning this viewpoint, just reporting.

    The few people I know who care about what they drive with a degree of enthusiasm tend to be status-conscious females with excellent jobs. One in particular loves her A3.

    As I have observed, the attributes which might make someone from my cohort enthusiastic about their ride would be 1) Reliability, 2) A general sense of “niceness” (newer, clean, and with some nice extra features like Sync) and 3) Good fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      TorontoSkeptic

      Exactly, I am slightly older but have exactly the same observation. Most of my urban friends are early 30s educated parents and they have zero interest in cars. They are teachers, lawyers, work in government or financial services or politics – good careers by and large, they COULD afford cars if they wanted.

      Most just don’t have a car or drive some hand-me-down domestic from their parents (I believe one friend has a 1997 Plymouth that is being milked for its final miles). They certainly don’t go to the car show or discuss the styling of the new Corvette or whether the Koreans have caught the Japanese in reliability.

      I think the most common car for Gen Y is… something used, really used. My old beater is a loooong way from my dream ride but it doesn’t get much cheaper to insure and keep running, and there is no more effective theft deterrent system in a neighborhood with no garages than a burnt-orange manual transmission wagon with a baby seat in the back.

      @Charlie84, car ARE an expensive nuisance in most cities, as much as I hate to admit it. Bad traffic, costly parking, unreasonable insurance rates based just on geography (my “cheap” insurance is still $1400/year for a car that’s probably worth ~$4K tops). Public transit isn’t the greatest but I wouldn’t dream of driving to work downtown.

      I live in a very gen X/Y neighborhood and the Mazda3 is huge. My neighbor has one, my best friend has one, the guy down the block who’s into UK thrash-metal has one. It’s the standard normal-person car around here.

      • 0 avatar
        ZekeToronto

        This echoes my own experience perfectly. Although I’m a gen x-er myself, I went back to law school in middle age and ended up with a younger group of friends who are all gen y-ers. It still amazes me how little mind share cars have with this cohort. In my circle there’s exactly one other car owner, and when he and start talking about wheels, the others look at us like we’re discussing Martian politics.

      • 0 avatar
        Charlie84

        @TorontoSkeptic,
        You’ll hear no argument from me on that one. If public transit were better in my area, I wouldn’t have a daily-driver at all. Just an //M Coupe for weekend fun during the summer. Well, in my dreams perhaps…

        Anyway, I don’t blame my friends at all for not being into cars. Most of them can’t afford something halfway nice, since are often buried in student debt, make less money than they were expecting, and generally have to compete with many, many other candidates for jobs of a lesser caliber than they expected. Really, cars are the last thing on their mind. In my extended social circle, the ones who manage to get around mostly or entirely via bicycle are implicitly admired for doing so (I admire them for it, too).

        There are a few extravagances, status symbols, and discretionary expenditures this group gets excited about: good restaurants, good craft beer, Apple products, smartphones, and travel. Really, I enjoy all of these things too, so I certainly don’t fault anyone for that. Overall, I think it’s a good thing that my peer group seems to have a more restrained, pragmatic approach to such huge expenditures like cars and houses. We’ve witnessed the economy tank just as we were coming out of college, due to the perceived spending excesses of older generations. I really wonder how different our spending habits would be if we all had great jobs.

        So my peers are right: Cars are a tremendous pain in the ass (and tremendously expensive) for being something that doesn’t excite them at all. Car enthusiasts here at TTAC, imagine how you’d feel about your refrigerator if it costed $20K, had to be replaced every 5 years, required lots of regular maintenance, polluted excessively, and you were repeatedly told by the rest of society that everyone was going to judge you according to the status implied by your refrigerator’s brand. You’d end up resenting the very necessity of refrigerator ownership. I think this is largely how cars are perceived by Gen Y’ers.

        Every once in a while, someone I know will get a new (or at least new-ish) car and be excited about it. It’s rarely anything special –a new Focus would be exceptionally good. They’re usually excited about their new car because it’s in some simple way a vast improvement over their last one –reliability, working A/C, etc.

        Does the picture I’m painting seem dire? I wonder how much their attitudes will shift as they mature into real adulthood (30+ these days, it seems).

  • avatar
    BrianL

    The metrics provided don’t really mean much as others have posted. Percentage of a car that sells 2 copies, one to gen Y would be 50%. One that sells 200,000 copies and sells 20,000 copies obviously sold a lot more and was far more popular with gen Y.

    So why is TTAC printing the data instead of analyzing the data? TTAC does this A LOT when it comes to sales releases and press releases by auto companies. TTAC does this when it disagrees with another auto publication. This article is so factually incorrect it rivals political writings.

    I am guessing that Gen Y, given the age group, accounts for probably 30-35% of the car buying public. I would rather see this done by volume. 48% of Lancer sales and 50% of Scion tC sales don’t amount to much compared to the Corollas, Civics, and Cruzes of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Nope. R L Polk does studies on this. 18 to 34 year old represent only 11% of new car buyers in the 2011 calendar year. Less than 1% were 24 or under. 41% are over 55 and the average new car buyer for all makes is 51. The reality is aged Y is nt buying new cars at all.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    ” ILX’s a month – the fact that 40% are Gen Y buyers isn’t significant in the big picture because the ILX is rightly maligned as an overpriced Civic.”

    Perhaps overpriced….but mighty fine looking IMO. I see it as a $4k premium to get rid of that idiotic bilevel IP.

  • avatar
    JD23

    I’m on the older side of Generation Y and drive an A4 that I purchased new a couple of years ago. I live in an area with very long winters and it was the vehicle that met most of my criteria, including an excellent AWD system, decent handling, and good design, both on the exterior and interior. My coworkers that are in similar in age drive things like the Outback, X3 or Mazda 3, but they are not the most representative cross-section of Gen Y in terms of income or other demographics. I know some eccentric Gen Y enthusiasts who do crazy things like own a C6 Corvette in downtown Tokyo, but I wasn’t expecting the Vette to show up on any list that doesn’t involve buyers below the age of 60.

  • avatar
    kezeka

    I belong to the gen y group and have found that most of my friends prefer to buy mildly used luxury cars rather than buy a brand new but less luxurious car. For instance, my roommate went and test drove some subarus, a civic, but ended up buying an IS250 with 40k on it. His girlfriend is about to do the same. They are more fun to drive and arguably better equipped than the auras in the price range – and subjectively look better too. It just makes more sense to us to buy a better car that has already taken the largest whack of the depreciation hammer than to buy a less well made car. I wasn’t willing to deal with a Sketchy extended warrant and bought a demo with 5k on it for $5000 off the msrp through some negotiating and love having the new car feel and smell without paying the full price.

    My point is, the young professional crowd isn’t stupid and we want nice cars (especially where I live with terrible traffic and long commutes) that are relatively fun to drive that make us look like classy young professionals and extract some semblance of respect from the people we interact and work with on a day to day basis. Sorry about not saving that money wisely but if you are of that opinion respectfully leave us out of your complaining and worry about your own problems.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “that make us look like classy young professionals and extract some semblance of respect from the people we interact and work with on a day to day basis.”

      I’ve never understood this? Why temper your choice of anything really based on what your peers think? If somebody thinks your despicable enough to ostracize you from thier social circle or you have to buy this or that to earn thier respect perhaps your better off without them. Doublely so if you need to meet thier expectations with the purchase of a car.

      Then again a car like a computer or big screen TV for me is has more use than just being an appliance it provides entertainment.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I am MY78, don’t know if I am either Gen X or Y and to be honest can’t be bothered either.

    Of the list you placed up there I would consider the Charger, the Lancer, the 3 and possibly the Jetta. I am surprised that not a single cute ute made it into the list.

    As a family man, none of the hatches do anything for me. Just try fitting one of those gigantic strollers (like the Graco ones) in that boot along with the supermarket goods. See how that story ends (in tears, for sure). I rest my case.

    I can see the appeal of the GTI for some people, but down here one of those goes for around $40K, which is SV6 or XR6 money. I can sit my family comfortably in either of the big locals and still smoke the German thing in straight line. I don’t AutoX the family car or hit the Great Ocean Road at 160 km/h (and good luck getting away with that) so don’t care if the GEETEEAI will crunch a 2 ton car in the twisties. Can’t be bothered with being “hip” either since that doesn’t pay the bills.

    The SV6 can be had as a wagon too. That money also buys a decent mid size X-over.

    My wife likes either MINI or CUVs, and she doesn’t drive yet.. Or anything that I drive that is not overly offensive. Old style station wagons are severely uncool for her to the point of “I’m not sitting there so don’t think about it”.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    What really kills me is all of this whining. Nothing has changed over the past 20 years. I graduated from undergrad in ’93. I had a bunch of student loan debt, a crap job, no money, and a 9yo Jetta GLI. I didn’t get my first decent job until ’96, making all of $30K a year. I thought I was rich! But time passes, the career advances, and now I make more than 3X that amount, with a lot of headroom left in my career path. Very, very, very few young people make big money right out of the gate. And thus very, very few young people buy new cars, then or now. No young people living in inner cities bought new cars back then, and they still don’t, for the same reasons. And if more people were actually interested in cars back then, the automotive landscape in the US would not be anywhere near as dire and dull as it is.

    I guess what has changed is now we have the Internet so they can all whine about how tough life is from their smartphones.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I’m surprised the Ford Focus is not on the list. I see plenty around of late with many Gen Yrs behind the wheel.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I’m surprised that the Lancer is on there. With the Charger present, looks like the Avenger would have made the cut instead. A ton of power, and if you mix a TC and an ILX together, you have the body.

  • avatar

    It would be interesting to hear what posters to this board believe the top ten list of newly purchased cars for Gen Y is in their area. Perhaps someone will oblige.

    To start, I live deep in the hood in North Charleston, SC, most homes are starter homes, very working class. My guess is that here the top ten new cars are

    1) Dodge Charger (by far and away #1)
    2) Toyota Corolla
    3) Nissan Altima
    4) Ford Focus
    5) Nissan Versa (purchased for momma)
    6) Dodge Avenger
    7) Hyundia Sonata
    8) Chevy Impala
    9) Toyota Camry
    10) Kia Sorrento (church parking lots attract these)

    However, this list is of cars one rarely sees. Gen Y buyers will be seen in the following (there are about twenty used car lots to every new dealership here). Remember I am in da hood
    1) Charger
    2) Any BMW (male)
    3) Any Mercedes (females and pimps)
    4) Raised Monte Carlo’s (pimp my ride)
    5) Pontiac Grand Prix (trailer park fav)
    6) Ford Ranger (working mans pick up truck)
    7) Old F150 (to haul the landscaping trailer)
    8) Tahoe, Yukon and the like
    9) Crown Vic (ex police)
    10) Lincoln Town Car

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    I’ve rarely seen anyone even approaching Gen Y in age driving a Charger. And I live and work in what is typically defined as ‘fly-over’ territory. In fact I rarely see a new Charger that isn’t a rental. I’m wondering what geographic location or socio-economic group in the Gen Y cohort is actually buying them?

    The comments discussing Gen Y’s (and most of Gen X) general dis-interest in cars is always a favorite topic of mine among some of my grey-bearded (Boomers!) colleagues when discussing the future value of their dearly coveted ‘musclecars’. Not the blue-chip rareities, but the many softer, less performance oriented examples built through the 70′s (1980 Trans-Ams – really?) that were somehow elevated in percieved value when the real classics went out of control.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “I’ve rarely seen anyone even approaching Gen Y in age driving a Charger. And I live and work in what is typically defined as ‘fly-over’ territory. In fact I rarely see a new Charger that isn’t a rental.”

      Same here, FWIW, although I did see a Challenger today. Most of the Chargers are see are rentals and certainly not driven by someone Gen Y. The only Gen Y-driven Charger I’ve seen was on Breaking Bad.

  • avatar
    cdakost

    One problem with this that I noticed is that it is the percentage of buyers. I’m Gen Y (19-years-old in college), and I drive a Subaru BRZ. But I didn’t buy, my dad did. So technically using these numbers, the car was bought by a 63-year-old man. I think that there are quite a few cases that fall into this category.

  • avatar
    jcp12385

    Ugh. I hate that Gen “Y” moniker.

    Anyhow, being myself perfectly in the middle of this demographic, I would consider…none of these, save for a Jetta. And then only a wagon. I am 28, college educated with a wife, kid and another kid in the oven. I am a hopeless suburbanite.

    I’d much prefer something twice my age. Something easy to work on, big, and of course…something that actually has personality.

    Then again, I’ve always been kinda…different from my peers.


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