According to the survey, driving a people mover says 'my wife and I like children... lots of children'. Photo Gallery
What's in your driveway may mean the difference between an intimate dinner date for two -- or cold pizza for one.
A recent survey by Ford reports that 58 per cent of men and women say the condition of their date's vehicle would impact their on-going attraction to that person. So what does your car say about you -- and what do other people's cars tell you about them.... Feel free to add to our growing research at the end of the story....
Ford's "Life In Drive" survey says the smart way to find the person of your dreams may be to start looking at who is sitting inside the car of your dreams. The Ford "Life In Drive" survey, first commissioned in 2007 and recently upgraded, joined with US dating consultant Evan Marc Katz declares that your car can be the key to getting you connected with the opposite sex. Or not.
Nearly all males and females are impressed when their dates pick them up in nice cars (84 per cent male respondents, 89 per cent female respondents).
"Not only can a good car make a better impression than even the best of pick-up lines, it may also have an equal affect on both men and women," says the Ford survey.
"Securing a hot set of wheels may actually be one of the best methods to secure a hot date," says Katz, the CEO of online dating consulting service E-Cyrano.com and author of Why You're Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad (Plume/June 2006). "Like joining a rock band, there's something about a fast, shiny vehicle that simply exudes sex appeal," he says.
The Ford survey finds that one truth behind the "chick magnet" concept is that certain cars create an air of excitement.
"Really, whose heart isn't pounding just a little bit harder after watching Steve McQueen's Mustang fly around the corner in Bullitt?" the survey asks.
Ford says that the ability to get your heart racing is an important quality for car designers and engineers.
"Part of our job is to understand exactly what elements make a car attractive to both men and women," says Marilyn Parrett, Ford's Customer Intelligence Manager.
Ford's research shows that women, for example, are undeniably drawn to cars that are reliable. Exterior styling - how it looks - ranks as a very close second for both genders.
"Women want a car that, like a good man, makes them feel safe and beautiful," says Katz.
Female drivers who want to invest in a dependable "dude magnet", however, may also want to think about acquiring a nicer set of wheels - maybe even a brand that is sexy not only by design but because of the way its marketed.
Katz says that a good car can be an equally effective magnet for both men and women as it serves as a tangible vehicle for self-expression.
"There's nothing wrong with driving a people mover," says Katz. "But isn't the woman with the sleek shades who has the top down in a Mustang convertible more likely to get a second look?"
Megan Crosby, 19, is all you'd expect in a Hyundai Accent owner - young, pretty, outgoing and with more interest in things in life other than her car. But she bends the stereotype - she's a single mother who's gone back to high school to allow her studies to access university. And it's not the car she would have chosen.
"I should have got a car with four doors," she said. "Getting (baby) Leon in and out of the back seat sucks. I bought the Hyundai because it had air-con. I had just had Leon and it was a really hot summer. I couldn't drive around with him in my old Mazda 121 because it was so hot. So my baby made my decision for me."
YOU AND YOUR CAR TYPE
Hatchback: I love shopping.
V8 sedan: I like to make a lot of noise.
V8 ute: I wanted to be a carpenter.
4WDs: You're in my lane... it doesn't matter what lane you're in, you're still in my lane.
People mover: My wife and I like children... lots of children.
SUV: I want adventure and want everyone to think I'm adventurous... I have been to Busselton.
Convertible: I am losing my hair.
YOU AND YOUR CAR BRAND
Alfa Romeo: Maintenance isn't an issue - it's a lifestyle.
Aston Martin DB7: What do you mean 'It's a Ford Mondeo?
Audi A4: What do you mean 'It's a Volkswagen?'
BMW X5: Indicators? What indicators?
BMW X3: I couldn't afford an X5.
BMW X1: I couldn't afford an X3.
Chrysler 300C: I am a pimp.
Citroen C6: I am completely different.
Daihatsu Charade: I deliver pizzas.
Fiat 500: I am cute. I love cute things.
Ford Falcon: My company makes me drive it.
Holden Commodore: (see Ford Falcon).
Holden Monaro: I don't have kids. Really.
Honda Jazz: I am pragmatic and boring.
Hyundai Excel X3: If my rear fog light is on, nobody is home.
Hyundai Grandeur: I remember Menzies.
Jaguar XJ6: My parking bay is my mechanic's hoist.
Jeep Wrangler: I like to drive around topless.
Lexus: I yearn for status. I really wanted a Mercedes.
Mazda MX-5: I have no fear of semi-trailers.
MGB: I am dating a mechanic.
Mitsubishi Colt: I think I'm hip.
Peugeot 308: I am a little bit different.
Porsche Panamera: I am devoid of any fashion sense.
Proton: I am devoid of any sense.
Saab Convertible: I am a trophy wife.
Skoda: I operate a lathe and enjoy beer.
SssangYong: I'm not sure what a car is.
Subaru WRX: I moonlight as a rally driver.
Toyota Avalon: My previous car was a Volvo.
Toyota Camry: I am still in the closet.
Toyota Corolla: Please don't notice me.
Volkswagen Beetle: I watch Partridge Family reruns.
Volkswagen Convertible: I am out of the closet.
Volkswagen Kombi: I am tripping right now.
Volvo: All the other drivers are out to get me.