Today's Mid-Life Crisis Car Almost as Likely to be an SUV or a Sedan as a Sports Car - Make it Black... or Silver, or Blue, or Red!

New York, NY - One in five (20%) respondents choose a sports car as the type of car they would want to buy if they were going through a mid-life crisis and were to buy a car, while nearly as many (17%) say a sports utility vehicle, and slightly fewer (15%) a sedan, according to a new poll of over 1,000 adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax. Other choices include a convertible (12%), pickup truck (9%), hybrid (8%), crossover (5%), coupe (4%), minivan or van (4%), or some other type of car (6%).
  • Sports cars are chosen by more men than women (24% vs. 17% of women), as are sedans (17% vs. 12%), and pickup trucks (12% vs. 6%). Conversely, convertibles are the choice of among women (15% vs. 9% of men).
  • Sports cars are also chosen by a greater proportion of those with an annual household of $50,000 or more (23% vs. 17% of those with incomes of under $50,000), as are convertibles (14% vs. 9% respectively).
  • More respondents with lower household incomes select minivans or vans (6% vs. 3% of those with higher incomes) as well as hybrids (11% vs. 7%).
  • Pickup trucks were chosen by three times as many men aged 35 and over than by younger men (16% vs. 5% respectively), or by women of any age. This type of vehicle was also chosen by just one in twenty (4%) of residents of the Northeast, compared to over twice as many of residents in other regions (12% of those in the Midwest, 9% of those in the South, and 11% of those in the West).
  • More women than men say that they would want to buy a minivan or van (6% vs. 1% respectively).
  • Sports utility vehicles are chosen by a greater proportion of those with children in the household than by those without kids (22% vs. 15% respectively).
  • More residents of the Northeast than those of either the South or of the West say that they would want to buy a car other than one of the types listed (10% vs. 5% and 4% respectively).

Black, Silver/Grey Top Colors of Choice....Closely Followed by Blue and Red

One in five (20%) say that they imagine this hypothetical car to be black, while about the same proportion (19%) imagine it to be silver/grey; slightly fewer choose blue (17%) or red (17%). Fewer than one in ten choose either white (8%), green (5%), gold/bronze (4%), or yellow (2%), while 7% would choose some other color.

  • Compared to women, more men indicate that black (17% vs. 24% respectively) is their color of choice.
  • By contrast, more women than men choose red (21% vs. 13% respectively).
  • Yellow is chosen among more adults aged 18-34 than it is among older adults (5% vs. 2% of those aged 35-54, and 1% of those aged 55 and over.)

Wide Range of Cars in Top-of Mind Mentions

A very wide range of top-of-mind responses emerged when survey participants were asked about the make and model that they would want to buy if they were going through a mid-life crisis and were to buy a car. Only two specific models were mentioned by more than 2% of respondents: the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang (each by 5%). Close to one in ten (8%) said that they didn't know what type of car they would buy.

Three in Four Unlikely to Buy a Car Associated with a Mid-Life Crisis

One quarter (25%) of adults say that they think they would be likely to buy a car associated with a mid-life crisis, including one in ten (10%) who say that they would be very likely to do so, and one in six (16%) who say that they would be somewhat likely to do so. Close to three in ten (28%) say that they would be not very likely to buy such a car, while roughly four in ten (42%) say that they would be not at all likely to do so. About one in twenty (4%) say that they have already bought what some might consider to be a mid-life crisis car.

  • Compared to adults aged 35 and over, three times as many adults aged 18-34 say that they think they would be very likely to do so (6% vs 18% respectively).
  • More men than women say they would be very or somewhat likely to do so (30% vs. 21% of women), while a greater proportion of those with annual household incomes of under $50,000 say they would be likely to do so (30% vs. 22% of those with incomes of $50,000 or more).
  • Half (50%) of men under 35 say they think they would be likely to buy such a car, compared to 23% of men aged 35-54 and 20% of those aged 55 and over, and women of any age.
  • Similarly, a greater proportion of women under 35 say that they think they would be likely to buy such a car compared to older women (32% vs. 21% of those aged 35-54, and 12% of those aged 55 and over.)

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of CarMax from October 20 to October 21, 2014. For the survey, a national sample of 1,005 adults from Ipsos' U.S. online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,005 adults and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Rebecca Sizelove Associate Vice President Ipsos Public Affairs 212.584.9253 [email protected]

About Ipsos Public Affairs

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