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Malcolm Flynn | Apr 27, 2012

It’s no secret that boys and girls like different things, and that’s no different when it comes to automotive buying decisions.

US research firm TrueCar has published its third annual study which aims to quantify these varying tastes.

Based on the US market in 2011, the study found that MINI remains the brand with the highest percentage of female owners at 46.2 percent, followed by Nissan (45.7 percent), and Kia (45.6 percent).

This compares to the previous year, when 47.9 percent of MINI owners were female, followed by Kia (46.8%) and Honda (46%).

Surprising no one, the results show that male buyers make up the vast majority of exotic and sports car purchases, with 92.5 percent of Ferrari purchases made by blokes, followed by Bentley (83.4 percent) and Maserati (82.8 percent).

Porsche’s 911 is the individual model with the highest proportion of male buyers at 88.2 percent, while Volvo’s petite S40 - discontinued in 2012 - scored the gong for female sales at 57.9 percent.

"Female car buyers really gravitated toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and crossovers," TrueCar's Kristen Andersson said.

"It was the complete opposite for male buyers, who preferred either a fast and sporty vehicle with distinctive kerb appeal or a big vehicle, like a large truck or SUV."

The study also found that female buyers were far more likely to buy an imported vehicle, although Andersson says this is more a result of pickups and large SUV models - favourites among male buyers - dominating US vehicle production.

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