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Bankrate's 2007 New Car Guide
For women mostly
Women have become major players in the auto world and they're getting more respect.
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For women mostly
Top 5 'chick' cars

Remember the TV commercial that showed a bunch of guys working out in a gym and one cringing with shame when it came over the PA system that the driver of a blue minivan parked in the lot had left the headlights on?

The otherwise very macho-looking guy was so embarrassed he owned such a "chick car" that he ignored the announcement -- preferring to let his battery go dead than to let his workout buddies know he was the driver of such wimpy wheels.

Some auto-industry observers say that kind of attitude contributed to a negative perception of minivans as soccer-mom specials and helped destroy the market for the highly utilitarian vehicles.

And it's these kinds of emotional and perceptual considerations that make marketing tough for carmakers. On one hand, they recognize the powerful influence women have today in the auto marketplace while they simultaneously have to avoid sending a message to men that they shouldn't be caught dead driving these cars.

One model's marketing clearly is not concerned with the macho-man market: The Volkswagen New Beetle had a flower vase protruding from the dash when it was introduced in 1996 and still does.

It should come as no surprise, then, that when Bankrate asked readers to name the top "chick cars," the VW New Beetle came out at the top of the heap.

Top 5 'chick cars'
Mini Cooper:

Originally conceived as a people's car to rival VW's Beetle when it was first introduced in 1959, today's Mini has evolved into more of a fashion statement than an automotive breakthrough. Women love its easy-to-park size and loveable-as-a-pug looks. It handles like a go-cart, which also inspires confidence. And didn't one of the original supermodels, Twiggy, own one long ago?
Source: Bankrate.com
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-- Posted: Oct. 24, 2007
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