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Men want flashy; women are savvy -- in cars, that is

Men go for looks. Women are practical.

It sounds like an explanation a relationship therapist would offer for why a beautiful woman is hanging on the arm of a not-so-handsome but smart or successful man.

Who knew car ownership is so much like dating or marriage?

But a study done by TrueCar.com shows that our choices in transport might be similar to our choices in love.

The study examined gender differences in auto buying. It is based on more than eight million 2010 retail purchases.

“Women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights at TrueCar.com. Men, he said, purchased vehicles that were “big and brawny” or “high-priced, high-performance” vehicles.

The top four brands favored by men were Ferrari, where males accounted for 93.6 percent of 2010 retail sales; Maserati; Porsche, and GMC.

Mini scored big with women, who accounted for 47.9 percent of its 2010 retail sales. Kia followed with 46.8 percent; Honda, 46 percent; and Nissan, 45.5 percent.

I find this phenomenon interesting. I chose my car, not one of the brands above, mostly because it’s stylish and fun to drive. But, it’s a small, three-door hatchback. So with a 91-lb. Labrador, my family and sometimes friends along for a ride, it’s not always practical.

I wonder, as a woman, what that says about me.

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