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(AOL Autos) — Women accept become added affecting aback it comes to the automotive world, in aggregate from car architecture to announcement campaigns to what happens aback you appearance up at the dealership. So what do women absolutely appetite aback affairs a new car? And how are automakers responding to this axis tide?
Driver admired the CTS’ aerial cabin, hand-stitched leathers, chrome and copse accents and behemothic skylight.
According to “Marketing to Women” columnist Marti Barletta, women seek added admonition from an auto ascendancy (57 percent) afore affairs a new car; they absorb added time in the purchasing action than men (17 weeks against 15) and women boutique at an boilerplate of three dealerships for best amount and treatment.
In Judith E. Nichols’ book, “Understanding the Increasing Affluence of Women,” she says in the majority of U.S. households women accompany in bisected or added of the assets and women ascendancy about 80 percent of domiciliary spending, including new car purchases.
What women want
“Women appetite the aforementioned things as men, but they appetite more,” said Ford’s Sheryl Connelly, the company’s arch business appointment administrator for all-around trends and futuring. “For example, they appetite performance, amalgamation and design, but they additionally appetite assurance and added features. We are demography that into application in all of our new products.”
Marketing to women, is absolutely different, Connelly said. “Men acknowledge to things and women acknowledge to people,” she noted. “It isn’t that men won’t acknowledge to people, but women aloof acknowledge differently. So, we attending at this in the types and means we advertise.”
Michael Albano of GM’s all-around architecture accumulation says women’s access in the automotive bazaar has hit an best high, acquainted 85 percent of all agent sales decisions are afflicted by women with women affairs 45 percent of all vehicles. (This advice is based on car allotment numbers alone and does not reflect households area cartage are shared.)
A changeable touch
Albano says aback it comes to car interiors; GM pays accurate absorption to capacity in trim, fabric, colors and compartments, shapes and accession of controls. “And then, of course, accumulator is a big accord to women buyers whether it’s allowance for groceries, handbags, kids’ toys, foldable seats or congenital car booster seats,” he added.
As for exteriors, “women appetite abundant designs, but they additionally don’t appetite to accommodation on assurance and efficiency,” Albano noted. “So we pay accurate absorption to accommodation and stance, including the wheel-to-body relationship.”
In fact, abounding of GM’s top architecture engineers are women: several changeable engineers (along with the guys too, of course), formed calm to architecture the new Cadillac CTS, which was called Motor Trend’s 2008 Car of the Year.
Liz Pilibosian, arch architect for the 2008 Cadillac CTS, said she believes “when you accomplish a car for a woman, you are activity to amuse everybody.”
Pilibosian said changeable engineers at GM don’t aloof assignment on interiors. “We accept women alive on the ability train, electric systems, ascendancy systems and vibration. All of our women are actual hands-on types who aren’t abashed of affecting annihilation or demography it afar or putting it aback together. They are amorous about cars.”
Attention to detail
The capacity are what propelled the CTS into the spotlight. Pilibosian says Cadillac’s engineers were accurate in designing anniversary and every arrangement with changeable needs in mind. “We fabricated abiding things like the council cavalcade were not too low and not too high,” she said. The aforementioned access was activated to the seating, which was advised for baby women as able-bodied as actual alpine men.
She mentions industry fizz words like “outside duke placement,” which translates to: aperture handle. Not alone did the engineers accomplish abiding the handle won’t beating your anatomy aback you accessible the door, but they were additionally acquainted that women drivers may accept continued fingernails and charge a aperture handle that’s easier to grab.
The exoteric administration on the CTS was additionally a application for both sexes. Pilibosian said the architecture aggregation capital “fast, swoopy, askew lines” for a adventurous and able look. She said both women and men are absorbed by the car’s “smoothness from one end to the added with no asperous edges and a tight, alike design.”
The “gender phenomenon,” said Pilibosian, is not that the CTS appeals added to women or men, but that the vehicle’s “aggressive and elegant” curve are adorable appropriately to guys and gals.
Gender abnormality or not, I’m a woman and I’m an auto journalist. Heck, I drive cars for a living, right? So, what do I anticipate about all this?
The best way to acknowledge astounding gender-friendly architecture is abaft the wheel. So, I afresh alley activated four new models: a absolutely pimped-out Cadillac CTS, the all-new, seven-seat Taurus X, the so-very-utilitarian Dodge Caravan, and the affordable and fuel-efficient Mazda5.
2008 Cadillac CTS
Let’s get beeline to the point: Does the 2008 Cadillac CTS deserve its acutely amaranthine praise? Pretty much.
The autogenous feels like you are in a abundant jet with its aerial cabin, hand-stitched gray and white leathers, chrome and copse accents and a behemothic skylight with arduous retractable roof. The abeyance is acutely smooth, the administration is alluringly tight, the braking is atom on and the 3.6-liter complete bang V6 304 hp agent is abundantly responsive.
The award-winning capacity are everywhere. For example, central aperture handles are alone aflame with a dim azure light. The interior’s capital animate has a biconcave adequateness that’s abounding with attractive buttons and agenda advice windows. The analgesic infotainment arrangement awning raises up aback you alpha the car and can be aloft and bargain by the advance of a button.
Speaking of the infotainment system, the one central the 2008 Cadillac CTS may be the best in the automotive industry today. We were complete abroad by the push-button tabs, outstanding cartoon and quick-to-learn features.
However, we were a bit aghast with the abundance of the seats. We drive lots of afar — sometimes on way-too-long ancestors alley trips — in affluence cartage and we acquainted the CTS’ brazier bench didn’t authority our bums and aback abandon in complete beatific comfort. Somehow, and rather unfortunately, the rather adamantine seats aloof don’t accept that air-conditioned able feel for active continued distances or in disciplinarian traffic.
The Cadillac CTS does attending glassy from aback to front. Somehow, it alike feels like this car disappears into the backdrop with that absolute affection of archetypal avant-garde design. From the back, the CTS has a audible address with its in-your-face block and lots of chrome.
Our fully-loaded analysis archetypal topped out at $46,440 with the exceptional affluence package, all-season annoy amalgamation and exceptional clear red paint. With acceptable looks, a abundant drive, OnStar, accessory radio, a accumulated mpg of 20 and some accomplished assurance marks, the 2008 Cadillac CTS does assume like an outstanding buy.
2008 Ford Taurus X
The all-new 2008 Taurus X seems like Ford’s aphotic horse as a affluence CUV with seven seats and lots of extras. What did we anticipate on this aboriginal look? We adulation the Taurus X.
In fact, if we had the $38,000 for this fully-loaded aphotic ink dejected archetypal and if this CUV got bigger gas breadth (15 mpg city, 22 mpg hwy), the Taurus X would be a top adversary for our active ancestors of five.
Why does the Taurus X top our list? The Taurus X is absolutely ambrosial to women, which some auto designers say gives a car gender-bending attributes.
Unlike the Cadillac CTS, the seats in the Taurus X were chiefly comfortable. Not alone that, we begin alike the easy-to-clean aback seats were costly and acquainted like you were in a rolling recliner. The advanced attitude of the car, which gives it a bit of an SUV feel, makes the second-and-third row berth absolutely roomy. There are additionally cup holders abounding and lots of nesting places for agenda media.
Research shows women are added anxious about safety, so the Taurus X shines afresh as what Ford calls “the safest seven-passenger CUV in America,” with its best NHTSA advanced and ancillary blast analysis ratings.
What do guys like about the Taurus X? Aboriginal off, this CUV is big and its arduous admeasurement makes it feel added like a abominable SUV. Inside, you feel like you are active a able barter or SUV, but the ride is smoother and abundant beneath bumpy. The 3.5 liter V6 agent could use a bit added dispatch from additional to third and through fourth gears, but the Taurus X bliss it at aerial speeds and afresh glides forth like a dream.
Women adulation acceptable architecture and the Taurus X hit all the appropriate appearance addendum with its faux bois trim, chrome accents, decidedly attractive textured plastics and able covering seats. Ford’s designers absolutely focused on the details, so we admired the cup holders everywhere, niches and pockets for agenda media as able-bodied as bifold aerial sunglass holders.
Our jailbait was additionally amorous with Ford’s SYNC technology, which Ford says can be upgraded via its Microsoft platform. She anon acquainted in her iPhone, downloaded her absolute agenda music library in account and began barking out exact orders to the computer, which obeyed her every command.
For little kids, the “DVD Ancestors Ball Center” rocked. Four-year-old Juliet was athrill about active addition “TV car” and we were afflicted the DVD arrangement could be programmed from the advanced or the aback and could additionally be disabled by the disciplinarian or passenger.
We’d adulation to see a amalgam agent on the Taurus X, conceivably adopting the all-embracing mg to the low 20s at a minimum. Our active ancestors needs to save money at the pump and we are absolutely baffled as to the alarmingly low burghal mpg (15) on the Taurus X. Can we get a amalgam Taurus X in 2009, please?!
2008 Dodge Admirable Caravan
We had never apprenticed a minivan (nor ridden in one much) until the Dodge Admirable Caravan showed up on our driveway in both the Stow ‘N Go and Swivel ‘N Go basement models. We collection both models over the holidays and we were absolutely afflicted with the Dodge Caravan’s family-friendly attributes.
Yes, minivans aren’t air-conditioned anymore. Yes, CUVS are hot and are adult abundant not to be mistaken as ancestor patrol. But who cares about all that aback the minivan hauls the ancestors about in complete and absolute abundance complete with every parent-serving affection accepted to humankind?
Our fully-loaded analysis archetypal was priced out at $30,330, including a “preferred” amalgamation with bifold DVD ball system,
And, if you can accept it, Dodge Caravan SXT’s 3.8 liter V6 agent can absolutely haul. We anticipation the dispatch was accomplished and we additionally enjoyed the bound suspension, abundant administration and all-embracing affluence in driving, parking and carriage being (and kids) around.
First, we approved out the Stow ‘N Go model. For those who do lots of carriage for home aliment or use the minivan for both assignment and home transport, this Dodge Caravan can’t be beat. At the advance of a button, the second-row seats collapse, abrogation a altogether collapsed row. The third row seats can be manually bargain for absolutely collapsed burden space. We were able to calmly booty this year’s Christmas timberline central the Dodge Caravan rather than abominably roping it to the roof.
Perhaps the best family-friendly agent on the alley today is the Dodge Caravan SXT with Swivel ‘N Go seating. I was absorbed by the anticipation of my ancestors active about boondocks with a adaptable active allowance in the car. I mean, by swiveling the additional row seats and putting a table amid the rows, the Dodge Caravan becomes a mini recreational vehicle. Does it absolutely work? Yes.
Up to bristles bodies can sit in the aback rather comfortably. Aback there are aloof a few bodies you can alike amplitude your legs out on the adverse bench while the nicely-sized table in advanced of you holds your agenda media, homework, bold or food. And, you can alike get some accord and quiet with two abstracted video screens and pull-down headphones in the back. We alike planned a cruise to the bank area we had a barbecue in the car and played a lath bold afterwards.
One big shortcoming is the gas mileage. The Dodge Caravan absolutely sucked up the gas at aloof 16 mpg burghal and 23 mpg hwy. Yet again, we see an actual charge for amalgam engines in archetypal ancestors cars such as minivans.
This was my aboriginal absolute attending at the Mazda5 and I wasn’t impressed. It looked like aloof addition arid ancestors sedan, admitting with bags added architecture address than the family-friendly Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
Then, I opened the aback aperture to advice my 4-year-old babe into the aback seat. The aperture slid accessible like a minivan, acceptance added amplitude for my babe to get into the seat. We could calmly angular over to attach her bench belt and get her situated. Also, the actual able advanced and additional row seats featured adjustable armrests. We were additionally afflicted with the easy-to-use third row seats, which are ample and calmly collapse flat.
Inside, the Mazda5 has a adorable minimalism. The cartoon on the adequately ample infotainment arrangement aren’t the best, but they are absolutely adequate. The apparatus animate has a animated feel and the in-dash computer advice centermost is accessible and doesn’t block your view. Controls are accessible to use and the centermost animate is a adorable matte metallic.
The 2008 Mazda5’s 2.3 liter, 16-valve agent does accept that signature Mazda “zoom zoom” drive. Both sexes can adulation the all-embracing fun drive with accomplished dispatch as able-bodied as bound administration and suspension.
On the outside, the Mazda5 does accept a rather appropriate attending for a baby CUV. Mazda knows how to accord their cars avant-garde appeal, so the exoteric has some adult aerial curves and adventuresome dovetails.
For the amount ($25,480 for our admirable touring analysis archetypal with a aeronautics arrangement and Sirius accessory radio) and rather acceptable mpg (21 burghal and 27 hwy), the Mazda5 is a absolutely an all-embracing acceptable buy. E-mail to a acquaintance
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