A BMW suggests owner has good taste but isn't necessarily wealthy
Ever wondered what your car really says about you? BMW 3 Series owners should be happy in the knowledge they're making a good impression.
That's according to car finance firm Zuto, which has been asking people which cars are ideal to turn up in on a first date.
However, Cambridge University doesn't agree, with its study claiming that Nissan drivers are the most generous, loyal and friendly of all car drivers based on personality profiling.
Zuto surveyed 1,847 people about which cars make a positive initial impact for the owner, with a massive 94 per cent saying first encounters with 3 Series drivers left a good lasting impression.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the second model to convey a great impression.
BMWs in general helped drivers make a good impression with 90 per cent of those quizzed giving positive feedback.
Cambridge University's research into who the most likable car drivers are had a more scientific approach to that of Zuto.
Using the latest personality profiling techniques, the University discovered that Nissan owners are much more likely to think of others before themselves, and be far more interested in economic welfare and social justice.
In the Zuto survey, Two in five said a BMW suggested the owner had good taste and it made them more attractive, though just a quarter said it gave the impression that the driver was wealthy.
Audi TT, another vehicle that conveys good impressions according to a British survey.
At the other end of the spectrum was the Vauxhall Astra, with 43 per cent saying the family hatchback left a poor impression of the driver.
The research also offered some insight into what impresses people about someone's car and driving behaviour.
Nearly half (45%) stated that a tidy interior helped win them over, while good driving skills (37%) and a sweet smelling air-freshener (30%) also evoke positive impressions.
James Wilkinson of Zuto said: 'Despite the clichés about those with certain cars overcompensating for shortcomings, our research shows that the luxury of high-end cars really does count when we form our first impression of our potential dates.
'What is clear, is no matter what you’re driving, you’ll need to spend as much time grooming your car as you do yourself if you want any prospective relationship to get out of first gear.'
But can we have too strong a connection with our cars?
According to car buying site Autovolo, yes.
Of the 2,000 people recently polled by car trading website, a staggering 78 per cent said they had an emotional connection to their motor, with 64 per cent of those considering it a member of their family.
More shockingly, 17 per cent of men interviewed said they felt as strongly for their car as they did for their life partner.
The Nissan Leaf.
The Cambridge report painted Nissan drivers in a very positive light.
'Personality assessment and automotive design are a perfect match,' said Dr Richard Mills, Doctor of Psychometrics at Cambridge University’s Psychometric Centre.
'Our research shows that Nissan drivers are generally seen as trusting, soft-hearted, generous and sympathetic. They are considerate and friendly, and think other people are honest and decent, as opposed to competitive and self-interested.'
But would any of these drivers allow their loved ones to drive their BMW or Nissan?
According to LeasePlan UK, which surveyed 1,0002 car owners, almost three in five motorists said they fully trust their partner to drive their vehicle, while just seven per cent said they wouldn't let anyone else drive their car.