Hooniverse Asks- What Car has the Worst Stigma?

Whether it’s the VW Beetle being identified as a girl’s car, or the Camaro-mullet connection, many cars and trucks suffer from the image-projection stereotypes of their owners. Some aren’t that bad- the tweed-coated college professor image of the Peugeot 504 for instance. Some are wholly egregious- Porsche lothario anyone?
But which car suffers the worst from this fate? And would you avoid riding in, much less owning it for that very reason?
What’s worse to you- the thought of being classified a D-bag for driving an M3, or being asked where the closest Medical Marijuana dispensary is just because you’re getting out of a bio-fuel Benz?
Image sources: [Luxuo, theultimatedouchebagmachine]

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94 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What Car has the Worst Stigma?”

  1. Jimboz Avatar

    V6 Mustang. Even my mom says it's too girly for her.

    1. acarr260 Avatar

      I refuse to call them Mustangs. If it has a V6, it's an Escort in my book.

    2. engineerd Avatar

      I like my V6 Mustang. It gets decent mileage, does well on the highway, and has a lot more style than the Fusion that was going to be my other choice.
      A V6 Mustang with an auto tranny, though, is a whole other story…

  2. scroggzilla Avatar

    Miata. Hands down.

  3. PFG Avatar


    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Yes. For being one of the best affordable daily drivers, yet with an impossible stigma put on it by the jealous rednecks of the world.

  4. Manic_King Avatar

    – Ricer cars! Any heavily and badly tuned crapbox, would never ever buy one
    – Porsche Boxter ("Not enough money for 911?")
    – Suzuki X90, but also Sidekick/Tracker

    1. Blacksteelies Avatar

      Idk, this vid makes me think sidekicks could almost be cool, under the right pretenses. those being: a- being drunk as hell whenever you're behind the wheel, and b- everyone witnessing your sure to follow hoonage cannot collectively have more than one complete set of teeth.[youtube JM3vOzq8fCY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM3vOzq8fCY youtube]

    2. Goingincirclez Avatar

      What stigma does the X90 have? It was a stupid, stupid car, but I've never heard of anowner stereotype association with them.
      Unless you mean the "attention-whore" set… which would befit my former roommate who owned one for a time.

      1. rocketrodeo Avatar

        The same one the Subaru Forester has, except for men.

    3. CptSevere Avatar

      My parents had a Sidekick, and now have a Vitara and Grand Vitara. Those little Suzukis have seen more extreme terrain throughout the West, in four low, and handled the task nicely, than most lifted Jeeps and testosterone-laden trucks. I have personally taken both of those little bastards into terrain that is usually the domain of quads. They're tough vehicles, cutesy as they may be. They're not to be laughed at, I'd have one in a heartbeat. And, I'm a guy who is completely comfortable wheeling in a Deuce and a Half.

  5. citroen67 Avatar

    Chrysler Sebring convertible.

  6. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Cooper Mini and the Subaru Forrester…

    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      My dad drives a Forrester, and my mom wants a Mini. Not sure what that says about them?

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      My grandfather is extremely Jewish and decidedly heterosexual. He's got an '02 Forester. I have no idea.

  7. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I never understood the aversion to the Cayman/Boxter (properly outfitted, of course). 911s are just as prone to be driven by poseurs who've never triggered the ABS or gone above 5000rpm.
    I also think the Cayman's far better looking than the 911.

    1. Manic_King Avatar

      That Boxter was there as answer to question "which has worst stigma" , I would drive it happily, I would also drive M3, Corvette or some Lothario-Porsche, beacause I really don't care what people think, if I have good car. Ricers and small suzukis are not good.
      Still, Boxters have this stigma even if me and you can agree them being good cars.

  8. skaycøg Avatar

    I'm going with color of car, and that color is pink. I really, really dislike pink cars, whatever brand.
    The one exception is the kinda dusty pink '57 T-Bird.

    1. Goingincirclez Avatar

      Salmon? That was always a great color on 50's Fords.

    2. Deartháir Avatar

      I dunno about that. Elvis rocked the pink Cadillac pretty confidently, and I think he kinda goes against the stereotype..
      <img src="http://elviscadillacs.tripod.com/ElvisPinkCad.jpg"&gt;

      1. skaycøg Avatar

        Good evening! The King could do anything and get away with it, even drive a pink Cadillac. I'm just saying that I personally don't like pink cars.

  9. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Geo Metro Convertible. All the girliness of the New Beetle, plus the I'm-a-car-buying-idiot factor of a Yugo.

  10. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Passed a bright yellow one on the freeway today and thought to myself "I would have a hard time liking that person".
    Tragically, the H3, which is actually a great 4wheeling machine, suffers from similar stigma.
    I'd put it with the Corvette and Cayman as having the worst stigma/goodness ratio.

    1. W. Kiernan Avatar
      W. Kiernan

      I saw an H1 yesterday – yes, the real thing, the mighty conqueror of adverse terrain – with chrome rims and lo-profile tires. It was yellow.

    2. RacinG73 Avatar

      I was just going to say Hummer. The AM General is the only exception (H1 in current parlance.)

  11. Alff Avatar

    Yes, because if you bought one there's nothing you can say to refute the obvious proof that you don't give a rat's ass about cars.

  12. Alff Avatar

    Growing up, I had a friend whose mom drove a Pink '67 Mustang. Around town, there was also a Pink Cougar of similar vintage. I would not choose those for my personal ride but I remember both of those cars with a twisted fondness.

  13. Alff Avatar

    White Ford Bronco.

  14. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    Benz 600, all self respecting dictators have one. <img src="http://image.motortrend.com/f/9504255+w750/112_0712_11z+1965_mercedes_benz_600_pullman_landaulet_popemobile+front_three_quarter_view.jpg"&gt;
    Obvious with flag post option.

  15. Tanshanomi Avatar

    My brother-in-law bought an '03 H3 last week. I really wanted to give him a hard time, but he's such a positive guy, I couldn't help but be excited for him. I just hope the thing doesn't drop a driveshaft or anything.
    He traded in a Grand Caravan, so it's not as bad it sounds.

  16. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    Every time you say Cayman, a kitten dies.

  17. scroggzilla Avatar

    No. All self-respecting dictators and Jeremy Clarkson have one.

  18. Kogashiwa Avatar

    I'd say the 7th gen Celica.
    In a market where the GT-Four was a distant memory, and the 3S-GE had been replaced by the yawntastic 5S-FE Camry engine in the GT-S models and the meek little hamster of a 7A-FE in the base models for ten years, but where the attractive styling and general ease-of-ownership that came with being a Toyota had been maintained, the Celica had such a reputation as a girl's car that by the time the 7th gen rolled around it was far too late and the damage was done. The combination of the howling 2ZZ-GE and the Integra Type-R rivalling handling should have led to new respect, but by then nobody wanted to be seen in one and when Toyota discontinued the Celica a couple years later hardly anyone even noticed.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Yeah, always thought it was funny that so many enthusiasts will rock an Integra as a dd/beater, but there's no love for those Celicas.
      Seems like a great deal for a 180hp hot hatch.

      1. Han_Solex Avatar

        Wasn't geared to take advantage of the engine. Chassis wasn't tuned nearly as well ad the DC9. Plus those engines had some nasty lubrication issues. Good idea, bad execution. A different but equal malaise afflicted the MR-S: its interior would make a Fisher Price Cozy Coupe look like a VW Phaeton. I wanted to buy one quite badly, then I drove one. Sorry, even for such a sweet chassis I couldn't handle the inveterate cheapness.
        And this is coming from a lifelong Toyotaku, so I'm not dumping the Haterade all over Toyota just on that account.

  19. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    I thought Clarkson was a dictator?

  20. BGW Avatar

    Many have also suggested that the Cayman's engine placement would make for a better platform for motorsports than the 911, but apparent suggesting such in Stuttgart is greeted with a level of Teutonic hostility not seen since Basil Fawlty's head injury.

  21. Alff Avatar

    (Not a fan of cats)

  22. engineerd Avatar

    I've never seen a car with glasses.

  23. Tripl3fast Avatar

    A minivan.
    And not the turbo charged one doing 10 sec 1/4 mile or one that is used to support a race team. A box standard minivan that replaced the coupe in the garage. Oh yeah that hurts.

  24. engineerd Avatar

    Mini Cooper S. The modern one.
    I would love to drive one, even if they are overpriced and of dubious quality. Especially if the JCW hardtop weren't $38,000 loaded.

  25. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    OJ killed that too.

  26. muthalovin Avatar

    Every car that has a stigma has one for a particular reason. A majority of Miata owners, Subaru owner and Mini owners have, er, certain proclivities. H2 owners, on the whole, enjoy being gawked at. M3 owners have panache. These stigmas are not really bad; people choose their rides taking into consideration a whole host of things, one of which is "what are other people like that drive this car?" Douchebags will drive M3s. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    1. Alff Avatar

      As a Subaru owner I must confess to having certain proclivities, most of which involve inappropriate use of my right foot.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Hey, my appreciation for my mother's New Beetle has a lot less to do with my orientation than it does with my inability to drive it slowly (1.8T/manual) and its surprisingly capacious interior.

    3. W. Kiernan Avatar
      W. Kiernan

      Dude that calls himself "Muthalovin" looking askance at other people's proclivities; hah, cue Alanis Morissette!
      <img src="http://uncharted.org/frownland/pix/LISPmobile.jpg"&gt;

  27. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    You really should, they are the embodiment of a go-kart with a radio and better seats. The wife and I took an S out for a spin, courtesy of Baron BMW. We really thought about not coming back.

  28. citroen67 Avatar

    You read my mind, captain!

  29. SSurfer321 Avatar

    They're even worse in convertible form.

  30. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Land Rover. I was in Chicago over the weekend and 1 out of 5 cars on the road was a Rover. Chicago is covered in asphalt, why do you need a Rover?

    1. Black Steelies Avatar
      Black Steelies

      As off road worthy as those things are, anything short of a defender is very unlikely to see any mud on its tires.

    2. RacinG73 Avatar

      Never left Michigan Avenue, then? Read that whichever way you want – you only saw Land Rovers because you didn't leave Michigan Avenue or you didn't see the need for a Rover because you didn't leave Michigan Avenue to see all the potholes all over the rest of the city.

  31. Syrax Avatar

    The Cayman S was faster than a Carrera 2S in the tests, then Porsche changed the gearing so the 911 would outrun it. Tradition go as far as ruining your own product.

  32. njhoon Avatar

    I have yet to see any mention of the one that came to my middle aged mind first: The VW Cabriolet. Hands down it has to be this.

    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      My dad worked with an Air Force guy who drove his wife's Cabrio for a few months. That guy got made fun of left and right when he showed up for heavy equipment training.

    2. Alff Avatar

      I had one in college and took a lot of heat for it – from the guys. The girls, on the other hand, loved it. On top of that, it was an excellent, nice handling car and perfect for sunny SoCal. All in all, it was worth putting up with the grief.

    3. RacinG73 Avatar

      Ooh, hot chick! Oh, wait… it's a dude driving it? Ghe…

  33. Syrax Avatar

    Elvis owned one. Yves St. Laurent too. His one is for sale.

  34. M44Power Avatar

    I was going to say VW Cabrio, but… I think modern BMWs max out the meter.

  35. skaycøg Avatar

    No, that's more red to me. The pink I like is on this '57 BIrd (Dusk Rose). Let's see if this works…..Mike the Dog tutored me in posting pics. (Hi….it's been a loooong time.) 😉
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/1957_Ford_Thunderbird_Pink.jpg/800px-1957_Ford_Thunderbird_Pink.jpg"&gt;

    1. RacinG73 Avatar

      I'd call that 'teaberry'. 🙂

      1. skaycøg Avatar

        Pffft! You be wrong. 🙂

          1. skaycøg Avatar

            I chews not to believe you.

          2. RacinG73 Avatar

            You can chews a ready guide in some celestial voice.
            If you chews not to decide, you still have made a choice.
            You can chews from phantom fears and kindness that can kill,
            I will chews a path that's clear.
            I will chews freewill.

          3. skaycøg Avatar

            Beautiful poem! I may cry.
            I still chews my Dusty Pink '57 T-Bird, but nothing beats a Teaberry banana.
            <img src="http://a507.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/20/l_d0f44addbe9f8a457b2ba6f79c038602.jpg"&gt;

          4. RacinG73 Avatar

            Wow… be careful. This was about the 'tamest' thing I found when searching for 'pink banana'.
            <img src="http://static.zooomr.com/images/6687641_399d3c34b4.jpg"&gt;

  36. skaycøg Avatar

    Hey, Mikey! It worked!

  37. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Whoa… yeah that's definitely in it more so than mine! Not too bad though. There's not many cars that can wear pink well but I must say that appears to be one of them. That's a great pic too, it almost could be a 50's period print until you notice the clothes and the other car.
    It has indeed been a very long time! I've been trying to kickstart myself lately. What have you been up to? (Apologies if you meant that for Mike).

  38. EscortsForever Avatar

    Hey now! When you drive an Escort, there's no pretense of trying to look cool.
    Escort > V6 Mustang. Who's with me?

  39. iheartstiggie Avatar

    90's Chevy Cavalier or Dodge Neon. Both hold similar douchebagginess type driver in my book. May also be the college town I live in…

  40. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    hey…you put it out there.

  41. iheartstiggie Avatar

    I did – and that's why I quickly added the anti-gutter sentiment. Good lord – that flower really is as big as her whole noggin. Scary stuff that.

  42. skaycøg Avatar

    No, the comment was directed to you. Sorry, I didn't make it very clear. You and I interacted frequently, but it has been many months ago. Mike was kind enough to explain (and it took a lot of explaining) to me how to post a photo here. This was my first attempt since then. All is well with me….it's good to 'see' you again!

  43. skitter Avatar


  44. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I have a friend with a 2ZZ-swapped MR-S.
    Great car to drive…but not aesthetically pleasing in any way.

  45. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    My carpool buddy drives a Forester and the Mini is on my daily driver hoon list… hence the endorsement.
    I'm not hiding anything.
    I promise.
    No that's not my Duvet…

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      Yeah, I like both girls and Minis. Too bad that driving a Mini makes people think that you don't like girls. However, having a hottie as a passenger in the Mini would make me not give a damn what anybody thinks. Come to think of it, a Mini is probably a serious PM. Nothing wrong with that.

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        <img src=http://www.joanna.org/pics/yellow-mini.jpeg>

  46. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    El Camino.
    I want one.
    I don't have a mullet, chew tobacco, eye up my first cousins, drink cheap beer (usually) or have any particular hatred for members of any ethnic group, religion, or orientation.
    But I do like sweet tea. And burnouts.
    I guess that's not so bad.

  47. Alff Avatar

    At least you can credibly claim that you bought it only because it was dirt cheap. No one will doubt you.

  48. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    PT Cruiser

    1. iheartstiggie Avatar

      And Heidi Klum needs less flower and more head.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      It's just that particular VW. The '98-'05 were fine.

  49. Black Steelies Avatar
    Black Steelies

    How about rape vans? You can't exactly hop in your rusty old Ford E250 panel van [preferably with some sort of blue collar guise painted on it, think home alone] to pick up your kid from elementary school. That's damn near a misdemeanor haha.
    And how about Buicks are grandmother cars? Just because the 94 Buick Regal we own was previously my grandma's doesnt make it true! A light car with a 3.8L, just a supercharger away from being a sleeper.

  50. dolo54 Avatar

    the old vw cabrio. I really liked those cars, but every girl I ever knew had one.

  51. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    If it was always about need Hooniverse wouldn't exist.

  52. dragon951 Avatar

    I dislike the stereotype that all Porsche owners are assholes. Some of us are just aspiring assholes.

    1. TheWaterCooler Avatar

      I'd love to see the responses you'd get for bringing a LeMons 924 or 944 to a PCA event.

  53. Seth L Avatar
    Seth L

    Hummer H2. Especially now that the fad has run it's course, and they're still to expensive for most people to pickup as a dedicated offroader.

  54. Jane Harman Avatar

    Interesting post. looking forward to seeing more.