We recently reported that the young buyers of Generation Y gravitate towards cars they can customize, and middle-aged Gen X-ers lean toward practical vehicles that can haul their kids and accompanying gear. But what about Baby Boomers? Has a life of hard work paid off for today's 46- to 64-year olds? In short, yes, because according to a new study by TrueCar.com, they're driving their dream cars.

The study, which reviewed the purchasing habits of more than 200,000 car buyers, determined that the top brands purchased by Baby Boomers are premium automakers known for high-end appointments, luxury and flashy appeal. First on the list of popular Baby Boomer brands is Mercedes-Benz, which sells 56 percent of its vehicles to Baby Boomers. Mercedes is closely followed by Jaguar and Porsche. Other high-end brands preferred by Baby Boomers include BMW, Lexus and Volvo.

"Many Baby Boomers are experiencing another phase in their life," said Jesse Toprak, TrueCar.com's vice president of trends and analysis. "The nest is empty and because they have reached a heightened income level giving them both time and financial freedom, they chose vehicles that provide them with a luxurious, safe feel and a youthful, sporty drive."

Toprak's analysis is particularly true when TrueCar.com's study is broken down by model. Leading the pack among cars popular with Baby Boomers is Porsche's sporty yet luxurious Boxster, with more than 84 percent of buyers hailing from the Baby Boomer generation. Following closely behind is the BMW 6-series convertible and Mercedes SL-class, which share similar traits. Other sporty, high-end models preferred by Baby Boomers include the Audi A5 and S5 convertible, Volvo C70 and Chevrolet Corvette, each of which see more than 60 percent of their sales going to Baby Boomers.

"Baby Boomers' buying preferences have shifted as their lifestyles have changed," said Kristen Andersson, an automotive analyst at TrueCar.com. "[They] can now afford the luxury vehicles they had been desiring, but were unable to purchase due to priorities with raising a family."

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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