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Gen X Prefers Practical Cars

If you’re a member of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1982), your car of choice is probably practical, spacious and family-friendly. So says a recent study from, which identified some of the most popular automakers and brands among Gen-X buyers – today’s 29- to 46-year-olds.

Volkswagen topped’s list of Gen-X’s preferred automakers with nearly 44 percent of its buyers hailing from the generation. Following closely behind were Land Rover and Audi at just over 40 percent, with Mazda and Jeep rounding out the top five at around 38 percent each. Other automakers popular with Generation X include Infiniti, Acura, Nissan, Honda and Mini.

While a taste for large, practical cars is apparent when examining Gen-X’s favorite car brands, it becomes even clearer when investigating the generation’s most popular models. Four of the top ten vehicles purchased by Gen-X buyers were minivans, and eight have three rows of seats.

Volkswagen’s Routan topped the list with two-thirds of its sales going to members of Generation X, while the Nissan Quest, Nissan Armada, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Sienna, Volvo XC90 and Infiniti QX56 each finished in the top ten. Only the high-performance BMW M3, which came in second, and the compact Chevrolet Aveo broke up the list’s dominance by SUVs and minivans.

“Generation X consumers prefer vehicles that fit their changing lifestyles, and helped spur the demand for automakers to build larger, roomier vehicles,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of trends and analysis at “This post-baby boomer generation has greater purchasing power and values practical luxury and safety features for their families.”

Not surprisingly, Generation X has little overlap with Generation Y – even in automotive interest. A recent study examining Generation Y – today’s 11- to 28-year-olds – discovered Scion and Mitsubishi to be the generation’s favorite brands. The study also found that Gen-Y buyers gravitate towards cars they can customize, choosing aftermarket parts and body kits over the family-friendly practicality enjoyed by Generation X.

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