Who Drives What in L.A.

From the Audi to the BMW to the Tesla, take LAMag’s course in drivers ed for L.A.
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Tesla Drivers

MONIED CREATIVE-CLASS members. Average household income of Model S owners is $151,000, 71 percent male. Tesla overall leans heavily Causcasion (87 percent) childless (66 percent), older (median age 54) and homeowning (88 percent). High-profile Hollywood owners appalled at meltdown of CEO Elon Musk may be headed for off ramp.

Porsche Drivers

TOTAL CAR guy (even if female). Brand drips with totemic male power and status. Jerry Seinfeld-style fanatics fill hangers at Santa Monica airport with choice models. Adding sporty SUVs won over L.A. women,  from Hollywood pros (Macan compact SUV) to multimillionaire Holmby Hills realtors-to-the-stars (Cayenne S Turbo).

Jeep Drivers

THE WRANGLER has long been identified as a gay icon, especially among women. (Jezebel awarded Wrangler third place, behind Subaru’s Forester and Outback, in its survey of Top 10 lesbian rides.) Women make up around 30 percent of Wrangler’s sales, and Jeep owner FCA promotes the brand with lifestyle-specific marketing.

Lexus Drivers

CAPRICORNS WHO want a car to love that loves them back. Strong appeal among L.A. ethnic and racial cohorts: Asian, Black, Hispanic. Has few of the status hangups and none of the dark baggage of German luxury brands. Got a foothold in Hollywood in the ‘90s among Jewish execs as an alternative to Mercedes and never looked back.

Audi Drivers

TECHNOCRATS THAT manupulate the gears of power in PR and enterainment law. Severe styling and tech-saturated cabins on A7 model appeal to pros whose jobs are to displense with bullshit. A4 is L.A.’s now-and-forever ride for beleagured show biz PRs who need to be presentable at valet but not show up client’s Land Rover.

Hyundai Drivers

APPEALS TO VALUE shoppers of means, solid alternative to the German premium-car hegemony. Overall demo is younger, more culturally diverse, and likely to include those of Korean and Japanese heritage. Hyundai keeps up with the Audis and BMWs and creates its own forward-looking status legacy.

BMW Drivers

ULTIMATE DRIVING machine owners, like those of other legacy luxury brands, skew older (median age 56), wealthier (average $124,800 annual income), more settled (90 percent own homes), and male (60 percent), according to survey of 3,000 BMW owners by Hedges & Company market research firm.

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This article appears in the December 2022 issue of Los Angeles magazine