Cars which don't attract prejudice - Garethj
After this morning's hot thread it's clear that buying a car buys you an image, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Are there any cars which this does not apply to?

This idea has been talked about by a few friends of mine when considering a company car (coincidentally, they are all company owners and seem interested in projecting the best image).

Their reasoning (all very different companies) is that people don't want to give their money to you if you seem to flashy, something that just about staggers into the car park looks like you are about to go under and something way-out makes you look like a loose cannon.

The only ideas I could come up with are a Land Rover Defender - because you wouldn't be surprised if the Queen got out of one or if a farm worker got out of one. Alternatively a Mk1 Golf GTi could maybe swing it if it was completely standard and in a dark colour, but that's a bit old for reliable driving and modern service intervals.

One friend eventually went for a Renault Safranne because it isn't "aspirational", wasn't expensive as a 2 year old car and most people wouldn't remember what it was.

Over to you guys for some ideas!

Gareth
Cars which don't attract prejudice - El Hacko
if I remember rightly, the chairman of Bentley (the ex-Audi boss) drives a Morris Minor.. neatly avoids delicate decision making process.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Hawesy1982
To be honest, i think every car projects some kind of image, but perhaps the most image-less ones are the cars which have two or more common images:

Ford Focus, S-T reg - Could be a family car, a young persons car, an OAP's car - could have 15,000 or 150,000 on the clock - could have gone to ASDA once a week or the length and breadth of the UK once a week

Completely un-judgeable. Same goes for an Astra of similar age - normal, common, boring, but you can't pidgeon-hole the driver.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Mark (RLBS)
In all honesty I don't think I form any opinions depending on the car. Admittedly the condition of the car causes an impression, but not the car itself.

Stupid little blue lights on the windscreen washers on the other hand......
Cars which don't attract prejudice - peterb
According to "Bluff your way in Management Consulting", an elderly but not classic Ferrari.

That makes sense to me. It shouts class but not excessive expense (you can pick up a 308 or 412 for Mondeo money, although the maintenance is a little dearer!).
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Ivor E Tower
Never mind the prejudice - what about the image?
Who decides what image a car has, and I'm sure that there are people who know little about this, and just buy a car because they like it, or because there is a dealer of that make close to their home. What does that say about them?
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Cliff Pope
I think any car says something about the driver, and even an attempt to say nothing says something. A bit like clothes really.
It's best to have several, to suit the mood and the occasion.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - OldPeculiar
I don't know how much a car says about a driver but people certainly read a lot about a driver from their car!

The ones that seem to atract least predudice are the sort of middle of the road cars that you see millions of. What can you really say about a Mondeo driver?
Cars which don't attract prejudice - OldPeculiar
For your friends I would suggest the standard non descript car eg Mondeo, Focus, Astra (but not a Vectra). If however they wan't something with a bit more status and 'image' but without appearing to flashy then an Audi would seem to be a good choice - they've got good image but don't seem to attract the negativity of a BMW
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Garethj
If Mark doesn't form an opinion based on the car then their marketing has failed! Don't you realise you're not just buying a car, you're buying a dream? This week only I can let you be part of your own beautiful dream for only.... including mats and flaps.

It's a tricky balance to achieve as we're finding out. On balance so far, a Mondeo or similar might be best - surprising?

Gareth
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Mark (RLBS)
>>If Mark doesn't form an opinion based on the car then their marketing has failed!

Not really. Marketing helps me form an opinion of the desirability or quality of a car. It probably influences me too much in reality.

But it doesn't affect my opinion of someone who is driving that car.

Cars which don't attract prejudice - Mark (RLBS)
By the way, I am watching this thread; if it starts drifting in the same direction as the other one, it will get deleted.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - helicopter
Old Peculiar , please tell me what a Vectra says about someone ?

My company slug says nothing about me at all.

My car of choice is a Honda - 'The Power of Dreams'
Cars which don't attract prejudice - OldPeculiar
I don't think the Vectra says anything in particular about someone - I just wouldn't recommend it based on past quality issues although apparently the new ones are better now.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - tunacat
a SAAB .

Cars which don't attract prejudice - El Hacko
surely "image" depends on cleanliness, and type of mats...?
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Hawesy1982
Ah but what was it Jeremy Clarkson made an entire feature out of on TG the other week? "Why SAAB drivers are so smug?". So there must be a judgement there somewhere, i think he called it the dentist's car?

I'd go against the Mondeo choice in favour of the mid-sized Focus and Astra, because these are driven by all ages in all walks of life. You dont see many under 30's in Mondeos, IMO, which makes it that bit more easily pigeonholed.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Garethj
I wonder if this situation was so pronounced a few years ago, and are we now all more image conscious? Where did I put those rose tinted specs?

Despite what some car makers think - we want to be individuals and express that through our cars- there are still lots of people who prefer to move anonymously through the crowd.

Travelling everywhere by black cab is perhaps as close as we can get to it, can get expensive though!

Gareth
Cars which don't attract prejudice - helicopter
Isn't it all about image and marketing by those guys with the big colour framed glasses.Brand image is so important

Skoda Estelle = what a pl**k*r.

Skoda Fabia = what a great car.

The advertisers 'its a Skoda - honest' campaign used great humour to sell us a new image. Its a very serious business.

Cars which don't attract prejudice - tunacat
a Seat Toledo or Leon.

Cars which don't attract prejudice - Obsolete
I would say that a nice old classic car would attract admiration from most people. Examples that come to mind are an old Jaguar or an old MGB.

IDS - ex-Tory boss - drives a second hand Morgan and said it gets admiring looks, which is more than can be said for him I suspect.

A Morris Minor would - from me at least - attract sympathy, but no bad thoughts.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - John Shelton
A Nissan Almera? classless and well engineered, but not (I admit) as a company car
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Aprilia
I like my Nissan QX. Very solid, smooth engine, quiet and reliable with all the toys. I now drive it more than the C-class. Most people have no idea what it is!

Pity the Japanese don't import more of their large cars (eg Fairlady, Cima, Infiniti range). These are good, relaible large cars which sell very well in other parts of the world and are relatively classless. The UK market is all about 'image' and that is why it is now virtually impossible to buy a large car that is not a 'prestige' car.
Cars which don\'t attract prejudice - Flat in Fifth
Subaru Legacy Outback

not a banger
not a rep-mobile
not the appearance of a hoon\'s car
4wd but not an SUV
fairly anonymous but not a pleb\'s car either
not a bloated plutocrat\'s car either
reasonably kitted out
not a bimmer ;-)
only prejudice could be from committed xenophobes perhaps
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Aprilia
Agreed - Outback compares well with almost anything and is very anonymous. I might consider one as my next set of wheels.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Rob the Bus {P}
Frankly, I couldn't give a foetid dingo's kidneys what I drive. As long as it gets me from A to B in relative comfort, without breaking down and as cheaply as possible then I am happy.

I know that I have slated my current 1990 Golf GTD, but it is slowly growing on me (like mould...). Yes, the paint is faded in places. Yes, it is noisy. Yes, it has heavy steering. But is cost £100 to buy, and costs me less than £5 per week in fuel.

It has all the street cred of an Osmonds album, but do I care? Do I chuff!

Cheers

Rob
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Maz
At a football match last week an announcement came over the tannoy, asking a member of the crowd to move their Skoda. The crowd erupted with laughter and then a derogatory song.

I don't think any other Golf floored car would have got this treatment, so it's clear there's still some work to do at the grassroots level. Trouble is, the image of a car isn't based on anything factual, but the resale value a car can command will be based, at least in part, on that image.

Besides this, prejudice can be good or bad - so taking the idea of an anonymous car I'd propose the Lexus 300 and the Mazda 626 as two decent cars which could take an age to locate in an empty car park.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - M.M
>>It has all the street cred of an Osmonds album....

Come on Rob their heavy and motoring themed "Crazy Horses" showed Led Zep/Deep Purple the way to go!

M.M
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Cliff Pope
Interestingly, some cars can have contradictary images at the same time. Old Volvo estates have an image of:
1) Snooty wife on the private school run, had the car(2nd) from new. Pulls a horsebox at weekends
2) Rather dodgy antiques dealer
3) Builder or carpenter, used as a van, trying to pretend it's not used on business.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - M.M
Of course the cars that attract the least attention and prejudice are going to be the ones that haven't been mentioned so far....if you see what I mean.

Totally covert.

M.M
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Garethj
>>Of course the cars that attract the least attention and prejudice are going to be the ones that haven't been mentioned so
far....if you see what I mean.
Totally covert.
M.M


Good answer! Interesting things coming through here, it's true that the far-east manufacturers make some nice anonymous larger saloons which don't get imported here, but it seems the choice is wider than I'd first thought.

Gareth
Cars which don't attract prejudice - HF
>>>>It has all the street cred of an Osmonds album....
Come on Rob their heavy and motoring themed "Crazy Horses" showed
Led Zep/Deep Purple the way to go!


If you'd seen Rob's in-car music collection, you'd know that an Osmond's album is the very least of his worries.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Nortones2
You can be invisible in a Honda. Civic gets cut up frequently but as it has some poke (2.0 160hp) it can also surprise entry level BMW's etc.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Eric355
What about the Yaris?.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - M.M
Actually HF I did notice it on a thread some while back about music in cars.

In the same way you have to multiply a dog's age by some amount to get an equivalent human age I thought Rob's "music age" appeared to be about 150-200% of his real age!!

And he plays it on some weird tape thing.


M.M

Cars which don't attract prejudice - MikeF
I had a Subaru Legacy which apparently gave me an image of an 'old man' with 'no street cred'. I'm not sure if people said this as I drove past them on occasional snowy days as they were stuck or when I found the unmarked parking place on a soft grass verge. 160k trouble free miles in often brutal motoring conditions. I now drive an annonymous 'dentists' SAAB which apparently says I'm not rich or flash enough for a BMW but I'm an individual. However, said car is now spending the 5th day of its life in a garage so presumably I now have an image of a 'smug mug' who bought the wrong car.
Image is worth nothing if the car doesn't actually get you anywhere - I'd love to line up every marketing person in the country and explain to them that I'd really like something that works first and we'll worry about the image bit another time! Better still, lets employ top notch engineers and craftsmen and drop marketing people from companies altogether.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - bartycrouch
Any Bristol - especially if you live outside London. The older the better. The most you will attract is curiosity.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Fireball XL5
LOL!

Just looked down this thread and see all these people not interested in image and wanting to be 'anonymous'. Makes you wonder how the personal registration companies stay in business, doesn't it? I think that particular industry turns over quite a Few £million. Obviously theres a lot of people out there want an image and NOT be anonymous.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - patpending
Interesting point fireball xl5.

I saw this post and thought "SAAB". A car people recognise as something different but don't automatically dislike. A quality product you can spend your money on.

BMWs and Mercs are recognised as such but sometimes are thought of as pushy. For the same reason I would now think twice about an Audi, a car I once thought very highly of.

The people in the poshest house on my road have been driving Skodas for years - yes since before VW!

pat
Cars which don't attract prejudice - weatherwitch
All SAABs, Subaru Justy, that's about it, I'd say Corollas too(which I have) but some see them and their drivers as bland. Each to their own. I don't care how people percieve me, but care about how I percieve the car to be to me.

Mondeo, Astras, Escorts to me have a similar image, it doesn't appeal to me. But then I like Corollas, Saabs, Volvos and Defenders. I am a self confessed car snob, there's many I wouldn't touch, the image I associate with them is one I don't want to be associated with.

Funny how marketing works on us in subtle ways and I don't even have a TV to see what the latest ads are like.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - Morris Ox
I've been lukcy enough to drive a wide variety of metal in my life and the only cars to have attracted admiration rather than indifference or jealousy have been old English classics.

Nearly 10 years ago now I had a weekend in an E-Type 3.8 and that attracted admiration, smiles, wave-throughs even. Around a year earlier I had had a day in a Bentley Mulsanne. That attracted no more aggressive driving than your average BMW, but when I stopped to put some juice in I got a tirade of abuse from a group of lads in a passing Fiat; a thoroughly depressing experience.

Now I understand why at least some of the well-to-do would rather drive around in something nice but slightly dog-eared. Less obvious, less hassle.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - weatherwitch
What idiots and how simple it sadly is to really spoil someones enjoyment of a fabulous opportunity.

Classics will always get my admiration albeit tinted with a little jealousy.
Cars which don't attract prejudice - PhilW
Strange the different reactions these cars provoke. There's a beautiful red E-type that I often see round here and I must admit that it makes me smile to see such a wonderful car. Another factor mught be that E-types are often driven by people who are "getting on a bit" (no offence Morris!!)and it makes me think "there's s guy who has hankered after one since he was a youth and now his kids no longer demand all his money he has fulfilled his life's ambition - good for him and maybe one day......", what's more the people driving them often have a permanent smile from the pleasure they get from it.
Not sure about the Mulsanne - I tend to look at the car not the driver and admire that - bloke driving has probably earned it anyway - and the ain't no envy - just nice to see such (British????) engineering.By the way - just had two very good experiences with BMW drivers - one who let me out of a side road with a cheery wave yesterday and today where I made a real c***-up and got in the wrong lane, who let me in and saved me a great deal of embarassment and possible obstruction to other road users? Yep a 5 series. Thank you!
 

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