NEW YORK — Have you ever watched a movie scene with your favorite movie star cruising in a fast, shiny car and wished you could fill their shoes? You’re not alone. America’s most desired movie car is the Aston Martin DB5 from the James Bond movie series. According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, the Ford Mustang GT 390 from “Bullitt” comes in second and the charming Mini Cooper from “The Italian Job” finishes third.
The futuristic DeLorean DMC-12 from “Back to the Future” and the iconic Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters” round out the top five – but movies aside, more than half of the respondents (53%) had a more specific dream car in mind, with 33 percent nurturing this aspiration since their teenage years.
So, what exactly makes a car a ‘dream’?
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Carvana, found that technology (26%) was the leading factor, followed by performance (25%), safety features (25%), reliability (23%), and emotional appeal (20%). Thirty-one percent expressed a strong preference for electric engines, beating out gasoline engines (27%), and hybrid alternatives (21%).
Among the most coveted dream car models, the survey revealed that the BMW M4 (17%), Tesla Model S (16%), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (16%), Chevrolet Corvette (14%), and Ford Mustang (14%) held the top positions. In terms of style, SUVs (29%) reigned supreme, followed by luxury cars (17%) and sports cars (14%).
Comfort (20%) played a role in respondents’ dream car preferences, with climate control (30%), leather or premium upholstery (30%), and a built-in navigation system (29%) ranking as the top three must-have comfort features. When it came to color, black emerged as the most popular choice (22%). White ranked closely behind with 16 percent of participants favoring it, followed by red (13%).
“Whether it’s a performance-driven BMW or a tech-equipped Tesla, a lot of factors can play into more Americans coveting a dream car, like price, nostalgia, features, and more,” says Carvana senior vice president of inventory, Brian Boyd, in a statement. “Most interestingly, we’re living in a time when obtaining one’s dream car is more achievable than ever through the use of powerful technology and a customer-centric approach.”
Interestingly, many of those polled have gone the extra mile by giving names to their dream cars. Approximately 46 percent of those with a dream car had a name for them, with popular names including Bluebell (14%), Black Beauty (13%), and Baby (12%).
In terms of budget, the average respondent expressed a willingness to spend varying amounts on their dream car. Forty-three percent would be willing to pay more than $100,000 for their dream car, and six out of 10 even would choose to own their dream car over their dream home.
“The connection between Americans and their ideal dream car starts long before the driveway,” adds Boyd. “We see that many individuals take proactive steps towards realizing their dream cars, starting with seeking advice, creating budget plans, and conducting extensive research with the variety of digital tools at their disposal. The connection between Americans and their dream cars goes beyond mere transportation. It’s a dream nurtured since teenage years, a source of joy, and a reflection of personal identity.”
Moreover, many participants have actually taken initial steps toward buying their dream car. Three in 10 of those who have a car in mind sought advice from car enthusiasts or experts, while an equal number created budget plans to save for their dream car.
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Carvana between May 18 and May 23, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).