At one point back in the 1980s, Volvo and Saab were the definitive symbols of the successful intellectual, and the most popular cars for college professors, major company managers and others that fell into that category.
The Volvos and Saabs weren’t just pricey, they were considered conservative and understated works of art by their owners, as opposed to the vulgar flashiness of obnoxious new money earned on Wall Street at that time, for instance.
It was such a trend, in fact, that the American psyche would immediately equate the person behind the wheel of a Volvo or Saab with intelligence and success.
There was even trend in Europe at some point wherein Saab drivers would wave to each other in passing.
Those days are gone. Saab went bankrupt in 2011, and while Volvo hasn’t lost its smart people appeal, the original ‘cult of intellectual driving’ has broadened its interests. Today, no car brand has such loyal followers as Saab and Volvo once did among this crowd.
There is also no real correlation between intelligence and car ownership—and there never really was. It was a trend based on style, not science.
And today, what ‘smart’ people drive varies a lot by geography.
In the UK, ‘intelligent’ people are increasingly drawn to taxis or even public transportation, while in Scandinavian countries, the bicycle is ‘smartest’ way to get around.
Overall, though, especially in the West, ‘smart’ people aren’t overly impressed with ultra-luxury cars and high sticker prices. To the intellectual mind, they’re simply not rational and represent a weakness in the form of having something to prove.
‘Smart’ people also tend to do a fair amount of homework before buying a car. Today, that means that intelligent people can be seen in a variety of vehicles depending on lifestyle.
Some drive pickup trucks because they need to tow a trailer; some will give in and buy luxury cars; and others tend to the eco-friendly and fuel-efficient. They’re all looking for rationality, reliability and efficiency. Related: Musk Sleeping At Tesla Factory To Address Model 3 Woes
And with that in mind, here is our Top 3 list of cars for ‘intelligent’ people in 2018:
The smart buyer will always check the safety rating first. There are choices to fit nearly everyone with a 5-star rating in every category. But for 2018, unlike many other brands, Mercedes provides some valuable safety features as standard in many of its vehicles. The German auto maker is also known for its advanced safety systems and has been on the cutting edge of active safety technology development for years.
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With reliability high on the intelligent driver list, Toyota is a favorite. According to the latest studies, the most reliable car brand for 2018 is Toyota. The Japanese car maker wins out in six categories of reliability—more than any other brand--while General Motors came in second by winning five categories. The studies were based on responses from more than 35,000 original owners of 2015 model-year measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles.
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For efficiency, the intelligent mind gravitates necessarily toward the hybrids and electric vehicles. Smart people like smart cars. But the average smart person doesn’t like to overspend on a car and Tesla’s higher price tag is keeping this from become a major cult of intellectual driving. The list of available all-electric vehicles is growing at a steady clip as more automakers introduce new models. Electric car range is growing as well, and prices are coming down.
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Today, driving choices are limited to smart people driving Saabs and Volvos, ‘nouveau-riche’ and obnoxious penny stock winners driving Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and everyone else driving a Chevy.
If you’re smart and you don’t know what to drive, you can take an intellectual personality test by Myers-Briggs to figure out the best set of wheels for you.
If you fall into one the “Analysts” categories, you might be drawn to the Jeep Wrangler, the Toyota 4Runner or a Tesla. For the “Diplomats” out there, it’s probably a VW Touraeg TDI, Volkswagen Bus or Range Rover Sport, while “Sentinels” might like a Toyota Prius, an Audi 8 or maybe even a Ford.
By Jan Bauer for Safehaven.com
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