How often do you see a Ferrari or a Lamborghini and think, “That guy must be worth a fortune?” According to a recent survey... he probably isn't. In fact, a breakdown by TrueCar.com of the most popular cars in the wealthiest ZIP codes is full of surprises.
Not the least of which is the total lack of supercars. Here's the list, from most to least.
#1) Mercedes Benz E-Class
Average Cost: $51,000 - $92,000
Why It's Popular: Mercedes last forever, and they're the mark of wealth with taste. Everybody knows Mercedes cost money, but they let you flaunt it without being tacky about it.
#2) BMW 328
Average Cost: $36,500 - $47,600
Why It's Popular: Just like the Mercedes, a BMW offers luxury and style at a price. On the other hand, this also is BMW's workhorse; this isn't an M-class racer with enormous horsepower. It's a stately sedan. In other words, it's a family car, just a better class of family car.
#3) Mercedes Benz C-Class
Average Cost: $34,800 - $61,400
Why It's Popular: Largely for the same reasons we listed above: luxurious, tasteful, and high-quality.
#4) Lexus RX
Average Price: $39,100 - $55,400
Why It's Popular: The only SUV to make the top five, the Lexus RX is an SUV with sedan handling that also happens to be a respected brand. It's a top quality car, and the kind of thing a person with money to spend and a family to care for would pick up.
Fair warning, this is where the list starts getting... odd.
#5) Toyota Prius
Average Cost: $24,000 to $33,000
Why It's Popular: This isn't a typo. Among the richest Americans, the Prius is the fifth most popular car. Why? The short answer is eco-prestige and, as you might have noticed by now, the rich are a bit tightfisted. The appeal of helping the environment while saving a buck has a certain allure.
But surely this is just an anomaly and the next car will be a luxury brand...
#6) Volkswagen Jetta
Average Cost: $16,675 to $24,000
Why It's Popular: True, Volkswagens are costly to repair. But in order to need to fix them, they'll need to break first. Volkswagens are legendarily reliable vehicles and that has a certain appeal.
So, now the luxury cars again, right?
#7) Honda CR-V
Average Cost: $22,000 - $30,000
Why It's Popular: Well, Hondas are very reliable. And people like SUVs. And that's pretty much all we've got, aside from the fact that the rich apparently like to save money.
They really like to save money.
#8) Honda Accord
Average Price: $21,400 - $31,930
Why It's Popular: It's fuel efficient, it's a nice car, it has a nice low auto insurance rate... if you like to save money, this is definitely a car for you. And apparently the rich like to save money.
#9) Toyota Camry
Average Cost: $22,500 - $31,200
Why It's Popular: Cheap, indestructible, fuel-efficient, good ride... apparently the richest 1% want the same thing out of a car that the rest of us do. So is this list really going to end with no more luxury brands?
#10) BMW X5
Average Price: $47,500 - $64,200
Why It's Popular: It's a BMW SUV. If you've got the money and the kids to haul to soccer practice... what's not to love?
In short, the rich want cheap, fuel-efficient reliable cars. Huh. We guess in one respect the 1% really are just like us.