The gap between millennials and baby boomers in terms of lifestyles, perspectives and beliefs may be wide in some respects. I wondered, is the divide between their ride as wide?
Millennials are those born between 1982 and 2000. Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, influence the auto industry more than the younger drivers according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. Another article, “Why Americans, particularly millennials, have fallen out of love with cars,” cites “More than half of adults between the ages of 22 and 37 say a car is not worth the money spent on maintenance, and that they would rather be doing something other than driving.”
I think we’ve all felt that way when sitting in a traffic jam, wishing where we lived had nice, tree-lined paths and we could bike or moped our way to work. Perhaps stop at the village market on the way home for a baguette, a wedge of cheese and a bottle of crisp, white wine for dinner that night.
Hold on, that’s my chuck-it-all-and-move-to-the-Paris-countryside fantasy.
Some stats about which generation loves their autos more
According to the same article, drivers of all ages spend approximately 335 hours a year in their autos – three times as much as time spent on vacation or downtime.
My Paris countryside fantasy is sounding better all the time.
Baby boomers tend to like their drive-time better than millennials though, especially since we’re in the days of Uber and Lyft and more recently, Via and Juno. Boomers may not be driving as much since some have retired, but they still dig their road time. Millennials don’t want the hassle of driving.
And, let’s face it, it’s a hassle sometimes. I feel it, as many do, on my way into work. Still, the car industry has nothing to worry about because there are plenty of drivers, in both generations, who are still in love with their cars.
The Millennials’ Rides
By the end of 2019, the Census Bureau predicts this generation will be the largest living generational group. Insurify crunched some numbers to find out the most popular autos for this group and though they claim their data doesn’t “tell the whole story,” because many drive their parents’ cars, they came up with a list. Here are the top ten.
1. Honda Accord (from $23,720)
2. Honda Civic (from $19,450)
3. Nissan Altima (from $24,000)
4. Toyota Camry (from $24,095)
5. Toyota Corolla (from $18,700)
6. Chevrolet Impala (from $28,020)
7. Chevrolet Malibu (from $22,090)
8. Ford Focus (from $17,950)
9. Ford F-Series Pickup (from $28,155)
10. Hyundai Elantra (from $17,200)
Cost and reliability seem to be the top factors in millennials’ choices. Hondas have been on Car and Driver’s best ten car list 33 times and it’s because of the way it handles, the value and safety.
The Boomers’ Picks
This group comprises parents with kids in school or no kids and working, or retirees. The factors for choosing their ride is varied – is it roomy enough to cart around the kids; is it cool-yet-sensible to get to work; or, is it easy to get in and out of because the knees aren’t what they used to be.
Whatever the case, boomers tend to like smooth rides with easy controls – easy-to-read touchscreens, lane assist, navigation systems, rear backup cameras and all the bells and whistles that alert one of potential collisions or blind spots.
Boomers like safe, with a bit of luxury.
According to U.S. News, the autos below are good for “older adults.” Though the list isn’t based on any specific methodology, other than what auto dealers are finding adults in this age range buying, the picks are as varied as the generation.
1. Honda Fit (from $16,190)
2. Subaru Forester (from $24,295)
3. Genesis G90 (from $69,350)
4. Kia Soul (from ($16,490)
5. Hyundai Sonata (from $22,500)
6. Volvo V90 (from $51,540)
7. Buick Enclave (from $40,000)
8. Nissan Rogue Sport (from $22,340)
9. Honda HR-V (from $20,520)
10. Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (from $39,995)
11. Subaru Crosstrek (from $21,895)
12. Toyota Avalon Hybrid (from $36,650)
13. Volkswagen Atlas (from $30,895)
14. Buick Encore (from $23,200)
15. Kia Niro (from $23,490)
16. Hyundai Kona (from $19,990)
I don’t think autos are in any danger of going anywhere – in terms of our main transportation in getting from point A to point B any time soon. It doesn’t matter what generation you’re in, the feel of driving is a good one, albeit on an open road on a sunny day, as opposed to sitting in traffic. Often, city dwellers of all generations don’t own a car as public transit takes care of that stressor for them. Unless of course, the subway is down or the train is late or you just missed the bus.
Me, I’m going to get out of here before rush hour and drive my Honda to the bike store. A girl can dream.
Be safe out there.