Best cars for women

Different cars appeal to different drivers, so we've rounded up a selection of vehicles that could work particularly well for women

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Dec 11, 2020

Some cars typically appeal to men, while others appeal predominantly to women. This isn’t a coincidence, as car manufacturers tailor their cars to a specific type of driver.

Male, female, young, old, tall or short - designing cars isn’t a one-size-fits-all exercise. That means that picking a car is like shopping for new clothes - you have to consider a number of options before you find something that’s just right for you.

Men and women often look for different things when they are deciding which car to choose. Research shows that safety, fuel economy and reliability are the key attributes for women, while men are typically more concerned about styling, technology and image.

American research suggests that women often gravitate towards small SUVs and compact hatchbacks. Size matters, then? Maybe so, but to paraphrase Shania Twain, a large car is unlikely to impress women much. Or something.

We’ve pulled together a list of cars that are great for women - whether you're after something affordable and cheap to run or a super-safe SUV with plenty of space. Remember, your next car could be delivered to your driveway in as little as five to 10 days and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. Just order online and the car comes to you.

Best cars for women

1. Fiat 500

Used deals from £4,490
Monthly finance from £94

Women account for around 60% of sales of the Fiat 500. Indeed, insurance data suggests the figure could be as much as 73%. Fiat knows a thing or two about designing cars that women want, although we think the Fiat Panda Mamy was probably a step too far.

The 500 is a little more unisex than a Panda designed for ‘young mothers’, but the chic Fiat remains incredibly popular amongst female buyers. From the charming styling to the retro-inspired cabin, the 500 is one of the most characterful small cars you can buy. That's why so many people are prepared to shun the more practical (and cheaper) city car options.

There are hundreds for sale on the BuyaCar website, and with more than 500,000 personalisation options available when new, it’s like selecting from your favourite box of chocolates. Well it would be if you could fit 500,000 chocolates in one box... For the tastiest treats, check out some of the special editions, including GQ, By Diesel and By Gucci.

FIAT 500 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Vauxhall Adam

Used deals from £4,899
Monthly finance from £115

A 2020 study of car insurance quotes crowned the Vauxhall Adam as the most female-biased car in the UK. The irony of the baby Vauxhall having a boy’s name isn't lost on us.

In an effort to distance the Adam from the more sensible Corsa supermini, Vauxhall filled the brochure with photos of bright young things. Trim levels called Jam, Glam and Slam tell you all you need to know about the audience profile. This is a car targetting young drivers. If that’s not enough, the colours included James Blonde, Purple Fiction and Saturday White Fever. How very groovy, baby.

We’d recommend the Adam Glam, which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a digital radio, Bluetooth, cruise control and a fixed glass sunroof. It’s not as practical as the Corsa, but the Vauxhall Adam looks more stylish and boasts a high quality cabin. You’d better Adam and Eve it.

VAUXHALL ADAM BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Volkswagen Beetle

Used deals from £10,745
Monthly finance from £201

The Mini Hatchback, Fiat 500 and Volkswagen Beetle are three of the most fashionable cars you can drive, with each one boasting a ‘back to the future’ retro vibe. Of the three, the Beetle is the most practical, even if rear-seat space is still a little on the tight side.

This generation of Beetle didn’t sell in big numbers, but that says more about market trends than it does the quality of the car and there should still be plenty to choose from, including a range of bright colours that give the car a unique feel. Indeed, there’s a lot to love about this ‘Bug’, including a dashboard inspired by the original version.

Crucially, the seats are comfortable with a good range of adjustment, which is handy as women are on average around six inches shorter than men. The trim level that best suits you will be a matter of taste, but we’d recommend going for Design trim, if only for the door panels, upper dashboard and steering wheel details to be colour coded with the exterior paintwork.

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volvo XC40

Used deals from £22,290
Monthly finance from £262

If you fancy a compact SUV that ticks the safety, fuel economy and reliability boxes, then look no further than the Volvo XC40. Make no mistake, this is one of the most desirable SUVs you can get, thanks to its chunky styling, sophisticated interior and long list of standard equipment.

Euro NCAP awarded the XC40 a maximum five-star safety rating when it was crash-tested in 2018, with an impressive 97% for adult occupant protection. Standard safety features include multiple airbags; pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection; Isofix points in the rear for safely mounting child seats and a Care Key for setting driver-defined top speeds.

As for fuel economy, the T2 petrol engine should return up to 40.4mpg, while the T4 and T5 plug-in hybrids could deliver as much as 134.5mpg - provided you regularly charge the battery - while offering up to 27 miles of electric range per charge. The XC40 finished 14th out of 75 cars in the 2020 Driver Power satisfaction survey, so that’s the reliability covered.

VOLVO XC40 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Hyundai Tucson

Used deals from £9,094
Monthly finance from £158

The Hyundai Tucson is a little more straight-laced than the Volvo XC40, but research in America suggests that women are fans of Korean SUVs, such as the Tucson. It’s easy to see why, not least because the Tucson is backed by a five-year unlimited mileage warranty for serious peace of mind - whether you get a new or used model.

It’s one of the most practical cars in its class, with a cabin and boot that are significantly larger than the Nissan Qashqai or Renault Kadjar. On the road, the Tucson feels comfortable and composed, with four-wheel drive available if you’re after more control in slippery conditions.

We'd avoid the entry-level S trim, but the other models in the range are well equipped. The high specification Premium SE versions even include the likes of heated rear seats, ventilated and heated front seats, keyless entry and start, autonomous emergency braking and stylish 19-inch alloy wheels if you want the car to feel seriously high-tech.

HYUNDAI TUCSON BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mini Convertible

Used deals from £9,450
Monthly finance from £176

Insurance data shows that the Mini is one of the most popular cars for women. On a Tinder profile, it would list great styling, a high-quality cabin, fun-to-drive handling and a range of personalisation options as reasons to invite it out to dinner. The Mini Convertible goes one better by offering some roof-down fun.

It’s arguably the most attractive version of the Mini, with the fabric roof doing little to reduce its appeal. Roof down, you get to enjoy the sun’s rays and the admiring glances of pedestrians on the high street. Roof up, it’s as quiet and smooth as the metal-roofed Mini hatchback.

Admittedly, the boot is a little on the small side, but life’s too short for many motorists to drive a dull and predictable hatchback or SUV. Top tip: the entry-level Cooper is every bit as fun as the more expensive and more powerful versions, so you could save yourself a packet here. A used example could cost less than the price of a new city car. Need we say more?

MINI CONVERTIBLE BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Renault Zoe

Used deals from £6,300
Monthly finance from £123

In a recent Good Housekeeping article, motoring expert Ginny Buckley declared that women are more likely to buy electric cars than men. She selected her top five electric cars, which included the Renault Zoe - one of our favourite electric vehicles.

It’s one of the most affordable electric cars on the BuyaCar website, so it’s the ideal choice if you’re thinking of rocking down electric avenue. Seven years on from the launch of the original version, the chic styling has aged rather well, while the conventional cabin should appeal to drivers who don’t fancy something too OTT, just because the car is powered by electricity.

Renault has evolved the Zoe over the years, so later cars are likely to be nicer to live with and offer a longer electric range per charge. Bank on a driving range of between 70 and 150 miles depending on the version of the car you choose.

It’s also worth noting that drivers had to pay a monthly battery lease alongside the cost of the car with some earlier models, so you'll want to check whether the cost of the battery is included with any used model you consider, so you can budget accordingly.

A benefit of choosing a car with a battery lease is that if the battery range drops below a certain level, it is Renault's responsibility to replace it. This means that you shouldn't end up driving a car with a rapidly shrinking electric range and face a big bill to fit a new battery pack.

REANULT ZOE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW Z4

Used deals from £13,990
Monthly finance from £257

If the idea of a hatchback, SUV or electric car leaves you cold, the BMW Z4 sports car - which features a folding hard-top - should warm things up. Research shows that the Z4 appeals to male and female buyers, although data from America shows that 60% are driven primarily by women. 

This is all very nice, but what’s more enticing is the fact that a used Z4 could cost less than the price of a new Ford Fiesta. Highlights include that folding metal roof, a 180-litre boot that’s just about large enough for a weekend away, and styling that looks just as good today as it did a decade ago.

Although many of your friends might gravitate towards the Audi TT, the Z4 is more exclusive and excellent for long journeys. We’d recommend a car with the optional Comfort Package, as this adds a wind deflector, active cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a pair of cup holders.

BMW Z4 BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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