Times have changed; women have become more independent and are taking hold of all the key decisions to be made in a family or in an organization. Rise in gainfully employed women, continuing suburban sprawl, and the failure of public transit to satisfy individual needs appears to be central in understanding why women have increasingly become dependent on the automobile. Research suggests that women want small, safe, maneuverable, fuel-efficient cars. Other design features that are important to women include comfort, easy access, quality of materials, color, and technology (that enhances safety and maneuverability).
Number of women car drivers have been increasing, there has been an upsurge in women taking more leisure trips than men, hence making them one of the major end users of the automobile market. In metro cities, where women come from nuclear families and both husband and wife are working, women prefer personal mobility options which provide them the ability to manage time, work and family.
One of the major trends taking place is the age of first time women buyers is decreasing from the 35-40 age bracket to 25-35. In addition to this, incomes have also gradually increased, allowing women to readily invest in a car that serves their needs.
Apart from price and design, women also look at other factors such as ease of entry, useful interior storage including space for a purse, automatic transmission, ABS, airbags, parking cameras, electronically fold-able mirrors and navigation options and others. Keeping this in mind automotive companies have started taking initiatives to innovate and design cars based on women’s preferences. Introduction of auto gear shift in many models, women oriented accessories, and driving training are some initiative car manufacturers are taking.
From small sized cars such as Maruti Alto, Renault Kwid to luxurious cars from Mercedes Benz and BMW, women are buying cars from all segments. They are precise about what they want in their vehicle that is other than seeing the big picture and pay close attention to its features and other details as well, which makes them a more demanding consumer.
For First Time Buyers
There are a number of options available for first time women buyers and it is a bit difficult to find the right car. We’ve prepared a handy list that should make it extremely easy to make a choice.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio
India’s most favored automobile brand, Maruti, launched its much awaited hatchback Maruti Celerio in Delhi Auto Expo 2014. Based on the Suzuki A-star concept, the production version boasts of a robust structure and compact dimensions that make it perfect for city driving. The option of an automatic gearbox and airbags makes the Celerio a good choice for women.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
Maruti Swift is among the most desirable cars in the Indian market. The Swift’s sporty design and great handling are why we recommend this car for first time women buyers. It has a flexible power steering and smooth power windows which is tested for stability and safety on Indian roads. The only shortcoming is the lack of automatic transmission as an option.
Hyundai Grand i10
The Grand i10 is a spacious and compact car with very good space management which makes carrying luggage a breeze. Hyundai’s premium hatchback makes it ideal for small families and its stylish looks will make sure heads turn. Both of the Grand i10’s petrol and diesel models are known for their great performance in terms of efficiency and mileage.
The Nissan Micra is a car that is well loved by women for its cute looks and recorded great sales as soon as it was launched. It is available in chic and trendy colors along with a strong petrol engine with a diesel variant as well. The availability of an automatic transmission sweetens the deal for lady drivers to enjoy driving this vehicle.
Volkswagen’s Polo is the safest car on this list with a 4 star rating from the Global NCAP. The Polo boasts of a powerful engine and high quality interiors that make it a joy to drive on Indian roads. The car may look more masculine than the others on the list but that masculinity translates to a car that will suit a woman behind the wheel.
Eon looks great. With a beautiful exterior body and an even more attractive interior, which will pleasingly surprise you. The only shortcoming is that there is no ABS in this car but a driver airbag is available on the higher variants.
For Those Looking for Bigger
While most women are buying hatchbacks as their first cars, there are many who are upgrading and looking for a more complete and luxurious package. The Hyundai Creta and the Toyota Camry are two cars that perform very well among the female demographic.
The Hyundai Creta provides a swift and reliable drive without compromising safety. Along with this, it provides a strong body structure and also refined performance. These factors along with its iconic design make the Hyundai Creta a good stepping stone to SUV car ownership for women.
The Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry comes with 4th generation hybrid electric engine. It is a hybrid car that offers a choice to buyers to go for a seating for five with head-turning good looks. The handling is light and easy to manage, making any drive a comfortable experience. Women prefer this car for its safety score, stylish design and interiors, sophisticated comfort and performance-oriented technical abilities.
Car ownership among women is gradually increasing and car manufacturers are taking notice. Any new model being launched comes with features that are designed to make the entire driving experience convenient. Cars are no longer being seen as utility purchases but more as lifestyle purchases.