We all look at people differently on the road when we see what kind of car they drive. The guy driving a Prius is probably some kind of environmentalist or PETA member; a middle-aged woman behind the wheel of a minivan is a soccer mom; and an older gentleman driving a sports car is suffering from a mid-life crisis. If a person drives fast, they’re probably young and reckless while slower drivers are associated with the elderly. Many individuals make judgments about drivers multiple times per day, all based on what kind of car they drive. Today we look at the VW Jetta and the stereotypes that surround it.
Only Teenage Girls Drive Jettas
If asked to describe the typical Jetta driver, most people would immediately conjure the image of a 16- to 22-year-old female who may or may not have bleached blonde hair. Why is this the first image to pop into our minds? Firstly, the Jetta is a fairly common option for parents looking to buy a car for their teenage driver – it’s safe, reliable, and common enough that finding replacement parts when the inevitable accident happens will be relatively inexpensive. There’s a common conception throughout the automotive world that German cars are dependable, which makes them attractive to parents looking for a safe vehicle for their daughters to drive around.
Jetta Drivers are More Dangerous
This stereotype ties into the previous entry. Teenage girls are well-known for texting, applying makeup, drinking sweetened lattes, and doing everything in their cars except for driving. As a result, they can be seen weaving between highway lanes as they steer with their knees and take their attention off the road to put on lipstick. The Jetta may be a sturdy vehicle, but those around it would be wise to keep a wide berth according to this stereotype.
Guys who Drive Jettas are Less Manly
One of the results of the idea that Jettas are predominantly bought by females is the idea that men who buy them are less masculine. The stereotype here is that real men would prefer a pickup truck or a more overtly masculine car (sports or luxury cars) and those who pick Jettas are choosing the lesser option. The image of Jettas as safer cars also factors into this perception.
Jetta Drivers Don’t Know Anything about How Their Cars Work
This one stems from the perception of Jetta drivers as teenage girls and from their reputation as reliable cars. Because VW cars are percieved as reliable and needing less maintenance than other cars, their owners are assumed to not know much about cars, instead picking a Jetta because they know it will be more reliable. This portrays the Jetta owner as running to a mechanic any time something seems wrong and believing whatever they’re told regarding the state of their vehicle.
Of course, stereotypes aren’t always right, but they do influence the way other people see the owners of these cars. Be mindful of these perceptions, but receive them with a grain of salt knowing that each individual driver is unique, regardless of their vehicular preference.
Jared Cook is a freelance blogger and writer who pens articles on auto repair, auto maintenance & upkeep, German auto news, the German auto industry, the U.S. auto industry and other relevant subjects; to learn more about transmission repair visit Mr. Clutch transmission repair.
Image credit goes to nappent.