Saab still atop the Gaydar

I wonder what it is that make Saabs so popular with the LGBT community?

The Toyota Yaris was the No.1 researched car on Gaywheels for the quarter ended June 30, with the Saab 9-3 coming in at No.2. And it’s not the first time, either. The 9-3 has been prominent on the automotive gaydar for some time now.

What I’m fascinated with is the question of why?

The Yaris I can understand. Inexpensive, reliable, small-car cachet (of sorts). Gay men aren’t going to need room for the kids in the back, though gay women might.

But the 9-3? It’s not a Consumer Reports favourite, so reliability’s out (for the standard research shopper). Whilst it’s not a ballbreakingly expensive car in US terms, it’s definitely not at Yaris dollars.

Could it be that standing out in the crowd, making a statement, finding your own road factor?

I’m not dying to know, but I think it’s a curious thing.


The Top Ten:

1. Toyota Yaris
2. Saab 9-3 (sedan and convertible)
3. Mazda MX-5
4. Volkswagen Jetta
6. Dodge Caliber
7. Toyota Camry
8. Audi A3
9. VW Rabbit
10. Infiniti FX


Ah, the Convertible perhaps?


This is a topic that can be a potential flamethrower. Please respect the fact that others might have views that are different from your own. If I wake up and find a whole lot of flamin going on then I’m going to be hitting the delete button like a pinball wizard. If you can’t say something nice then don’t say nothing at all (this doesn’t apply to Cadillac, for future reference)

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  1. I think that it tops the list for the same reason that most SAAB owners are drawn to SAAB – the 9-3 is a VERY stylish and very safe European four-door sedan that can be an amazing deal with all of the cash back deals in the U.S. In addition, you don’t see them on every street corner, which is nice.

  2. as far as i can remember (back to the first 900 convertible) it has always been popular with gay people. i guess it’s not a cliché – many of them do have good taste.

  3. apologies – but i just visited the toyota yaris homepage, and i am not so sure about my previous post anymore. must be the safety then..?

  4. The ones with good taste buy SAABs, the one’s who don’t, buy Toyotas! I am kinda surprised that a Subaru did not make it on the list though…

  5. Being a gay man and a Saab owner, I have to say that I agree with the posts here. First Saab is a top-rate European car. Second, it’s the not the “same ole” Audi and BMW that you see on the street (State of Independence ad campaign really worked for me). Lastly, everyone knows we have good taste. 🙂

  6. Flexing a little independence goes with our lifestyles and therefore SAAB is a good choice for gays. Style, understated brand and less is more brings us to market!

  7. My opinion on the matter is that SAAB drivers are pretty independent and non-conformist, in general. So, I’m not surprised that the gay community, which is pretty independent and non-conformist, would love SAAB’s.

    I do wonder how gender is factored in. Is the 9-3 equally beloved by both gay men and lesbian ladies?

    Finally, I am little miffed that my 9-3 SportCombi did not make the list. It’s the prettiest of the pack in the line up.

  8. I’ve met quite a few gay men who owned 9-3’s. They told me that they liked the looks, safety and performance. Don’t we all?

    The only difference between that gay and straight buyers is that the average gay man doesn’t have kids sucking the life, I mean, money, out of him so he’s more free to purchase based on what he thinks is nice other than what he can afford after factoring in all the expenditures that come with having kids.

    Though I may be completely off base. Feel free to correct me if my observations are incorrect.

  9. 1. It’s individual and unique
    2. It looks great
    3. It’s got performance and handling to match
    4. It’s not a BMW

    That’s my 4 top reasons for the 9-3

    I can’t remember which I relaised first – that I’m a SAAB fan or that I’m gay…

    P.S. my fav 9-3 is the SC.

  10. Swade, you’d be surprised how many gay couples have children they either adopted or ‘fathered’. I think the 9-3SS is what did it for Saab as its stylish, sophisticated, ‘non-BMW’ and, in 2008 form, damned sexy! The ‘vert is no real surprise, its the best looking car in its class.

    I must admit I am very drawn to the SportCombi but I will take the SS, SC or ‘vert……as long as its Snow Silver. 🙂

  11. Hmmm…Saab provides good performance, a stick (no jokes, please), safety, relatively low price, sense of independence (i.e., not following the crowd), and excellent dealer service.

    In 11 years, I’ve had a ’96 900-SET, ’00 9-5 Aero, ’03 9-5 Aero, and ’06 9-3 2.0T SC , will likely get a ’08 9-3 Aero XDW until an all-new 9-5 comes out.

    The really funny thing about this topic is that my partner has a Toyota Matrix (it’s the Corolla wagon outside the U.S., I think) and one of his co-workers said “the ass end of the car is gay.” Apparently, my 9-3 SC was sufficiently butch to avoid such a comment.

  12. It’s probably because the Yaris is such a gay car.

    Ok, all joking aside…

    I completely agree with Matt. There IS no reason, gay people buy cars for the same reasons straight people do. I can’t imagine a gay dude sitting at his computer trying to decide which prospective automobile is gayest. They sit at their computer trying to decide which car performs best or is safest or has the best features or gas mileage, just like any car researcher would.

    Only they’re much better at matching their car to their wardrobe. ZING!

    I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.

  13. I am attracted to SAAB for its emphasis on comfort, safety, performance and smart design.

    I think the design says “I want to be different, but in a subtle way.” SAAB is confident about its design heritage and does not feel obliged to conform to the mainstream just for the sake of it.

    PS if selecting a 9-3 is an indication of good taste then the fictional police detective with the best taste in the world must be Kurt Wallander. This swedish detective arrives at the crime scene in his silver 9-3SS Aero and always catches the villain.

  14. Individuality does it for this gay man in my vehicle purchases…

    First – 1997 900SET 2 door
    Second – 2002 9-5 Aero SC
    Third and present – 1992 900 Turbo ‘vert
    Fourth and present – 2006 9-3 Aero SC

    All were/are manuals. There’s just something different about a Saab than the BMW, Merc and Volvo models don’t have — not quite sure the combination of factors ultimately but it’s the whole package.

  15. Wow, I had no idea that there were that many homosexuals reading Swade’s blog!!! Not that I had given it any thought, really, I just wouldn’t have guessed.

    I’ll say what I always say when this topic comes up: what difference does sexuality make? We’re talking about CARS. I suppose that you have a point with the whole no kids aspect of car selection by homosexuals, but I would just consider them as a subset of the ‘no kids’ demographic.

    Subaru actively courted homosexual buyers with their marketing recently, so I expected them to be on the list, too. However, I sincerely hope that they found that sorting CAR buyers by sexuality wasn’t effective. Again, these are CARS. Who you chose to spend time with has little bearing on CAR selection. At least to me.

    Where’s Jon in Atlanta? He should fin this a little interesting.

  16. eggs, that’s eggsactly (ba-dum PSH!) what I think. The gay people that have made points on this topic so far all seem to like Saabs for the same reasons all the straight people on here do.

    I don’t remember seeing the Subaru ads aimed at homosexuals, does anyone have a Youtube link? I’m curious to see what they said.

    On a semi-related note, I don’t remember if it was mentioned on here or not (I don’t think it was) but recently Dodge was in trouble over an ad for the Caliber that were thought to be anti-homosexual. Here it is. Personally, I just think it’s funny, but I can see how it could easily be taken as anti homosexual.

  17. I talked to a gay co-worker (who is somewhat interested in cars). His answer was the same he give to anybody when this type of question comes up. Don’t think it applies to everyone in that community just because some people at a magazine think so. And he made a fun comparision.

    What if an alian form outer space landed here today, and wanted to know what “humans” think about cars? He/she check the auto magazines. His/her conclusion? 90% love and drive Porsche, BMW and Audi. Now, we all know that is not true. A few journalists or trendsetters do not speak for the whole human race. And the same goes for the LGBT community.

  18. Jeff:

    Subaru didn’t target homosexual car buyers with their national media campaigns as I recall. Rather, they sponsored events specifically for and/or well-attended by homosexuals. I believe that they also sponsored some kind of scholarship or grant to encourage homosexual volunteerism.

  19. Jeff and eggsngrits –

    Here’s the youtube link to the Subaru ad:

    The ad aired on LOGO (a gay channel), so – if you don’t watch the channel – it explains why you missed it. Also, Marina Navratilova was (and may still be) a spokesperson for Subaru, so that also helps explain gay affinty for the brand.

  20. I watch LOGO occasionally because it’s funny (because their programming is spectacularly bad, and it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s aimed at homosexuals, it’s like watching Lifetime with worse acting). Anyway…wow, that commercial was REALLY SUBTLE. :p

  21. Ok, I am currently thinking of getting a 2008 Aero 93 XWD, yet I’m a ladies man & I’m totally in love with the members of the opposite SEX! Thus, I was taken back by this article… So, allow me to share what a lady friend of mine has to say on this affair, as I concur with her: “Ok, ok, i know what the research says, but lets face it. although i believe that the yaris is a fun, tiny, get around’er it is by no means a “gay favorite”. it’s a new car, and lots of people are buying them… not to mention that the number one space on the top ten list was probably for sale to the highest bidder – toyota loves it’s gays..

    i know this list is rigged because for years, there has been one, and only ONE faggolicious car of all time…. ok…. all together now……. the mazda miata (for all you turds who dont know, that’s the MX-5) – drive in any heavily populated ‘gay’ city and there they are, cute little convertibles with a cute guy in a tanktop with glasses, highlights drinking a mocha latte while he zips past you … etc…you cant say that about the yaris.

    and i am sure that my lesbians are up in arms because the jeep wrangler didnt make the list. i know ladies, jeep’s been kind of broke since they only serve one demographic, so they couldnt fork over any funds for the number 2 spot.

    couple of words on the Saab 93: classy car for a classy person, nothing to do with orientation. i’m sure that whoever wrote the article is unaware that there’s a little magic inside of every Saab, like award winning cup holders, superior electronic engineering, and suspension that would blow your mind. does not matter what the outside looks like.

    i can rant and rave about the camry, but i wont. atleast it looks good in light blue

    the following is the real list they really wanted to publish. i think you’ll find it refreshig and stereotypically accurate.”

    “1.Mazda MX-5
    2. Jeep Rubicon or Wrangler
    3.Audi TT and A3
    4. Volkswagen Jetta
    5. VW EOS
    6. Mercedes SLK
    7.BMW z4 (how can we forget this gaytastic jem)
    8. Saab 93 (Sedan and convertible)
    9. VW Rabbit
    10. Infiniti FX”

  22. Man, I remember the last time I was in San Francisco (what a gay town that is, amirite!?) and the city grabbed my ass! I hate those gay cities, always coming on to you with their giant leather hats on their skyscrapers and their assless chaps all over the sidewalks…


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