Friday, May 16, 2008


You mean like this?

As stereotypes go, if you heard about a website called Gay Wheels, would you expect something like this:

The Nissan Micra Convertible in Pepto Pink? Also available in pretty awesome trim:

Or something like this:

The 1977-79 Lincoln Mark V?

Turns out it's neither really. It's a website devoted to reviewing autos from gay-friendly companies (Don't worry yours is probably on the list; Both ours are!) Basically it's a place where if you're concerned about if the company offers benefits to same sex partners of their employees. The list is surprisingly long for those that do and embarrassingly short for those that don't (Honda/Acura I'm looking at you, the new Civic SI is so good but apparently doesn't respect non-hetero lifestyles, the other 3 are Hyundai, Kia and Suzuki, booooooo!) So if you care about equality for everyone, then please consider these fine automobile manufacturers for your next new or used car purchase.

So I was perusing their site, checking out what gay people look for in cars and it turns out that it's almost exactly what I look for in a daily driver: fuel efficiency, expense of car and ownership (insurance, gas, oil changes, parts, etc...), performance (or at least upgradeability of performance) and styling. So here is the top 10 most researched cars on their website for the first quarter of '08. Most of them are exactly what's on my list as well. Let's go over the list, shall we?

1) Volkswagen Rabbit - excellent choice! 2 door or 4 door, 5 cylinder engine that sips regular to the tune of 22/29 (manual of course), looks good, lots of useable room with the hatchback, tons of aftermarket support (VWs have been tuned for decades), 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS, 4 yrs./50,000 miles of roadside assistance, damn!, VWs are a tad heavy for my liking but at 2975 lbs. for the 2 door and 3072 lbs. for the 4 door, not awful awful (Focus is a tad portly at 2645 lbs., my dream Lotus checks in at 1952 lbs.) Starts at $15,600 with lots of options standard.

2) Volkswagen Eos - If you're looking for the cheapest hardtop convertible on the market, you've found it. I don't really shop for convertibles, they're heavy and not as solid as their non-convertible brethren. Starts at $28,990. Check it out. Definitely a cute car, if that's what you're after.

3) Toyota Yaris - Another excellent choice! Crazy gas mileage out of the 1.5 Liter 4 cylinder (29/35 mpg, city/highway), lots of interior space, that hatch is useable (although the floor is a bit high but it does cover the donut spare) but only available in the 2 door variety. A 4 door sedan is available but I don't like it at all, it just looks so blah. The hatch at least looks like an egg or space ship or something, not some lame Corolla wannabe sedan. This car has been out for a few years in Japan so it has a decent aftermarket and can easily be made to handle much better. Starts at $11,350 and a black hatchback is the newest addition to our group's "garage". It has storage everywhere! And a red one competed in the One Lap of America this year!

4) Mazda MX-5 Miata - I don't even feel like I need to talk about the Miata. If you still think it's a girl car, you have obviously never seen one driven properly. They're fast. Crazy fast, lightweight, fuel efficient and the first RWD car on the list. I think if you don't haul stuff much or need a backseat and love to drive, you've found your next car. Tons of aftermarket support, Spec Miata series, etc... A friend has one, slapped a supercharger on, left everything else stock and has one beast of a car and still gets 30 mpg. Starts at $21,285.

5) Audi A3 - The most expensive on the list so far, but worth it. Great engine 2.0 Liter turbo (which means more power is a chip and a bigger turbo away!), hatchback usefulness, Audi prestige, quality and craftsmanship and racing heritage, and of course the first AWD (all wheel drive) car on the list. Great for inclement weather and even better in winter conditions. I'm also going to add exclusivity to the list of pluses. I'm fairly certain I have seen no more than 4 or 5 in my past years of travel, starts at $25,930 with a 6 speed manual or Audi's incredible S tronic auto transmission.

6-9) VW Jetta, Saab 9-3, Dodge Caliber, Volvo C30 - The Jetta is a bigger Rabbit but still a good car. I've never really liked Saabs but now that Subaru is helping to make them, I guess they don't suck as much but give me a used WRX Wagon anyday over a Saab, Dodge Caliber - bleh, super macho angular design, too heavy, J and I aren't really big Chrysler fans so pick something else, Volvo C30 - honestly have NEVER seen one on the road, so big exclusivity points, large window on the hatch looks cool.

10) Mazda Mazda3 - Rode in my friend's last weekend (and drove it after he was unsoberish), strong and torquey 2.3L 4 cylinder, useable and friendly dash layout, great styling and there is increasing aftermarket support. Excellent option for a smaller 4 door sedan or if you want a bit more room, opt for the 4 door hatchback (technically a 5 door). So far 2 of our friends have 3s (one sedan and one hatch) and they've had no major problems and really love them. It has a nice solid feeling manual transmission too and handles really well. Okay they start at $14,645 but that's with the 2.0 Liter, for the nicer "S" model and the 2.3L, they start at $18,185 and the hatches start at $18,675.

There are also gay car clubs. Who knew? The Lamba Car Club has chapters around the country and there is one in Atlanta actually with a show coming up next weekend. Here is the article by Doug Buhrer. My favorite part of the article was
I've belonged to straight car clubs, too. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) Straight clubs are populated with perfectly nice people who love their collector cars. But hanging out with these people feels too much like a family reunion; they're nice enough, but I don't have much in common with them. There isn't much to talk about other than cars.
Emphasis mine but I love people that quote Seinfeld. The second part of that will have to wait until a later day.

Hope you've enjoyed today's gay car talk.



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