Last week, I asked you to help me choose the car I would buy and use for a year to create columns and mediocre videos. This week, I pored over all the posts to figure out what everyone suggested. Holy crap, you guys are weird.
You’d know all about my quest for car suggestion data if you followed me on Twitter, because I recently posted a teaser statistic: no car received more than 3.2 percent of the overall vote. In other words: no matter what I choose, at least 96.8 percent of you are going to be unhappy. Perhaps you can make up shirts that say “We Are The 96.8 Percent” and stand outside my house hurling insults and smelling badly.
But you wouldn’t know the nuances; the ins and outs; the most exciting parts of all these numbers. For that, I’ve created this column, and also a video where I briefly don a suit jacket and pretend to be British. I highly suggest that you watch this video, unless you have something better to do, like stare at your coworkers.
In total, I received about 6,900 suggestions from six different sources.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to record all of the suggestions on my YouTube video – where I received about 4,300 comments – because it turns out that YouTube only lets you look at 800 total comments on any given video. I believe this may be an intentional feature so that you do not accidentally decrease your level of intelligence.
As for Jalopnik, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, however, I took down every single suggestion that came in. That’s right: Every. Single. Suggestion. If you’re wondering how long this took, well, let’s just say there’s a reason I haven’t posted a column yet this week. Or taken a shower.
In the end, I was able to record 4,578 suggestions, derived from the following six sources:
1. Jalopnik: 1,693 suggestions (36.98%)
2. Twitter: 1,352 suggestions (29.53%)
3. YouTube: 756 suggestions (16.51%)
4. Facebook: 378 suggestions (8.26%)
5. Instagram: 330 suggestions (7.21%)
6. CarThrottle: 69 suggestions (1.51%)
Of course, you’re probably more interested to find out exactly what cars were suggested. And the answer to that is: all of them. Seriously, all of them. One idiot on Facebook suggested the Dodge Durango. At least two people suggested the Checker Marathon.
Multiple people suggested dump trucks. Two people suggested the Lincoln LS. One guy suggested the Kia Borrego. And my own mother suggested her personal car: a 2003 Mazda Tribute ES, which she purchased new from Gateway Mazda on Havana Boulevard in Aurora, Colorado, more than 12 years ago. Sorry, Mom, I’m not taking that thing off your hands.
But the top suggestions are what really matters – and to that end, I give you the top 20 #DougCar suggestions across all platforms, ranked in order from most suggested to least.
Those of you who eagerly read through last week’s Jalopnik column where I asked for suggestions are probably wondering where the Ford Model T is. After all, the post recommending it racked up hundreds of “stars” in the comments – and a few people even voiced their enthusiasm with comments of their own. So how come it didn’t make the “Top 20” cut?
This is the problem with using Kinja for this sort of endeavor. While I love Kinja—I really do; I think it’s one of the best commenting systems on the —it heavily favors posts that come early, include pictures, or use a lot of text. This is good and bad. In our case it’s bad because the Model T post didn’t just come early: it came seconds after the column went live, which left it in a great position to garner a lot of support.
But if you dig deeper, the Model T had a poor showing: it only received 10 suggestions on Twitter, one on YouTube, and it didn’t get a single voice of support in 777 suggestions on Facebook, Instagram, and CarThrottle.
In previous “What Car Should I Get?” competitions, the same thing happened to the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and the Subaru Baja: they got hundreds of “likes” and considerable enthusiasm on Jalopnik, largely because they were posted moments after the column went up. In the latest round of “What Car Should I Get?”, those two models were largely ignored. The lesson here? The earliest is not necessarily the best.
So what countries’ cars got the most suggestions? It turns out that 4,470 of the 4,578 cars suggested came from just seven countries, listed below showing both the number of suggestions and the percentage of the total each country garnered.
The remaining 108 cars were split between 11 other countries:
- Asia (this is not a country, but it’s the only way I could describe the country of origin of the Tuk-Tuk, which was suggested by one person)
- Austria (KTM X-Bow and Pinzgauer)
- Canada (the Bricklin SV-1, suggested 11 times)
- Czech Republic (Tatra)
- India (the Hindustan Ambassador and Tata Nano, each suggested twice)
- Mexico (the Mastretta MXT)
- Romania (Dacia)
- Russia (a wide range of Ladas and Soviet-era vehicles)
- South Africa (the Rossion Q1, suggested twice)
- South Korea (Daewoo, Hyundai, and Kia)
- Yugoslavia (the Yugo, suggested 28 times)
Although no single vehicle got more than 3.2 percent of the vote, one brand managed to inspire 7.56 percent of all suggestions: BMW. It turns out that 346 of you want to see me in a BMW – though this number is much lower on Jalopnik (111 suggestions, or 6.56%) than it is on YouTube (74 suggestions, or 9.79%), which is one of a few Jalopnik-YouTube divides we’ll cover later.
Anyway, here are the top 20 brands in order of your suggestion:
In the end, I rounded all the suggestions into 13 different body style categories – though these options encompassed only 3,631 suggestions, or about 80 percent of the total.
I couldn’t reach 100 percent because some suggestions weren’t very specific, so body style couldn’t be determined. Say “Ford Mustang,” for instance, and you could be suggesting either a coupe or a convertible – so I didn’t count it. Say “Shelby GT350R,” however, and I recorded it as a coupe. Here are the totals:
As you can see, “coupe” garnered the most votes, followed by “sedan” and “hatchback.” Only five of you suggested a hearse. I’m disappointed.
If you’re confused by “Open,” imagine open roadsters like the Caterham 7 and Ariel Atom, two models which received a large number of votes – especially from the Jalopnik crowd.
What era was the most popular with readers? I tried to find out — but then I ran across a few major issues, such as: how do you classify a car that was built for decades? And is a car whose production ran from 1998 to 2002 considered a 1990s car? Or a 2000s car? I have no good answers to these questions, but I was able to round up 3,802 suggestions by era, which is almost 85 percent of the total.
Once again, my biggest problems were relatively vague suggestions. Unless you recommended a specific generation of a car, for instance, it couldn’t be classified into one era. Is “Ford Mustang” referring to a 1960s car? A 1980s car? A 1990s car? Surely, you don’t mean the Mustang II? Actually, some people did mean the Mustang II: it was suggested three times.
And so, here’s a bar graph that breaks down the overall distribution of suggestion era, with 2000-2010 easily in the lead (938 suggestions), followed by a near-dead heat between 1990-2000 (711 suggestion) and 2010-present (700 suggestions.)
Another interesting piece of data: which cars were the most popular on each platform? Here are the figures:
A few other interesting data patterns emerged out of all of this. For me, the biggest one was: Holy crap, YouTube loves Japanese cars. Although Japanese cars accounted for only 16.34 percent of total suggestions, they made up an amazing 30.82 percent of YouTube suggestions.
My theory here is that I wasn’t very popular on YouTube before I had the Skyline; since then my subscriber count has nearly quadrupled, which means that a lot of my YouTube subscribers came for the Skyline — so they really like Japanese cars. Speaking of the Skyline, four people suggested that I get another one. Three of those suggestions came from YouTube.
And what about Jalopnik? Well, you guys really love French cars. Only 3.78 percent of total car suggestions were French – but French cars made up 5.26 percent of Jalopnik suggestions, which is an increase of around 40 percent over the overall figure. Meanwhile, only 1.59 percent of YouTube suggestions hailed from France. The gap is especially obvious when you look specifically at Citroen, which received less than 1 percent of suggestions on YouTube and nearly 3 percent of suggestions on Jalopnik.
As for surprises, I’d say there were a few. More people suggested the Smart Fortwo than the Fisker Karma. More people suggested the Plymouth Prowler than the Alfa Romeo 4C. More people suggested “any TDI Volkswagen” than the DeTomaso Pantera.
And I can’t believe how many people suggested the BMW M3, which I don’t think would hold anyone’s interest for more than about two weeks. Unfortunately, you can’t blame this all on YouTube: the M3 was recommended by 16 different people right here on Jalopnik.
So, what car am I actually getting next? I think I’ve already decided, but I’m not ready to say just yet. But I can promise you one thing: it isn’t a Ford Windstar. Which, incidentally, was suggested by one person.
Top graphic credit Jason Torchinsky