What Your Car Says About You Dan Lienert, 05.10.07, 12:01 AM ET Ask a Chevrolet dealer what kind of message a $22,000 Monte Carlo coupe puts out. He's likely to say that Monte Carlo buyers are "motor sports enthusiasts who want to show off and stand out from the crowd; Monte Carlo is the sport coupe that embodies legendary American performance. These motor sports fans are image conscious, responsibly self-indulgent and looking for an acceptable way to rebel." At least that's what Chevy spokesman Travis Parman wrote in a recent e-mail message. But different people have different ideas, of course. For example, you might think that driving a Lexus makes you alluring, but if you opt for the $60,000 Lexus LS sedan, you might seem attractive only to older, single parents. According to the company, LS drivers are in their 60s, are family-oriented and value politeness. In other words, if you're looking to make a more dramatic statement, you should go for something more bold. Racy Drives Perhaps a Corvette? General Motors says the car's drivers are "aggressive and in control" and seek adventure. The Corvette "represents freedom and what is best about America." Then there is the Ferrari. People who have driven Ferraris know the vehicles feel like race cars. The cars are all about technology, innovation, design and racing heritage. And lest you forget: Ferraris are Italian, which some say makes them sexier. "The identity of the brand is wrapped up in the history of Italy and vice versa," says a company spokesman. "Everything that is grand and great about Italy and the approach to life in Italy ... is a big part of it." Telling Data We have looked into over a dozen vehicles, from the Monte Carlo to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, asking their manufacturers to tell us a bit about the cars' buyers. The information in this story comes from buyer demographics and from what carmakers call "psychographics"--or customers' beliefs and attitudes. Sometimes, psychographic profiles can be quite detailed. Take the Accord. Honda Motor reports that the car's owners like to vacuum their garages. You can't say they're not clean. We also found that sometimes messages sent out by seemingly similar cars can be quite different. Consider two premier British luxury sedans: Bentley's $210,000 Arnage and Rolls' $330,000 Phantom. Both are stately and fast, but each one attracts a different kind of customer. The Bentley buyer wants an understated heirloom that he or she can pass down through the generations; over 80% of all Bentleys ever made are still on the road today. The Phantom buyer, on the other hand, is looking for instant recognition. "You look at the styling of the Phantom. You look at that upright grille," says Bentley spokesman David Reuter. "The car has a presence that really demands attention wherever it goes. When you look at the Arnage, it's far more understated." Rolls spokesman Bob Austin agrees. "There is simply no sneaking around in a Phantom," he said in a recent e-mail message. "As you drive down the street you can see camera phones tracking your every move. If you treasure anonymity, this is not the car for you." Aston Martin DB9 two-door Base price: $165,400 You are self-made, and even though you spent upward of $200,000 on a car, you are not showy. Aston owners, says company spokesman Matthew Clarke, "are not particularly extroverted when it comes to their wealth." They are "the sort of people who would prefer to wear the designer brand on the inside rather than the outside." Bentley Arnage sedan Base price: $212,990 Your net worth is around $30 million, but you probably came from ordinary means. You chose this premier British luxury sedan and not its most-similar competitor, Rolls-Royce's attention-getting Phantom, because you prefer a car that is more discreet. You are more interested in rewarding yourself than making a statement. Cadillac Escalade SUV Base price: $55,400 You make around $175,000 a year. You speak your mind and are unapologetic. You enjoy life and do a lot of entertaining. You seize life's opportunities. You think, "I have to be out doing something. I want to accomplish something." You take risks. You would rather fail than not try. Chevrolet Corvette two-door Base price: $44,995 You are aggressive and in control. You appreciate style and visual aesthetics in homes, cars and architecture. You are successful and seek adventure. And you are probably something of a fanatic; over 95,000 people belong to Corvette clubs, and the National Corvette Museum has 20,000 members. Chevrolet Monte Carlo coupe Base price: $21,700 You are between 45 and 55. Your income is between $65,000 and $75,000. There is a 40% chance you graduated from college. You watch racing on TV. You like to show off and stand out from the crowd. You are image-conscious and looking for a way to rebel.