5 Most Popular Vehicles for Dads

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Dads realize that once they have kids, they have to make sacrifices.

This means that when TrueCar.com compiled lists of the top vehicles preferred by men and the top vehicles preferred by dads, the differences were significant.

Put it this way. For men, the top five cars include the Porsche 911, GM's ( GM) Chevrolet Corvette and three pickup trucks. For dads, it's two pickup trucks and three smaller vehicles from Asian manufacturers.

In other words, one set of guys prefers the Porsche and the other set drives a Honda ( HMC).

This should not be surprising. Being a dad means growing up and facing reality. That Porsche costs about $85,000 and the Corvette costs about $56,000. The Accord costs $26,428. Right there you have a year of college or possibly even enough money to make a down payment on braces for the kids.

"The list of cars men prefer has a lot of luxury sports cars, which we don't see in the list of cars fathers prefer," said TrueCar analyst Kristen Andersson. "Fathers are more practical consumers.

"Sport vehicles typically have no back seat and less room and are meant for one or two people in the car," Andersson said. "For families, fuel economy is a big hit, as is cargo space and trunk space."

Besides, "some statistics say women influence 85% of all car purchases, so it's safe to say there is some female influence in what gets picked by dads," she said.

TrueCar.com selected the top five cars for dads, based on a nationwide survey of more than 200,000 fathers who bought new cars in 2011 and were polled by mail and Internet about their purchases.

By the way, you may have noticed that this story is being published two days before Father's Day. We should say that we don't really expect our kids to give us a new car for Father's Day. Although the kids have all left, the 1996 Mercury van with 200,000 miles is still fine with us.

But a phone call would be nice.

Here are the top five vehicles for dads.

Ford F150

The No. 5 vehicle for dads is the Ford ( F) F150. It sells for an average price of $27,730 and combined fuel use is 19.8 miles per gallon, according to TrueCar.

It is not surprising to see the F150 on the list, given that it is the most popular vehicle in the U.S. In fact, the F150 is the only vehicle on the top five lists for dads as well as for men, where it ranks third.

The F150 "gets great fuel economy and has all the options, all the bells and whistles," said Andersson. "It's a vehicle that dads can use for work and also use to tote the family around."

Honda Odyssey

The fourth top vehicle for dads is the Honda Odyssey van. It sells for an average price of $30,301 and combined fuel use is 22 mpg.

Odyssey ranked the highest among dads with two or more kids, reflecting its ability to hold up to eight people. The list of the top 10 vehicles for dads includes four Hondas: Accord, Odyssey, Civic and Pilot. Also, the Odyssey is the only vehicle to make the top five lists for momsas well as dads.

"Minivans are so practical," Andersson said. "The interiors work well for families, especially for larger families. They get good fuel economy and have plenty of space."

Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai Sonata is the third top vehicle for dads. It sells for an average price of $24,676 and combined fuel use is 27.3 mpg.

Sonata is "the most stylish vehicle in the top five," Andersson said. "It makes a little statement for the father who prefers styling, it has a good price and the fuel economy is as impressive as for the Honda Accord."

Sonata is the least expensive vehicle among the top five, although it costs more than No. 6 Honda Civic, No. 7 Toyota ( TM) Camry and No. 9 Dodge Ram. Ram is the least expensive vehicle among the top 10, with an average price of $19,851. Rounding out the top 10 vehicles favored by dads are No. 8 Honda Pilot and No. 10 Toyota Sienna.

Honda Accord

Accord is the second most popular vehicle for dads. It sells for an average price of $26,428 and combined mileage is 28 mpg.

Accord is the most popular vehicle among dads with just one kid and is also the eight most popular vehicle for moms.

"This is one of the top vehicles sold in the U.S.," Andersson said. "It is roomy, comfortable for five passengers, has a lot of trunk space and the fuel economy cannot be passed over."

Chevrolet Silverado

Silverado, the most popular vehicle for dads, sells for an average price of $27,277 and has combined mileage of 16.4 mpg.

Silverado is No. 5 on the list of vehicles men love. It is No. 1 on the list of vehicles preferred by dads with two children and No. 4 on the list of vehicles preferred by dads with one child. It is one of three pickups on the list of top 10 vehicles dads like. The three pickups are the only three vehicles on the top 10 list to be made by the Detroit Three.

Andersson said there is no clear reason why Silverado beat out the F150. "It's just one of those things," she said. "They are both popular trucks."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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