Your car can make a political statement — if you know how to look at it


ROCK THE VOTE | A Tesla Roadster, top, turns the electric car into a thing of beauty; the Dodge Dart, below, is an American icon with an Alfa Romeo heart; and the Kia Optima, below, combines sex appeal, power and a great sticker price.

CASEY WILLIAMS  | Auto Reviewer

Now that all the politicking is over, the time for healing has begun. And that means liberals getting along with conservatives.

And we’re not talking about the election.

You don’t need an HRC sticker in the window to discover who is liberal and who is conservative — just glance down at the model of the cars they drive.

You’re not likely to see many hybrids at the sports bar or muscle cars at Station 4. Sure, there’s the rare gay stud who drives a 420hp Camaro SS or the manly-man hunter who drives a Prius, but both stand out because they are rare.

We took a look at vehicles of all types to figure out who would drive what by our entirely non-scientific comparison of liberal vs. conservative rides.

Tesla Roadster vs. Chevy Corvette. The little electric cars are all over California and they’re a real quickie. Range is about all you need in an L.A. commute and they don’t pollute. Unfortunately, you’ll need a Wall Street wallet to afford the $100,000 asking price and a burly flatbed truck driver when it runs out of juice.

The Corvette, though, is sex on wheels and fast as Jeff Gordon with Tony Stewart on his rump. You can drive it from coast-to-coast, racing the standard 430hp V8 from stoplight to stoplight, and getting 26-MPG on the open road. Your woman can pack all she wants because the trunk is bigger than her brother’s closet. $49,600 buys a lot of glory.

2-DartIIHSawardDodge Dart vs. Ford Focus. An Italian-American affair that resulted from the auto bail-out, the Dart (fortunately) turned out to be an Alfa Romeo in Dodge skin, which makes it a tight little number with junior Charger styling. It also sounds like a Ferrari, achieves 41-MPG hwy., or pumps 184hp. Tickets start at $15,995.
If you’re looking for the American compact not saved by Obama, the Focus is your ride (though much of the engineering and design came from Europe). Still, don’t tell fans of Big Oil — an electric version is coming soon, but a $16,200 base price pleases everyone.

Lexus ES 300h vs. Lincoln MK-S. Even when liberals go gray, they look for environmentally friendly rides. When they’re ready to move up from their Volt, the Lexus ES Hybrid achieves 40/39-MPG city/hwy. If that doesn’t make you feel like hugging a koala, select the bamboo interior trim. Save for at least $38,850.
For the religious right, Sister Bertha Better-Than-You will love her big holy roller. Collision warning with brake support system and automatic parking save her fat arse from hell … or can throttle the optional 365hp EcoBOOST V6 to power out of it. She can use SYNC with MyLincoln Touch to preach at her car. Prices ascend from $42,800.

3-Kia09Kia Optima vs. Buick LaCrosse eAssist. Even if Kia is still on’s naughty list, the Optima is a mad-sexy sedan. Styled under ex-Audi stylist Peter Schreyer, it’s sculpture on wheels. Get it with the 274hp turbo engine to really slather your sexy on, but base four-cylinders achieve 24/35-MPG city/hwy. Plan for $22,000.

As contrarian as Newt Gingrich in drag, the beautiful Buick sedan attracts both suave gentleman and grandpa’s coffee klatch. If you don’t tell the old fart it comes standard as a “lightly electrified” hybrid, he’ll just think gas is still cheap when he enjoys 36-MPG hwy. You’ll need a tax refund of about $32,000 to pay for it.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 9, 2012.