Millennials are a different breed, and they're almost impossible to understand at times - at least most automakers seem to think so. There have been several different surveys and plenty of research done on millennials' car-buying habits, and every single one of them seems to come up with a different answer.
Some research claim millennials aren't buying as many cars as previous generations, others say they're just buying different cars. Some have come to the conclusion that they prefer American-made cars, while another study shows that they drive mostly Japanese and Korean cars. Like we said, they're impossible to understand. Or could it just be that the research just reflects that they are individuals, and the answers will differ depending on who you ask? What we know for sure is that millennials are not buying as many big SUVs and certain European cars as those before them, and seem to prefer more practical sedans.
20 Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X has some cool features, but it's also had more than its share of problems. Combine that with a hefty price tag and you're pretty much left with a car that will leave most millennials upset. Perhaps especially so if they bought one and get to experience all the problems first-hand.
19 Tesla Model S
Tesla's Model S seems to be one of those cars that people either love or hate. Most likely it's the price that's making the millennials upset. It literally features tons of tech and gadgetry, as well as all the straight line performance one could ever wish for, yet we don't see many millennials driving them.
18 Mini Cooper
The original Mini Cooper was huge with the youngsters back in the 60s and stayed in production through the 90s. Then the new Mini Cooper became a massive hit with Generation X'ers. But for some reason, it seems to have ended there, because the Mini Cooper has never been the car of choice for millennials.
17 Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa Romeo's cars aren't hugely popular amongst North American millennials. Could it be that the Italian manufacturer's old reputation precedes it? Who knows? But it's a shame that the Giulia doesn't get the attention it deserves, especially the Quadrifoglio. These cars are an exotic alternative to the BMW M3 and Audi S4, yet millennials don't want anything to do with them.
16 Cadillac CT6
It's a sedan, it's American made, it had fancy tech and there was even a plug-in hybrid option... so why weren't millennials all over the Cadillac CT6? Probably because it wasn't cheap! Cadillac is still trying to push the CT6 though, with a few different engine options for 2019 - but the hybrid is discontinued.
15 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen
Mercedes has released a new version of the iconic G-Class, where virtually every component is new, yet they've managed to keep the original's character. However, a Mercedes that's pretty much entirely handcrafted isn't going to be cheap, especially if you want some performance as well as the classic looks. It can potentially become a hit amongst some of the top 1% of earners in the millennial crowd.
14 Cadillac Escalade
Beneath the Escalades' considerable bling are structural and mechanical bits shared with the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, as well as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban - which is interesting, seeing as the one SUV millennials seem to love is the Tahoe. The Escalade's pricing is astronomical and the build quality is so-so. Since you can buy essentially the same vehicles for less, the Cadillac's value play is upsetting.
13 Toyota Sequoia
While the Sequoia might check all of the right boxes for this segment - size, seating for eight, and a standard 7400-pound tow rating - it's still not a vehicle for the millennial. Age is a factor, having gone about a decade since its last major overhaul, and its 381-hp 5.7-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission is ancient.
12 Chevy Cruze
In an Autolist survey, Chevrolet came out on top as the brand millennials and Gen Z buyers felt spoke to them the most. That might have changed now though, seeing as Chevrolet went ahead and canceled both the Cruze and Impala, two of the millennials' favorite cars. We get why they're upset.
11 Nissan Armada
While the Armada certainly is a great bargain for those looking to buy a new SUV, the millennials aren't digging it for some reason. It could be down to the outdated infotainment system, the poor fuel economy, and the lack of cargo space behind the third-row seats. Still, it's essentially the same vehicle as the more expensive Infiniti QX8, so we guess they won't like that one either?!
10 Ford Expedition
Ford's Expedition suffers one glaring flaw: It can be priced into some heady territory, yet don't feel as if it's worth that much. The top-spec Platinum trim, for example, can be optioned beyond $80,000, yet its interior is littered with cheap, ill-fitting materials. Millennials want quality products, and the Ford Expedition just doesn't cut it.
9 Lincoln Navigator
Like its Ford-badged sibling, the Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator is available in regular and extended body styles. While it might have a chassis that delivers more composure and more luxurious trimmings, it also has a much more luxurious price tag than the Expedition. Oversized vehicles with supersized price tags are a no-go.
8 BMW 8-Series
In the past, the number 8 has meant a big deal for a BMW. The 850CSi and Z8 became cherished. The i8 surely will too. But looking at the new 8 Series, we wonder if it’s distinctive enough from the rest of the BMW range. Its rather enormous price tag will certainly only appeal to the top-earning millennials.
7 Ford Focus
The millennials seemed to love the Ford Focus... at least until it started self-destructing its own transmission. But even so, it was a car that millennials were actually buying. So what did Ford decide to do? They discontinued the Focus in North America. No wonder they're upset with this one.
6 Mercedes-Benz GLS
The GLS-class isn't the biggest vehicle in the SUV segment - not by a long shot. And it's definitely not the cheapest with a $70,150 base price. And we think that's where the problem lies. While you do get an awful lot of car for your money, there are cheaper options out there... especially if you don't need an SUV in the first place.
5 Volvo XC90
While it's already established that millennials aren't huge fans of SUVs, there's always a chance they might've been interested if the vehicle was really good - which the XC90 ain't! While most millennials have grown up with computers and video games, it would take a master hacker to figure out some of the features of the infotainment system if you don't know exactly where to look.
4 Chevy Silverado
It's weird that American car manufacturers are focusing more and more on trucks and SUVs, while the millennial car buying trends show that those aren't the vehicles they're interested in. It's a shame really, because research also shows they'd prefer to buy American products when possible. The Silverado range has clearly done something to upset the millennials, because it's losing ground to Ford and Ram trucks.
3 Dodge Ram 3500
Big pickup trucks have long been a favorite with the 'rolling coal enthusiasts', perhaps that's what's upset the millennial crowd? Most millennials do seem to shy away from the large trucks, which could be due to environmental concerns? Or maybe it's because these monsters aren't very practical for the city-dwelling millennials out there?
2 Audi RS6
Unfortunately, the U.S. market has missed two sizzling generations of the RS6 Avant. The twin-turbo 5.0L V10-powered C6 RS6 Avant with 580 hp, and the 605-hp 4.0L V8 of the C7 RS6 Avant. Why? Because apparently, Americans don't like station wagons with supercar performance. One would think that would be the ultimate car for young families? We're looking at you millennials.
1 Porsche Panamera
The Porsche Panamera isn't a huge hit with millennials. It could be due to it not being a traditional Porsche, like the 911, or the hefty price tag, or perhaps they just don't like fast family cars? Seeing as the Panamera is available as a Hybrid you'd think that would make it more attractive to environmentally aware sports car enthusiasts?
Sources: marketwatch.com, autoguide.com, forbes.com, caranddriver.com