The richest Americans can have any car that gets their engines going -- a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Porsche -- you name it. But in California, one percenters choose the humble Toyota Prius more than any other car on the market.
Automotive website TrueCar recently surveyed the 10 wealthiest U.S. zip codes to see what kinds of cars the have-it-all's buy. There were predictable preferences -- BMW, Mercedes, Lexus. But in three of the 10 zip codes, Prius is either the first or second choice. And all three of those places are in the Golden State.
The rich in San Francisco Bay Area cities Ross and Atherton, along with LA's Century City, have a hankering for the hybrid-powered Prius, according to TrueCar. Its average sale price of $29,525 is a drop in the bucket for a millionaire.
"They're not buying it because it's cheap," Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for TrueCar, told The Huffington Post. "They're buying it because it symbolizes a certain lifestyle and gets a message out. Plus, it's extremely practical for stop-and-go traffic, parking and gas mileage."
Toprak said the Prius is "one of the only cheaper vehicles that still gives you an image of status." He continued, "It shows that if automakers can see a way to design and market a vehicle that reaches across different demographics, there's no reason why they can't reach every income level. The Prius is a good example of that."
Click through the five most popular cars in one of California's richest cities -- Century City:
5. Volkswagon Jetta
Small Car, $24,978-$26,085
4. BMW 328
Luxury Car, $34,461-$35,795
3. Mercedes Benz C-Class
Luxury Car, $34,144-$36,095
2. Mercedes Benz E-Class
Luxury Car, $48,068-$51,365
1. Toyota Prius
Hybrid/Small Car, $29,525-$30,565