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Men and women are really two different animals. Their buying decisions differ quite a bit so it comes to surprise to learn that the two genders have a diverse preference when it comes to buying a car.

Automotive research firm Truecar.com released its third annual demographics study examining the car buying behavior between the two genders in 2011, and looked at car brands and individual models with the greatest percentage of male and female buyers.

Among the key findings of the study is that the brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2011 continues to be MINI (46.2 percent), followed by Nissan (45.7 percent), and Kia (45.6 percent) compared to 2010 when MINI (47.9 percent) came in first, followed by Kia (46.8%) and Honda (46%).

Males contribute the most sales in exotic and sports car brands with Ferrari leading the pack (92.5%), followed by Bentley (83.4%) and Maserati (82.8%).

"While gender preferences amongst the buyers of various automotive brands still exist, the gap is narrowing," said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar. "The SUV and truck heavy mix of the domestic automakers continue to generate a disproportionate number of male customers, while the exotic brands remain to be the best medicine for a midlife crisis."

When it comes to individual models, the Porsche 911 is the vehicle with the highest percentage of male buyers (88.2%), while on the other side of the spectrum, Volvo sells more S40's to women (57.9%) than to men.

"Female car buyers really gravitated toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and crossovers," said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar. "It was the complete opposite for male buyers, who preferred either a fast and sporty vehicle with distinctive curb appeal or a big vehicle, like a large truck or SUV."

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