California has more billionaires than just about anywhere in the world except the United States itself, China and Russia. Really.
So, if you were to survey a couple of the Golden State's wealthiest communities, what car make do you think would enjoy top rates of ownership? Maybach? Maybe Ferrari? At least Porsche?
Not even. No, 1 percenters are penny pinchers hiding behind environmentalism:
Prius tops the list of the most-owned cars in two of California's ritziest zip codes. And the lowly Toyota starts at slightly under $30,000 (more than 10 times less than, say, a chauffeur-driven, $350,000 Maybach).
The smug-magnet of a hybrid topped the lists of fave cars in Century City and in Ross, Calif. (in the Bay Area), according to a new survey by vehicle-pricing website TrueCar.
In what the company said were America's top 10 zip codes for wealth, the Prius came in fifth in ownership rates overall, behind the Mercedes E-Class (first), BMW's 328 (second), Mercedes' C-Class (third), and Lexus' RX.
Kristen Andersson, senior analyst at the site, said:
For affluent buyers who live in places where environmental concerns reign supreme, the Toyota Prius is the ultimate status symbol in eco-luxury.
Eh. We think they're a bunch of poseur cheapskates. After all, do you see the wealthy of Bel Air trading in their energy-hording mansions in favor of more-efficient studio lofts?
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That's what we thought.
Aw. We're just kiddeen, ricos. All your designer gluttony, use of tax loopholes, and employment of underpaid, undocumented immigrants is totally forgiven by your ownership of a Prius.
It's the Catholic Church of cars.