E E Smith

Not Born Yesterday

What Does A Vroomgirl Want?

It's not your father's Oldsmobile.

Posted May 15, 2012

Sigmund Freud, who famously and perhaps peevishly, asked the question, "What does a woman want?" might be surprised to know what a Vroomgirl wants. Of course, Freud never met a Vroomie, nor ever imagined such a thing.

I only recently became aware of the website, Vroomgirls.com, which caters to the female audience seeking different information about cars than do their male counterparts. In other words, what matters to the male buyer may be quite different from what matters to us girls. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong or unfeminine about being an informed (female) car buyer. I've been buying my own cars for decades, though I am ashamed to say that, mechanically, a car is still something of a mystery to me.

However, according to the author of a recent article on motoring, I am not entirely alone. "For some reason, gear ratios don't interest most women," he says. (Gear ratios? Is he kidding? I haven't even figured out how to change stations on the radio in my Subaru Outback, now 13 years old.)

Enter Vroomgirls.com

Tara Weingarten is a cofounder of the website, just one of a growing number of them aimed at women who care about cars. The lady surely knows her subject, having been Newsweek's auto reviewer for many years before launching Vroomgirls. Her aim is to "leave out the jargon and humanize cars for women." Moreover, she wants the website to be "Motor Trend edited by Martha Stewart."

Tara is at heart a journalist, but recognizes what women want and/or need, and strives to give them information delivered in a stylish way. Not long ago she was on NBC's Today Show, discussing the Vroomgirls website.

All right, let's explore the question: why don't women care about cars in the same way that men do? Too often we have been accused of buying a car to match our nail polish rather than being concerned with, say, gas mileage. One reason might be that we are content to leave all those boring statistics to the men in our lives and concentrate instead on the car's appearance. But, as more and more women become heads of household, that is changing. Even I diligently compared the cargo room in the Subaru with less expensive makes and models before I bought it. (I will confess that I went to three different dealers to find the right shade of red.)

So, what does the Vroomgirls website do for us? A quick click will tell you.

The staff, called Vroomies, consists of more than a dozen knowledgeable writers (including two men) of all ages and impressive backgrounds in manufacturing, publicizing, and even test-driving automobiles. They all contribute feature articles, such as reviews of new models, tips on buying and driving a car, recommended road trips, Car of the Month, and more. (April's Car of the Month was the Mazda CX 5, touted by the Vroomies as "inexpensive, fuel efficient and spacious.")

The so-called Big Wheels of the website are the two cofounders, editor-in-chief Tara Weingarten and publisher Marjory Hawkins. What these two don't know about cars isn't worth knowing, or I miss my guess.

There is even a contest or two. "Enter to win a trip to … " which sounds like a lot of fun. (I may get up the nerve to enter one of these days.) The website also lists some pretty fancy sponsors. Ferrari and Lamborghini among them.

Make no mistake. This isn't a website exclusively for women. We have all known men who didn't have a clue when it came to buying and owning a car, though they might not want to admit it. These guys could learn a lot from Vroomgirls.com, along with the rest of us.

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