Analysis of data from 15,000 motorists, conducted by JD Power and Associates revealed that women were consistently less satisfied with both their cars and the entire car ownership experience than their easier-to-please male counterparts.
Drivers completed an eight-page evaluation, answering more than 70 questions on likes and dislikes concerning their car, problems experienced, quality of dealer service and running costs.
Satisfaction with the motoring experience among women was at 78.3% of the maximum level possible, compared to 79.6% for men. Women were statistically less satisfied in all of the areas tested; they also reported 212 problems per 100 vehicles compared to men’s 191.
Dave Sargent, JD Power’s executive director of European operations, said: "Part of the reason is that men tend to drive more expensive cars, which generally provide a more satisfying experience, while women tend to drive non-premium European brands.
"Men and women also view cars differently, he said: men are more likely to think of them as 'toys or status symbols' while women are more practically-minded.
"This might explain why men are more tolerant of cars that don’t do what they’re expected to do. It’s easier to be forgiving of something you love."
Clinical psychologist Professor Lorraine Sherr, an expert in gender psychology, said the feminine flair for shopping could also explain the discrepancy.
"Women are more discerning buyers than men, who tend to be easily pleased," she said.
And many women are still being treated as second-class citizens by dealers, according to Sherr, who went on to warn that ‘archaic attitudes’ in the showroom were prompting a growing toughening of attitude : "As women become more aggressive and career-oriented, we’re less prepared to be pushed around," she said.