What are the makings of a great car? Is it the power of its engine? Is it how it handles even the tightest of corners? Or is it simply just how damn good it looks?
All car makes have social media followers who will say yes to all of the above and will argue until the digital cows come home as to why their favourite car is by far the best.
However, in our world of modern technology and social media, we decided to conduct our very own little study of the true popularity of a car brand via the medium that is Instagram.
Sounds simple enough but even then we came up on a car condundrum! Do we measure by number of instagram followers or by the volume of #hashtags based around the car make? We decided to do both and see if that makes a blind bit of difference. The results show they really are different!
First let's take a look at the top 10 table of car instagrams by the use of their main hashtag (in the interest of clarity we know that many hashtags can be associated with a car brand however, in the interests of maintaining our own sanity we have restricted it to their main one.)
So what does the top 10 look like if we just search the volume of posts using the car manufacturer hashtag?
Top 10 Car Instagram (by hashtag)
1 BMW  45.4M
2 Honda  33.7M
3 Ford  25M
4 Toyota  21.3M
5 Audi  21.3M
6 Mercedes  21.2M
7 Ferrari  19.6M
8 Porsche  18.2M
9 Lamborghini  15.7M
10 Jeep  14.9M
As you can see BMW have quite a marked lead over second place Honda with 45.4 million hashtagged posts compared to 33.7 million.
As mentioned this table is ONLY for direct hashtags of the car brand. Ferrari and Porsche, sitting at 7 and 8 in the table, do have many more hashtags related to them. These can be for specific cars or regional variations so we can only apologise.
However now let's look at that table changes when we base it on number of instagram followers.
Top 10 Car Instagram (by followers)
1 BMW  26.1M
2 Mercedes 25.9M
3 Lamborghini 25.7M
4 Porsche 20.2M
5 Ferrari 18.3M
6 Jeep 6.3M
7 Honda 4.1M
8 Ford 3.9M
9 Toyota 1.3M
10 Audi 21.3M
So as you can see BMW truly is a popular brand as it is number 1 on Instagram for both hashtags and followers. However there are some big differences between the two tables for other brands.
Toyota, which is 4th in the table for hashtags, drops all the way down to 10th when it comes to instagram followers. The difference is numbers are also the most stand out in the table. Only 1.3 million followers in comparison to over 21 million uses of the #toyota hashtag.
Why is there such a big difference between the two sets of numbers?
It could be that, although the car brand has less followers, they are very vocal about their cars.
It could be that the Toyota PR machine knows how to get chatter going in the social media world. Or it could just be that those people who like to chat about cars on social media tend to hashtag about the more 'traditionally sexy' of the car brands.
Honda and Ford suffer similar fates with drops from 2nd to 7th and 3rd to 8th.
Lamborghini, on the other hand find themselves shooting up the table! Ninth in the hashtag table they find themselves 3rd in the followers table with over 25.7 million instagram followers - only a few hundred thousand behind BMW and over 5 million more than Porsche.
We have to assume here that there are not over 25 million Lamborghini owners in the World! However, as an aspiration brand. it's social media appeal is as strong as the brand itself.
Mercedes also pick up a few places. Sixth in the table for hashtags they find themselves 2nd in the car instagram followers table. However that jump up the table comes with a huge 25.9 million followers.
So, based on the figures what have we found out about cars on instagram and which car is the most popular?
Well we are sure we have solved nothing and every reader will have their own view! That is the beauty of cars and why we love them so much. Everybody has a different opinion yet we all share a mutual love for motor vehicles.