The General Sentiment of Online Car Communities

January 2, 2024

header image most positive and negative car communities

Car communities on Reddit are a barometer for automotive enthusiasts’ and prospective buyers’ opinions and interests. Analyzing the commentary within these forums gave us insight into the models and brands that spark the most interest and debate. Our examination of these discussions helped us measure both positive and negative sentiments as well as engagement among various car communities, providing a detailed snapshot of the automotive scene through the lens of its most vocal participants

Key Takeaways

  • r/UsedCars has the most positive content among the top general online car communities analyzed.
  • Among car brand online communities, r/teslamotors is the most popular.
  • Among car brand online communities, r/AlfaRomeo has the most positive content, and r/Chevrolet, r/Hummer, and r/Hyundai have the least.
  • Among all car communities analyzed, the Honda Accord is the most popular car model, while Ford Focus mentions are the most positive and Hyundai Sonata’s the least.

The Vibes of General Car Forums

Online car forums offer a melting pot of opinions, experiences, and guidance. This analysis uncovers the dominant sentiments that fuel general car community forums on Reddit. Understanding these sentiments can be crucial for those in the auto industry, including those looking to secure auto dealer bonds.

Sentiment of top general car communities on Reddit

In the automotive forums we examined, sentiments varied as widely as the car models on the road. The subreddit r/IdiotsInCars stood out with a 66% negative sentiment, reflecting the shared frustration and schadenfreude users have felt when witnessing others’ driving gaffes. In contrast, other subreddits exhibited more positive sentiments (like r/Cars with 73%), revealing a preference for celebrating rather than critiquing the automotive culture.

Similarly, r/UsedCars radiated positivity with 87% upbeat sentiments — the most of all the top general car forums analyzed. This finding suggests an online community united by the shared quest for dependable secondhand vehicles. Although smaller, the subreddit r/carbuying displayed a largely engaged and hopeful community, with 86% positive sentiments — an encouraging sign amid the often stressful car-buying process.

The Dynamics of Brand-Specific Car Forums

We’ll next explore the sentiments and engagement within car forums for certain brands, from the enthusiastic discussions within the Tesla community to the slightly more discerning conversations among Chevrolet enthusiasts.

Sentiment of specific car brand communities on Reddit

This group of online communities represents the most brand-loyal car aficionados. Notably, r/teslamotors dominated as the most popular brand-specific subreddit in our study based on its number of followers: 2,499,975. This is a testament to the substantial reach and influential presence of this brand in today’s car community.

While most of the subreddits we analyzed showed fairly high positivity levels overall, r/AlfaRomeo emerged as the most positive, boasting a remarkable 90% positive sentiment. The Jaguar subreddit, with 88% positive sentiment, also reflects a fan base bonded by the brand’s heritage and design. Conversely, the Chevrolet, Hummer, and Hyundai subreddits all portrayed the least positive posts. With the highest percentage of negative sentiment (each at 27%), these results could indicate groups of fans with somewhat higher standards and diverse opinions.

Top-Performing Models in Car Communities

Focusing on car models, this last part of our report assesses the frequency of car make and model mentions and their sentiment scores to reveal community preferences and perceptions.

Car models mentioned most in car communities on Reddit

The Honda Accord — one of the bestselling cars of 2023 — was the most-mentioned car model across all the subreddits we reviewed. Its 322 comments were also mostly positive (83%). The Ford Bronco, though less frequently mentioned, boasted a 92% positive sentiment, perhaps echoing a renewed enthusiasm for this classic’s comeback.

The Ford Focus also gained notable attention, with 186 mentions and a remarkable 93% positive sentiment — the highest among all brand mentions we analyzed. On the other hand, it seems like the Hyundai Sonata sparked the most critical discussions with a 31% negative sentiment, possibly reflecting diverse expectations or constructive criticism among its community.

Concluding Insights on Car Community Sentiments

In assessing the sentiment across car communities, a clear picture emerges. Of the general car forums, those like r/UsedCars led with optimism, suggesting that people on the hunt to buy or sell a trusty pre-owned vehicle keep their posts on the positive side. Meanwhile, the positive sentiments of r/AlfaRomeo followers shone through in their posts slightly more so than those of any other brand-focused subreddit we studied. 

When it comes to specific car models, the Honda Accord reigned as a crowd favorite. The Ford Focus also enjoyed much acclaim in its Reddit mentions, while the Hyundai Sonata may have provoked slightly more debate or critique than the rest. These insights round out our understanding of car communities and speak to broader consumer attitudes that influence the broader industry.


We scraped over 65 subreddits on Reddit, ranging from general car communities to brand-specific car communities. We analyzed the sentiment of posts using TextBlob and excluded neutral sentiments from the post sentiment breakdowns.

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