So, you just landed a new gig and you're looking to win points with the person who signs your paychecks. While your boss may frown at your choice of fast-food poison and makes passive-aggressive comments about your ever-so-slightly wrinkled khakis, one surefire way to get on his good side is via your ride -- and what it says about you.
The new Fortwo makes a strong minimalist statement. Its lighthearted design and excellent gas mileage are ideal for getting around the city. On the other hand, if you live in a truck-happy freeway metropolis like Houston, owning the Fortwo may just lead your boss to think you have some sort of death wish.
If your boss is practical, he or she is likely to appreciate the flexible and economical Honda Fit. While it's only been around for a few years, the tiny hatchback has already made Car and Driver's 10Best list and won a number of other awards. Amazing fuel economy and a configurable cabin make it an incredible value and a sensible choice for many car buyers.
The utility of a pickup, the mileage of a small car and Toyota combine to make the Tacoma an appealing package. It's a good-looking truck -- and the boss will love the functional pickup bed when it's time to help move office furniture or computer equipment.
Quick trivia: What does the average American millionaire drive? Yes, according to a book called "The Millionaire Next Door," it's the ubiquitous F-150. A workhorse since 1948, the bold F-150 gives notice that you're prepared to handle pretty much anything that comes your way. However, some may argue that these days it's pretty much mandatory to be a millionaire to handle this beast's thirst for fuel.
The Prius has been an impress-your-boss standard since the dawn of the new millennium. Its low emissions show that you have green intentions, while its fuel economy (48 city/ 45 highway) says you know a thing or two about value. And, for those willing to wait it out, Honda is hard at work developing a Prius rival and Chevy is making grandiose claims about the electric Volt.
Only people that are truly secure with themselves can swagger confidently towards the rather generous rear quarters of their minivan and declare "My child is an honor roll student" with a vinyl sticker. And if you're going to go with a minivan, the Odyssey is the clear class leader. As an additional bonus (and for those that don't yet have kids), you'll beam with pride when you can transport seven of your colleagues -- or your entire IT department -- to the company picnic.
The 3-Series is indisputably a multifaceted machine. It's your way of telling everyone that you can have your cake and eat it too. Its sporty character will impress that date when you swerve around corners, while its understated luxury ensures that the boss chooses you to pick that high-profile client up from the airport.
Lexus RX 400h
Hold back on sounding the death knell of the SUV -- the RX 400h redefines the possibilities of the category. As of this moment, it is the only true luxury hybrid SUV on the market. Throw in outstanding reliability and vaunted, Lexus-quality interiors, and the boss is sure to take notice.
For a closer look at these boss-approved autos, see our slideshow.