Research a Vehicle

Select a vehicle to research pricing,see photos,compare similar vehicles and much more.
Research Now

Automobile Forums  Where Car Enthusiasts Go to Discuss Cars Online

Rbdi 800X50Ad Tracking
1 |  2 |  Next 
Item Posts   

Modern Automobile Design Pet Peeves

MazdaManiac86 MazdaManiac86
New User | Posts: 45 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/18/07
08:44 PM

I've been noticing a series of recent design trends that seem to be sweeping the automotive industry, and I'm at a loss in understanding why they're occurring.

Take warning: I'm in a venting mood so this is probably going to be a very long post.

First off- tiny windows.  Newer cars are getting smaller and smaller windows.  This is mainly a result of rising beltlines- the term for the vertical point on a car where the window begins, for those who didn't know.  Also, front windshields and back glass are becoming steeply raked, though I suppose this could be for the benefit of aerodynamics.  Overall, these new, narrow, raked windows have a very negative effect on outward visibility from inside the car.  I hate the feeling of driving a car with the bottom of the side windows at the level of my jaw.  What is the purpose of this trend?  Is it supposed to be aesthetically pleasing?  Because it certainly isn't from the inside!  I'm already missing 80s and 90s cars, with their big upright windows that you could actually see out of.

Next rant- titanic wheels.  It seems with every redesign, car wheels become more and more humungous.  Again, is this supposed to be aesthetically pleasing?  Because big wheels are a drag.  Literally.  They weigh a ton and contribute to a car's unsprung weight, and, when paired with ultra low profile tires, negatively impact a vehicle's  ride and are also very noisy.  Many argue that bigger wheels improve a car's handling, and that can true, but superior handling is actually achieved with wider wheels of a smaller diameter.  These days even small cars, such as the Mazda MX5 Miata and the Mini come with 17" wheels!  I wonder if the quest for bigger wheels is also driving the rising beltline issue?

My final, supreme pet peeve is the general fact that cars get bigger and heavier with each subsequent generation.  When was the last time you heard that a new car had been redesigned to be both smaller and lighter?  The newest victim is Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution.  The new Evo X grew several inches in all directions and gained several hundred pounds!  Even economy cars these days are bloated and overweight; the current Honda Civic is larger and heavier than the original Accord!  It's becoming difficult to find a practical modern automobile that weighs less than 3,000 lbs- Volkswagen's little Rabbit weighs in at just over 3,000.  With rising concerns over fuel supplies and costs, why is the automotive industry still churning out heavyweight after heavyweight?

If you still reading this, my apologies for the lengthy ranting and raving, but I had to voice my grievances.  Please post your thoughts and opinions!  I want to get an idea of why the automobile industry is heading in this (to my mind, at least) undesirable direction.  

johnnycake-bellyache johnnycake-bellyache
New User | Posts: 14 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/18/07
09:49 PM

All good points.  My biggest pet peeve is that $35,000 out the door is the new $25,000 of a few years ago.  Maybe you're getting a lot of car for the money today, but the sub-$35k choices you're left with leave so much to be desired.  Those sly devils in marketing and accounting have reset our expectations...  Just like when gas drops below $2.50 now and we're all like, "Wow.  Better fill up.  That's a deal!"  

rlsedition rlsedition
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/19/07
10:31 AM

Cars are part of the fashion business, just like clothing. High beltlines/small windows? Today's cool look, tommorrow passe.

Vote with your checkbook. Don't like the current automotive fashion? Don't buy the car.  

Stelios Stelios
User | Posts: 105 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 10/19/07
02:47 PM

I agree with your last point the most. We're packing so much junk and uneeded technology into all our cars, which of course makes them heavier.

If I could ever start a car company, it would be just like Lotus--tell us what you don't want in the car!  

bimmer98 bimmer98
User | Posts: 79 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/23/07
12:00 PM

Cars now a days just look bulky heavy without giving much comfort.  modern artistic design concepts are not implemented and true genius is pathetically lacking.  Nothing revolutionary.  Just big and conservative.  European cars exert those traits that we lack in American Cars. When will GPS be standard? When will have i pod connectivity in every car, and etc, etc, etc.  

cmsmith cmsmith
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/23/07
02:12 PM

Ditto to all of your observations.  Might I add that some previous designs were so right on, its too bad designers aren't using them anymore.  I wonder if there is a communistic top auto guy deciding the future of all cars and carmakers have to build their cars a certain way or die. That might be the answer to your question.  Someone bigger than the top bosses who controls the materials for cars maybe.. heh heh.  

bimmer98 bimmer98
User | Posts: 79 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/24/07
07:44 AM

the communistic top auto guy is your neighborhood soccer mom. She demands those ugly bulky minivan and suburbans.  

MazdaManiac86 MazdaManiac86
New User | Posts: 45 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/24/07
07:47 PM

Funnily enough, the "neighborhood soccer mom" IS one of the contributors to bad modern designs.  See, your average female driver's top concern is SAFETY, and obviously, BIG=SAFE!  ***  Ever since automakers started caring about what women wanted in cars, they've been getting bigger, heavier, and full of annoying "safety nannies," which is why a brand new four-ton SUV comes standard with stability control, traction control, backup cameras, radar-guided cruise control, 50 airbags, and, my personal favorite, eyeball-movement sensors!  WTF!!!

Whatever happened to just being a good driver, and having the self discipline to watch the road and anticipate hazards?

Sorry, I'm venting again.  By the way, I don't hate all female drivers; just the ones on a power trip in their titanic SUVs yacking on cell phones and not paying the least bit of attention to the road.

Oh, I almost forgot about 22" wheels.  Now those are a real safety feature.  

Scribe39 Scribe39
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/24/07
07:49 PM

I add an "amen" to that. I don't like the small windows or "slots" either. If you ever get the chance at a car show, sit in a '65 to '68 full-sized Chrysler product. It's like Vista-View!  

bimmer98 bimmer98
User | Posts: 79 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/25/07
08:14 AM

22' inch wheels are vile and repulsive.  

Boraxo Boraxo
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/07
Posted: 10/25/07
03:04 PM

Americans are getting larger, so it makes sense their cars are too.  Gas is cheap - in the U.S. compared to other countries, and in historical terms.  Gas today is much cheaper than it was in the mid and late 70s. And since we don't have a carbon tax or other way to capture the negative external costs of fossil fuel use, people who drive are getting subsidized by the tax dollars of those who don't, paying for roads, health costs, etc.

Notice that as cars get bigger, new cars get developed to fill the abandoned niche.  The beemer 3 series has grown to a mid size, so there's the Mini Cooper and the 1 series.  The Audi A4 has more gadgets than the space shuttle, so there's the A3.  

Finally, look at the proliferation of SUVs on the road.  Many people in cars start to feel bullied by the big monstrosities.  They want to bulk up to feel like they're in the game - same psychology that works from playgrounds to prison yards.  That's why Dodge went to a muscular appearance, why Audi changed to the more aggressive grill that looks like a stylized shark's mouth, Ford's 500/Taurus new look, etc.  

EverydayDriver EverydayDriver
New User | Posts: 14 | Joined: 09/07
Posted: 10/27/07
09:53 PM

Wow, some great points here.

You may feel like you're venting, but it all needs to be said.  Great responses, too.  Glad that America's ongoing obsession with "Bigger MUST be better" is bugging other people.

On the design trend/overuse topic.  How about Vents in the Front quarter panel?  Is everyone using the same designer?  We've already had a big discussion about THIS and more to come.  

hammatime hammatime
Enthusiast | Posts: 303 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 11/11/07
03:48 PM

There it is.

I don't need a car to do ANYTHING possible ,I just need a car that I ca afford to drive and that is reliable FIRST.

Then all the other bells and whistles might be nice.

Also,if I want a towing package in a vehicle I fail to see what a moonroof and a special stereo and interior work has to do with it.


cpr74 cpr74
New User | Posts: 35 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 11/27/07
02:26 PM

I agree with your peeves. The small window thing really bugs me especially crossover/wagons with the tiny -triangle shaped third window. I think Nissan started it with the Millano(spelling?)I want a boxy,big-windowed wagon damn it! Cars are surely bigger now than they were a decade ago, but they are safer.  

hammatime hammatime
Enthusiast | Posts: 303 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 11/28/07
04:45 PM

Here's one from Honda no less!

The new Civic has the emergency brake lever EXACTLY where the drivers knee hits it when you relax your leg to the right.

I absolutely love everything about this new Civic but I would never buy that car because that brake lever on my knee would simply drive me insane everytime I relaxed my right leg to the right side.

Sorry,Honda,no deal.  

1 |  2 |  Next 
Showbuyersguide Hide
2017 Honda Civic
19150 - 26600
Button Getmyprice
Body Style:
Coupe, Sedan, Hatchback