New Japanese Cars



  • Why does the new Toyota Highlander have bicycle reflectors on its rear bumper?

    What is the Venza so angry about?

    Why are the latest Civics and Accords so much cheaper-looking then the previous version? The Civic has been roundly panned amongst reviewers, but for me the Accord is the real disappointment. The prior generation had aggressive, angular styling and LED taillights. The new version is a bulbous mess, with prominent single-bulb taillights that look like they were designed by a high school shop class.

    And what the hell is going on with the rear styling on the "4Runner"? The taillights look like Lego pieces. The temptation to round them off with a Dremel is overwhelming at times.

    A couple of years ago these companies seemed to have everything... now, the only things keeping me from buying a Dodge are their aggressive salesmen and the fact that their cars are just 'too nice'.



  •  Like the American ones are any better.  The newer Cadillac SRX's are god awful looking next to the 2004's nice clean styling, and they completely neutered the aggressive looks of the 300 in the 2011 line.  I want a 300, but I'm not buying the new ones EVER.



  • Are we getting old? And bitchy?



  •  Shit, a car thread. I'm going to steer clear of it.



  • Let me give you a computer analogy....wait, no, er...



  • @dhromed said:

     Shit, a car thread. I'm going to steer clear of it.

    Is not buying car part of gret American dreem?



  • @Nagesh said:

    @dhromed said:

     Shit, a car thread. I'm going to steer clear of it.

    Is not buying car part of gret American dreem?

    But it is not part of the dutch dream, the dutch don't dream, they have a carefully emulated simulation



  • Pictures to show us would have been especially nice. Without the pictures I have no idea what any of what you're saying means.

    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.



  • @SilentRunner said:

    Pictures to show us would have been especially nice. Without the pictures I have no idea what any of what you're saying means.

    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.

    Dodge Challenger.


  • @dhromed said:

    Shit, a car thread. I'm going to steer clear of it.

    I see what you did there.



  • @SilentRunner said:

    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.

    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)



  • @SilentRunner said:

    Pictures to show us would have been especially nice. Without the pictures I have no idea what any of what you're saying means.

    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.





    2007 Honda Accord (looks good): http://acura-honda-cars.tk/images/HONDA_ACCORD_2007/HONDA_ACCORD_2007_3.JPG



    2010 Honda Accord (after they accidentally the whole design): http://image.motortrend.com/f/2010_honda_accord/2305919457697025309+ppromo_mt_large/rear_view_straight.jpg



    2011 Toyota Venza (looks like a Pokemon villain): http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2011-toyota-venza-4-door-wagon-v6-fwd-natl-front-exterior-view_100334184_l.jpg



    Review of the Civic redesign: http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2011/08/consumer-reports-not-recommending-2012-honda-civic-.html



    Picture of the Highlander's rear bumper, including those inexplicable bike reflectors: http://www.gotbroken.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2008-toyota-highlander-rear-view-588x422.jpg



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)

     

    But I though you hated CLIs!?

    I never liked cars, but I guess everybody can have a hobby

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)
    I didn't know "hearse" was a style...



  • @Master Chief said:

     Like the American ones are any better.  The newer Cadillac SRX's are god awful looking next to the 2004's nice clean styling, and they completely neutered the aggressive looks of the 300 in the 2011 line.  I want a 300, but I'm not buying the new ones EVER.





    I agree.. Cadillacs are just weird looking and I have exactly $0.00 in my bank account for anything weird looking.



    More generally, the American automakers also do not have anything I like, but they fail in a different way: acres of chrome, stupid iPod and GPS-related features I don't want, etc. This is what I was getting at when I called them "too nice."



    I used to like Mustangs but they have all of that electronic crap now ("Synch") so I will not buy one.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)

    But I though you hated CLIs!?

    what is this i dont even



  • @bridget99 said:

    2007 Honda Accord (looks good): http://acura-honda-cars.tk/images/HONDA_ACCORD_2007/HONDA_ACCORD_2007_3.JPG



    2010 Honda Accord (after they accidentally the whole design): http://image.motortrend.com/f/2010_honda_accord/2305919457697025309+ppromo_mt_large/rear_view_straight.jpg



    2011 Toyota Venza (looks like a Pokemon villain): http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2011-toyota-venza-4-door-wagon-v6-fwd-natl-front-exterior-view_100334184_l.jpg

    I don't know much about cars, but I do know that none of those pictures are comparable.

    @bridget99 said:

    Picture of the Highlander's rear bumper, including those inexplicable bike reflectors: http://www.gotbroken.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2008-toyota-highlander-rear-view-588x422.jpg

    Inexplicable? You really can't think of any reason why they'd be there?

    Have you never seen a car parked on the side of a street? By a corner? At night? And then you think WHOA WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @serguey123 said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)

    But I though you hated CLIs!?

    what is this i dont even

    LMBIFY

    It is not a great joke but cars are not my thing (not that I'm really good at it or anything)



  • Is there some relation between the term "command seating" and the term "CLI"? ... I get the sense you're attempting to make some sort of snarky comment here, but I'm not seeing it.



  • @Xyro said:

    I don't know much about cars, but I do know that none of those pictures are comparable.

    I don't know what you mean by "comparable." I posted pictures of the 2007 Accord and of the 2011 version, to provide background for my claim that the new one looks cheap compared to the old one.

    I posted pictures of the Venza and the Highlander because I think they're ugly. (Compared to other vehicles, they don't look that great.)

    If you are referring to the fact that a Civic, Accord, Venza, and Highlander are all in different "classes" according to the breakdowns used in ads and in magazines, then I think you need to stop watching so much TV, or at least mute the ads. Real human beings don't want a "J.D. Power Entry-Level Luxury Crossover SUV", they want something that starts up when they turn the key, holds their stuff, and looks good. Car companies and magazines make up these categories for their own convenience... real human beings (other than you, it would seem) do not wear them like straitjackets.

    @Xyro said:

    Inexplicable? You really can't think of any reason why they'd be there?

    No; I cannot think of any reason why Toyota used a round, $1.99 reflector available in the K-Mart bike aisle instead of doing something more exciting. And if you check out those reflectors, that is exactly what they are, in shape, size, and material. They are on the Corolla also - and I can excuse that, since Corollas are cheap by design. But people pay a premium for the Highlander (vs. a sedan or SUV), and they're getting bike reflectors. (They are... I won't be!)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Is there some relation between the term "command seating" and the term "CLI"? ... I get the sense you're attempting to make some sort of snarky comment here, but I'm not seeing it.

    Command seating-->Command-Line-Interface--> seating/? or man seating



  • @bridget99 said:

    @Xyro said:

    I don't know much about cars, but I do know that none of those pictures are comparable.

    I don't know what you mean by "comparable." I posted pictures of the 2007 Accord and of the 2011 version, to provide background for my claim that the new one looks cheap compared to the old one.

    I posted pictures of the Venza and the Highlander because I think they're ugly. (Compared to other vehicles, they don't look that great.)

    If you are referring to the fact that a Civic, Accord, Venza, and Highlander are all in different "classes" according to the breakdowns used in ads and in magazines, then I think you need to stop watching so much TV, or at least mute the ads. Real human beings don't want a "J.D. Power Entry-Level Luxury Crossover SUV", they want something that starts up when they turn the key, holds their stuff, and looks good. Car companies and magazines make up these categories for their own convenience... real human beings (other than you, it would seem) do not wear them like straitjackets.

    I mostly just mean one is a 3/4 view, one is a back view, the other is front view. If they were all from the same angle, it would be easier to understand what you're trying to get at...

    @bridget99 said:

    instead of doing something more exciting

    Hmm... maybe if they changed colors?

    Edit: Ooh, or if they were holographic!! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.



  • @bridget99 said:

    If you are referring to the fact that a Civic, Accord, Venza, and Highlander are all in different "classes" according to the breakdowns used in ads and in magazines, then I think you need to stop watching so much TV, or at least mute the ads. Real human beings don't want a "J.D. Power Entry-Level Luxury Crossover SUV", they want something that starts up when they turn the key, holds their stuff, and looks good. Car companies and magazines make up these categories for their own convenience... real human beings (other than you, it would seem) do not wear them like straitjackets.

    I read the book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters by Bob Lutz (WARNING: do not buy book, it sucks shit, Lutz is an egotistical entitled asshole), and one of the few actual pieces of factual information in it that wasn't pointless ranting about the media, was his observation on one of GM's problems:

    They would do what you say above, assign a "class" to every car model, and then compare "classes" across different companies. And they'd come to conclusions that people wanted a "crossover mini-wagon" (or whatever the PT Cruiser's class was), and then they'd build a car that fit in that class. When Lutz came to the company, he pointed out (according to his own account; he's probably stealing someone else's due credit) that people aren't buying "crossover mini-wagons", what they're buying is PT Cruisers specifically*. So making a "crossover mini-wagon" that doesn't have the distinctive look of the PT Cruiser is completely missing the point.

    Which is why GM sniped the PT Cruiser's designer and then totally ripped-off the concept with their Chevy HHR. (Yet another reason to hate Bob Lutz. What a jackass.)

     

    😉 And bitch all you want, but they were hugely popular for many years.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Is there some relation between the term "command seating" and the term "CLI"? ... I get the sense you're attempting to make some sort of snarky comment here, but I'm not seeing it.

    Command seating-->Command-Line-Interface--> seating/? or man seating

    Yeah, that is pretty much the worst thing ever. Did anybody else laugh at this "joke"?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Is there some relation between the term "command seating" and the term "CLI"? ... I get the sense you're attempting to make some sort of snarky comment here, but I'm not seeing it.

    Command seating-->Command-Line-Interface--> seating/? or man seating

    Yeah, that is pretty much the worst thing ever. Did anybody else laugh at this "joke"?

    It was the best of jokes, it was the worst of jokes. No, just the second bit. Still, it trolled you into a reply. This is all the humor they can afford in Paraguay.


  • :belt_onion:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Yeah, that is pretty much the worst thing ever. Did anybody else laugh at this "joke"?

    No.

    @bridget99 said:

    2007 Honda Accord (looks good): http://acura-honda-cars.tk/images/HONDA_ACCORD_2007/HONDA_ACCORD_2007_3.JPG

    2010 Honda Accord (after they accidentally the whole design): http://image.motortrend.com/f/2010_honda_accord/2305919457697025309+ppromo_mt_large/rear_view_straight.jpg

    2011 Toyota Venza (looks like a Pokemon villain): http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2011-toyota-venza-4-door-wagon-v6-fwd-natl-front-exterior-view_100334184_l.jpg

    Review of the Civic redesign: http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2011/08/consumer-reports-not-recommending-2012-honda-civic-.html

    Picture of the Highlander's rear bumper, including those inexplicable bike reflectors: http://www.gotbroken.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2008-toyota-highlander-rear-view-588x422.jpg

    Linked that for you. Also, the driver in the 2007 Honda Accord can't seem to stay in his own lane, can he?

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Is there some relation between the term "command seating" and the term "CLI"? ... I get the sense you're attempting to make some sort of snarky comment here, but I'm not seeing it.

    Command seating-->Command-Line-Interface--> seating/? or man seating

    Yeah, that is pretty much the worst thing ever. Did anybody else laugh at this "joke"?

    I did say that it was a bad joke, so you were forewarned, give me a better material to work on, and besides I have a headache that is killing me, (at least this friday is a holiday so it is a short week) and I made an attempt to shift the discussion from cars to my crappy joke



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)

    A PT Cruiser defiled my family in ways you can only imagine, you insentive clod....



  • @boomzilla said:

    it trolled you into a reply.

    Indeed

    @boomzilla said:

    This is all the humor they can afford in Paraguay.

    The C.R.P. has as much humor as we like, but it is only for the proletariat, the rest of the wealth goes to corrupts bureocrats, Juche!



  • @galgorah said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)

    A PT Cruiser defiled my family in ways you can only imagine, you insentive clod....

     

    A friend once asked me what I thought of PT Cruiser. I replied that I thought they were trying too hard, and they were for try-hards. He then told me he  wanted one. LOL!

    But what do I know? I've only ever owned Japanese and "Australian" cars. My current car is a 2004 Honda CR-V which replaced a 1998 Ford Falcon which replaced a 1980 Ford Cortina (older than me) which replaced a 1987 Nissan Pulsar which replaced a 1981 Ford Laser. But then I'm posting from the train so that my wife and I don't need a second car (hers was a 1989 Toyota Camry).



  • ... and i drive an element, which is what, a "shoebox style" car? (it goes minorly offroad nicely, and when we don't load it down with 500 lbs of cast-iron tools, it performs well in the mud with the right tires.)


    Honda Engineers are doing odd things, I think just because no one wants to pay them to design the same car again this year. "2011 Honda Civic! Just like the 2009 Civic, but with one more button on the steering wheel!"



  • @Xyro said:

    I mostly just mean one is a 3/4 view, one is a back view, the other is front view. If they were all from the same angle, it would be easier to understand what you're trying to get at...




    Oh... well, that's a valid criticism. I was in a hurry. Hopefully the pictures are at least good enough that people will realize what models I was referring to.



    @Xyro said:
    @bridget99 said:
    instead of doing something more exciting

    Hmm... maybe if they changed colors?

    Edit: Ooh, or if they were holographic!! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.


    It's not my job to figure out what Toyota could do instead of putting bike reflectors onto a $30,000+ vehicle. All I can tell you is that I've never bought a car that has cheap-looking reflectors on the bumper, and I probably never will.
    Incidentally, can't the taillight assemblies themselves be reflective? The round reflectors on the bumper are just aesthetically wrong.


  • @blakeyrat said:

    They would do what you say above, assign a "class" to every car model, and then compare "classes" across different companies. And they'd come to conclusions that people wanted a "crossover mini-wagon" (or whatever the PT Cruiser's class was), and then they'd build a car that fit in that class. When Lutz came to the company, he pointed out (according to his own account; he's probably stealing someone else's due credit) that people aren't buying "crossover mini-wagons", what they're buying is PT Cruisers specifically*.




    Exactly. The hypothetical family that shops Accord, Camry, and Altima is as much a myth as the hypothetical family with 2.5 kids. (Bob Lutz may be a prick, but he's right about that.) If you're making a car for me and my family, you'd better benchmark it against everything from a Wrangler to a Corvette, because that's your competition. In fact, you'd better benchmark it against Nike and Schwinn, too.



    I've been reading "The End of Detroit" by Michelline Maynard, which I do not recommend, but I must say it's given me a new appreciation for Japanese engineering practices. The way they design cars reminds me of the way I design software. There is a real passion there, and a lack of management-think. Passion markets itself (unless, maybe, you're just a drunk guy at a singles bar).



  • @bridget99 said:

    It's not my job to figure out what Toyota could do instead of putting bike reflectors onto a $30,000+ vehicle. All I can tell you is that I've never bought a car that has cheap-looking reflectors on the bumper, and I probably never will.


    Incidentally, can't the taillight assemblies themselves be reflective? The round reflectors on the bumper are just aesthetically wrong.

    Just look at it this way: the Toyota engineers care about as much for their car quality as you care for your software quality.


  • :belt_onion:

    @serguey123 said:

    give me a better material to work on

    I like to work on silk sheets.

    @bridget99 said:

    I've been reading "The End of Detroit" by Michelline Maynard, which I do not recommend, but I must say it's given me a new appreciation for Japanese engineering practices. The way they design cars reminds me of the way I design software. There is a real passion there, and a lack of management-think. Passion markets itself (unless, maybe, you're just a drunk guy at a singles bar).

    I've actually added this to my reading list (which stands at over 300 books by now).

    @blakeyrat said:

    Just look at it this way: the Toyota engineers care about as much for their car quality as you care for your software quality.

    Snerk.



  • Maybe I should reword what I posted earlier.

    The late 1950s is the last time you could point to a car and say it was a Chevy, a Ford, a Plymouth, a Chrysler, a Cadillac, a Lincoln, a Mercury or a Studebaker.

    They actually looked differently from one another. Nowadays, you gotta get up close and read the nameplate...if it has one.



  • @SilentRunner said:

    The late 1950s is the last time you could point to a car and say it was a Chevy, a Ford, a Plymouth, a Chrysler, a Cadillac, a Lincoln, a Mercury or a Studebaker.

    They actually looked differently from one another. Nowadays, you gotta get up close and read the nameplate...if it has one.

    So you're saying you can't spot a PT Cruiser or Charger on the road and immediately identify it as a Chrysler car? Or a car with a 3-horizontal-row chrome grill, you can't immediately identify as a Ford? Or a car with a "smile" grill and headlights that curve around the edge and not immediately identify a Mazda?

    I think the problem is you, not the cars.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So you're saying you can't spot a PT Cruiser or Charger on the road and immediately identify it as a Chrysler car?
     

    I admit the problem is me.

    I can barely make out the cars at all.



  • I always admired the design of the Honda Civic, but only the version they mostly sold over here in europe (very distinct, a bit futuristic and with a lot of nice details like triangular exhausts etc.) -> example.

    For a long time, I wanted one of my own, but when the day came where it was time to actually go shopping for a new car, I went to try one and realized I could not sit in it comfortably. You see, I'm a bit shy of 2 meters tall (I think that's around 6 feet, 6-7 inches for you people who still measure distances with the body parts of dead people) and even with the seat in the lowest and the steering wheel in the highest possible position, my knees would not fit underneath the wheel, meaning I would have to be driving in a very uncomfortable spread-eagled position all the time. That killed that car for me right there and then.

    Then I saw the car next to it: a CR-Z and I loved the design of that one, as well. Now, that car is even a bit more compact than the Civic, but what the heck, I took a seat anyway, and to my major (and pleasant) surprise I actually had a lot more room inside (possibly due to the fact that it is essentially only a 2-seater), so much that I felt really comfortable in the driver seat. That's when I fell in love :). One short-but-fun test drive later I knew this was my new car - all that was left was the paperwork (and the haggling...).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    So you're saying you can't spot a PT Cruiser or Charger on the road and immediately identify it as a Chrysler car? Or a car with a 3-horizontal-row chrome grill, you can't immediately identify as a Ford? Or a car with a "smile" grill and headlights that curve around the edge and not immediately identify a Mazda?

    I think the problem is you, not the cars.

    Personally, I've always had a bit of a problem with modern notion of "Corporate Noses". All the design effort seems to go to the front end - which is the aspect you only see in your own driveway, at car dealerships, and in TV ads. The ass (that's a technical term) seems to be an afterthought in the modern era - despite the fact that this angle is the one you always see other people's cars from - everyone parks nose-in to parking spaces, you look primarily at cars going the same direction as you on the road, etc.

     The back of the car is the sales material - car manufacturers used to know this. The front is just aerodynamics, cooling and lighting. Look at how many cars of old completely eschewed front-end branding to make a visual statement- and then had their name in giant chrome letters on the back - and even more distinctive tail designs. 



  • @Weng said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    So you're saying you can't spot a PT Cruiser or Charger on the road and immediately identify it as a Chrysler car? Or a car with a 3-horizontal-row chrome grill, you can't immediately identify as a Ford? Or a car with a "smile" grill and headlights that curve around the edge and not immediately identify a Mazda?

    I think the problem is you, not the cars.

    Personally, I've always had a bit of a problem with modern notion of "Corporate Noses". All the design effort seems to go to the front end - which is the aspect you only see in your own driveway, at car dealerships, and in TV ads. The ass (that's a technical term) seems to be an afterthought in the modern era - despite the fact that this angle is the one you always see other people's cars from - everyone parks nose-in to parking spaces, you look primarily at cars going the same direction as you on the road, etc.

     The back of the car is the sales material - car manufacturers used to know this. The front is just aerodynamics, cooling and lighting. Look at how many cars of old completely eschewed front-end branding to make a visual statement- and then had their name in giant chrome letters on the back - and even more distinctive tail designs. 

    This explains head-on collisions: "ohh look, that car looks so cool!.....".....



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.

    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)

     

    I'll agree that they look cool, but I had one as a rental and good lord did I ever hate driving that thing.  I don't think it was just that car; in every Chrysler I've ever driven, everything felt kind of loose and jumpy: steering, brakes, the works.  It also didn't help that I was driving on a mountain highway, which is about the worst possible use of a PT Cruiser (short of off-roading).

    My big car gripe is the shrinking of small to mid-size station wagon offerings.  The last time I was looking at cars, I checked out a few hatchbacks; the vertical clearance was good, but they made up for it by shortening the trunk.  The only new station wagons I could find were overpriced Volkswagens.



  • @Justice said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @SilentRunner said:
    Automobile design has been downhill ever since the late 1950s. That's the last time you could tell who manufactured the car just by looking at it.
    I drive a PT Cruiser, you insensitive clod. (Hey, sue me. I like the look, and it has "command seating" or whatever buzzword that is now.)
     

    I'll agree that they look like crap and you're a moron for liking them

    FTFY



  • @Weng said:

    ersonally, I've always had a bit of a problem with modern notion of "Corporate Noses". All the design effort seems to go to the front end - which is the aspect you only see in your own driveway, at car dealerships, and in TV ads. The ass (that's a technical term) seems to be an afterthought in the modern era - despite the fact that this angle is the one you always see other people's cars from - everyone parks nose-in to parking spaces, you look primarily at cars going the same direction as you on the road, etc.

    I agree with that. The ass-end of the original PT Cruiser (the one I own) is awful:

    It somehow manages to be both boring and ugly simultaneously. But don't worry, they fixed it in the later refresh by... oh wait they didn't even touch the back.

    Edit: BTW, at the time I bought it, the PT Cruiser was the only non-truck from Chrysler that got a "Best Buy" rating from Consumer Reports. And it turns out they were right, the car's 8 years old, and it's had zero reliability problems other than the normal stuff you expect to fail, battery/serpentine belt/etc.



  • @Weng said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    So you're saying you can't spot a PT Cruiser or Charger on the road and immediately identify it as a Chrysler car? Or a car with a 3-horizontal-row chrome grill, you can't immediately identify as a Ford? Or a car with a "smile" grill and headlights that curve around the edge and not immediately identify a Mazda?

    I think the problem is you, not the cars.

    Personally, I've always had a bit of a problem with modern notion of "Corporate Noses". All the design effort seems to go to the front end - which is the aspect you only see in your own driveway, at car dealerships, and in TV ads. The ass (that's a technical term) seems to be an afterthought in the modern era - despite the fact that this angle is the one you always see other people's cars from - everyone parks nose-in to parking spaces, you look primarily at cars going the same direction as you on the road, etc.

     The back of the car is the sales material - car manufacturers used to know this. The front is just aerodynamics, cooling and lighting. Look at how many cars of old completely eschewed front-end branding to make a visual statement- and then had their name in giant chrome letters on the back - and even more distinctive tail designs. 

    Chrysler obviously knows this.  My Challenger's best view is from the side.  They have a long modern history of vehicles you can identify from a thousand feet away; Prowler, PT Cruiser, Viper, Ram, Challenger, and the mini-van back when they were the only company to make one.


  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    I didn't know "hearse" was a style...

    It was. Seen Dodge Magnum (first year)? Also looks good for a mob boss.



  • I just saw something at a filling station that further supported my belief that the Japanese have jumped the proverbial shark: a feces-brown Acura (Honda) TSX! And it was a wagon as well... not even a hatchback, a station (estate) wagon not dissimilar to an Olds Vista Cruiser or a Pontiac Safari!



    So, in its 20 or so years of existence, Acura has apparently gone from obscurity, to threatening BMW in the sporty sedan class, to frumpy Buick-like styling! Doesn't Honda know that people who buy a TSX want to look 'cool'?



    I also noticed that Subaru unveiled its next-generation Impreza in basically the same color. This is a pretty sharp-looking car to my eyes, but unsurprisingly the feces-brown model presented failed to inspire. People call it maroon or burgundy, but whatever you call it, it's not cool. I don't know what the cultural significance of crap brown is in Japan, but if I worked for Honda of America I would beg headquarters not to offer that color in the US.



  •  Are you sure it's not chocolate brown?  They could be trying to appeal to the female market.

    I drive a Prius these days.  Dumped a couple decades of driving a 14mpg Dodge Dakota for 50mpg Prius.  I don't lord that over people, just enjoy it for itself.  However, I've since adopted two large dogs and have accidentally discovered that with the back seats folded down, that Prius is a fantastic dog-mobile.  It's pretty much a tardis:  much, much bigger on the inside that it looks from the outside.



  • Little would make me happier than if, in 3 years or so when my we replace my current 2004 Accord, I could buy pretty much that exact same car only newer (except for that one, we usually buy cars 3 to 5 years old). Especially if they used the intervening time to make it even more reliable. While I like a certain look of car, I am more interested in one that is reliable, drives well, is inexpensive to repair when something does go wrong with it and doesn't feel like it was either designed by or put together by retarded monkeys. Well, sure, it shouldn't look like ass, either, but that is rather subjective where most of the rest is less so.

    I thought Honda had a really nice thing going with the past couple of years, and I like the newest ones much less. But, probably ok, we'll buy a 2011 or so in 2 or 3 years...


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