Trends are something we see in every part of our life. From different types of music, fashion, behavior, consumer goods, etc. Manufacturers take advantage of these trends to increase sales and stay ahead of the curve. These trends do end up becoming an integral part of future products and with the good comes the annoying parts of it too. They range from complicated controls, overpriced accessories, and even fake parts? These are some of the trends we do not like.
1. Complicated touch screens
Every car on the road today from cheap economy cars to high-end luxury cars all have touch screens. These screens free up the center console and dashboard as car functions can now be done with them. They’re meant to be convenient for the driver but sometimes they get it wrong.
The greatest inconvenience amongst all manufacturers is the climate control systems. In the past, they were simple knobs you could twist without even taking your eyes away from the road. Now, some manufacturers bury it within the screen. Some even go as far as making the vents moveable only via the touchscreen.
Tesla opens the glove box via the screen, something that was just a handle you pull to open. Burying your most-used functions inside a screen is distracting. It would require you to take your eyes completely off the road or even force you to pull over for basic functions.
Some manufacturers have remedied this by keeping actual physical buttons. These are your most used buttons and they even allow you to configure them according to your most preferred functions.
2. Overpriced Accessories
Charging for extra options on a car is big business especially for high-end luxury cars. But in most cases, they just take it too far. Apple car play is something you can get on most economy cars Ferrari will charge you as much as $4000 to have it installed for you in the SF90 supercar.
3. Gesture/Voice Control Interruptions
Speaking to your car and giving it commands is cool, we’ve seen them in movies and today they’re in our cars. Telling your car what to do without ever leaving the steering wheel is very cool. But having your car interrupt you when you’re having a conversation is straight-up rude. Most cars are activated by saying the manufacturer’s name like “hey Mercedes” or “hey BMW”. But just accidentally saying Mercedes can activate the system, sometimes it just comes on by itself.
Gesture controls are like hand signs if you don’t feel like talking. Hand movements control the car’s functions. Sometimes when you talk you move your hands and this also activates certain functions. More hand gestures are being added and this may mean more stupid interruptions.
4. Intrusive Safety Tech
New cars have loads of safety tech like forward collision warning, blind-spot assist, cruise control, lane keep/lane centering, etc. These systems help protect and prevent us from having accidents. But just like gesture/voice control, they have their issues.
Lane centering for example if turned on has proven to sometimes almost cause accidents.
Users have reported trying to change lanes on their own and forgetting the lane assist was on and had their steering wheel trying to jerk them back into the same lane. Some have reported collision systems just coming to an abrupt halt when going uphill.
There are many more reports of these driver aids doing the opposite of what they were programmed to do. But these are AI’s which are learning and can be reprogrammed. I believe manufacturers will eventually fix this.
5. Too Many Driver Aids
Before you roll your eyes please hear me out on this one. Driver aids are great. But too many of them are straight-up encouraging people never to pay attention. These aids were meant to assist the driver and not to completely take over for you.
Autonomous driving seems to be coming, this will allow the driver to be completely hands-free from the driving experience. In addition to these automakers are planning on integrating social media into your infotainment. That is like giving you a giant iPhone right in your car which will further distract you from the act of driving. You can be pulled over for using your phone but they’re encouraging you to use a giant tablet while driving.
6. Fake Carbon Trim
Carbon fiber is expensive and looks good but overall reduces weight. They are mainly reserved for high-end cars which already have a hefty price tag on them. But with fake interior wood and veneer also come fake carbon fiber.
These are essential parts with carbon fiber-looking parts or patterns. They looked good in some cars but feel cheap at the same time and in some cases, they squeak. Mercedes is a clear offender in this department. Some even go as far as printing Carbon fiber patterns on cloth. In addition to this is Piano black surfaces which look good clean but hold prints and scratches very easily.
These fake materials make some manufacturers focus on appearance instead of making quality feeling interior.
7. Fake Vents
Cooling has always been essential for combustion engines. More powerful performance cars tend to have bigger vents to help cool down the massive powerhouses. But modern cars seem to be taking that cooling solution and turning it into a styling piece.
Cars that have no business having big grills and vents now do. Performance sports cars now do this in the name of aggressiveness. Cars have looked great without these big fake gaping holes. The Civic Type R has big vents that do nothing at the rear which is even worse. We give ricers a hard time for having unnecessary non-functional mods but manufacturers a now doing the same.
Toyota does this with the TRD Camry and Avalon. Big gaping holes that do nothing and are mostly blocked off from behind. The new supra even has is not mid-engine but has fake vents beside the doors, one of many fake vents on this car.
Automakers should take cues from Ferrari that aim to make their car smooth and elegant where possible.
8. Illuminated grills
Rolls Royce has implemented an illuminated grill on its new Ghost and Phantom models and they are subtle and elegant. But it seems other manufacturers may join the trend and ruin it. BMW has plans of implementing an illuminated grill. If their growing grill size has taught us anything then it may not be a good idea. Neon lights and underglow are annoying to most people, imagine glowing grills in the future. No need for extra lights.
9. Deceptive badging
Performance badges like AMG and M meant a lot back in the day. These badges meant you had the top-spec with serious power under your right foot. These days manufacturers can slap a performance badge on anything as they are now more like styling packages than performance. Even cheaper car makers do this with the “N line” for Hyundai and the “GT Line” for Kia. Audi does this too with their “S line” and even Volkswagen with the “R line”. It’s a long line of fake badging.
M and AMG badges as well as a lot of other performance brands now have styling packs that get you the performance badge.
10. Too many gears
6-speed manuals are the sweet spots for manual cars, 7 speeds are deemed exotic. Automatics now have up to 10 gears, this wouldn’t be a problem as they keep the car in the optimum power range. But it does become a problem in performance cars when they get confused on which gear to go for. This is apparent with Mercedes and Chevrolet products which delay a bit to downshift during some spirited driving. Too many gears also make repairing these cars yourself almost impossible.
11. Fake Engine Noise
Performance cars and sound go together like bread and butter. Turbos produce more power but muffle sounds which takes away from the experience. With emissions and noise regulations getting more stringent. Automakers are looking for ways to make performance cars exciting. In comes fake engine noise, Originally it used to be induction noise being brought into the interior. Now it’s fake engine noise played through speakers. Some manufacturers give you the option of turning it off but most don’t.
The New AMG GT black series has a flat-plane crank V8 but is muted. In track mode, the piped-in sound is so much that even Owner and Youtuber Shmee150 says he has to find a way to turn that off. The BMW i8 has a 3 cylinder engine but plays a muted V8 noise. Tesla now even offers the option of recording any sound played through an exterior speaker for others to hear. You can literally have any sound of any car or even anything recorded and play it through the exterior speaker.
12. Fake Exhausts
Exhaust outlets are where your burnt air-fuel mixture exit your engine, mostly found at the rear. But these days some exhaust pipes are just styling parts. I’m not talking about fake exhaust tips with real exhaust inside them. I mean actual fake exhaust pipes placed on bumpers blocked off from inside with no exhaust in sight. Just like fake vents, they’re trying to make it look sporty, but why have fake quad exhausts on a 4 cylinder car? Or even dual fake square tips on crossovers.
13. Rev Limits
Revving your engine when cold can hurt your engine, in this regard I understand the need for a Rev limit. But when warm which takes only a few minutes you want to hear your engine at louder REVs. Most new performance cars come with a REV limiter at around 4,000 RPM. These limiters will never allow you REV your engine when stationary and even putting it in neutral when driving doesn’t help. The point of getting a performance car is the theatre of an engine. Sometimes being an idiot and Revving for your friends is fun. But this is becoming the norm in most cars.
BMW still gives the option to rev all the way out but Audi is killing the fun in all its cars. The V10 in the Audi R8 has also suffered the same fate. Porsche is getting in on this too.
14. Disgracing legendary car names
Imagine a Lamborghini with the performance of a Miata, even if that was real it ceases to honor the Lamborghini name. Automakers have been reviving names of older cars on new models with some failed attempts and some nailing it on the head. Cars like the NSX and Supra are back but may have missed the mark. While cars like the Bronco and Camaro came back and were hits. Other car names came back and just became something else entirely.
15. Deceiving Statistics
Manufacturers do this a lot especially the Germans. They understate performance numbers to make sure they hit the target every time. They’ve even gone as far as understating power figures when the actual cars make more power. This may seem great but what it does is put the cars in a lower performance bracket.
Based on statistics these cars are paired with each other and with lower stats they easily beat the lesser competition. You may start cross-shopping cars you never would if the real performance stats were stated in the beginning. An example is the Toyota Supra, Toyota claimed the car made 330hp but it actually makes closer to 380hp.