Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bad Ass, Part III

Okay, so here's another terrible looking car tush. It's the Hyundai Veloster at the LA Auto Show. My friend Nancy took this pic of it. What does that look like to you? You are correct. This car has an asshole. That is all.


I guess it's my destiny to forever be blogging about bad auto rear ends. I was looking at some photos of (supposedly) the next generation of the Mazda6. From the front it looks great, and would be a perfect step forward for the brand.But then I caught a glimpse of the rear end, and while I can't say it's not a handsome one, I did have a visceral reaction...a negative one. See if you can tell why:
Any guesses? Okay, I'll give you a hint:
Mazda, spare yourself the humiliation of having your car compared with the (truly awful) Sebring. However you do it, do it, cause there's a chance people like me will gag when they see the rear end, and not even know why!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The new Chevy Malibu is being greeted with rave reviews in the motoring press. I've driven the car, and it was indeed impressive, especially for a car sporting a bowtie. The styling is also a hit, and I'm a particularly big fan of the C pillar, which I feel makes it look like a much more expensive car. But there's one big disconnect for me. Have you seen the ass on this thing? It's not enough that it's a big slab of vertical sheet metal. They had to slap a few mismatched shapes on it for good measure.
Here's the strange thing. When I see a car like this, I point it out to others. On the Malibu, everyone seems to agree with me. But no one in the press has yet taken notice. So I see a few possibilities:

1. My compadres are humoring me, and they actually like the rear.

2. I'm very persuasive, and have convinced others to take another look at this heinous posterior.

3. I've articulated what others were thinking, but just didn't have the heart to say.

What does my reading public think? Am I wrong, or does the guy in charge of letting that butt through design sign-off deserve a serious ass kicking?

Monday, November 12, 2007

A moment of silence, please

I can only imagine the feeling of powerlessness watching your beautiful GTI spark a small fire which builds to this crescendo.

New Nissan looking a bit Honda-ish

Here's a pic of the new '09 Murano:

If you ask me, it looks like Nissan's copying a bit of Euro Honda style. Not that that's such a bad thing.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ugly car...or the ugliest car?

Autoblog just posted shots of the new Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR. It almost made me hurl. Judge for yourself:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

V steps forward, and VI steps back

If eGMCarTech is to be believed, they have "renderings" of the next Golf/Rabbit/GTI. The GTI they've posted takes cues from the up! concept, but more obviously from the recent W12 650. Okay, so maybe it's attractive, maybe slightly less so than the current generation. I thought VW was developing their own version of the shield grille concept. Out the window?

What really struck me, though, is the picture they had of the supposed next Golf/Rabbit. Where have I seen that grille before? Oh wait, I know. I own it! They've actually just lifted a Mk IV grille and photoshopped the edges. Will VW go this route? I doubt it, but if they do, the designers are on LSD, cause they're clearly having flashbacks.

The rumors of Toyota's death have been greatly exaggerated

I find it hilarious how many commentators are now declaring that Toyota's fortunes have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Most of these pundits have fixated on the recent reports of quality issues with the Toyota Tundra. There have also been reports of slipping quality on a few other models, such as the Avalon, but the fact is, most of this talk is merely wishful thinking. Bob Lutz of GM recently stated that "they have some quality issues with a lot of their products." A lot? Come on. This is propaganda from the General.

Toyota has been lionized by much of the press for its impressive results and rapid conquest of US market share. The Americans (especially Ford) are in rough shape. This automatically makes the Japanese giant the main target for American car apologists. And much of this criticism has been overzealous. The fact is, while Toyota has had a recent rough patch, you can be damn sure the company won't stand for it long. Those problems will be fixed, and their customers will be treated like royalty during the process.

GM is doing a commendable job of fixing its organization. This is where its concentration should lie, not with trying to pull the wool over the eyes of industry watchers. Oh, and while the Americans were doing that, Toyota just posted its second-largest quarterly profit ever.

The Big Insurance Fraud

I'm getting sick and tired of seeing all these insurance ads on TV that say the exact same thing. "People who switched to us saved money!" Well of course they did. That's why they switched! This rash of copycat ad campaigns is helping to prove that all car insurance is basically the same. Price seems to be the best reason any company can give to make the switch to them, but if everyone is just competing on price, it's now a complete commodity. I hope no one is actually fooled by seeing one of these ads. Sure, it's a good idea to shop around for insurance, but that's just as likely to make you switch away from the company that's running the ad. Those ads give no real reason to go to that specific company's website.

So please, for the good of humanity, stop running these stupid ads, and start talking about the real benefits of your insurance policies. And if there are none, create them! Then have competitive pricing, and features people actually might pay extra for.