By on May 7, 2012

Here’s the thing about design school, and designers in general: you are taught to fully express your creativity…which sounds like a great idea in theory.  In reality, there’s very little “reality” in the situation.  This is a creative art for profit, by a multinational, publicly traded corporation. Design school students frequently have to un-learn their training if they want to make the nut.

When my freshman year Transportation Design class at CCS was tasked for a third world mode for transport, the teacher chose one country in particular: India.  Luckily, since I’ve regularly visited that nation and know a tad bit more about it than most car designers…well, I thought I’d nail this one.  Because who in India (circa 1998, and still to this day) can afford a car? Rich people, not the masses with no hope of education and/or career advancement…they stick with their feet or perhaps a motorcycle.  Sad, but true.

Would a car maker risk billions in stockholder equity in making a people’s car that ignores the “vehicular reality” of a particular country?  I think not.  And well before the TATA NANO, I tried to do that: super cheap and cute/ugly design sketches designed around an aspirational point: the 4-door sedan.  And sometimes the most formal Three Box Sedan. Because when I think of pushing the envelope in terms of design culture, I think of several other democracies before India.

Unfortunately, my NANO like creations were awful in the eyes of everyone else. I wasn’t trying hard enough at all.  Which is fair, if the teacher never suggested that we research the country…socio-economic conditions make just about every piece of Design School masturbation absolutely irrelevant. And quite possibly, stupid enough to bankrupt a car maker.

You pay a driver to do things for you, would you really want to sit with him?  Absolutely not! This ain’t no damn school, this is Vellum Venom.  Case in point, the Internationally designed and suitably conservative Chevy Cruze sedan.

 

There are elements that work very well here, most notably the headlights’ strong “brow” against the hood and front bumper.  My problem is the corporate branding of the Chevrolet grille onto the Daewoo body: it’s so big that it crosses the natural boundary between grille and hood, giving the nose a top-heavy and tipsy appearance. Chevy’s trademark split grille needs the bowtie lowered about 3″, so the hood can “breathe” and clean up the package.

To make things worse, the grille looks even taller because it’s too narrow.  If the grille extended to the same end points as the lower valance’s grille, we’d have a far more upscale motor.  We’d have a serious threat to all those conservative Corollas. And we do want to beat the Corolla, right?

 

Yup, a tall and clumsy grille.  And even from this angle you see how the grille’s top-tier becomes like eyebrows on one’s face.  In the case of the Cruze, it has eyebrows attached to the top of its forehead.  And that’s just not pretty.

 

The eyebrow analogy not jive with you?  Well, take a gander from here.  Imagine if the grille ended at the same height of the headlights!  Wow, it’d be a beauty!

 

The chrome detailing on this top drawer LTZ model is pretty cool, if a bit corny and obviously tacked on.  But at this price, who cares?  It’s an eye catcher for all the right reasons.

 

ADHD moment: the honeycomb treatment on this signal light is quite appealing. It gets the job done without resorting to cliché over styling, which happens far too often in cars that need to look more expensive than their window sticker suggests.

 

Speaking of, these new Chevy badges have some great material and texture selection going on. While the camera doesn’t do it justice, it makes me more than a little proud of this brand. Ford, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and the others all have pretty junky brand tributes in comparison.

 

From this angle, perhaps the grille is acceptable, but the headlights are too short. One of them needs to match the other, because the more you see of the Cruze’s side profile, the more you see a well designed compact car.

 

Fender. A-pillar. Door. Hood.  They all look horrible butting up to each other in this manner!  While that’s far from ideal, the black plastic triangle is just twisting the knife. I feel more venom oozing out of my wound.

Black triangle in full effect = DLO FAIL!

 

On the plus side, at least the triangle makes sense with the door cut line.  No wait, that’s still not acceptable. The Cruze would look upscale (so to speak) and downright lovely if the plastic side view mirror holder (and door cut line) was shaped to eliminate the triangle of DLO FAIL.

 

The RS appearance package is a little silly, but the stick on body-kit is far, far superior to the awful Tupperware they glue to the Corolla “S” model. Plus, I do like the upscale RS badging, even if the irony of such a boldly American trim designation used on a Daewoo design is a little depressing.

Hey wait…are those Michelins on a compact General Motors product?  Maybe the RenCen is taking the Civic and Corolla seriously this time ’round.

 

I do my best to avoid interior design analysis in this series, but you can see how the greenhouse complements the dashboard from this angle.  It’s very appealing from the outside, and those of us who’ve experienced the Cruze can certainly appreciate it from the inside too. Kudos to the Interior Design folks, they integrated the form very, very well.

 

Oh my (expletive).   The black plastic triangle shows up once again, this time trying way too hard to extend the Cruze’s DLO into the territory of a more upscale vehicle. Once again, it doesn’t work.

What was the right move?  Add a little more “hip” to the straight-edged door cut line, going up to a more hourglass shape as it reached the DLO.  From there, the rear door glass can elegantly continue the hourglass shape. The smooth curve will look good in both glass and the nearby sheet metal of the C-pillar…thus eliminating the hideous FAIL you see here.

 

Oh my damn…son!

They even tried to mask this triangle’s hideousness with a bit of chrome trim extension and a contrast texture in the center.  If you have to add chrome to your DLO FAIL, perhaps you are being penny wise and pound foolish. Redesign the rear door contour to make this thing unnecessary instead!

Trust me, eliminating something instead of adding chrome is far, far cheaper! Or not.

 

This angle normally makes the black plastic triangle look more acceptable.  But this one is so large that any angle is helpless to the cause. Ignore the impossible to close gas cap, this is a rental..and shit happens to rental cars.  Instead notice the clean, unmolested lines separated by only one hard-edged crease.

And while I nailed the CTS-V for its terrible gas cap location, the Cruze’s round door with a hard bend isn’t nearly as offensive as the slimy egg look.  Matter of fact, it’s a cool bit of surface tension.

If it wasn’t for that hideous plastic triangle, this would be an absolutely lovely machine. Of this I am certain.

 

From here I make another case for a shorter deck, more overhang and less of a fastback C-pillar.  This would eliminate the bumper’s “double chin” and the need for, once again, the black plastic triangle.  And I also hope that one day we don’t need chrome license plate mustaches, as they are totally played out and always look tacked-on.

 

The way the tail lights play into the bumper’s hard downward slope and the smart-looking cut line of the trunk is quite appealing. This isn’t an amorphous blob like so many other tail light designs in this class, it actually works very, very well!

 

Seriously folks, the chrome mustache needs to die a quick, yet very painful death. It looks tacky and absolutely ruins a lot of hard work done to the Cruze’s rear surfacing.   I like the extra chrome trim at the bottom, even though it reinforces the fact that this bumper is too tall…because this butt is too tall.

 

And I’ll let you mull over the contrast of Chevy’s somewhat famous LTZ trim level sharing real estate with the very famous RS trim level.  In the Cruze’s case, RS is just as much of an afterthought as the Corolla “S”.  And I think that’s an insult, to a certain extent.

I don’t much care for it, but perhaps someone in the B&B will prove me wrong in the comments section.

 

Make note: this kind of trimming is cheap and cheerful, perfect for a car in this price class. When you see gigantic hunks of plastic and/or afterthought chrome accents on vehicles costing far more than a Cruze, like perhaps a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, it is absolutely inexcusable.  But here, yes…it should bring a smile to your face.

Because I am smiling, and you should too.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week.

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80 Comments on “Vellum Venom: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ – RS...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Well, compared to the Cobalt in 4 door trim, which this vehicle replaces – the styling on the Cruze works for me. YMMV

    It’s not as dowdy as Corolla or Sentra.

    It’s Korean roots make the Cruze comparable with an Elantra, which isn’t such a bad thing – provided that people might cross shop a Chevy versus a Hyundai.

    Your example definitely made the salesman at some dealership a happy camper. It has the LTZ package, plus the an RS add-on.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    With the rear black plastic triangle:

    1) Isn’t the alternative just a little piece of glass? What’s the cost difference?
    2) Wouldn’t that glass improve visibility in an era of bad visibility?

    The outgoing W-body impala looks like it should have horrible rear visibility, but many a time I’ve used that piece of glass at the extreme of the C-pillar to see if somebody was coming while backing out of a parking spot.

    The Malibu and the Sonic appear to have either shaped the door to the roof line or just accepted a squared-off end of things. That means that the Cruze is the only Chevy car out there now with this — and the Cruze was supposed to be compact-done-right, right?

    Maybe in the insane world of GM brand differentiation they can point to why the Verano is more upscale than the Cruze — no black triangle?

    • 0 avatar

      Glass is expensive, but a great idea. The restyling of the door cutline and the fixed vent window is a cheaper move that will look okay.

    • 0 avatar
      gessvt

      Speaking of the Cruze, Malibu and Sonic: I had the opportunity to evaluate the exteriors of all three in traffic on my way back from a weekend visit to Milwaukee. While I have no design experience to speak of, I thought that the Sonic (5-door hatch) was the most visually appealing, followed by the Cruze, and then the Malibu. Wondering if the B&B have similar opinions, or if I need to stick to my day job.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I would somewhat agree. The Sonic sedan was shockingly handsome to me in the flesh, I’m not as fond of the five-door, there is something that isn’t quite, right, to me.

        However I would stack rank them the same way. The Malibu was sharp when it came out in 2008, it hasn’t aged well.

        On the subject of the Sonic, pretty shocked on how many of them I see in the wild – they are selling well in Puget Sound. Even one of my neighbors just bought one, LTZ in black as their commuter. VERY sharp looking in black. Your focus group of one mileage may vary.

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    What has bugged me about these cars from the beginning is the taillights. In themselves, they look just fine, but they have a curve motif, where the rest of the car (especially the headlight treatment) is angular, almost Cadillac-like. They just don’t fit in.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      i would agree with this 100%

      it looks like two committees designed the front and back of the Cruze sedan and they werent on the same continent let alone the same page

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      +1. Why would anyone put rounded taillights on an otherwise sharp car. Also they are too big for a car this size. The 2012 Malibu and the Sonic sedans suffer the same fate when it comes to taillight design. They can follow this guy’s lead and fix the taillights.

      http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/11-appearance-body/1069-benz-e-class-style-tail-light-review-more-_.html

      Sanjeev, how would compare this to a Holden Cruze which I believe has nice touches to make it look very upscale? You can’t go too upscale in this segment and risk alienating a lot of buyers. Its true some are willing to pay more for smaller cars but a large portion of buyers in this segment want value more than anything. I am no fan of the Corolla but I think most buyers are better off buying a Corolla and save anywhere from $3000 to $6000 depending on the trim level. The Cruze is good, but not so great to justify such a premium over the Corolla/Civic

    • 0 avatar

      Good point, Dirk. Chevrolet is all about round taillights for ‘vettes, but that’s also their branding touch for sedans. It started with the 2000 Impala, and I have learned to deal with them. I still dislike, but it’s been 12 years and I have learned to cope with the silliness.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I think their use of round taillights started with the 1958 Chevrolet, otherwise known as when GM’s styling jumped the shark.

      • 0 avatar
        Dirk Stigler

        I think the Cobalt showed that round taillights don’t really work on narrow compact cars. Or maybe it’s just that the Cruze’s rear profile is so close to the Cobalt that round taillights would have made a lot of people wonder if it was really a new car.

        There’s probably a way to carry the motif into this car, without either making a Cobalt Part Deux or going the uber-cheap route of having plain taillights with round cutouts in the lenses.

      • 0 avatar
        Slab

        It started much earlier than that. The best example I can think of is the late 60′s Chevelle. The model year with round tail lights (1971) is much more recognizable as a Chevy.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    to fully round this out I suggest you contrast with the Cruze hatch and Cruze wagon to see a more successful remodelling (use google images)

    i think the wagon actually is the best looker with the right length and proportions

    the hatch looks a little dumpy but not as bad as the sedan

    sadly both will most likely not come to the US

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I am a structural designer in the packaging industry – folding cartons – cereal boxes, various other shapes.

    “Creativity” always makes me smile in what the schools teach. It’s all nonsense. REAL creativity means beiing creative WITHIN the narrow confines of the industry you serve. For example, simple cartons like cereal box styles allow a supplier to convert such a style very fast, which is how you make money for an item that is pretty much a commodity. Anything more complex that involves interior dividers and such requires more folding and gluing on our end, which means slower run times, which means the packages cost more. Having a customer that recognizes this fact and is willing to pay for a more complex package is good. The issue is when a customer wants a “Cadillac” package, but on a “Chevy” budget! A never-ending tug-of-war of cost vs. complexity, and that’s where the “creative” part comes in, hence the need for a designer.

    It’s pretty much the same with cars. Using the featured Cruze as an example, I believe the design team did the best they could with management constrictions/restrictions. What would I have done? I know what I would LIKE to do to remedy the final result, but that’s being a Monday-morning quarterback – fun, but somewhat moot.

    When I bought my 2004 Impala – I washed and waxed it yesterday, and boy, does it look pretty! – I mulled over what I could do to remedy issues I had with the design. Turned out there was not much I could do.

    I felt it needed bright window reveal. Impossible, but it appeared from the look of the rubber window surrounds that it was originally planned for.

    I felt the rear end needed a bit of chrome trim to balance the bit of chrome used in the grille area. I added a very thin piece of aftermarket thin adhesive side rub strip chrome along the lower edge of the tail light area, which looked nice from a distance, but of course, the cut edges just didn’t work, so I removed it. Ditto when I tried it as a grille surround in front.

    I also felt the Impala emblem should be on the front fender as in Impalas past, but there was not enough room. It wouldn’t have looked good on the doors, either, so I left it alone, which does work.

    I felt the sides needed SOMETHING though, and as I am adamant on the model name beind displayed on the side of the car in chrome, NOT body color, I looked into having factory sidescripts as used on the LS models chromed, which I did do, but the chrome job was somewhat experimental, and peeled off, so that was abandoned. What I did do was contact a website I found, called them, and they did offer me the opportunity to have adhesive-backed sidescripts manufactured in mirrorchrome – a foil-backed 1/16″ thick vinyl. I took them up on their offer and sent them a full-size sidescript I had as a pattern and they matched it perfectly. I affixed them to the doors as on the LS models, but to add a bit more, I bought two “V6″ chromed emblems as used on Pontiacs at the time and affixed those in front of the sidescripts on the front fenders. They look very good.

    Now for the rear: Traditionally, the model name was placed on the right side of the trunk lid because when you would look at the car ahead of you, as you naturally read left-to-right, you check out the car’s rear end and wind up on the right side with the model name as a fitting end, like an “aha!” moment. A fitting conclusion to one’s examination.

    I bought another Impala script, peeled off the one on the left side of the trunk lid and affixed the new one on the right side. For good measure, I bought a “Chevrolet” name plate as used on Cavaliers in the 1990′s and placed that on the left side to balance things out.

    My car is nothing outstanding – just a base model with a sport appearance package – no spoiler, but it looks different from all others. I do kind of wish it had the body-color rear covers over the tail lights, but that kind of bothers me – it shows that Chevy wanted to cover up a mistake they know they made!

    Back to the Cruze: I would place the RS emblem on the black triangle, or at least place it higher on the body. It doesn’t work down in the dirt, so to speak. Add the “Cruze” name to the sides as well.

    Well, I’ve taken up too much space, so I’ll leave things at that!

    • 0 avatar

      “Creativity always makes me smile in what the schools teach. It’s all nonsense. REAL creativity means being creative WITHIN the narrow confines of the industry you serve.”

      My hero.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Zackman: “Creativity always makes me smile in what the schools teach. It’s all nonsense. REAL creativity means being creative WITHIN the narrow confines of the industry you serve.”

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    There was an article a few years back from a GM higher up about how strips of chrome allowed them to tack several hundred dollars profit onto each car. Not only does the chromed plastic strips used on most modern cars look terribly cheap and gimmicky, but to expect that to add value to the car is adding insult to injury. GM seems to be the current king of this right now, the silverado is the gravest sin, however they’ve got nothing compared to the awful chroming on the front end of the Jetta from a few years ago

    I’ve been looking at the front end fitment of the new dart and although we likely haven’t seen a fully finished production model, the way the front end fits together on the press models seems to be detrimental to what could otherwise be a good looking car.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “There was an article a few years back from a GM higher up about how strips of chrome allowed them to tack several hundred dollars profit onto each car.”

      Perhaps I’m a sucker, but like a moth attracted to bright objects, chrome sure works for me!

      • 0 avatar
        sckid213

        I think the most inappropriate use of a tacked on chrome strip is the license plate mustache on the current-gen Corolla. I wonder if Corolla-driving drones actually feel it makes the car look more upscale.

  • avatar
    bootsfirst

    I’m always struck by the Cruze’s proportions in profile- it has an almost BMW-esque shape to it (at least as much as an FWD compact can.
    That aside, I just wanted to say how much I like these articles- VV is definitely the most interesting new column TTAC has had in a while- it’s awesome to get some actual explanation of design principles from someone with real experience in the area when so many reviews either avoid discussing design altogether or offer uninformed “good”/”bad” opinions. Plus now I know that my instinctive hatred of black plastic triangles on the DLO is right!

  • avatar

    IDK.. the Chevy looks cheap!

  • avatar
    snabster

    OK, I really learned something about the black triangles of death, but does the opposite — the mirror attached to the body — work so much better?

    Toyota seems to be doing a lot of them. I noticed a Bentley. Mini. A couple new Chevys.

    • 0 avatar

      Putting a mirror base instead of a black plastic triangle is a good idea too. There might be an interference with the door opening, but that’s for engineers and designers to work out…if they’ll actually talk to each other on a regular basis.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    Damn you Sajeev! I can’t look at a car now without checking first if it has black triangles or not…and for the record they are crap along with the fake black honeycombs.

  • avatar

    gotta say, i’m disappointed that this is a critique of the Cruz’s design and neglects to mention the strong curved shape of the headlight as it runs up the fender clashing with the extremely angular design of the nose as a whole.
    i really don’t know how so many people find this… *thing* …attractive. the back looks nice, the side is downright inoffensive, but that schnoz is just awful. the aforementioned headlight/fender action tied with the tall, narrow grille, the unibrow, and the “HEY I’M A CHEVY” massive badge all mentioned in the article, it’s just awful! it simply blows my mind that this ugly bastard outsells the Focus! if they would’ve just miniaturized the Malibu, because THAT is a good looking Chevy!

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    Great read, this column makes me appreciate sitting in traffic more and more :)

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    Here’s an idea for your next piece, the CTS Coupe vs the new ATS. I noticed on the internets, the rear end of the ATS isn’t nearly as flawed (or ugly) as the CTS Coupe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_ATS

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I have to say that I’ve never found the front end on these things hideous until I read this. The three part grille is something I never really paid attention to, but now I’ll probably see it all the time. That front end treatment needs to be killed with fire until it dies from it.

    Chevy (nee…Chevrolet), are you listening? Jane Fonda headbands went out in the 80s!

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Several things that stick out in my mind about the Cruze styling.

    One, the bifurcated grill looks a little odd, I agree. However, in the design language of the European marques, it’s no where near as egregious as some of the MBs or Audi front ends, particularly on the smaller cars. What’s really awful is when Brabus or some of the other tuners re-do a Merc, and they attach a three pointed star that is about as big as a beach ball. That’s ugly. But in the case of the Cruze, it’s a recognizable feature, not unlike the three pointed star or Mopar’s gunsight grille…

    Two, the first few times I saw the Cruze in traffic from behind, I thought it was a circa 2000-ish Honda Civic. The tail lights mimic the styling of that era Honda. I don’t know if it was intentional or not.

    Three, the rest of the car is just international small car styling. Not as far out as the Hyundai Elantra, nor as conservative as the Corolla. The black plastic really doesn’t bother me. I’d like those areas to be windows (or more steel, even), too, but we all know everything is built to a price. I kind of like the chrome strips, they provide a nice bright boundary between the windows and the body.

    • 0 avatar

      “The black plastic really doesn’t bother me. I’d like those areas to be windows (or more steel, even), too, but we all know everything is built to a price.”

      The black plastic hides steel, so tweaking the design to eliminate the need for black plastic actually saves money. A door cutline and fixed vent window “re-think” at the rear will actually save money.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I stand corrected. You’re right, the black plastic has to fit INTO something, in this case an indentation in the steel. Old and Slow has the right idea, without the black plastic triangle, the Cruze would look like another car. I thought it would be more like the Mazda 3 sedan, but the Nissan Sentra would be a good choice, too.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      The Audi front mustache can be a bit over the top, i.e. tacky looking. Acura is the real prize winner.

      Without the black plastic trim, the Cruze roof line would almost remind me of another vehicle in this class that is built to a price, the Nissan Sentra. Nissan decided to forgo the trim piece.

      When I first saw the redesigned Elantra in traffic, my first thought was that is what a Corolla should look like.

  • avatar
    86er

    Speaking of things that need to die: cheap plastic gas caps.

    I’m not unfond of the “chrome mustache” on the trunk lid, so long as it’s, you know, real chrome.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    @Sajeev Mehta

    I’ve enjoyed this new column. Question for you on the Cruze. Agreed after you pointed it out and some good photography that the black plastic triangle on the c-panel is a fail. I also get your suggestion on how to make it go away with a “hourglass” shaped door.

    But, where do you draw the line on form over function. If I think of cars that have that design to create a better greenhouse, the Ford Taurus through 2005 immediately comes to mind. However, the back doors then stuck out so far due to that form over function design element, that to this day I won’t park next to a Taurus for fear of at the belt line door dings from those rear doors, and that hourglass appendage.

    How would you go about creating a design that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.

    • 0 avatar

      The extreme nature of the hourglass shape (or hips) is a tough one to measure in theory. It kinda depends on the rear door’s position relative to the wheelbase. The closer you get to the rear wheel, the bigger the problem that you mentioned re: Taurus.

      Another big offender was the original Jeep Cherokee.

      In the case of the Cruze, the rear door’s cutline is far away from the rear wheel. So a little (JUST A LITTLE) hourglass/hip won’t change much. But it will make it easy to eliminate the plastic triangle.

  • avatar
    Volts On Fire

    I’m heartened to see this vehicle properly referred to as ‘Daewoo-designed’ twice in the article. It’s a message that can’t be shouted enough.

    I’ve seen the same gas door misalignment on several Cruzes. Granted, they were likely all rentals, too, but that still speaks more to a design issue than outright abuse. Daewoo designed a fragile, half-assed car.

  • avatar

    You should review a Lambda!

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      The most disgusting one of all, the Traverse, with its squinty butt and weird headlights?

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      I for one would love to see one on the shapeless blob that is the Corolla just to try to get a sense of what kind (if any) of “design process” went into that vehicle. It also exhibits one design element I hate much worse than a black triange: the cutline smack in the middle of the hood between the front clip and the hood, a la new 3-series.

  • avatar
    Marko

    For an economy car, I can’t complain too much about the styling. However, the taillights look a bit too much like the Canadian Acura CSX.

    The Mercedes style taillights offered elsewhere look much better.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    No black triangle:
    http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/PontiacG6/Images/LeftRear.jpg

    but I’ve always thought the G6 rear door was oddly-pointed.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    I think the Cruze looks a lot like the previous generation Hyundai Sonata. As the former owner of an ’06 Sonata, I do a double take when I see the Cruze.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    All in all I don’t think the Cruze is a bad looking car. It’s far better appointed and made than the Cobalt, but as you say above, the front end leaves quite a lot to be desired. I’m crap at describing what I think it should look like, so I photoshopped it instead.

    http://tinypic.com/r/2ilfqio/6

    Waddyathink?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    They’ve got an excellent design but that trademark grill has to go. It’s too busy and screams Chevy from blocks away. I’d take a Sawzall to the crossbar and use flat black mesh. It’s just what it needs to give it a clean, sharp look. I’m sure that’s what the designers orginally sketched. Besides, that bowtie is huge. You’d think they’d put a bowtie on the flagship Corvette and downplay it on the other end of the lot. Otherwise it’s all good except the chrome strips/bits need to be murdered out.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Wow…all that from cohesive, appealing design.

    Imagine the length of the article had this been the new Focus…I don’t think the internet has enough space!

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I like reading your articles however maybe you can write an article that describes the basics of your terminology.

    Here’s my problem, I’m not a stylist/designer/whatever you want to call it name of the month. I don’t have the terminology to understand the following paragraph. I can take some guesses as to what you are saying but for the most part I dont’ get it. I’d love to see comparing pictures to show me what your talking about.

    “What was the right move? Add a little more “hip” to the straight-edged door cut line, going up to a more hourglass shape as it reached the DLO. From there, the rear door glass can elegantly continue the hourglass shape. The smooth curve will look good in both glass and the nearby sheet metal of the C-pillar…thus eliminating the hideous FAIL you see here.”

    It took me a while to figure out DLO meant daylight opening. As for hip, not sure what that means and then you are talking about an hourglass shape. I don’t see any hourglass shape, maybe its very subtle but in those pictures I don’t see it.

    I get it about the attention to detail you talk about and crome doesn’t look right in some places and does in others.

    I just think a bit more explanations will help us lay people understand what you mean when you are using these terms.

    Only other thing I would ask, can you switch manufacturers instead of mostly doing the same one .. ie GM. Even if it’s to show us how it is done right, I think all of us could benefit from that.

    Thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      daveainchina has a good point.

      Not to beat up Sajeev, because many other writers do this, but abbreviations do need to be explained at some point, usually upon introduction into the article. IIRC from my writing classes, if you’re introducing an abbreviation or an acronym into an article, it is supposed to be referenced, something like this: DLO (daylight opening), or MCE (mid-cycle enhancement). Once the abbreviation or acronym has been established early in the article, then it can be used throughout.

      Even though I’m familiar with many of the design terms, it would be nice to have an explanation so everybody knows what’s being discussed.

    • 0 avatar

      Good points, Dave. I will explain each term at the beginning of each article. And of course, if I am still being too obtuse, that’s what the comments section is for.
      ————
      As for hip, not sure what that means and then you are talking about an hourglass shape. I don’t see any hourglass shape, maybe its very subtle but in those pictures I don’t see it.”

      That’s the problem. There needs to be a hip shape…or half of an hourglass. There’s no curve and I am pretty sure it would fix the “problem” presented here.

      ————-
      “Only other thing I would ask, can you switch manufacturers instead of mostly doing the same one .. ie GM. Even if it’s to show us how it is done right, I think all of us could benefit from that.”

      First the Toyota guy gets mad when I harp on three Toyota products, now this. I take photos as I visit dealerships or people who let me photograph their cars…they come in batches. That’s how the game is played.

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        I only just started reading these articles Sajeev. I didn’t look back through all the articles about Venum Vellum.. So you probably have done more than manufacturer.

        Maybe try to break up so it doesn’t seem like you are focusing on one manufacturer.

        Last I checked you can still go to dealer lots on Sundays and take pictures :D Just don’t show the dealer name or the VIN of the car and you should be good.

        The one thing that I think got missed though was this; Could you perhaps give us some pictures of vehicles that do do things right, instead of the black triangles that you hate? Junctions of the window/hood/door areas that are done right?

        I wouldn’t mind seeing seeing an article showing different things done right by different manufacturers.

  • avatar
    Chance4000

    I would love to see you review the new Focus. I was comparing Focus to Cruze and ended up with the Focus. I think the Cruze looks very cheap in lower trim levels.

  • avatar
    300zx_guy

    to bumpy ii’s comment about the triangle: I think the triangles on the Sebring/200 are so much worse because of the larger door frame – the triangle’s cut line doesn’t line up with the door cut line. I think glass or glossy black would be an improvement on the Cruze (not good, just better). Sajeev gave some good ideas on how the design could have been done sans triangle. Someone must have really wanted the Audi-like DLO on this car to approve the dreaded triangle.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    “Imagine if the grille ended at the same height of the headlights!”

    Then you’d have a huge area of vertical sheetmetal at the front of the bonnet / “hood”.

    “Wow, it’d be a beauty!”

    No, it’d look like Boris Karloff in _Frankenstein’s Monster_ with that humongous coffin-shaped forehead.


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