By on February 7, 2017

Kia Sportage IIHS Roof Crush Test

James writes:

Sajeev,

I’m a TTAC reader and longtime poster on LincolnsOnine. My question is: why has outward visibility gotten so much worse over the past two decades?

I’ve been driving Panthers for more than 20 years (’87 Town Car, ’89 TC, ’97 TC, ’04 TC, and now a ’08 MGM), and the visibility out of them is fantastic.

However, my wife has a 2011 Buick Lacrosse. Although we really like the car, there are several times where both of us have almost hit someone or something by the huge obstruction of the A-pillar. I’ve noticed this in other newer cars I’ve driven as well. Am I missing something?

James

Sajeev answers:

Your Panther Love and your dislike of modern sedan visibility is no coincidence: the final nail in the Panther’s coffin was likely our government’s roof crush standards.

If Ford wasn’t using R&D money for SYNC integration, why bother re-engineering the roof?

But first, a digression: while I’m ashamed for neglecting Lincolnsonline, my first internet home, your timely question validated a recent Town Car experience. I was driving my aunt’s Town Car Signature Series upon completion of a six-month restoration. The stress-free lane changes were shocking, even when the auto dimming mirror buzzed from day-to-night in combating Texas Brodozers and their illegal HID/LED illumination. The Townie’s greenhouse kept visibility available via the breadth/width of the other windows. It’s reassuring to be surrounded by so much glass.

I loved that mirror so much, one found residence in my Fox-body Cougar.

Back on track: the days of skinny, upright-ish pillars that gave Panthers (and others) their stodgy styling and brilliant visibility are gone because of federally-mandated roof crush standards.

All the Panthers, Image: © 2010 Sajeev Mehta

Don’t forget, people die or suffer paralysis from rollover accidents. Vehicles meeting the latest metrics do far better in head/neck protection, as witnessed in this IIHS video. Still, roof crush standards have been a point of contention for decades. Take either side of a visibility vs. roof strength debate and you’ll make a compelling argument.

My take? Newer sedans are unquestionably safer in rollovers, but don’t discount the role of mandatory electronic stability control. Even with their valuable head airbag functionality (hat tip to featherston), I loathe chunky cab-forward A-pillars and over-sexed fastback roof lines for their shameful lack of visibility, and I reckon it’s the prime mover in our Midsize Sedan Death Watch. Why put up with this visibility nonsense when a better(-ish) CUV isn’t much worse on a monthly payment basis?

[Image: IIHS, © 2010 Sajeev Mehta]

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80 Comments on “Piston Slap: Visibility vs. Roof Crush Standards?...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    In the days of yore Volvo used to tout the strength of the roofs in roll-overs. I don’t know if a 240, 740, or even a 850 would meet the current roof crush standards but I thought my Volvo 850 GLT had a pretty good greenhouse. Certainly better than many of the gun-slit cars of today.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      I’m pretty sure they all would exceed it by a lot, going back to the 1967 140. Go into google images and type in Volvo 140 stack. Those roofs were strong enough to hold six times the car’s weight (about 15-16,000 pounds) and outward visibility was still outstanding.

      http://95octane.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/stacked_volvo_140_1-620×846.jpg

      Modern thick pillars are partly from A pillar airbags and partly because the carmakers are lazy.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You should watch the documentary on the making of that shot. It seems seconds after the photos/commercials were shot, the third car up had a pillar collapse, sending them all to the ground.

      • 0 avatar
        ScarecrowRepair

        Wasn’t that the commercial they rigged with lumber inside the cars?

        Quick google found some monster truck commercial fraud, but not the stacking commercial, and your link got me a 404 Not Found.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Dang… the link worked five minutes ago, I swear!

          Anyway, it’s a picture of seven old Volvos stacked up, implying that the bottom one’s roof is holding six times the weight of the car. Try googling it instead.

          I remember the monster truck commercial “scandal” in the 1990s. That one was just plain dumb of their advertising department.

          • 0 avatar
            ScarecrowRepair

            I remember the stacking commercial and the scandal. Google did find a picture, probably the same or similar. Just can’t find anything more than a sentence about the lumber inside.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That lumber scandal was proven a myth when the ‘making of’ documentary was released. If you look at the photo, you can’t see any ‘lumber’ and every car is stacked using a custom-designed frame to even the weight on all six pillars of the car below it. Even the fact that the cars alternate facing was designed to ensure load balancing fore and aft.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        “Modern thick pillars are partly from A pillar airbags . . . .” +1, JimC2. The pundits virtually never mention the airbags, which are at least part of the equation (not singling out Sajeev, who’s a lot more thoughtful than the average scribe).

        I’d also add that crappy driver’s ed probably is an indirect reason. A large percentage of drivers probably aren’t bothered by thick A-pillars because a large percentage of drivers aren’t visually scanning their surroundings.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        In an older Top Gear they flipped a Volvo 900 wagon along with a few other cars via forklift. The roof wasn’t too straight after that compared to a Golf that suffered the same abuse.

        Tis a bit different than slowly, gently, stacking cars in a calculated manner.

    • 0 avatar
      JEFFSHADOW

      Remember that the 1995 to 1999 Oldsmobile Aurora had very thick, but curved, A-pillars. The crush test machine could not affect the integrity of the pillars and simply gave up. The outside mirrors were also mounted on the doors (like the same year Buick Rivieras) and visibility in an intersection was vastly improved. I drive my 1998 Aurora twice a week and many people think the design is brand new. Others have never heard of an “Aurora” at all.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    The Camaro is a particularly egregious offender in the “dangerous A-pillar thickness” category. My co-worker had a vehicle collision in a Camaro at a four-way stop because he simply could not see the other person moving at the same time. My sister would have gotten T-boned in another Camaro pulling into traffic (a legal left turn across turn lane into far lanes of traffic), if she had not had a passenger who told her that someone was coming. She did not see the oncoming traffic at all – the angle was such that it stayed in the A-pillar blind spot!

    Also really bad: G8 and SS. Lower production though, so not as much of an issue as the Camaro.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many (everyone being able to see) outweigh the needs of the few (who roll cars).

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’ll give you a thumbs up on that one, 28-cars.

      On the other hand, I’ve been amazed at how many MORE rollover accidents I’ve been hearing about in my local community than I’ve ever heard of before. We just had one this past weekend in a single-car crash and two the weekend before in multi-car crashes. It’s like they’re getting so top-heavy that a decent hit from the side guarantees a rollover any more.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thx

        “It’s like they’re getting so top-heavy that a decent hit from the side guarantees a rollover any more.”

        Quite an astute observation. Perhaps the “UV”s can have gunslits since then are more prone to rollover and visibility can return to cars. While on the subject I noticed minivans seem to still offer some visibility, why would that be?

        I’d also add a friend of mine survived a rollover in an MY06ish Cobalt back in November (subsequent back issues but no other bodily harm fortunately). GM Delta I isn’t known for, much of anything so I wonder why the standards it used were adequate and why today’s are more extreme.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’d guess it has something to do with speed, since so many rollovers any more seem to be a tumble rather than a fall… Rounded shapes tend to make continuing a roll much easier.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I always thought the same thing. It would seem that lack of visibility would be more likely to cause harm to the occupants than a roleover.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      28, are you our new Spock since Pch went emeritus?

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Yes rollovers are relatively rare to give up visibility that might prevent many more accidents of all types, but manufacturers don’t get sued for the accident that didn’t happen. They only get sued by the family of the deceased who rolls his car doing 85mph in a 35mph zone while texting and driving on underinflated tires on his way home from the bar. And such “unnecessary deaths” of course lead to calls for more government safety regulations that have added several hundred pounds to vehicles over the past three decades. Plus women tend to feel safer when driving a pillbox on stilts.

    • 0 avatar

      Harder to quantify a crash caused by an A pillar thou. Plus saftey standards are more fixed on how expensive the injuries or deaths are. A death is many times more costly then a side swipe.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      My sedan has such a wide stance, you’d have to mess up pretty bad to put it on it’s roof. My absurdly wide a-pillar is about the only thing that could put me a position where I couldn’t see something, resulting in my being on my roof.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        In trying to refute a point, brn, you seem to have confirmed it instead. The complaint that was generally being made is that the taller CUV/SUVs (and pickup trucks) are tending to roll over more frequently in multi-vehicle crashes when they get hit from the side. This is one of the drawbacks of the “bigger is better” mindset.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    The Sportage weighs maybe 3500 lbs and does fine until about 8000 lbs is reached. Were they envisioning it falling off an overpass before landing on its head to need 15000 lbs of force?

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      4Gs deceleration force ain’t much. 2Gs is a trifle.

      If that roof crush is slowly applied, there is an extra margin of safety built in. If the deceleration load is applied over a short time, like in a crash, the apparent strength of steel and other metals is significantly greater than for the same load applied slowly. Cowper-Symonds yield shift, first mentioned in passing by A.E.H. Love in his treatise on the Theory of Elasticity in the 1880’s, finally addressed in 1957 by Cowper and Symonds, and made more useful with computers that could really number crunch in the 1980’s. Shows how long today’s pure science/math speculation might take to become useful in a practical sense.

      Thanks for the opportunity to furnish TMI today.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Margin of safety for things like manufacturing variation, preexisting damage, and the fact that real-world forces will not always be the same place, direction, and distribution as the test jig.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Yabbut that’s all dumb stuff that’s hard to understand.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Falling of an overpass does violently bad things to the roof pillars of a vehicle. Happened a year ago near where I work. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2016/01/16/3-dead-1-injured-after-vehicle-falls-more-than-60-feet-off-president-george-bush-turnpike

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    I’ve wondered: how do panoramic moonroofs (ooves?) affect structural integrity wrt rollovers? For instance, the IIHS test gives the Highlander top honors for rollover protection, but that test isn’t done on the Platinum model which comes with the PMR.

  • avatar
    la834

    Rollover standards aren’t the only culprit here. Others include:

    – Aerodynamics to increase fuel economy and reduce wind noise. That’s why the sharp corner on the front side glass near the top of the windshield on the ’80s Town Car shown has given may to ever larger-radius curves in this area (which also make ingress/egress more difficult). Aerodynamic concerns also have led to the severely sloped windshields and rear windows, both of which collect more dirt than more vertical glass.

    – Pedestrian safety standards have led to higher cowls.

    – The trunk lid on sedans and hatchbacks is higher than on old cars both for added luggage space and (again) better aero.

    – Side impact sturdiness is beefed up by higher beltlines.

    – Finally, all of these things are perceived as new and fashionable.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I call shenanigans. Volvo accomplished industry leading safety on its circa 1998 (P2) and circa 2006 (P3) platforms without sacrificing visibility and without resorting to horrible aesthetics.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’ll agree with all but the last bullet point, Ia834; they are neither new nor fashionable which is why so many people are complaining about them.

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        “I’ll agree with all but the last bullet point, Ia834; they are neither new nor fashionable which is why so many people are complaining about them.”

        Those of us who like old cars are complaining about them. But that’s it. To everyone else, small windows look better and feel safer. I blame the Audi TT for starting the trend – everyone loved the way it looked when it came out. Around the same time, a focus group told Chrysler that the PT Cruiser felt too open and insecure so they reduced the windows (particularly the rear one).

        It’s always been what designers wanted, anyway. Look at images of design sketches from 30 years ago and you’ll see massive wheels and tiny windows. Throw in an increasingly scared consumer base obsessed with perceived safety (in a crash – they don’t care about potentially avoiding it), bigger wheels and tires, and the ascendancy of design as a selling feature, and it’s on. Visibility is now for dorks (i.e. us).

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      Do you don’t think a shape like that of an ’80s Town Car (or ’80s Honda for that matter) would be perceived as looking old today?

      Also reducing visibility on new cars (in addition to list above):

      – Mirrors are usually butted up against the front edge of the front door glass against a triangular cutout, causing a large side/forward blind spot from the mirror, the mounting area, and thick A-pillar. Older cars usually had the mirrors set back a few inches from the A pillar. Some newer cars are adding a small triangular window ahead of the A pillar to help alleviate this, but the one on the driver’s side is hard to see through because the A pillar trim gets in the way.

      – Rear headrests including the center position that old cars didn’t have. These obviously do much to reduce whiplash injuries, but also block the rearward view.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Partially agree with that one, Ia834; especially the rear headrests. With some models those headrests could be removed while others would let them fold back so the seat back would lie more flat and not impinge on the front passenger seats (very poor design that you can’t lower the rear seat back without moving the front seat back out of the way.) I used to strap down the rear headrests in my Wrangler because I had those tall headrests AND the spare tire trying to block my view. The spare tire wasn’t too much of an issue once you got used to it but those headrests to either side blocked the rest of the view.

        As for the side mirrors, I both agree and disagree. In too many cars they are mounted too high and have started blocking forward view, as you describe. Unfortunately, this is due to the high shoulders of the car and “gunslit windows” raising everything to near eye-level when they used to be at or below human shoulder level. You have to raise your seat or add a cushion just to see out of the car any more. The only fix is going to be a side-view camera rig mounting the display below window level on the inside–which itself will cause issues for the right-side view as any passengers tend to hold books, phones or other objects up high enough to block the view (I constantly have to ask my wife to either raise or lower her hands because I can’t see the mirror while she’s reading.) An alternative placement might be at the top of the door rather than the bottom of the window as then you could see UNDER the mirror for eye-level viewing and over any interior hand-held obstacle.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    One of the best things about my old Celebrity was the greenhouse. You could see all four corners, of course “square” styling didn’t hurt either.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Yes, but it’s a three-box design! It’s so passe’ it just isn’t DONE anymore! We’ll never see the three-box again, ever! That’s what people here keep telling me when I bring it up. I try to bring up the example of bell-bottoms, but get cut off: that’s fashion, they say; cars are not about fashion.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Sajeev what work did you do to your aunt’s Town Car?

    • 0 avatar

      Rebuild the stereo, new A/C components, heater core, power window motors, door lock motors, dashtop and driver door panel, headlights, power antenna, horn pad… basically the stuff that will die on an almost 30 year old car.

      And no, I didn’t do this by myself. My trusty indy mechanic shop did most of the heavy lifting.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    My last position was working at a trauma center in Florida. Honestly the worst mva’s motor vehicle accidents were crush injuries from full size suv’s and pickup trucks. They give a false sense of security because almost any rollover will cave in the roof. More so in pickups. Not to mention 9 out of 10 people thrown from a vehicle involved a full size SUV or pickup. Guess they are so big and strong, no need for a seatbelt.

    • 0 avatar
      Menar Fromarz

      My truck is a ’06 F350, and it has HORRIBLE A pillars for visibility. With the giant grab handles, you really have to take care to look around them, as I have been caught several times with things in the blind spot created by them, and this is without any airbags or such demanding such thick pillars. The rest of the truck with four doors has great viz, but forward to the corners….not so much

  • avatar
    ericb91

    “Why put up with this visibility nonsense when a better(-ish) CUV isn’t much worse on a monthly payment basis?”

    Are your TRYING to kill Jack Baruth? Telling people to buy a CUV, telling someone the payment isn’t that much more?? My goodness.

    My daily driver is a 2001 Toyota Camry. I’m pretty sure they used matchsticks for the A-, B- and C-pillars. I love it. But as easy as it is to roll a vehicle, or for it to end up on its roof, I’ll take roof strength.

    Also- love the Panther.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    I wonder if it’s possible for car makers to use a higher strength, but narrower steel in the roof pillars to achieve roll over protection and better visibility? I assume this would be more costly though.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I bought a 2014 Honda Accord with relatively thin A pillars while rejecting the otherwise very good Ford Fusion due to its thick A pillars. The difference is use of high-strength steel. http://www.boronextrication.com/2013/06/28/2013-honda-accord-body-structure/

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        George,
        I too have a 2014 Honda Accord that I daily drive along with a 97 Crown Vic. The CV has a superior view from the green house in all directions especially the rear view mirror as well as the A pillars. I think the sloping rear on the current mid size sedans has more to do with aerodynamics and not the crush strength of the roof.
        The Accord does have a rear view camera to offset the bad rear view, but I find that the back up lighting is not sufficient to offset that bad rear view in the dark.

    • 0 avatar

      There are varying grades of steel, and the high(er) strength stuff is used in automotive applications. It’s probably a cost vs. benefit analysis to determine just how much can be used to reinforce a roof.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Newer sedans are unquestionably safer in rollovers, but don’t discount the role of mandatory electronic stability control. I loathe chunky cab-forward A-pillars and over-sexed fastback roof lines for their shameful lack of visibility, and I reckon it’s the prime mover in our Midsize Sedan Death Watch. Why put up with this visibility nonsense when a better(-ish) CUV isn’t much worse on a monthly payment basis?”

    Sajeev, you just explained everything.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Ah Panthers, I recall a crazy story in the news about one that was slowly crushed by a jack knifed semi trailer that fell on it.

    The driver survived thanks to the surprisingly sturdy seats, and I’m sure ducking, as opposed to tweeting “lol I’m being crushed”

  • avatar
    CH1

    The Federal roof strength mandate is only one of several reasons for the increased thickness/strength of A-pillars. I would say it not even the leading reason. The Federal standard was increased to 3 times vehicle weight in 2010 after many years at only 1.5. A-pillars started getting stronger and thicker long before then.

    A-pillars are vitally important components of the safety cage needed to protect occupants in a variety of crashes. Manufacturers had to beef up the A-pillars to prevent the poor performance in frontal crashes shown in the following video, where the A-pillar buckles pushing the instrument panel and steering wheel back into the cabin:

    A-pillars are also important in side impacts. They act together with the B-pillars, roof rails and cross-members to distribute crash forces and maintain space for the occupants.

    • 0 avatar
      TCowner

      I’m the original poster, and I was unaware of the increased roof strength regulations – that explains a lot. Also, I can vouch for the A-pillar side protection, even on the Panther. I was T-boned in my 2004 Town Car Ultimate in November at 45mph, and the A-pillar plus the side airbags allowed me to walk away from a crash so hard it snapped off a rear wheel and shifted the axle.

      • 0 avatar
        GS 455

        Glad to hear you were OK after your accident. TTAC’s Jack Baruth wasn’t as fortunate after his Town Car was hit on the side:

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/falling-out-of-panther-love/

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      The link came through fine on email both times (if you’re subscribed to these comments). If you want to put it in your post on the website, you’re gonna have to settle for putting what title, keywords, or something we need to search for to find it on YouTube.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The worst A-pillars of any car I’ve ever driven were those on my 2009 G8 GXP. Any time I turned left on city streets I had to bob my whole body back and forth to make sure no pedestrians were hiding behind that giant mass of metal, plastic, and airbag.

    The much newer C-Max is considerably better in that respect.

  • avatar
    Chan

    The pillars and roof rails are critically important in offset frontal crash tests. That is why pickup trucks (with a bed that contributes nothing to crash structure) took so long to become competent in these tests.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    The Volvo 240 and Saab 900 had superior roof strength back in the 70s and 80s and the visibility was excellent. Was it Top Gear or the Mythbusters that dropped one from a couple stories up on its roof and it didn’t collapse?

    I get that side curtain airbags are a thing now, but would it be that hard to emulate what Volvo/Saab did on a modern car while incorporating the airbags?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      That was Top Gear that dropped a Saab on its roof. Even then I think the back of the roof was the sturdiest bit thanks to the thick rear pillars.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        The SAAB 900 showed how to do this right. First, the A-Pillars were very short, probably no more than 18 inches long. That was possible because they stood close to vertical while the curved windshield provided the aerodynamics (just like in an airplane). Also, they had a triangular cross section, which hid their bulk from the driver’s perspective.

        Compare that to today’s long, laid-back A-pillars, such as in a Prius. They’re twice as long as the old SAAB’s — long enough to hide a semi at a crossroads — and thick, giving that impression of strength that buyers want.

        Or perhaps there’s an inherent conflict in A-pillar shape? If it’s upright, it won’t act to transmit forward collision forces around the passenger cell. That’s the only safety benefit I can imagine from the modern style.

        Manufacturers ought to use only the best steel in this critical area. The A-pillar needs to stay slim, but strong enough.

  • avatar
    thunderjet

    Sajeev you used the old style auto dim mirror. I came up with a better solution for My ’88 Thunderbird LX:

    http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?39580-Adding-an-auto-dim-rear-view-mirror&highlight=

    Since this particular electrochromic rear view mirror is factory on 90-92 Lincoln Mark VIIs it has the all important headlamp dimming sensor mount.

  • avatar
    Big Wheel

    My wife had two consecutive Buick Lacrosses of that vintage & I can vouch that the A pillar is particularly huge on that car. That, & the poor headlights at night were the two things I disliked most about driving that car. Seeing around corners was very difficult.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Something no one has mentioned. The steeper the windshield is raked back, the more you are looking at a reflection of the top of the dashboard instead of what’s outside the car. All you have to do is drive something with a more upright windshield to notice the visibility and eyestrain difference.

    Like accidents resulting from thick A-pillars, this will never show up in accident statistics.

    Gunslit windows are part of a package of features intended to make certain cars appeal to certain people. The idea is to simulate a child’s hidie-hole. A tight dark place where others can’t see you. If it moves around dramatically and makes flesh-massaging sounds like a heartbeat and has seats that wrap around and hug you, you have a simulated womb. For those stuck in an infantile state.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While I may be wrong, I think the reflectivity issue has been addressed many ways, not least of which is the fact that dashboards are much less reflective themselves any more, meaning that glare is reduced.

      But I also think they’ve started putting an anti-reflective coating on the inside of the glass; the issue was far worse with older cars than it is today, at least in most cars I’ve driven over the last few years. Even with its more upright windshield, the beige dash of my ’97 Ranger is far more noticeable than the dash of my ’14 Fiat 500 or my Jeep Renegade is today. I have to admit I didn’t really notice any dashboard reflection even when driving a bright red Ford Focus I rented 18 months ago in Atlanta.

      That kind of reflectivity had me laying dark towels on my dash with previous cars. A lot of people did it through the ’80s and I think into the ’90s, though the argument was to help prevent the dashboard from cracking in the intense sun.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Suggesting that there are trade-offs between visibility and roll-over/crash safety is CrimeThink. The Valar of the NHTSA and IIHS have regulated.

    Much worse (DoublePlusCrimeThink?) is fantasizing about allowing the plebs choices between the extremes of gun-slit visibility with tank-like protection and Panther Visibility with less crash protection.

  • avatar

    To give the Fit’s sloping A pillar enough strength for rollover protection, Honda had to make it so wide that they needed to add a little window behind it, adding a very upright pillar to the rear of that window, so my guess is that it will perform well in a rollover. Even with the additional glass, though, vehicles can get lost in the blind spot.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “Why has outward visibility gotten so much worse over the past two decades?”

    No evidence has been presented to show that this is the case.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    That’s my sister’s Sportage, same color and everything. She calls it the Blueberry.

  • avatar
    slap

    The thing I like best about the Forester is that the windows are large. Subaru seems to do a better job making cars you can see out of.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    One of the best cars I’ve ever had for visibility was a Series III Jaguar XJ12. Great vision and no blind spots. In it’s day, the body was considered very strong and overbuilt. The joys of design before computers and fuel economy targets!


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