By on March 25, 2013

Passover is upon us, and starting tonight, the Zionist Occupation forces of TTAC’s editorial roster (as well as our 44th President, and Road Tester Emeritus Michael Karesh) will refrain from eating bread as we recall the Exodus from Egypt, and the last time The Tribe ever did any manual labor.

In honor of this momentous blockbuster occassion, which spawned the blockbuster film starring Charlton Heston, I’d like to discuss the 10 Plagues that currently afflict us car fans. Brett Berk did one a couple years back, but it’s time to update it. My own list, which I will spill 10 drops of wine for both tonight and tomorrow

  1. Homogenous vehicle offerings
  2. Overly complex touch screens
  3. Nonsensical CAFE regulations
  4. Pedestrian safety dictating automotive design
  5. The Chevrolet Camaro
  6. Inflated used car prices
  7. Road salt
  8. Non-trade barriers like FMVSS and the Chicken Tax
  9. Autoplay Youtube videos on automotive sites
  10. Jeremy Clarkson’s writing being taken as gospel

Feel free to share yours.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

134 Comments on “QOTD: Your Automotive 10 Plagues...”

  • avatar

    Porsche electric power steering which mimics real feedback via algorithms. Let my people go.

  • avatar

    Is that why the scones I brought in to the office haven’t all been eaten yet? Usually baked goods go real fast.

  • avatar

    Front-end LED light strips/bars/boomerangs…

  • avatar

    In no particular order:

    1 Radars and speed bumps
    2 Homogeneous design
    3 Humongous wheels
    4 Black on black interiors
    5 Gray on gray interiors
    6 Toyota Corolla
    7 Blind import loving consumers
    8 Any defender of the if it’s German, it’s better crew
    9 Bus and truck drivers
    10 Insurance companies killing any chance of even slightly sporting regular cars.

  • avatar

    Blind spot and laser based cruise controls that set my Valentine One radar locator false, weak signals.

    The overly complex NAV doesn’t bother as long as I have choice not to equip my car with it. I can do without all the phone and music integration that’ll be outdated in no time. Just provide a place to connect to using my phone or tablet.

    Time and money should be put toward the car and it’s driving experience.

  • avatar

    Engine noise piped in through the speakers

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      Tis’ the future as the multi-piston internal combustion engine is replaced with ever more powerful electric motors (which wont require a transmission) either powered by range extenders only vaguely recognizable as an internal combustion engine or by fuel cells and charge stations.

      No doubt with effortless power and unreal acceleration with handling that would make a GT-R envious and the only bit of soul in the car will the fake engine sounds pumped in through the speakers.

  • avatar

    – Local police jurisdictions being pushed to use traffic violations to make up lost tax revenues.
    – Insurance companies continuing to insist that one traffic violation justifies raising one’s rates by 40%.

    Yeah, so I’m bitter. I used to like that the CHP never used to hide behind bushes with lasers.

    • 0 avatar

      Come to think of it, you’d have to ask the question: Why did the CHP officer hiding behind bushes? He’s not the one breaking the law. Why acting so embarrassed if you’re doing ‘the right thing’ and enforcing the law? Because they somehow know deep down inside that they’re not doing the right thing. They’re unfairly taxing motorists to shore up the States’ finance, which were bleed dry and near death by inept, corrupt politicians! Kinda like what Cyprus did with their bank depositors, though on a much smaller case.

    • 0 avatar

      They’ve been hiding forever. With the intention that, in the future, we’ll not speed, even when no one seems to be looking. Because they can’t be everywhere in plain sight to deter us all from speeding, all the time.

  • avatar

    Re the Camaro: it’s one of the most recognizable designs on the road; has no overly complex touch screens (yet); isn’t really CAFE or pedestrian focused; and Jezza hates it.

    If one plague cancels out half of the others, I say bring it on!

  • avatar

    As for Jeremy Clarkson’s word being gospel: Hmmm… He does have the right initials…

  • avatar

    Pedestrians with their faces in their phones, earbuds attached, walking into traffic, across traffic, pausing to read a text in a parking spot, walking right up to a crosswalk without looking up. You can’t morally run them over, but you have to watch out for them and care for them like blind dogs because they’re just so cute. No they’re not.

  • avatar

    Somewhere on there has to be “Power windows by Volkswagen.”

  • avatar

    The choices of gray, dark gray, light gray, or white as exterior colors. The Germans being the worst offenders. Even Fiat, who normally deserve a medal for cheering up the US landscape with the colors available on the 500, are guilty in that they limit the colors available on the 500 Abarth hot rod to black, white, gray, or arrest-me-red. Thanks….

  • avatar

    what? jeremy clarkston can write? who da thunk it!

  • avatar

    9. Autoplay Youtube videos on automotive sites

    Solved by using Chrome or Firefox and Flashblock. Until Youtube moves completely to HTML5, this helps with all sites.

  • avatar

    1) Red light (california stop) cameras
    2) Taking $250,000 cars and wrapping them in vinyl (this might be only Vancouver)
    3) Diesel, 6-speed, small wagon fanboys
    4) 2014 Mazda 6 priced $5100 higher in Canada than U.S.
    5) Automakers ignoring the compact pickup niche
    6) All turn signals should be amber, not red
    7) Carless people who brag about not needing a car, then always asking for a ride
    8) Goose neck trunk hinges
    9) Lack of decent car mags (I don`t take my laptop into the bathroom)
    10) Dozens of small pictures over a period of weeks new car reveals

    • 0 avatar

      6. I have to disagree with this one. What about cars that have the turn signal/tail light/brake light all in one bulb? It makes for a much simpler/cleaner design.

      8. I also don’t understand the hate for these. They are a simple design that will last forever. You don’t every have to worry about relacing a hydraulic shock to keep your trunk open.

      • 0 avatar

        6. You can see the amber so much clearer, when the red goes on it blends with the rest of the lens.
        8. They also crush anything under it. The scissor hinge make so much more room available.
        When I am elected King, things are gonna change….

        • 0 avatar

          I’m entirely with you on amber taillights. Indeed, I penned this thread on that topic:

 <– cut and paste to view, since it doesn't auto-detect URLs and won't allow me to use html

      • 0 avatar

        As I understand it, amber is better for visibility and reduces collisions. I can’t find the study that supports this, anyone know where it may be?

      • 0 avatar

        Red directionals only make things worse. Is he pumping his brakes? Can’t tell because he is too stupid to clear the snow off his other directional…

        • 0 avatar

          +1 for amber turn signals. My logic is this: red = stop, yellow = warning. Thus flashing yellow means I’m warning you I am about to turn. While flashing red means stop, go, stop, go. Flashing red could a lose wire, bad connection or someone tapping their brakes. Vehicles without amber turn signals just seem “cheap” to me. Like some bean counter knew the company could save a few pennies by just reusing the brake lights as turn signals.

          • 0 avatar

            Agree completely on amber. I’ve got an old 740 wagon. A great mod according to many is to rip those out and replace them with all red (plus the clear reverse) from a late V90. That’s just backwards.
            I remember when Audi removed the amber over 20 years ago how much I disliked it.

    • 0 avatar

      7) Carless people who brag about not needing a car, then always asking for a ride:

      Absolutely a Vancouver special this one. I’ve fallen out with numerous people over this very issue . On one hand they snort at my car ownership by espousing their eco/hipster-friendly option of “…taking the B-line or cycling, y’know, man…” and then bitch about the fact they can’t get out of the city or know anyone with a license who can drive the U-haul van when they have to move to yet another massively expensive sh*tty basement suite.
      OOOOH I feel so full of indignant rage tonight.

    • 0 avatar

      9) Get a tablet. My Nexus 7 is the perfect bathroom size. In fact, if I go to the bathroom without it, I call that ‘Breaking Amish’

  • avatar

    1. High belt lines
    2. Seat belt dingers

  • avatar

    I’d take Clarkson’s word over the rest, especially C&D, MT and the rest of the bought and paid for copy editor posers. That said, I could never afford most of the cars he drives, and the other “reasonibly” priced cars aint for sale here.
    Having lived through the 70’s, the rest of these Plagues are just candy ass nothings.

  • avatar

    1. “graduated” drivers licenses
    2. 25 MPG school zones
    3. Unpainted medians
    4. “puppy dog” car sales
    5. Gas stations that make you go in for a receipt
    6. Side mirrors that don’t fold
    7. Car washes that aren’t responsible when they mess up your car
    8. Birds that wait for you to get back from the carwash
    9. Hail
    10. Insurance companies that want to track your car.

    • 0 avatar

      Very much agreed on #2 and #10.

    • 0 avatar

      2. 25 MPH I wish. Ours are 15

      • 0 avatar

        In your neck of the woods do they put the school zones where no kids walk ever? At the bottom of long hills? Right on the main thoroughfare to the giant industrial park?

        • 0 avatar

          They tend to be all the streets surrounding a school. The first issue I have is that they stay on way too long – like an hour after school has started/ended. The second issue – and the one that really bothers me – is that the lights still flash (and you have to slow down) on days when there is no school!

          • 0 avatar

            15 MPH here too. There’s one right outside my subdivision that you’ll run into if you take the wrong road. Take the next road over though (about 50 feet away) and the school zone is done so you can speed immediately.

      • 0 avatar

        My new Accord V6 will IDLE at ~15mph, and unfortunately, there’s no paddle-shift or any “321” manual detents on the shifter! So I’d be riding the brake through one of these! (My only alternative is the “ECO” button Honda’s adding to its new models which dulls the throttle response, climate control and cruise control to eke out more efficiency–it works to avoid wheelspin in the snow, but it’s not enough when the car is on fast-idle behind a car at 20 mph here in Ohio, so I can’t imagine what 15 is like!) Yes, I am always the FIRST car behind someone doing EXACTLY the underposted speed limit, if not LESS! My biggest beef is that they keep the limit in effect around upper-grade (Jr., Sr. High) during the day as well, when there isn’t a playground full of kids of which to be mindful! (The grade-schools are one thing, but the limits should be only enforced around the other ones around arrival and dismissal.

        Just my $0.02, please no flameage.

    • 0 avatar

      #4- I assume you mean ads in which people use dogs to sell cars? I hate when people use animals to sell anything. Lowest common denominator.

      #10- Makes me wonder how many anti government or Tea Party types have Progressive Snapshot or other crap to save $100 a year.

      • 0 avatar

        Re # 10: You couldn’t PAY me enough to put one of those things in my car!

        (I’m one of the “Tea Party types”–guilty as charged!)

        We already have the “black box” which WILL be used against you in an accident situation (despite everything stating otherwise)–I don’t need something else which can read my speed in real-time!

        I don’t do 80 mph in school zones. But I do think that most speed limits are anywhere from 5-10 mph too low, at least in Ohio! Michigan, OTOH, has set the freeway speed limit to 70 based on studies showing that the 85th-percentile speed of the traffic flow is at that speed; Ohio DOES have a pending bill to raise that as well, but the surface speeds in my town are still a bit low. (I set my cruise at 5-over in all cases, and have even had a local police cruiser on my tail like a hemorrhoid at 40 in a 35, V1 flashing away clearly in the windsheld, without a problem.)

  • avatar

    Hmmm…here goes!

    1) Fixed windows on coupes, even on insanely expensive ones – I’m looking at you, Cadillac!
    2) Lack of usable coupes.
    3) Sedans trying to LOOK like coupes.
    4) Gunslit windows
    5) Insanely high beltlines, cowls, dashboards.
    6) Red light cameras.
    7) Gray/charcoal interiors.
    8) White, silver and taupe cars.
    9) Lack of synchronized traffic lights.
    10) Continuing to single out GM on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      By definition, a coupe has fixed rear windows.

      A hardtop has moveable rear windows. Hardtops are more expensive to produce for that reason.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you on #1-6 and #10. I don’t think you’ll ever get #9 due to (1) general technical incompetence/apathy, (2) multiple local gov’ts having jurisdiction on one road and thus control of the lights, and (3) local gov’t corruption and/or fixing timings for speed traps. I don’t mind car interior or exterior colors, but I could see your logic since these colors seem to dominate.

    • 0 avatar

      Speaking of coupes and ‘4 door coupes’…. what’s up with the practice of having center consoles in the back seat, deleting the middle seat?

      • 0 avatar

        Partly marketing — trying to conjure up the image of a sporty 2+2 — but it can also be related to fuel economy. Cars run the EPA cycle with a certain amount of weight on board, based on the number of seating positions.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Gunslit windows

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Super thick pillars! Pillars you hardly can see out of. I bet that’s what got the Israelis lost in the desert for 40 years. They can’t see the guiding pillars in the sky, it’s blocked by huge pillars! ;D

  • avatar

    Tank trap speed bumps.
    Roam towing. Especially with bait cars.
    $4,000 rims on a $1,000 Cutlass.
    22″ or larger rims on anyway other than a pickup.
    The town of Waldo FL.
    Neighborhood punk with a hose and a gas can.
    A city council that continues to “study” synchronized lights for 15 years, but can decide on red light cameras in one meeting.
    People supposedly smart enough to get into a major university, but too stupid to know how to use a crosswalk.

  • avatar

    The abomination known as “congestion charge” (which creates a permanent economic incentive not to fix the underlying problem for which the charge was ostensibly the solution, namely the lack of capacity on the roads).

    • 0 avatar

      In places where congestion charges are needed, adding more road capacity usually occurs at the expense of other, more valuable uses for the land.

      Scarce resource = higher price, and not every scarce resource needs more supply.

  • avatar

    the sight of that lying bastard Obama makes me sick.

  • avatar

    1. People bashing a current make/model of car for problems that were endemic to a model several generations ago and have long since been fixed. Bonus points for anecdotal evidence. “My 1993 Powell Homer had all its power windows break in the first year, blew its head gasket three times, and had a muffler that rusted off in the second year! How dare you suggest I consider any 2013 Powell Motors product!”

    2. “Trendy” designs that age badly (looking at you, Sonata). I guess these have always been around.

    3. Poor/inefficient packaging. I don’t expect sports cars to have minivan-like accomodations, but the Camaro, for example, is just ridiculous.

    4. Uncomfortable head restraints.

    5. RUN-FLAT TIRES. Enough said.

    6. Mazda rust-proofing (or lack thereof).

    7. Worrying about hybrid/electric reliability (in general – everything has exceptions) when they’ve been around for years, and are only getting more reliable.

    8. “Lifetime” fluids…yeah, right.

    9. Distracted drivers…especially when in the left lane.

    10. Automatic transmissions that don’t know what to do with their 50 gears.

    Honorable mention: Summer tires in winter.

    • 0 avatar

      Summer tires in winter – while not totally a freak occurrence (who the hell am I kidding even in winter snow is a freak occurrence in SE Va) it snowed pretty heavy yesterday and built some accumulation – fun times with a car that puts down 550 rwhp on summer tires on the way home from work. A few times I had the whole opposite lock and steer with the throttle going as the car slipped around on some particularly bad surfaces going well under 20 mph.

      • 0 avatar

        Try doing full-lock donuts in that thing during a snowstorm with those tires–turn the traction and stability controls off, and I suspect that you’d start drilling through to China in short order! (Or at least make yourself falling-down dizzy! :-p )

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    1. Gotcha! traffic law enforcement (that includes speed cameras, red light cameras on intersections with short yellows, and cops with laser/radar guns hiding at the bottom of a big downhill run. Does any of this add up to safety?

    2. Touch-panel control systems for basic vehicle functions, like climate control.

    3. Devices that promote driver inattention, such as lane departure warning, “adaptive” cruise control, touchscreens that require the driver to look away from the road to operate the audio system, heat, a/c, etc.

    4. Non-defeatable traction control and possibly, ABS. (Cars go and stop better in snow without either of these being engaged.)

    5. Various “energy conservation” devices that save trivial amounts of fuel but add significantly to vehicle cost and/or unreliability and complexity of repair (e.g. PWM electric oil pumps in MINI COOPERS).

    6.Passenger vehicles that weigh over two tons.

    7. Over-assisted power steering (this has been a hallmark of American cars for 50 years).

    I can’t think of any more. ;-)

    Some good stuff that didn’t exist before:

    1. ECM which makes engines run and start better, use less fuel and deliver more power. What’s not to like?

    2. Airbags. The idea of having a fighting chance of surviving a head-on collision at 45 mph, even with a seatbelt, was totally absurd 50 years ago.

    3. Multispeed automatic transmissions. 50 years ago, GM was putting two speed “powerglide” autoboxes on its low-end cars. The better models had 3-speeds.

    4. Radial tires. You haven’t lived until you’ve driven a bias-ply tire in the rain.

    5. Disc brakes and front-rear proportioning valves. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to bring a full-size car to a hard stop from 70 miles per hour without having the car swap ends. And you also haven’t lived unless you’ve descended a mountain with a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission and drum brakes.

    6. Hydraulically-actuated clutches. On the classic muscle cars of the 1960s, the clutch pedal doubled as a leg press machine. After a good commute to work, no need for time in the gym . . . at least not for the left leg.

    7. Halogen headlights. The old sealed beam incandescents were good for driving 45 miles per hour. Faster than that at night . . . and driving was an act of faith.

    8. Bucket seats in the front of cars. You haven’t suffered until you’ve spent a day driving a car with a bench seat.

    9. Car stereos, with recorded media. It’s amazing to think of a car radio that was just a car radio — low fidelity sound, commercials and all. You had to be there . . .

    10. Clear coat paint. If you wanted a mirror finish 50 years ago, you had to figure on spending one day ever three months “waxing” your car — which really meant rubbing out all of the oxidized paint and putting a layer of carnuba wax on top.

    • 0 avatar

      “1. ECM which makes engines run and start better, use less fuel and deliver more power. What’s not to like?”

      When a replacement ECM becomes NLA and you are forced to use Megasquirt or something similar to keep the car on the road.

    • 0 avatar

      I am totally in agreement on #4, I hate ABS and TC in the snow. I forgot to turn off the TC after it snowed earlier this year and didnt make it up my hill in my FWD car with snow tires. Backed down, this time turned off the TC, and shot right up. Sometimes you need extra wheelspin to keep momentum, especially if you cant build alot of speed prior to the hill!

    • 0 avatar

      “Non-defeatable traction control and possibly, ABS. (Cars go and stop better in snow without either of these being engaged.)”

      For that parenthetical, it depends on the car. Some vehicles have an “off-road” setting for vehicle stability/traction control that works better in snow.

      But non-defeatable, sure, I agree with that.

  • avatar

    Not a plague but maybe appropriate: FoMoCo’s crucification of Lincoln via the Lincoln Motor Company and it’s product line. Reason it was crucified is TBD. Easter is no where in sight.

    I have faith.

  • avatar

    My personal biases and pet peeves are mainly with car journalists and car enthusiasts and their half baked ideals of…

    10) Multi-step carnauba wax systems over single step long lasting synthetic polishes
    9) Bucket seats and space hogging center console over bench seats
    8) Manuals over automatics
    7) Summer tires over all-seasons for car markets that experience snow
    6) RWD over FWD/AWD for anything other than a sports car
    5) Uncomfortable rear seats (99% of all cars except for the luxury flagships)
    4) Character and soul (i.e. defects) over perfection (I.e. Lexus)
    3) Pedigree and heritage (i.e. European) over meritocracy (i.e. Japanese)
    2) Keeping a car only when it’s under warranty because it’s supposed to “save” money (see #3 and 4)
    1) TTAC’s continued anti-GM rants ( and I hate GM!)

  • avatar

    Fake anything – engine noise, wood trim, chrome etc
    Turbo engines in sports cars
    Auto boxes that lug the engine and won’t downshift
    Electric power steering
    Seats that don’t adjust or have too little support
    Run-flat tires
    Ever increasing rim sizes
    LCD screens that can’t be turned completely off
    Car reviews that sound like a press release
    Grey interiors

    • 0 avatar

      Turbo engines promoted as being the be-all, end-all to efficiency, viz. the Ford EcoBoost!

      I’m still picturing all those blown turbo 2.2 Mopars in the myriad K-car variants in the 1980s. (Even though the engines themselves were reasonably good, and reasonably easy to fix when something did go wrong, correct me if wrong!)

      My brand-new Accord Touring Sedan (3.5L V6), with 278 hp, pulled off a 33 mpg. average on a 200 mile road trip this past Friday, at 80+ mph! In the real world, I doubt that the 2.0T in the Fusion would do that! Consumer Reports has stated that the EcoBoosts have to be kept in the..ahem..BOOST most of the time in order to get the Fusions to move!

      The Honda 2.4L “EarthDreams” 4-banger with direct-injection also moves the new Accord out smartly, either with a CVT or 6-speed stick! No expensive turbo to coke-up!

      (Is the average Joe-Sixpack-Texting-And-Shaving-While-Driving going to know about the need to install what in the 1980s was known as a “TurboTimer,” which ran the engine after the key was shut off, in order to cool the turbocharger in order to prevent the oil from “coking?” I thought that even intercooled turbochargers need to be handled with care!)

      Lest you dismiss me as a Honda fanboi knocking on Ford, Toyota, GM and other makes have an adequate four-cylinder and a more powerful V6 option. Variable-valve timing, direct-injection and multi-speed transmissions (that don’t lug the engine) contribute to “real world” economy.

      I guess if nothing else, I stand by the old maxim that “there’s no replacement for displacement!”

  • avatar

    Oh! I got two more, depending on how you feel about roundabouts (traffic circles).

    – People who stop/yield while IN the circle (people OUTside the circle are supposed to yield)
    – The circles themselves

    I personally like them, because no stop signs or lights, but it’s hard to enjoy them when hardly anyone knows how to use them properly.

  • avatar

    1) Head lights that look like tumors.
    2) Greenhouses that resemble pillboxes.
    3) “No, you can’t get a stick in that”.
    4) Cartoon character design.
    5) Tail lights that look like tumors.
    6) The GMC Terrain.
    7) Tire/wheel sizes that require a mortgage when they wear out.
    8) The IIHS.
    9) Ethanol.
    10)$4000 worth of mandatory electronic/convenience/technology geegaws that have nothing to do with performance.

    • 0 avatar

      # 9) Speak for yourself, ethanol is cheap race gas.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes especially when you have to pay to replace parts because your older vehicles get tore up from the ethanol, real cheap.

        But the Subsidies also have nothing to do with the price either.

      • 0 avatar

        Having wrenched in the pits on a dirt modified, I can certainly appreciate the intoxicating mix of ethanol fumes, gear oil, and dust. That’s where it belongs though, not mixed with real gasoline at my local Wawa, lowering mileage and wrecking cars not designed for it.

  • avatar

    1. Red Interiors
    2. Loud “fart-can” exhaust
    3. Diesel pickups blowing smoke
    4. Vinyl/MB Tex seats and anyone who champions them over real leather
    5. Hatchback with no cargo room with the second row up.
    6. Engines getting smaller but the rest of car isn’t
    7. Lack of proper 4×4 with 4-LO setting on many SUVs
    8. Any vehicle driven by people who don’t signal
    9. Lack of cupholders
    10. Hard interior plastics

  • avatar

    1) The lack of a blog for those of us who hate aggressive driving.

    2) !%*# flattened rooflines and near-horizontal A-pillars.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Sounds like the Mercedes W123 diesel forum was tailor-made for you.

      • 0 avatar

        Nah… they’re mostly about hot-rodding turbodiesels.

        All those people who bought classic bricks for all the same reasons I had one, and then moved on to Japanese like I did, what the hell happened to them? They should be prime blog-bait age now, just like me.

        Unmet need. I want something like “”

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    1-10 .GM groveling to my government with some story about needing more money like a mail order Russian ,Philippine, romanian bride and my government giving it to them … again. and reading here how they do it in every country just like the sad middle aged men who fall for the lies about needing money for food ,rent ,new mercedes repayments….etc .

  • avatar

    1.) The Rhode Island Bridge & Turnpike Authority
    2.) Company’s relegating their manual transmission cars to the bare bones model
    3.) Having to choose “Packages” instead of ordering what you would like your car to have
    4.) 10% Ethanol
    5.) gigantic chrome wheels and aftermarket head/taillights on beaters that cost more than buying a new car
    6.) Rhode Island DOT
    7.) Pedestrian Safety Regulations
    8.) The obsession of the midsize market focusing on appliance like cars (although this is more of a “human error”)
    9.) Rubbernecking Drivers who cause traffic jams and a slowdown just to look at a fender-bender
    10.) The State of Rhode Island

  • avatar

    I don’t really think about such things much, so I decided to fix yours (and added a few to keep it at 10):

    1. Vehicles sold on reputation and/or style instead of substance
    2. Touch screens
    3. Nonsensical regulations (e.g., CAFE, pedestrian safey, non-trade barriers)
    4. Asshat drivers, asshat cops, & asshat atuo website commenters
    5. The Chevrolet Camaro
    6. Inflated used car prices
    7. Road salt
    8. Gunslit windows
    9. Autoplay videos and ads on Youtube
    10. Jeremy Clarkson

  • avatar

    Automatic transmission with shift logic designed primarily to game the EPA test.

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    City of Chicago parks rules/costs- Went back a few months ago to find where I grew up is nor “zoned” parking. No good reason except for “revenue enhancement”. Whenever I go back I’m reminded why I left.
    Lack of Diesel cars.
    Road Saltapalooza in the Midwest.
    Red Light Cameras- See above regarding “revenuing”
    Attitude of some/most car dealers
    Excessive Tolls- Especially Jersey- Free to get in , pay to get out
    Road construction for the sake of road construction
    Braille on Drive through ATM’s- no problem with the blind but on a drive through?
    Big Buildings with reflective glass windows- Do it yourself traffic jams when the sun is setting
    The pamphlet called Car and Driver, especially now that most of their staff now make it “Obama and Driver of a Hybrid”

  • avatar

    My list:

    1) Tiny greenhouses, their effect amplified by the huge IIHS roof crush test-gaming A pillars. Give me a low cowl and big windows any day!

    2) Huge, knee-room-impairing center consoles on vehicles that DON’T have a transmission/driveshaft tunnel. This is especially galling on the high end trims of full size pickups.

    3) Lack of amber turn signals, exacerbated by drivers with burnt out bulbs. Did you hit the brakes on your E Series with a busted light or are you signaling?

    4) Inability to get top trims with manual transmissions. I’m thinking in particular of the Subaru Forester and Mazda5 with this one.

    5) Ford fanbois who claim the Fusion looks like an Aston Martin. No, it doesn’t. It just looks awkwardly proportioned, and will age just as quick as the overly swoopy Hyundai Sonata has.

    6) Ugly, useless chrome brush guards on CUVs, apparently installed by many Long Islanders to compensate for their lack of parking skills.

    7) Black taillight covers. No, you don’t look cool. You now just look like every other schmoe in a Charger or 3 Series with black plastic over your taillights, plus now you’re more likely to get rear ended. Congratulations.

    8) People clearly texting while in traffic, weaving about in their lane and not keeping up with the flow. Self-centered assholes, the lot.

    9) The trend over the last few years of both aftermarket and OEM machined + painted wheels. Did some wheel factory in China suddenly get the tooling to make these wheels and then crank them out? The 18″ VW GTI/GLI “round hole” wheels that started this all get a pass in my book, but all others (e.g. BRZ/FR-S) don’t.

    10) The lack of “real” SUVs with low-range 4WD and decent suspension articulation. For that matter, why does the current Grand Cherokee have such poor articulation? From the photos out there it looks as poor as the Range Rover Evoque, and that’s stooping pretty low in the grand scheme of things.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m going to go against most comments.

    For all the ‘complaints’ there are different places to live and different vehicles to buy if life is that arduous.

    I love the way vehicles are progressing, there is much variety. Much higher and affordable performance is available today then when I was a teenager drooling over what I’d love to have.

    In 20-30 years from now the changes to vehicles will be far greater than what’s occured in the past 20-30 years.

    The only thing I would want is people to have the mobilty that most of us take for granted. Most vehicles we have are luxuries and can achieve alot more than we require.

    Life isn’t as hard as it could be, even in these hard times.

  • avatar

    1. CAFE regs
    2. Cell phone wielding women in large SUVs
    3. Bicyclists
    4. Joggers
    5. Gas Prices
    6. Contractors in large pickups barreling down the highway because, apparently, their time is more valuable than everyone else’s
    7. Other motorists (Namely, too many of them.)
    8. The elderly
    9. Crooked auto salesmen and auto mechanics
    10. Generation Y

  • avatar

    Door dings. No body side mouldings available from the automaker, or they install them too low to do any good. Or the guy at the dealer has astigmatism or apathy so bad there end up being a series of chicanes on the side of the car.

    Gigantism in pickups.

    Lawyer screens on nav/multifunction displays. I refuse to be Mirandized/waive somebody every time I get underway.

    Trailer hitches that start rusting from DAY ONE.

    Brake discs that don’t come close to filling the available space. The discs are too small, or the wheels are too big, or a combo of both.

    Options packages or verboten combos. In this day and age of Just In Time, etc., I should be able to spec my car in any permutation or combination and they should be able to build it in three weeks, tops.

    The lack of a current day IH Scout 80 type vehicle: primitive, w/fold-down windshield, etc. that won’t rust like a trailer hitch.

  • avatar

    I only have a few sins that irritate me:

    1) Automotive Journalism. A car does not look/function good. A car does not look/function bad. It does not fit your tastes. If all cars fit the tastes of journalists, then there wouldn’t be much need for any car maker to offer more than three models, would there? If you want bad, compare the cornering and acceleration capabilties of any modern car to a 1955 Jeep CJ-5
    2) Why can’t any car maker build a decent functional replica of a 1955 Jeep CJ-5? The closest modern vehicle I found was a late 80’s Chevy S-10 Blazer stripped to the marrow of options. It had a wheezy iron duke 4 banger, roll up windows, vinyl seats, and a rubber floor. The only scrap of fabric in the car was the headliner, which as any GM owner will attest, is the only scrap that should have been removed. Why, in this modern day of decontenting of cars, can we not get a truly decontented car?

    3) Audi treading water with design work that has not significantly evolved since the 2009 A4. Peter Schryer let this company and it’s been foundering for new and original designs ever since. Everything else they’ve put out feels derivative. It doesn’t have to be better, it doesn’t have to be worse, but some variety would be nice. I call my local pizza shop and order pepperoni and double mushrooms to the point that they stopped asking where to deliver it becuase I order it so often. But even I gotta have a meatball parm every now and again. Where the f is my meatball parm, Audi?

    4) Leather as a forced option. Why is leather premium? I have never understood this. It’s not a durable as modern pleather or even the vintage stuff the germans used and was likely previously employed to skin the wings of WWI Fokker fighter planes. Sell it like that and people would rather put their asses on that than the hide of a dead lazy animal. Considering most car drivers qualify as dead lazy animals, maybe there’s some symmetry to leather seating, after all.

    5) Small back seats. This never bothered me before I had kids, but as any recent parent knows, you have to keep the kids rear facing until 1 year of age by law, 2 years of age by pediatric recommendation, and 7 years of age by northern european standard and nagging neighborhood ninja assault yenta moms. So you have to make a choice; do you switch the kid around when they move up to the bigger seat, or do you drive around with your nuts crushed up against the dashboard in the passenger seat. Jut make me a car with a decent back seat. VW figured this out and people buy their sedans in droves, which is astounding considering the well known and well deserved reputation of VW’s. Take note auto makers of the world: Americans would rather have their nuts crushed in the service advisor’s office than the front seat of the car.

    6) and this is the worst; I freaking hate everyone that cries like a baby girl whenever the gas tax comes up for increase. Seriously; suck it up. People will will bay $10k more for a 4WD SUV that sucks gas so that they can traverse 12″ deep pot holes without a taco’d rim and drive over unplowed roads becuase GOD FORBID you might have to pay more than $0.02/mile to use a public road. The federal gas tax hasn’t budged from $0.184/gallon in TWENTY YEARS and people wonder why the friggin bridges fall out of the sky and car companies make commercials mocking our 3rd world infastructure. It’s no wonder that small cars are hard to sell in the US. A Fiat 500 would be swallowed whole in the blink of an eye by a New Jersey pothole.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    1. The federally mandated “black boxes” that are “for your safety.” Some of the legislation regarding event data recording devices are, quite frankly, unnerving. Are you okay with the “authorities” telling you what the recorder documented? More importantly, there is a large grey area as to who “owns” the data…

    (Places tin foil hat back on)

    2. Lawmakers that have ZERO comprehension as to how their “well-intended” legislation can have negative consequences on car buyers (noticed how prices are going up faster than inflation?) Thank God for the SEMA action network…..

    3. Blind fanboys of ANY brand, that all German/Japanese/American brands are better than what you drive. Every brand out there has faults.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “the sight of that lying bastard Obama makes me sick.”

    And how is this related to an automotive blog?

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Non defeatable and aggressive “driver aids” such as TCS especially in FWD cars. I can supposedly disable the VSC in my Altima, but not the TCS?

    Touchscreen interface for anything.

    The idea of the vehicle as a “mobile hotspot”.

    Not being able to find or offered a manual in anything but the base car.

    Lifetime fluids and propietary fluids, but this is nothing new.

    The disappearance of the minivan unless it’s a Toyota, Honda or Chrysler.

    People paying even less attention to their driving.

    People who speed through parking lots and residential areas. It’s not hard, look at the speed limit, look at your speedometer. More than 5 over in a heavy residential zone, too much. More than 15 mph in a parking lot is too much IMHO. But, see above…

    Wheel sizes above 18 inches. I’d say 16, but that’s getting to be the small size.

    Cheap tires, mainly due to increasing wheel size.

    Still having a wait and see attitude on diesel vehicles in the US, due to sh!tty cars thirty years ago.

    Honorable mention: Self driving cars and unmanned aircraft(drones). When the former takes over, will we be able to deal with it? How long before the latter is used as another form of traffic enforcement? As a pilot, the UAV(unmanned aerial vehicle) scares me more.

    • 0 avatar

      With regard to minivans: Nissan will gladly sell you a Quest, and Mazda would love if you considered their 5 a mini-minivan.

      • 0 avatar

        Toshi, I am a 5 owner and I do consider it to be a mini-minivan. But it’s just a bit too mini for our growing family. It will become my car next year when our Altimas lease expires and we get a larger van.

        The Odyssey is the front runner, I’d like to give the Sienna SE a shot, though I usually find Toyotas too soft for my taste. The wife doesn’t like the styling on the Quest or the CVT. The Chrysler doesn’t seem as well done as the others in terms of quality, design or engineering.

        My inclusion of the minivan on my list is due to the fact Ford and GM gave up trying to produce or market a decent van for easy SUV profits. A minivan can easily and more efficiently carry most family duties than any SUV. If Mazda made a larger van, I’d be there.

  • avatar

    1. “The lack of “real” SUVs with low-range 4WD and decent suspension articulation” – cribbed from Toshi’s list, couldn’t have said it better myself.
    2. Popularity of CUVs.
    3. Bad wheel/tire combinations including wheels > 17 inches, chrome wheels, low profile tires on SUVs, etc.
    3. Loud subwoofers…thought these went out of style a decade ago.
    4. Turbos as substitute for displacement.
    5. Disappearance of small pickups.
    6. Crappy Chinese manual in Mustang GT.
    7. Going to junkyard and realizing parts you need are gone.
    8. Lack of standardized and modular ICE systems.
    9. Getting stuck behind a city bus.
    10. Having to buy new cars at a dealership.

    • 0 avatar

      I made an effort not to read anyones prior to putting mine up. Looks like we were lockstep on a couple of our observations. I dont’ know if that’s a good thing or not…..

  • avatar

    In no particular order.

    1. SUV’s becoming “lifted’ station wagons.
    2. Overly complicated basic controls (three knob climate control anyone?)
    3. Base HP much higher than it needs to be, MPG being 5-10MPG lower than it should be.
    4. Death of the basic rubber floor/seats/4cyl/5spd small truck.
    5. Narrow seats/wide center consoles (My 1992 Festiva had more front seat room than the current 4400LB Taurus).
    6. Turbos/direct injection overrated real world MPG benefits.
    7. Basic options requiring purchase of multi thousand dollar packages. Try to get a cruise control or USB port on something without a sun roof and alloys.
    8. Backseats in mid and full sized sedans not large enough for people over 5’5”.
    9. Fancy lights, displays, switches, etc substituting for functional ergos (related to #2, I must admit).
    10. GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!

  • avatar

    1) The automatic transmission

    2-10) repeat answer #1 above

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • 28-Cars-Later: Not as comparable as one may think. Different taxation system (FICA taxable amounts climbed...
  • Goatshadow: The Fit was wayyyy better than both the other cars. Inside and out.
  • 993cc: Why buy a CVT Versa when they offer a six speed standard? Then you won’t have to set it aflame.
  • 993cc: You might be amazed at the space in the back seat of a Versa hatch. The Fit could carry immense volumes of...
  • dwford: Love the adjusted for inflation prices. Look at what you can get for $30k these days compared to this Pulsar...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber