QOTD: Unlikely Complaints?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Sitting in a new, unfamiliar vehicle can breed a nearly limitless range of emotions and observations. Excitement, lust, desire … and annoyance.

Just as one design flourish or interior feature can turn interest into a buy, another can turn off prospective customers to such a degree that a sale becomes impossible. Sure, to the experienced observer, these minor complaints might appear frivolous, but the customer is always right. Or are they?

Again, the list is endless, but I can provide two examples of minor feature love/hate from my own family.

My mother purchased her first car based partly on price, but also on the deep-rooted appeal of the ’76 Plymouth Volare’s fender-mounted turn signals. Those small lenses were a huge factor in the decision to purchase a car that ultimately turned out to be a disastrous lemon. A rusty lemon, too.

Reversing the situation, I took my sister for a spin last summer in a vehicle I figured she’d adore. As a parent of two kids and owner of a dog, it seemed likely that her aging, domestic two-row crossover might lose some of its lustre, at least in her mind, after sitting in what I felt was a right-sized, three-row domestic crossover. (I spent a considerable amount of time driving two GMC Acadias last summer; this one was the too-pricey Denali version.)

As I wrote at the time, the Acadia is a vehicle that tries its hardest not to annoy the driver. Xanax oozes from the model’s completely unremarkable yet unobjectionable steering and suspension and transmission. Power isn’t an issue. And the extra rear cargo area (with the third row folded flat) might be just the ticket for a normal-sized family used to squeezing all of their stuff into a slightly smaller vehicle.

My sister’s chief complaint about the Acadia amounted to the windshield being too steeply raked (in her view, the trailing edge of the windshield was too far aft in relation to the driver). This observation threw me off guard, as it wasn’t something I ever considered could annoy a driver. True, her older vehicle’s front glass rested in a more upright fashion, but headroom and visibility wasn’t a problem, so it’s not like the windshield was impeding the operation of the vehicle or intruding into a driver’s personal space. And yet this might have been something that took a buyer forever out of the Acadia camp.

Yes, there’s limitless ways in which a vehicle can turn someone on or off. In your travels, what’s the most minor complaint you’ve heard someone give as reason for not buying a car?

[Image: Steph Willems/TTAC]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Arach Arach on Dec 14, 2018

    When the DIC and the manual controls are opposite. its almost a deal breaker on Hyundais that you turn the dial DOWN to increase the speed of the windshield wipers, but in the DIC the bar moves UP. How is that intuitive to anyone? I've had the car three years and sometimes I get so mad at it I just drive without wipers on.

  • Multicam Multicam on Dec 16, 2018

    My wife’s 2012 Camaro had the e-brake lever on the right side of the center console, so you had to reach over the cupholder area to operate it. Drove me nuts. That car’s window button was in an awkward place too, angled in an annoying way. Screw that car, so glad we sold it. Our current and only car is a brand new 4Runner which I have yet to sit in or drive, but once I get home from this deployment I’m sure I’ll find some weird quirks about it. I’m just happy to have a real SUV waiting for me instead of that POS Camaro.

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.