QOTD: What Irks You Most About Your Car?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Driving away after sealing a deal at the local dealership or bargaining a fair price in someone’s driveway can be a great feeling. You’ve got what you wanted, for a sum approaching your target price, and now you’re in the driver’s seat. It’s time to appreciate what you have.

That warm, blissful feeling sometimes wears off in a hurry.

Minor annoyances and irksome issues missed during the initial shakedown cruise often rear their ugly head. While it’s probably not a deal-breaking issue, it’s something that diminishes the driving/owning experience just enough to bring you back down to earth. And, as time goes on, this peculiarity calls further attention to itself.

What’s your current car’s biggest annoyance?

I’ll bite. Your author’s base Chevy Cruze rolled out of Lordstown, Ohio with economy top of mind (and profits seemingly second). Fit and finish, compared to his mid-range first-generation model, seems slightly lacking; however, this writer was in the market for the most car for the money and was willing to live with unimproved steering and shift feel. Past experience shows that the torsion beam rear suspension, while far removed from the fancy, multi-link rears found in some compact cars, has durability in spades.

As “L” does not, as this writer joked to the salesman, stand for “lavish,” the glue-and-toilet-paper headliner attracts dirt and stains like a child’s pants at recess. Those undersized 15-inch wheels with awful wheel covers? The covers came off the minute I got home, and the rims themselves are now relegated to winter duty only, so that unsightly problem’s now solved.

And yet these issues are not what I’m here to gripe about. No one expects the interior of an el-cheapo base compact domestic car to rival the best of Germany. No, my singular gripe involves a feature the competing 2018 Hyundai Elantra lacked: a 7-inch touchscreen. Truly, the dash would look horrible without it, and Bluetooth connectivity is a must in areas with strict distracted driving laws.

The issue that reared its head very, very soon after driving off the lot involves screen brightness. Simply, it’s too bright. Scrolling through the menu revealed no manner with which to tone down the glow; a dash toggle only impacts gauge cluster brightness. When outside the city at night, scanning for wayward whitetails, the blue-ish glow from the center of the dash hampers forward vision to some degree. Usually, I’ll click the home page button just to cut down on brilliant icons.

It’s an issue that hasn’t gone unnoticed by other 2018 Cruze drivers, though each one seems to have a different story to tell. Some managed to dim their screens, others not. Some find dicking around with it in reverse gear solves the issue, others aren’t so lucky. Apparently, each Cruze is one of a kind. Like a Fabergé egg!

So, B&B, what’s your biggest gripe with the vehicle currently taking up space in your driveway?

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jimbo1126 Jimbo1126 on May 23, 2019

    2018 Audi A5: - The seats are leather, barely. It's the most un-leatherlike leather I've ever seen. Go big or go vinyl. - Hard plastics on the door scratch every time I put on my seatbelt. (Not a fan of the little electric thingy that brings them to you either.) - Virtual cockpit is a gimmick rather than something truly useful. Still wouldn't trade it for the world.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on May 23, 2019

    2018 Dodge Challenger R/T Scatpack 6.4L 8 Speed Automatic. First, I love this car, it just amuses the shit out of me every time I drive it, but it does have a couple of things that annoy me. Stupid bottle holder in the door panels. It hit my left leg about 2-3" below my kneecap. The edge of it sliced through my pant leg in less than 3 days. I did what my friends did in their '15 and up Challengers without me knowing about it, took a heat gun and flattened it. BONUS!! It holds the bottle tighter, and it didn't cut my pants anymore. I did take some pipe foam and stuck into the holder with the bottle. I have a callus on my leg now, but I still wish it was totally gone. Hint to FCA, next gen Challenger, put a slot there and IF you want a bottle holder, you can buy one to put in. If you have a Challenger and have no idea why the bottle holder would bother me, you're just lucky to be the right height. The Harmon-Kardon stereo is disappointing. Bass is pretty much perfect, but something is wrong with the mids and highs. And yes, it has all the updates and sounds EXACTLY like a friend's '17 Challenger's does, and a couple of others I've listened to, including a '19. He isn't happy with it either. I'm fighting the urge to take it to the car stereo place and have them replace the dash speakers with the JL ones I had in my '10 Challenger, if they fit, if not there are some Infinity's that definitely do fit. I think I'm going to lose to that urge. My old car's stereo has lousy floppy bass, but the basic sound of it, with the swapped speakers, was pretty great. It also seems to lose the phone pairing once in a while, maybe it's updated itself?? It happened yesterday, as I discovered when I tried to make a call.. Seat belt can't be adjusted for height, and it rubs my neck, requiring me to buy some slip on soft cushion things on Ebay to keep myself comfortable. Would I buy it again? Oh hell yes.

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