QOTD: Maintaining a Low Profile?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd maintaining a low profile

Cars, like their drivers, often fly so far below the radar that they may as well not exist at all. Despite the best intentions of designers to stimulate (but not over-stimulate) loyal buyers, a great number of vehicles roll off the drawing board and into reality with an exterior tailor-made to avoid being noticed.

Some vehicles are nothing less than rolling anonymity. Which, depending on your line of work, may be just the thing you’re looking for.

For criminals and private detectives and a good number of others, going unnoticed has its advantages. The question today is: which readily available vehicle perfectly fills this role?

I know exactly which vehicle I’d choose if remaining unseen topped my list of buying criteria. Sorry, Toyota.

A previous-generation (pre-2020) Corolla sedan, specifically one painted Slate Metallic or Galactic Aqua Mica (such non-vivid colors do not show up in Toyota’s image library), may well be the most anonymous vehicle available today. 2019 models are still flowing off lots, so availability is not an issue. How did I stumble on this not altogether unexpected choice? I realized, while walking the other day, that I was surrounded by them.

They made noise and took up physical space, yet my eyes almost failed to register their presence. Remember the movie Predator? These Corollas wear the same invisibility cloak. An added bonus is that they’re so common, so ubiquitous, that only a paranoid individual would assume the off-teal Corolla spotted here or there was the same one seen earlier.

Runner up? A current-gen Nissan Sentra in Gun Metallic gray, yet even this personification of blandness somehow manages to telegraph its presence to a greater degree than the Corolla.

If you absolutely needed to go unseen, what model would be your first choice?

[Images: Timothy Cain/TTAC, Toyota]

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  • Denster2u Denster2u on Aug 14, 2019

    Well, if you want a vehicle with anonymity, but doesn’t drive like an appliance, you can’t go wrong a VW Golf or Jetta.

  • JimC2 JimC2 on Aug 15, 2019

    You guys need to think outside the box more. Horse-drawn buggy, simple, two wheels, slow moving vehicle sign/orange triangle on the back end, dress in black pants and a black jacket (no buttons), grow your beard out and look, you know... PLAIN. The dragnet will be looking for a car and you'll slip right through everybody.

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.