QOTD: Has Your Hate Blossomed Into Love?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd has your hate blossomed into love

The heart is a strange animal. One day, it despises something, but give it time and you’ll one day find yourself enjoying something you once turned up your nose at. It happens in the kitchen, the voting booth, and hell, maybe even the bedroom.

As human beings, our individual tastes, preferences, and ideologies evolve slowly over the span of many years, just as the societal trappings around us cast off old clothes for a new wardrobe. Architecture, music, and automotive styling, to name a few examples. Sometimes it doesn’t take long to correct past styling mistakes and light a fire in a person’s heart; other times, it takes many generations of vehicle before an automaker bakes a cake you’d actually want to eat.

What’s one car model you once hated, but now can’t wait to own?

For sure, sometimes the journey isn’t a long one. Picture a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx sitting next to a 2008 Malibu LTZ. You’d have to be some sort of anti-GM cultist (or twenty-something journalist) to not feel stirrings for the latter model after laying eyes on what came before. Then again, while the evolution may have been an improvement, it probably still wasn’t something you lusted after.

I’ll offer up an example, and it’s not the Corvette C8 you see pictured above. A week or so ago, a friend was busy car shopping for a future day when he could actually afford the vehicle he felt suited him. Naturally, he was surfing the Mercedes-Benz consumer site. While buddy’s eye was on a low-end model, perhaps a C-Class coupe, my attention was captured by a model I once loathed. A vehicle that almost certainly signalled the presence of an asshole sitting behind the wheel.

I’m talking about the CLS.

Bringing to mind the early-1980s Cadillac Seville when it appeared early last decade, the CLS was often seen wearing garish yellow clothes, just begging to be noticed. It was too much, and the severely sloping roofline gave lanky fellows like myself palpitations at the thought of riding in the back. Its gently curving accent line reminded me of a Kia Spectra, and the view from the rear was straight out of derpville. And that front end? Undersized in height and mass for a vehicle not of the Wedge Era.

Back in 2004, truly an era of design doldrums, the CLS, at least to my eye, lacked taste. Its styling didn’t back up its price tag. Let Nelly own one, I said, not knowing that things wouldn’t improve for quite some time. Exhibit B:

Fast-forward 15 years and the CLS remains in M-B’s lineup, now surrounded by crossover coupes that would have seemed head-scratchingly odd way back in the first term of the Bush administration. Its philosophy remains the same; the four-door coupe recipe hasn’t changed, just the styling. And while the view from the rear still isn’t ideal, the car’s silhouette has improved greatly. Its flanks no longer bear the overwrought creases of the second-gen model, the trunk is more pronounced, and the forward-facing prow flips the bird to the ever-sloping front ends carried over into the 21st century from the 1990s.

The current CLS, in my opinion, is a vehicle whose looks warrant the lofty price tag. There’s a dignity there that didn’t exist before. A visual refinement. And it just so happens that M-B’s new turbocharged straight-six/mild hybrid powerplant makes a home beneath the hood, boosting the model’s overall elegance. Nothing’s classier than an inline-six.

Take a shot, B&B. What model did you start out hating but end up loving?

[Images: General Motors, Daimler AG]

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Oct 25, 2019

    I don't change much with loving/hating cars, but I did change my mind on the original 2006 or whatever year it came out Charger's looks. I bought one in late 2007 and just hated the looks of it. I went to what I had wanted when I bought it, a Challenger, just about 3 years to the day after I bought it. I don't love the look of them now, but I don't hate it anymore, and I don't hate the older ones, either. If I HAD to have a 4 door car, the Charger would be #1 on my list, with the 300 right behind. At this point in time, I'm doing a lot of hating on the looks of vehicles, with the C8 being the latest GM turd after the Camaro, the Silverado, and the Blazer. Honestly, there are very few cars, especially ones I can afford, that I don't hate the looks of.

  • Buffaloboxster Buffaloboxster on Oct 25, 2019

    1. Porsches. When I was a teenager, I was a spec sheet guy. Why would someone pay more for a car that was slower 0-60 with a lower skidpad number? Why would I want a Boxster over a 350Z? Then I drove one. I've owned a Boxster for 15 years now. 2. The Lotus Esprit. 4 cylinders? Forreal? The 88+ Esprits still look as exotic today as they ever did, handle fantastically, and were plenty quick enough in their day. Every time I see one I drool and think back to the model I built when I was 13.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Auto insurance renewal every six months. Ten year old car, good driving record, own my own home, excellent credit score, no teenagers on the policy, etc, etc, etc.Yet, I pay thru the nose!!!!!Adds on the morning news brag about $500k settlements.I paid less when I lived in New York State.
  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
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