QOTD: What Did You Learn?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Tim Cain’s Thursday rundown of observations and conclusions about the automotive industry spanned the gamut, and yours truly couldn’t agree more with his view that extended cab pickups boast the most pleasing profile in the segment. Few things look odder to these eyes than a full-size crew cab with a 5.5-foot bed.

He’s bang-on about the Acura RDX, too.

Unlike that 30- or 40-something friend whose politics remain frozen in time from their first semester of college, the passage of years normally brings about an evolution of views. Things change — allegiances, likes, dislikes, and even guilty pleasures. Discoveries abound that alter how we think. Each calendar year brings about at least a few realizations about society, the world around us, and how we interact with it, and the same goes for something like the auto industry.

With 2019 nearly at an end, what have you learned this past year?

It needn’t be something technical; rather, your discovery is far more likely to be of a personal nature. Something about yourself. Maybe you really didn’t want a manual after all. Maybe — just maybe — you’ve discovered the pros of an automatic outweigh the cons in daily driving.

Perhaps your long-held dislike of nerdy electric vehicles and the green-tech fan club that surrounds them fell away when Ford introduced an electric crossover with a pony badge. Unlike this time last year, maybe you can now see yourself in one. Perhaps the looming EV surge has you more than ever planning to buy that budget classic you’ve always wanted, in the hopes that whatever future government comes into power will at least let you keep that one ICE vehicle. Seeing what Europe’s up to these days, it’s not a crazy thought.

It’s possible new model introductions over the past year generated newfound respect or admiration for an automaker you previously wrote off as something that would never find a home in your driveway. Just as easily, you may have fallen out of love with an automaker that made one too many poor product decisions.

So, B&B, as you relax with your meatless burgers and Bud Prohibition Brew, what thoughts stand out from 2019? What did you learn about the industry… or yourself?

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Cognoscenti Cognoscenti on Dec 23, 2019

    I learned that I really like to have more than one vehicle. I just love cars too much to accept only a single driving experience the whole year long. I love my primary car, yet I will still deliberately choose the wife's SUV or Grandma's old Accord regularly, just because I can.

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    • R Henry R Henry on Dec 26, 2019

      I suffered MMS for A LONG time (Multiple Motorcycle Syndrome (usually four at a time)). Becoming a father and NOT wanting some other guy raise my son was the only way I was able beat it. As for cars, a tight budget is the only way to beat it back, but (hopefully) such periods are only temporary!

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Dec 31, 2019

    I learned which kind of snow cables fits my car's wheels. I learned that they're horrifyingly expensive. I learned how to put them on. I learned that they'll fling themselves right back off again into the pines if your tires are spinning fast on ice. I learned that driving in winter suuuuuucks, and I don't begrudge people whatever people think they need to get through it: AWD, snow tires, chains, sand, salt, shovels, mini pickaxes, scrapers, brushes, magic spells, a one-way ticket to coastal California.

  • Lorenzo Are there any naturally aspirated engines available?
  • Jeff There was a time that all the major auto makers advertised there full size V-8 engine cars to be quieter than a Rolls Royce. Ford had ads up thru the early 80s showing the Ford LTD and the Mercury Grand Marquis being quieter than a Rolls Royce with a smoother ride. An ad for a the Grand Marquis showed how quiet and smooth riding it was demonstrating that even a rabbi could do a circumcision on a baby boy in the back of a Grand Marquis as it was being driven. Another Mercury commercial with a diamond cutter splitting an expensive diamond while the car was being driven. Most cars in the 60s, 70s, and much of the 80s were marketed for their quiet interiors and smooth rides. Now we have to add noise to a vehicle to give the illusion of powerful and fast. If I ever were to own an EV I would want it quiet. Saturday Night Live even had a parody on the Mercury rabbi commercial. Bris inside a Royal Deluxe II from Saturday Night Live
  • Lorenzo Six percent here, ten percent there, and pretty soon you've got a dead brand.
  • ToolGuy Tungsten trim? I am holding out for the Depleted Uranium trim.
  • Proud2BUnion Mr. Allen Wrench needs tungsten to live!
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