TTAC Television Review: American Auto Has Promise but Already Needs a Tune-Up

Not even 10 minutes into NBC’s preview of its upcoming workplace sitcom, American Auto, I had hopped into TTAC’s Slack channel to offer a negative appraisal.

That’s unusual for me – I tend to give a new show more than 10 minutes before judging – but I was struggling to find redeeming qualities. It’s one thing for a show about a fictional car company to get things about the auto industry wrong – much more on that in a bit – but this is a comedy, and I wasn’t laughing.

I dutifully forced myself to keep watching the rest of the two-episode, one-hour preview. The show got better – but it still needs work.

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  • MaintenanceCosts The worst of the malaise era. Engines with primitive emissions systems layered onto otherwise ancient technology, which managed to be unreliable, wimpy, and undriveable, all at once. Rust that was already starting on the showroom floor. Interior trim that makes a Cozy Coupe look sturdy. Packaging that gives you Civic interior space with Avalon exterior dimensions. Just a horrendous steaming pile all the way around.
  • Bobbysirhan If anyone needs proof that automotive styling has reached an all-time low, it is that the Subaru WRX isn't being singled out as an abomination on the scale of a Pontiac Aztec or 1958 Lincoln Continental. These days it is almost expected for a new car to be hideous.
  • MaintenanceCosts Compromised safety test results and minivans do not go well together.A shame as the looks are neat (the last interesting van) and the CVT/V6 powertrain is better than a lot of people give it credit for.
  • Tassos Oh yeah! Great Catch! All my life I was looking for such an UTTER PIECE OF CRAP from the CRAPPY 70s and 80s, when ALL Cars were Crappy... at least all DOMESTIC cars were. Seriously?Maybe next time you will outdo yourself and dig up the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses the Second.
  • SCE to AUX If Lexus badge-engineered a Camry in 1977, this is what you'd get.27 HP/liter - wow... my new 2.5T has 112 HP/liter and many engines are much higher. Malaise Era, indeed.GM died by a thousand cuts, and this car is definitely one of them - 100% mediocrity.