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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Car Pet Peeves

One of my pet car peeves is a simple thing, which requires almost no engineering, and little effort from a car design standpoint. Some automakers do it very well in all models, some do a decent job in some of their cars, and others just completely blow it.

While I understand that there are some limitations in some cars, obviously it shouldn’t be an issue when you’re designing, let’s say, a pick up truck. Yet, there are many very popular and large vehicles out there that lack this basic feature, or have a very lame version of it.

I never, ever buy a car that’s lacking in this department, but it’s not a big deal when I have to drive a car like that for a short distance. However, sometimes faith sends me a nightmare vehicle that I have to drive for a few days, or on a long trip. One the most memorable ones was a Toronto – Florida trip in my ex-father-in-law’s Pontiac Montana.

Now the Montana wasn’t one of GM’s best efforts. Quite the opposite, you might say. It was lacking terribly in almost every department. Brakes, suspension, steering, seat comfort – you name it, it was terrible. The feature I’m whining about here was severely bungled in this minivan as well.

I was in pain within 45 minutes of my first shift of driving. And my total share was about 15 hours. And then we had to drive back…  

There is just no way to get comfortable if a car is lacking this simple thing, or the thing is badly designed. I know what you thinking: “What the heck IS IT???” Well, it’s a footrest, ladies and gentlemen. Also known as a dead pedal. If it’s large enough, flat, and on a proper angle, it is a beautiful thing, and your entire left leg will love you. If it’s not there, or it’s bad, you will never get truly comfortable. No matter how many times you change your foot’s position.

Here is a fairly typical GM (Yukon) job: nothing there, but some uneven surface.

Way too narrow, and with the side wall intruding in a Ford Mustang.

Uneven surface, but wide enough so maybe you can find a sweet spot. Acura RDX

Half baked effort in a Sienna.
That's how it's done: large, flat, good angle in a BMW X5. Now, is that so hard?

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