Trends come and go all the time. And let’s face it, there are more than enough of those in the car world! Sure, some are good, but some… well, the least said the better.
From fake exhausts to a lack of spare wheels, carwow has pulled together a list of 14 automotive trends has to stop – Now!
Check out the video below to reveal all 14…
1 Fake exhausts
Artificial exhausts aren’t anything new – even the Lamborghini Miura supercar from the 1960s had fake exhaust pipes. However, they seem to be widespread on cars today, with everything from superminis to sports saloons having faux exhausts modelled into their rear bumpers. Considering how often Mat points them out in his video reviews, it’s no surprise he wants this trend to die out ASAP.
2 Fiddly touchscreen controls
Thanks to touchscreen infotainment systems, the days of car interiors being covered in buttons are now well and truly behind us. However, some car makers have taken this minimalist approach to a whole new level, by porting almost all of the controls onto the touchscreen. Fine for when you’re inputting an address into the sat nav while you’re stationary; not so useful when you’re trying to adjust the aircon when you’re driving…
3 Artificial engine noise
Using speakers to enhance a car’s engine noise aren’t anything new – for instance, BMW’s sporty M-cars pipe synthesised engine sounds into the cabin through the speaker system. However, a more recent (and more unusual) trend is augmenting a car’s engine noise through external speakers, in a bid to make sound more exciting than it actually is.
With electric cars being required by law to emit a warning sound while driving at low speeds, don’t be surprised if this fad continues once petrol and diesel cars are no more.
4 Gargantuan grilles
Giving your car a distinctive face isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, the defining feature of a Rolls-Royce is arguably its massive chrome grille. However, big grilles can look a bit silly on cars that don’t have as much bodywork real estate to play with. As electric cars like the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron show, it seems this fad will also carry on even after petrol and diesel engines are no more.
5 Confusing names
Many car makers have their own naming strategies, and some are easier to figure out than others. For example, ‘TSI’, ‘GDi’, ‘PureTech’ and ‘SCe’ are different terms for petrol engines. It’s even more confusing when car makers remove the reference to the engine size– just by looking at their names, would you have known the ’30 TDI’ and ’35 TDI’ versions of the Audi A3 Sportback are powered by 2-litre diesel engines?
6 Fake vents
Like faux exhausts, fake air vents are a long-running car design trend that has persisted to the present day. While we appreciate artificial air intakes help liven up a car’s design, it is a shame to see sporty cars like the Toyota Supra and Honda Civic Type R smothered in vents that don’t actually go anywhere.
7 No more spare wheels
Spare wheels used to be commonplace on new cars, though they’ve now been overwhelmingly replaced by tyre repair kits. While they have their benefits (inflation kits are cheaper to replace than tyres, and take up less space in the boot), there is something reassuring about having a proper spare wheel on standby if one of your tyres gets punctured.
8 Illuminated grilles
If big front grilles weren’t’ annoying enough, now car makers have only gone and fitted them with lights. Admittedly, it’s not a common trend right now (at the time of writing, the only car on sale in the UK with a light-up grille is the BMW X6), though you can guarantee it’ll be more widely available if enough buyers decide it’s worth ticking that box on the options list.
9 Too many gears
There are good reasons for cars to have more gears in their gearboxes. For instance, you can have lots of short gears to improve acceleration, and a longer top one to maximise economy on motorways. However, as the saying goes, you can have too much of a good thing – is it overkill to fit a 10-speed automatic to a 450hp Ford Mustang GT muscle car?
10 Carbon fibre-effect fabric
Fake carbon fibre trim on cars has been around for a while, and this fad has now evolved into a new form: carbon fibre-effect fabric. While we can understand the idea of applying a carbon fibre pattern on pieces of the interior or bodywork, replicating the weave pattern on seat inserts is taking the trend perhaps a step too far.
11 Sporty badges
More now than ever, it seems, car makers are offering sporty trim levels inspired by the range-topping performance version. Peugeot has GT Line, Audi’s got S-line, Mercedes has AMG Line and there’s N Line for Hyundai. The annoying trend is that these are simply styling packs rather than adding extra sporty performance.
12 Glossy plastic trim
Piano black trim in cars is quite a popular finish, as the glossy effect helps make the cabin look and feel more premium. However, there are downsides to having it in your car. Being so reflective means the glossy trim can be a bit distracting when you’re driving, and you’ll need to keep the piano black plastic constantly clean if you don’t want it blemished by dust and scratch marks.
13 Unnecessary driving modes
Many cars come with pre-set modes you can use to change how a car drives. For example, most Land Rovers have loads of modes optimised for off-road driving. However, some cars have settings that seem really out of place – does the 600hp, 155mph Audi RS6 Avant really need a fuel-saving ‘efficiency’ setting?
14 Engine start buttons
Admittedly, there isn’t anything functionally wrong with pressing a button to start a car. The issue is that, where once there was an ignition slot for the key to go in, there’s now no longer a dedicated home for the car’s key fob, meaning you’ll have to put up with it rattling in the glovebox or cup holder while you’re driving along. So, starter buttons are fine for sports cars, not fine for your average family runaround.