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Old 10-21-2017, 11:58 PM   #1
sonikaccord
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Modern Cars SUCK

On one of the forums that I frequent (obviously an E46 forum ), this was one of the topics in the general section. It kind of triggered me as it seems the guy is talking with sentimental feelings of older, "simpler" cars versus what cars really are today. In short, I came up with a rebuttal to each of his disagreements which most are superficial, imo. The only one I really agree with is touchscreens in cars...I can't stand them, especially when it's the tablet-slapped-on-the-dash style.

I believe the majority of modern cars are awesome. The power, refinement, materials, technology...everything has been improved, but sometimes they just feel bland. They actually feel mass produced, like you're driving a product. Older cars have a certain feel to them that a new car cannot reproduce. You tend to, bond better with an older car...that's the best I can describe it.

What do you guys think? Do modern cars really suck?

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Seriously, what the fuck is going on...

BMW hit the nail on the head with the e46 3-series, and since then they, along with everyone else, have gone, nay, are running backwards. (except Mercedes, they managed that in the late 90s)
Nothing new in the car industry excites me. I don't care about self-driving headlights or eco-efficient connected cupholders.

The basic ideas of what constitutes a good car is being usurped by fluffy disposable bullshit.
Nobody fundamentally believes a good car must include google maps connectivity, or a key-fob remote starting, or plasmonic headlights. Neither on an emotional level, nor on a rational level.
Yet this is what the industry is giving us as a replacement or even distraction from the fundamental criteria of:
price, performance, economy (not efficiency!), luxury, quality, style, utility, and safety.


Here's a list I've compiled of car technologies I completely disagree with:

Start/Stop
LED lights (for anything except brake lights)
Xenon Lights
Laser Lights
Pulse Width Modulated LED lights EVERYWHERE (SERIOUSLY WHO NEEDS TO SAVE 5 WATTS?!)
massive front bumpers (Beluga Whale) to protect pedestrians
cars connected to the internet
google maps in cars
self driving cars
“4 cylinder performs like a v8” yeah right
overcharged microscopic engines (suicide-bomber engines, since you know they're going to explode)
"fly-by-wire” (cpu processing) for everything
any perceptible delay between pushing a button —> action
triple click blinkers
automatic transmissions with > 5 gears
plastic chrome
shitty plastic interiors as replacement for leather
Touch Screens (whoever thought this was a good idea I genuinely believe should be executed)
stupidly complicated vehicle functions (i.e. HVAC)
massive a-pillars and:
visibility being replaced by ding dong electronics (The irony here is this is to increase safety. How about avoiding accidents in the first place?)
SUVs that don't drive offroad (women to blame for this)
Electric power steering (start stop crap?)
electric AC
Artificial engine noise
electronic parking brake (again, an execution is in order)
car models not offering manual transmissions (kill)
speedometers intentionally wrong
single points of failure stranding cars (camshaft position sensor)
automatic transmissions “sealed for life” without a dipstick
No engine oil dipsticks





I'm not naïve to the reason this is happening. Manufacturers know what they're doing, and are laughing all the way to the bank. Electronic gadgets while expensive to develop are cheap to mass produce. Disposable cars are good for their bottom line. Regulators have their heads up their asses, and their balls in the hands of the car industry.

What's really tragic, and where the insanity lies: the customers, the ones that should keep all the bull in check in a good free market, seem blissfully complacent with all of it, except for maybe a slight tingle in the back of their mind that something just ain't right, and I'm not sure how this can be changed. I've seen very little literature, or journalism on the topic.

Here's one video I found that just scratches the surface of the problem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3FDu8KvXOg


In my ideal fantasy reality, we should be able to buy a brand new ZHP that's absolutely bullet proof. No faulty window regulators, fading paint, shitty shift knobs, subframes that eat themselves, etc. But this doesn't exist, and really can't exist for ding-dong regulatory reasons. Not just for a ZHP, but for any type of car, with the only exception being pickup trucks.


I could stop here, but I won't, because the same thing is happening everywhere. Appliances, computers, electronics, journalism, TVs, etc.

These are high dollar industries that are in the same vortex spiral of bullshit, and the customers are blissfully complacent except, again, for that nagging tingling feeling that something isn't quite right.

It seems only one edge, of the double-edged sword of the free market is doing any cutting right now.

Which brings me back to my original question:
What the fuck is going on?
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:00 AM   #2
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Thing is, it seems as though the majority don't actually enjoy driving their cars. it's merely a means of transportation, almost as if it is an inconvenience if something isn't automated.

That's why I still choose to purchase older model cars. My wife and I both enjoy driving our cars. We don't have any touch screens, no auto park and aside from my Ridgeline, they are all manual transmissions. Wife hates automatics.

So, it seems as though the auto manufacturers are just giving the masses what they want. Something that gets them from point A to B without missing out on the "real world" around them!
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:31 AM   #3
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I think it's a simple matter of everyone's vision of the future including more and more technology. It's like those old World of Tomorrow cartoons. It's a bunch of crap that really only exists because people think everything should be as convenient as possible.

I agree with most of that list, but there are a lot of things in there that are a bit petty to be angry about. LED lights do nothing to hamper the driving experience; personally, I'll never go without HIDs again, and a lot of people like the aesthetic of LEDs. Google Maps is crap as a navigation service, but car connectivity has meant we can now see how bad tragic is and avoid certain streets if we're in a hurry.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:43 PM   #4
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I don't get the whining about new cars. 1, a lot of the shit people hate is optional. Secondly, here is a list of cars that are either at their best, or are new and among the best, in terms of how fun they are to drive

BMW 2 series
Camaro/Mustang
Corvette
Civic Type R
Focus/Fiesta ST
Focus RS
WRX
GTI/Golf R
Elantra Sport
911
FRS/BRZ
Miata

Etc... plus a lot of run of the mill cars are way better to drive; for example the 9th gen Accord is surprisingly competent dynamically even in loaner car LX spec, hubcaps and all.

Personally when I hear people whining about old cars I tend to think they are just people who are angry they can't afford something new. People with the means buy what they want and go on with their lives
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GhostAccord View Post
Thing is, it seems as though the majority don't actually enjoy driving their cars. it's merely a means of transportation, almost as if it is an inconvenience if something isn't automated.

That's why I still choose to purchase older model cars. My wife and I both enjoy driving our cars. We don't have any touch screens, no auto park and aside from my Ridgeline, they are all manual transmissions. Wife hates automatics.
Where did you find her? What make/model? Must be pretty rare, I've never heard of it.

One thing no one mentioned that I think should be is that a lot of these electronic extras that manufacturers always roll in are government mandated, e.g. TPS systems, airbags FUCKING EVERYWHERE, real-time traffic safety sensors, ever-tightening emissions hardware, etc. Then there's the crash standards that get tougher every year it seems. How are the manufacturers meeting these demands? More metal, airbags, and bullshit.

I'd be very interested to see how well current day Honda could get one of our 2700lb Accords to handle with current suspension technology and tires. My guess is it would handle on rails and the steering wheel would feel great in your hands.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonikaccord View Post
On one of the forums that I frequent (obviously an E46 forum ), this was one of the topics in the general section. It kind of triggered me as it seems the guy is talking with sentimental feelings of older, "simpler" cars versus what cars really are today. In short, I came up with a rebuttal to each of his disagreements which most are superficial, imo. The only one I really agree with is touchscreens in cars...I can't stand them, especially when it's the tablet-slapped-on-the-dash style.

I believe the majority of modern cars are awesome. The power, refinement, materials, technology...everything has been improved, but sometimes they just feel bland. They actually feel mass produced, like you're driving a product. Older cars have a certain feel to them that a new car cannot reproduce. You tend to, bond better with an older car...that's the best I can describe it.

What do you guys think? Do modern cars really suck?

Post quoted here:
1) Almost all of that is opinion.

2) Almost all of those technologies have either been mandated by safety, fuel economy or emissions (government interference, NOT automaker money making), or consumer demand.

3) I say it goes both ways. New cars have a lot of things older ones didn't, but they have traded driving dynamics, feel, visibility and responsiveness in exchange.

I say that it is cyclical though. In the 1960's we had big boats with shitty handling, poor performance, and no feedback. Eventually, we had cars with all of those things in spades, and then we moved back toward bigger, fatter, isolated. Now the CAR trend is pushing back the other way. The new Accord may be the Sportiest yet and they are again getting lighter, with more visibility, etc.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:52 PM   #7
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Those of us that grew to love cars either IN the 90s or OF the 90s (or both) tend to be a bit disenchanted by today's offerings. Cars today are often larger, heavier, and far more complicated than the cars we grew to love. The reasons for this are clear, but the end result is no less offensive.

Cars today are a LOT safer than they were 20-30 years ago. They are a good deal cleaner. They are a good deal more efficient. They offer far more features. If you compare cars within a specific class, cars today offer a hell of a lot more than their predecessors. In fact, many of today's cars offer more than a class above their ancestors.

I'm not a huge fan of most modern cars. Even cars that I genuinely like, such as the new Mazda 6, Cadillac ATS, and Jaguar F-Type still strike me as overly bulbous compared to the sleek, no-nonsense designs of the 90s (not saying all 90s designs were good... most were awful... but the cars that really catch my eye are largely 90s models these days.) Furthermore, new cars honestly scare me when it comes to planning upgrades. Plastic covers hide a rats' nest of wires going to sensors I don't recognize, that perform functions I don't fully understand. I can't just pick up a $50 junkyard ECU, solder $20 worth of parts into it, and have a serviceable engine management system. I can't even install an aftermarket radio without losing lots of feedback information that I'd rather not lose (my Cadillac is a prime example of this... I'm slowly putting together a workaround.)


The things that make new cars great are often the same things that make them terrible. Additionally, to those that see new cars as little more than appliances... new cars are pretty much perfect. Find one that fits your aesthetic needs, and you'll probably be satisfied with what you get. The engine performance, fuel economy, handling capability, and creature comforts of even the most basic cars today are quite impressive, IMO.
I still prefer pre-1995.


Sorry, not my most coherent rant...
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:11 PM   #8
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i love cars but if i can have a car to pick me up and drop me off at work, i can enjoy my day 30 minutes earlier or sleep more.

the traffic here (Norcal) is absolutely horrendous and even at 6:30am theres people in my way. i still prefer the older cars but im putting a digital dash in my 67 camaro.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:28 AM   #9
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Where else are people going to get their new engine swaps from?
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:21 AM   #10
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I'll take my hand built 97' LS400 over the new ones of today....well except for the LS500 that ones pretty awesome. w/ 286k miles, it still doesn't squeak or rattle anywhere.

But I think people more like the reliability that comes with simplicity of older cars. Even though my LS400 was 55k back in the day, its still pretty easy to work on and maintain.

With modern cars, comes more complex technology which means the avg. joe can't go to Orielly's and easily change some spark plugs anymore. For instance, we have this Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Hemi V8 as a fleet car at work....a tune up on it requires 16 spark plugs every 30k miles since they're copper plugs. But it is a Chrysler, so no one really loves those very much haha.

Most modern cars today are pretty numb with their electric power steering and drive by wire throttle. Technology is replacing what used to be more mechanical and tactile in the past, which is very hard to replicate and nail perfectly.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:33 AM   #11
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Drive by wire isn't something I really noticed in my 8th gen, especially after having it tuned. We're probably talking about milliseconds of difference between drive by cable and a decent DBW. I'm not saying I like it as it is one more electrical component that can go bad and draws power from the car. I wouldn't refuse to drive a car if it had it. People shit on it for being laggy but then go and put 75 mm TB's on their bone stock B-series.

I don't like the look of halogens and all the new fancy lighting, but I wouldn't mind having the extra visibility when bombing down country roads because deer are sneaky little shits in my area. Cars have gotten bigger and heavier but at the same time they are faster than ever, most of the sporty 4 cylinders have a hard time keeping up with the adult cars like the Accord and TL (type S)

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Old 10-23-2017, 12:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Losiracer2 View Post
With modern cars, comes more complex technology which means the avg. joe can't go to Orielly's and easily change some spark plugs anymore. For instance, we have this Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Hemi V8 as a fleet car at work....a tune up on it requires 16 spark plugs every 30k miles since they're copper plugs. But it is a Chrysler, so no one really loves those very much haha.
Damn, that's some shit design on that Hemi but what can you expect from FCA lol.

It's true that new cars have more tech, but I don't know that they're less reliable. Modern tech and design also enables for basic components to be more robust and reliable. You look at a CB, there are 3 serious points of failure that are no longer problematic:

- Timing belt (all chains now)
- Ball joints
- Main relay

Also shit like the starter to ground cable getting all gummed up with corrosion- I had to change it on all 3 of my CBs. You don't see problems like that anymore, and old Hondas were considered bulletproof. Something like a Civic today literally just needs regular oil changes. And you can probably go 10-15K between changes if you drive gently.

I follow a lot of car content Youtubers and dudes like Tavarish and Hoovie's Garage have a lot of crazy expensive cars. One that sticks out in my mind is Hoovie's S600... he just replaced the engine because a PO let it overheat. Other than that it's been dead reliable. Hell my wife's '07 Rabbit was the most reliable car I've owned... only issue it had was it needed a new radiator fan and the vacuum pump died. Can you imagine all the shit that would break on a 10 year old 97 VW?
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:11 PM   #13
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I think you guys have hit the largest complaints of the enthusiast community:

Numb steering
Overly complicated
Difficult to DIY
Weight increase
Size increase
Appearance (this one applies to the majority as well)
Too many electronics

But the thing is, I haven't seen non-car people complain or even care about those things, except appearance. They actually enjoy it as it increases the driving pleasure for them. When it breaks, they just take it to the shop or trade it in for the next model. We are the only ones that care enough to learn about a car, listen to the car and get dirty fixing or modding the car.

I'm sure the carb guys felt the same way about efi...

SN: It's going to be fun when these new radios start dying...I'm looking at you Cadillac CUE.
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Old 10-24-2017, 04:13 AM   #14
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And there are more "annoyances" with new vehicles too. I must agree that drive by wire and and steer by wire are the most annoying things out there! Drove a mini-van which had electronic steering on the highway on a windy day and that is annoying. There's no feedback in the wheel so 1. wind pushes van sideways, you don't feel it in the wheel, 2. you counter steer, 3. back in business, 4. repeat x 100

I miss being able to "blip" the throttle. With electronic gas pedals you can't do that 3 times in a row. "rev, rev, rev". The lag is annoying too and all adds to the feeling of being disconnected from the car. Nevermind the cheap plastic parts they use on electronic throttle bodies these days....

There are other un-necessary safety features too:
- The signal lights that turn off the DRL when you activate it
- The dings and chimes you hear when you don't buckle your seat belt, have your door open, or lights on.
- semi-lane assist/correction
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:08 AM   #15
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To be fair the cb7 has a chime for an unbuckled seatbelt, the door open with the key in and the lights on without the car running.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:28 AM   #16
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The one that absolutely pisses me off the most is the collision detection system that brakes for you. The other day on the highway I was driving our '16 or '17 Rav4 for work. I was in the right lane trying to pass a semi that was just starting to pass another semi. I knew that if I got on it I could pass the semi on the left and merge over to the left lane before he could start passing the semi on the right. Well I kicked up the speed, was just starting to merge over to the right lane, granted I'm 10-15' behind the semi in the right lane as I start to merge. The collision detection system kicked on as I was halfway between the lanes, just slammed on the brakes thinking I was going to catch the corner of the trailer or something. I'm sure that the semi behind me almost shit in his pants a little. This is an automated system totally screwing with my driving because it thinks something might happen. One day some unexpected occurance is going to happen that kills someone. Because the computer didn't understand what is actually happening in the real world. In my opinion some of these automated systems make the cars less safe for drivers.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:29 AM   #17
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There aren't any true steer-by-wire cars out yet, the wheel is still physically connected to the rack. I don't know why the EPS systems damp the feel so much since it's even more of a direct connection to the rack just with a motor motor attached to help turn the wheel. I would think that a fluid would have a better effect, but it is hydraulic fluid which doesn't compress...I'll have to do some more reading on that.

As far as electronic throttle bodies, it isn't their fault. It's the implementation of it. There is no reason why in 2017 we have any lag in throttle response unless it is intentionally put there, probably for emissions/comfort reasons. Technically they should have faster response...instead of the engine "reacting" to throttle input, it already knows how much the throttle plate is opening because the ECU is controlling that parameter. It should already have the fuel and ignition map ready to go.

I know what is going to piss you guys off...brake-by-wire, it's going to happen just wait a little longer.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:34 AM   #18
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There aren't any true steer-by-wire cars out yet, the wheel is still physically connected to the rack. I don't know why the EPS systems damp the feel so much since it's even more of a direct connection to the rack just with a motor motor attached to help turn the wheel. I would think that a fluid would have a better effect, but it is hydraulic fluid which doesn't compress...I'll have to do some more reading on that.

As far as electronic throttle bodies, it isn't their fault. It's the implementation of it. There is no reason why in 2017 we have any lag in throttle response unless it is intentionally put there, probably for emissions/comfort reasons. Technically they should have faster response...instead of the engine "reacting" to throttle input, it already knows how much the throttle plate is opening because the ECU is controlling that parameter. It should already have the fuel and ignition map ready to go.

I know what is going to piss you guys off...brake-by-wire, it's going to happen just wait a little longer.
Gotta love it. True mechanical systems being replaced by electronic ones. Seems just bad imo. Look at some of the older Russian jets. Still almost 100% mechanical, while ours are all fly by wire. Seems to me that the Russians understand, that mechanical systems are harder to effect from the outside, also that you don't have weird problems, like electronics tend to have.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:35 AM   #19
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The one that absolutely pisses me off the most is the collision detection system that brakes for you. The other day on the highway I was driving our '16 or '17 Rav4 for work. I was in the right lane trying to pass a semi that was just starting to pass another semi. I knew that if I got on it I could pass the semi on the left and merge over to the left lane before he could start passing the semi on the right. Well I kicked up the speed, was just starting to merge over to the right lane, granted I'm 10-15' behind the semi in the right lane as I start to merge. The collision detection system kicked on as I was halfway between the lanes, just slammed on the brakes thinking I was going to catch the corner of the trailer or something. I'm sure that the semi behind me almost shit in his pants a little. This is an automated system totally screwing with my driving because it thinks something might happen. One day some unexpected occurance is going to happen that kills someone. Because the computer didn't understand what is actually happening in the real world. In my opinion some of these automated systems make the cars less safe for drivers.
Exactly the problem with a computer-assisted driving system. They don't know your intentions so they do what they are told to do. Definitely very obedient systems. This is only a gateway for autonomous cars...a way to give the systems a trial before a full implementation goes underway.

Is it possible to hack one of these radar based systems into a jammer? That could be useful, err I mean a nice experiment.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:31 PM   #20
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Unfortunately a lot of these safety systems have become standard now to the point where some states have to relocate the inspection sticker to be out of the way of the forward camera system.

NH now requires the state inspection sticker to be on the lower left side of the vehicle whereas it used to be mounted on the center of the windshield under the mirror.

I think we become to dependant on these sytems as a whole, I mean who needs 4G and wifi in their car?
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