Over the years, we’ve managed to live through the bling-bling phase of shiny oversized rims, Fast and Furious wannabes with neon lights underneath the car and even cars riced straight out of the factory. That said, there’s always stuff to complain about and 2019 is no exception. This is just my opinion, but it’s a list of some of the dumber things going on in the industry. Lets get started!

Oversized Grills

Front grilles are of course an integral part of car design and there was once a time where they made sense. The grille would be large enough to accommodate the radiator. Huge engine? Huge grille. Small engine? Small grill. Fairly simple really. The shape and size of the grille has slowly become an important design feature, however, as its in a rather obvious place, its helped cars stand out from the crowd.

Some of the grilles in 2023 however are just comical and bear no relation to how much airflow is required. With the rise of electric cars and hybrids, why are grilles still growing when the air requirements are shrinking?! An example of this is the new BMW X7 with its characteristic BMW “kidneys”. They are so large that the whole front of the car looks stupid, in my opinion of course. The new BMW 4 Series doesn’t look much better either. Word on the street is that Chinese markets demand large grilles for prestige purposes, but for all of us in the west, its ruining BMW!

Confusing Sub-brands

Its always tough for carmakers to fight competitors, keep their appearance fresh and always have their brands innovating. That’s exactly why we’ve seen the rise of niche sub-brands like as DS Automobiles by Citroen or Cupra by Seat. More often than not, these sub-brands aren’t really bringing new cars or technology to the marketplace but a pretty much just a different badge and slightly different trim options.

In most cases, sub-brands are just a different badge, higher price, and often questionable marketing. In my opinion, I think that the cars should do the talking and sub-brands don’t need to exist. Another example of this is Polestar. Why be ashamed to call your car a Volvo? They’re awesome and have great racing heritage too. Volvo Polestar works, just like BMW-M and Mercedes AMG, but I guess the consumer research suggested that the sub brand thing works…

In-car Wi-Fi

In this day and age, almost everyone has mobile internet on their phones. Whether its 3G or 4G, for most of us mobile internet is fast enough to do everything. Why do manufacturers stubbornly try to push in-car Wi-Fi? Well, since they can. Wi-Fi technology is so common that it can easily be installed in cars, but this is really a solution looking for a problem.

First, there is no real improvement in your internet experience since the difference in speed and quality of the connection is not noticeable. If anything, your mobile internet will work better in most cases. Second, this feature may affect your privacy. If you connect your phone to your car`s internet, then theoretically, manufacturers can obtain your track your every movement.

Performance Trim Options On Regular Cars

We all know and lust after genuine BMW M, AMG, or even Golf R models. That said, the modern trend of trim options has gone a little too far. These days you can buy cars that look almost identical to their performance siblings, without any of the performance. The trim packages you can buy now which add spoilers, grills, different front and rear bumpers, bigger wheels and lowered suspension have got a little too close to the actual performance versions.

Selling to image-conscious buyers, a lot of these cars are all show, no go. You end up with an AMG-Line Mercedes with 1.6-liter engines or the the 1.6-liter Golf R-Line which looks nearly identical to the genuine Golf R. Whilst they look cool, for car people they’re not ideal. Sporty trims are fine, just as long as the top of the range car looks different enough to distinguish itself!

Fake Exhaust Tips

Car companies in 2019 will do anything for design and appearance sake; even fake the exhaust tips to make the car look more aggressive than it actually is. I’ve noticed several car makers doing that recently, but Mercedes has got to be the worst culprit, especially on its SUV models. Apart from the AMG-tuned monsters which need massive exhaust tips, all other models appear to have double exhausts but in fact just have a single pipe which is hidden behind cool-looking plastic covers.

When you look closer, you will see that the shiny silver piece of plastic is not your racing style exhaust tip but just a style detail with no real purpose.

Cars Growing in Size

For years now, cars have been growing steadily, and some once-small vehicles have grown to the point that they’re no longer recognizable. The best example of this is the new Volkswagen Polo Mk6 introduced last year. The Polo has always been one of the smallest of Volkswagen`s on offer and the perfect car for cities and young people.

The new one however is almost the size of the Golf Mk 5, which makes it a proper family hatchback, not an urban runabout. Even though cars are constantly growing, who keeps asking for this?! If you’re American, your parking spaces are larger so you might not understand but in Europe, there are some cars that have grown so much that they no longer fit inside the legal space! Madness.

The Demise of Coupés and 3 Doors

These days, why does every new car have to be a practical, five-door SUV? Have you noticed that Ford didn’t bother releasing a three-door version of the new Focus, or that the new Renault Clio only comes as a five-door? It looks like the 3 door and 2 door market is now being reserved only for high-end models and premium brands.

Whilst granted, 3 door cars always sold in much fewer numbers than their 5 door counterparts, there are still benefits to having such a car. 2 Doors and 3 Doors allows for the doors to be longer, setting the B pillar back which makes the cabin lighter and more airy, also aiding visibility. It also improves the looks, in my opinion, as the door handles and shut lines don’t interfere with the profile of the car. Still, sales don’t lie, but it would be a shame to see them disappear even more.