I thought I'd start a new thread in case folks here attend(ed) any auto shows and can post their thoughts on any "average everyday car" at these shows. I spent my day at the Tampa Auto Show. Most manufacturers were there except Mazda and Volvo. I'm pretty POed about Mazda, but since their CX-30 would not have been there anyway, no sense in making hay.
Biggest Pet Peeve: Center consoles: These auto designers need to insert REAL humans into their creative design process. These stupid center consoles get wider and wider and don't afford any east-west leg travel room. That's all well and fine for 20 minute drives to and from the store, but pinning our leg so that it can do nothing other than regulate the gas pedal is just plain stupid. We all need to flop around like a flounder after an hour or so of driving, keeping the blood flowing and cramping to a minimum.
Next biggest pet peeve: ingress/egress height. I want every manufacturer to model their sedans and crossovers off of the Chevy Trax. That should be the minimum height for all vehicles (sans the Maseratis of the world). The Trax was very comfortable in the driver's and passenger side for the most part. If GM could make it more reliable, I'd certainly consider one.
Best car for the commoner: Subaru Crosstrek. We must have sat in this thing 6 or more times, repeatedly walking from one end of the convention center to the other comparing cars with the Crosstrek. The car is a total winner, except, as the auto press says, it is painfully slow. Give it another 2 or more inches in entry height and it would be nearly perfect for me. I don't care about slow.
Next best car for the commoner: Hyundai Kona. This is a winning car. The rear window is a bit small for me, but overall, it was a delicious car through and through.
Car that blew my socks off: The Ford Escape. I would NEVER consider buying a Ford; never. This new Escape had me pouring over it from end to end and would not let me go. From driver comfort to passenger comfort to rear seat comfort and legroom, to visibility, to the hatch opening, I left with my mouth hanging open. Unlike the Forester, I did not feel like I was behind the wheel of a Mack truck. I felt totally connected while sitting inside.
Best Rumor from a guy with a nametag: The Crosstrek will be redesigned with their 2.5 liter engine instead of the pokey 2.0. I just want it to be taller. If I am able to keep my Vibe alive until 2022?.....only to find out that I don't like that newest generation of Crosstrek, I would be perfectly happy to have them dump one of their leftover slow poke versions on me at a greatly reduced price. Unfortunately it looks like next year (2021) will be a refresh year according to the official guy with a nametag. As such, I think I'll be lucky if 2022 brings the new model. My Vibe will be burning 5 quarts of oil in between oil changes by that point.
Others: Subaru has really nailed it across their line. The Legacy sedan is simply beautiful and comfy inside. I wish the roofline was a foot higher though. The Forester is also a great vehicle, but like Joatmon said, as a small car driver for decades, I feel very disconnected when even sitting in the thing. I don't know where the front or back or sides are. My test drive last year was impressive but I think it would take me a lifetime to get used to such a big car. Today was the first time I sat in an Outback. Again, great beauty and comfort, although I had more "flounder flopping" leg room in the Crosstrek and with 1950's cargo room in the back of the Outback (enough to hold 10 Jimmy Hoffas), I really don't need all that empty space behind me especially when parallel parking. The Crosstrek really is the goldilocks car for me.
1. Any Volkswagen. I'm shocked given their relatively poor quality over time that Consumer Reports continues to put the Tiguan at the top of their SUV class. Yes I love that it is a nice boxy design with good visibility, but NO, I don't like holding on to an iron rod steering wheel that would crush my scull in an accident, nor the cheap hard plastics everywhere. I felt like I was sitting in a 1990's Passat. The Forester beats the Tiguan with two broken axles and its hands tied behind its back.
2. The Fiat 500. Are you kidding me. I think Iacocca's K car had more style inside. I'm scratching my head wondering how this car could be associated with Chrysler (the kings of venus fly traps) and still look like an Italian car from the 1980's. Awful.
This is not an extensive list by any means given that it was Tampa and not NYC or Detroit's auto show, nor am I employed by Autoline's John McElroy.
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
** 2009 Vibe: 1.8 liter automatic **
** 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring **
** 2007 Honda Fit Sport **