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Thread: Why do cars all look alike?

  1. #1
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    Why do cars all look alike?

    I was driving and saw a Jaguar suv that, to me, looks
    a lot like a Honda CRV. I saw a Tesla which isn't very different from a Honda Accord. I drive a Nissan Frontier which looks like every other small pickup on the road. The only thing I've seen recently that's different was the Polaris Slingshot , which I guess isn't a car. Why do all cars look alike?
    Dennis

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    It's like paint colors. People like what they like and what's popular at the time will tend to be what every brand makes. Second is fuel economy and safety. Every once in a while a company will try to go outside the box, like the PT cruiser but if sales don't happen they get dropped. If it's a hit, like the mini van was, then the next reason comes into play. Laziness. If Toyota has a great selling vehicle others will copy it with their own twist. As far as Tesla goes, do you like the looks of their Truck? I think it's hideous and wouldn't be caught dead in one. If everyone is like me it's not going to sell well and we will have more trucks that look like the F150.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I was driving and saw a Jaguar suv that, to me, looks
    a lot like a Honda CRV. I saw a Tesla which isn't very different from a Honda Accord. I drive a Nissan Frontier which looks like every other small pickup on the road. The only thing I've seen recently that's different was the Polaris Slingshot , which I guess isn't a car. Why do all cars look alike?
    Why do cars look alike?

    Mathematics.



    Physics determines the shape of the vehicle for passenger automobiles as one of the main drivers of design is fuel efficiency.

    Regards, Rod

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    Just like in any thing "subjective" the market relative to automotive design seems to flow somewhat like a river, with everyone going in the same general direction. And honestly, there's only so much you can do to differentiate these days. A big clue to make/model at this point is the shape of the DRL and rear tail light LEDs. And this is also brought on by buyers...if sales start to skew because the market seems to like a particular design, other makers follow suit to gain back those buyers who are basing a lot of their buying decision on what something looks like. It's also why the first things you always hear after a redesign is "I hate it!". And then it grows on them so that the same people suddenly like the new design.

    My pet peeve is more around color choices...I'm tired of the "50 shades of grey" plus a muted red, etc., that's typical for most vehicles. Why are the creamy non-metallic pleasant shades or bold colors only available on Wranglers and Crostreks, etc.? And what's with the constant leak of offering in some manufacturer's highest trims for a light colored interior. I HATE black interiors. And that's an understatement...
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-17-2021 at 1:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Just like in any thing "subjective" the market relative to automotive design seems to flow somewhat like a river, with everyone going in the same general direction. And honestly, there's only so much you can do to differentiate these days. A big clue to make/model at this point is the shape of the DRL and rear tail light LEDs. And this is also brought on by buyers...if sales start to skew because the market seems to like a particular design, other makers follow suit to gain back those buyers who are basing a lot of their buying decision on what something looks like. It's also why the first things you always hear after a redesign is "I hate it!". And then it grows on them so that the same people suddenly like the new design.

    My pet peeve is more around color choices...I'm tired of the "50 shades of grey" plus a muted red, etc., that's typical for most vehicles. Why are the creamy non-metallic pleasant shades or bold colors only available on Wranglers and Crostreks, etc.? And what's with the constant leak of offering in some manufacturer's highest trims for a light colored interior. I HATE black interiors. And that's an understatement...
    For the record my friend, when we were in the market last November, my wife bought a new "Sparkly Red" Honda CRV. Red was her determined requirement.
    Ken

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    Most people aren't willing to pay for exotic design, interesting materials and expensive paints. Most people are shopping for an "A to B" car, and when that's the demand, that's what car manufacturers make. Home Depot still doesn't carry Lie Nielsen tools...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    For the record my friend, when we were in the market last November, my wife bought a new "Sparkly Red" Honda CRV. Red was her determined requirement.
    It was good she could get the color she wanted!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mills View Post
    Most people aren't willing to pay for exotic design, interesting materials and expensive paints. Most people are shopping for an "A to B" car, and when that's the demand, that's what car manufacturers make. Home Depot still doesn't carry Lie Nielsen tools...
    It's become more difficult to buy just an "A to B" vehicle anymore with pretty much every major manufacturer. Creative feature bundling pushes folks into higher trim levels for that one "must have" feature they personally can't live without. The industry has moved away from "basic" for some time now; some of that to satisfy safety requirements and some because of what folks actually want. So volume sales are not at the low end anymore and the average new vehicle sales price in the US is north of $35K at this point.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    It's become more difficult to buy just an "A to B" vehicle anymore with pretty much every major manufacturer. Creative feature bundling pushes folks into higher trim levels for that one "must have" feature they personally can't live without. The industry has moved away from "basic" for some time now; some of that to satisfy safety requirements and some because of what folks actually want. So volume sales are not at the low end anymore and the average new vehicle sales price in the US is north of $35K at this point.
    But I didn't say A to B was cheap, maybe I wasn't clear. I said that exotic designs, materials and paints, the things I associate with making cars look different, were not priorities people want to pay for. Yes, they'll pay for internet connectivity, and other convenience features that make their lives more comfortable.

  9. #9
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    That's true, Dave!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Why do cars look alike?

    Mathematics.

    Physics determines the shape of the vehicle for passenger automobiles as one of the main drivers of design is fuel efficiency.

    Regards, Rod
    Rod has it right. If the vehicles are roughly the same size, they are effected the same way by the air they are driving through. That means the same "fixes" are necessary to reduce drag and increase efficiency - adjust the slope of the roof, the basic shape of the front end and the basic shape of the back end. With those shapes locked-into similar dimensions to gain fuel economy, the design guys dont have a lot of things left to play with. So your CRV looks alot like a Volvo, looks alot like a Ford, etc.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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    IMG_20200214_083041.jpg

    Well here's one that I like, doesn't look like a Honda to me
    Dennis

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    My wife pointed out an SUV just ahead of us. It was a Porsche. Could have fooled me. Certainly nothing to distinguish it from every other SUV. I simply cannot imagine what a porsche suv should look like but that wasn’t it. As a former owner of a couple of 50’s/60’s Jaguars (XKE and Mark II sedan[chrome to die for]) I agree with the previous poster lamenting what new ones look like.
    Last edited by Michael Weber; 07-17-2021 at 3:43 PM.
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  13. #13
    Why do cars all look alike?

    Because people are sheep.
    Have you seen what passes for a pickup truck these days. They've morphed from a strictly work utility platform to haul items to the family car.
    Sedans have morphed into small CUV's, Station wagons have morphed into mid-sized SUV's and anything bigger like a Suburban is now just another SUV.
    These days, cars run better are more fuel efficient, safer, more reliable and have more creature comforts but the styling is gone, on a large percentage of them anyway.
    These days the selling points are how many USB ports it has.

  14. #14
    I like old machines, I like old cars. Never found old stuff to be unreliable.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 07-17-2021 at 4:05 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    For the record my friend, when we were in the market last November, my wife bought a new "Sparkly Red" Honda CRV. Red was her determined requirement.
    Most people just want to fit in. Some people don’t, and more power to that.

    Not everyone wants to drive a Jaguar E-Type, for example.

    Re another comment, yes aerodynamics plays a big role, but conformity with the current styling fashion plays a big role too (aerodynamics allowing.)

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