Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Car makers made visible progress in 2009

Despite of the financial crisis and the recession 2009 was a good year in terms of new car announcements. And if you look at many of the new cars presented you must acknowledge that a lot has been achieved. Most new cars were clearly more fuel efficient, many were lighter than their predecessors, most were safer and quite a number of them were also prettier. So, overall, that's good news.
The new Toyota Prius is a good example. It's slightly bigger but clearly offers a lot more space. The design has been modernized and the interior now looks much more impressive than the one of the previous model. And it became more powerful while being more economical on the other side. That's how we like progress to happen.
There are a number of negative points in the 2009 car year. I get the feeling that car manufacturers spend a lot of time and energy to lower ECE driving cycle fuel consumption while what actually happens in regular driving is less impressive. Safety progress is focusing on achieving five stars in the standardized crash tests while passive saftey features like 360 degree visibility is neglected and sacrificed for design aspects. And also cars become more and more complex with all those gadgets and electronics built in making them a maintenance nightmare in a few years. But that's maybe the price for progress.

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