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  • We air our grievances with the worst car trends in recent memory
  • Big grilles have got to go
  • Fake vents and auto brand meme-posting needs to stop

For those of you unfamiliar with Seinfeld’s famous “Festivus” episode, the holiday tradition is effectively an airing of grievances. Now, a little late to the holiday party, we decided to do the same. These are the worst car trends that we can think of. Some of them may be minor quibbles in new cars, some major issues. But all of them are grievances committed against the common car consciousness.

A grey BMW M3, one of the worst car trends offenders with a big grille
The BMW M3 follows one of the worst car trends | BMW

Big grilles are the worst car trend of 2021 and beyond

We’re kicking off the airing of our Festivus grievances with big grilles. They are, without a doubt, the worst car trend we can think of. Now obviously this trend might be to the delight of some, and the chagrin of others. But cars like the 2022 BMW M3 need to have smaller grilles. Frankly, it’s simply too easy to smack a big grille onto a car and call it a day. We want to see some automotive design in our autos, thanks.

Fake vents have got to stop

A yellow Honda Civic Type R with one of the worst car trends: fake vents, photographed on a race track
The Civic Type R has massive fake vents | Honda

Next, and arguably one of the worst car trends, is fake vents. We abhor fake vents. Moreover, they’re usually made of plastic. Obviously, that plastic will fade with age. Cars like the depreciation-proof Honda Civic Type R make liberal use of fake vents, and this car trend has gotta stop. Honestly, we’d rather see painted bodywork than a plastic panel.

Posting crappy memes on your brand’s Twitter doesn’t make you cool

Sorry, Ford | Ford via Twitter

Our next Festivus grievance is centered around recent auto marketing car trends. Ford took a stab at memery late last month. Predictably, it didn’t go well. We say leave the terrible Twitter memery to Elon Musk. Inevitably, that half-funny tweet will take things too far and upset customers. Then, a very serious, non-meme apology has to be made. We’ll take Subaru’s “smiles and dogs” Twitter strategy over this every day.

The worst climate control systems are locked in touchscreens

The Tesla Model 3 is home to one of the worst car trends: climate controls buried in touchscreens, shown in this shot of a Model 3 interior
Tesla has their climate controls in a touch screen | Tesla

Really, none of the car trends we’ve discussed are particularly irritating. Minor inconveniences at best. Climate controls hidden behind touch screen menus ought to be a war crime. Sure, thanks to automatic climate control you really only set it once or twice, but let me turn on my heated seats with a button, dammit.

Are we seriously going to let in-car subscriptions happen??

A diagram showing the integration of in-vehicle subscription services into Toyota models
Toyota will make you pay for remote start now | Toyota

Finally, our final Festivus grievance. In-car subscriptions. BMW tried this a while back with Carplay and got kicked in the teeth over it. Now, Toyota seeks to do the same with remote-start. “Puffing” may be illegal in some states, but locking any feature behind a recurring paywall is frustrating. We’ll be back next year with more terrible car trends.


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