News

The Car Trends You Said We’ll Cringe at in the Future

We'll give you one guess which car company is guilty of every sin in the book.
2023 BMW M3 CS in green
BMW

Some new ideas in the auto industry are instant classics that stand the test of time. Some are awful right out of the gate … or age like unrefrigerated milk. We’re talking about the latter today, and we’re glad to say our readers have just as strong of opinions as we do about what in cars today just sucks.

Touchscreens

Until I left the Reddit comments section, I thought I was in the minority for hating touchscreens. Turns out I’m wrong, and I’m glad of that. The public’s opinion seems to be turning against them because people are wising up to the fact that they aren’t safe—and some are even concerned about their longevity. Having seen what happens to a Tesla Model S’s touchscreen after a few years, I get it.

I can’t imagine how frustrating its going to be to try to restore a car back to its original state like 60 years from now when these modern sportscars are sought after. Even if there are functional units left out there, it’ll be like booting up a PC in DOS and trying to accomplish anything today. ~ Steve Kujala

Oversized Grilles

People are already through with huge grilles, and that’d worry me if I worked for, say, BMW. It’s not just cars that look like rodents, either. Multiple commenters made it known they don’t think grilles belong at all on EVs. In any case, the message is clear: From here on out, less is more.

The egregious grille size specifically BMW and ze Germans. The whole Naked Mole rat front end doesn’t look good now, and certainly won’t age well. ~ klone121
Giant grill on a car that doesn’t even need a grill. Aaaaannd the stupid fake side vents. ~ Cartman

Subscribe to Drive Wire. Stay up to speed with the latest news, car reviews, and culture stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

Glossy Black Trim

This one caught me off guard: People are starting to hate gloss black. They complained about its use in various places around the vehicle but for broadly the same reason. It’s played out, hard to keep clean, and as such isn’t as subtle as designers imagine it is.

Glossy black plastic that is used to break up sections of the body. Think floating roofline but for the front or rear. (Toyota and Lexus do this to the extreme and their grills just look like huge black blobs) ~ Stay_Classy
Piano black trim. It’s everywhere. I don’t need to see it completely gone, just released to appropriate places. Should be on vertical surfaces so dust doesn’t collect, and where you don’t touch so it doesn’t get grimy. ~ Noah Mayer

Subscriptions

Carmakers keep trying to make subscriptions stick, and they’ve mostly failed so far. That doesn’t mean they won’t keep at it though, especially if they think they can grind their customers into submission. But frankly, I’m too cheap to pay for Netflix, so I’m sure as hell not gonna subscribe for heated seats or over-the-air updates. Pound sand, rent-seekers.

In the future, we may cringe at subscriptions, but they won’t be going away. ~ KinjaRefugee

Skinny Sidewalls

Wheel sizes have, and will continue to swell to unprecedented heights. It’s easy to understand why; thinner sidewalls improve handling, thus stability, thus safety. But we’re paying the price in less comfort and—depending on you you ask (me)—uglier cars. Like subscriptions, this trend is hard to see reversing, but hey, there’s always the aftermarket.

I’m tired of huge wheels with almost no tire on it. It looks good up to a point. Eventually the ride, pot-holes and curb rash defeats having the look. I know it’s gone too far since I know many people who get the nicer trim models of cars and lament the “upgraded” wheel/tire package. ~ Metal-maro

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com