Chysler Sebring

I like to hand it to Chrysler for taking risks. Their cars are certainly not bland. They don't always hit their mark, but they like to go for the gold. This is an example of neither going for the gold, or hitting the mark. If you don't aim high, then you can't miss.

I really don't know where to start, except the first thing that makes me want to scratch my eyes out is the execution of the convertible top. If there's ever been a car that looks like it was designed as a hardtop first, and a convertible as an after thought, this is it.

Then I forget all about the roof when I see those grooves in the hood, that may have looked good once on a concept car back in 2000.

When the top is down, it hides nicely under a beautifully sculpted, well proportioned rear trunk lid. But since they couldn't leave well enough alone, they put the antenna right in the middle. If it was any larger, you might confuse it for a life size radio controlled car.

I must say that I like the interior quite a bit. Judging by the number of these I see out on the road, the interior must make up for the entire rest of the car, but who would be willing to approach this hideous thing to find out?


A Pirate's car? Toyota YAAARis

My first post about the Aveo drew a comparison to the Yaris from a commenter, so naturally, I needed to follow up. Unlike the Aveo, I think this car has a lot of personality. Can a bug have a personality?

To design a car that looks like a bug and still expect people to drive it, you can't mess anything up. You start with a good stance. Check. You couldn't shove those wheels any further out if you tried. Make it sporty. Check. The car has a serious forward rake, which is accentuated by the angle of the rear lift gate, and the wheels are a good stock size. All the movement lines curve towards the front of the car helping the car move while it's standing still. Check out the lines that move down the hood and wrap the grill, and the sill line that dives forward below the level of the hood. The wheel wells have a respectable amount of flare too. My favorite little detail here is the Toyota badge on the front grill. Below the oval T, there is a cutout in the lower part of the grill that matches the curve of the badge as if it's opening its mouth. This car is nothing short of goofy looking. Seriously. It looks like it was designed at Disney. The proportions are very cartoon like.

Now that I think about it, I think the Toyota Yaris should star in a movie opposite Johnny Depp (there's that pirate reference that you all have been waiting for.) Maybe it would make a random beeps that only Johnny Depp could understand. You know, like R2D2? Oh, just imagine the trouble those two could get themselves into.


The sum of all parts is greater than the whole

That's how I feel about the new Ford Focus. Every time I see one on the road I wonder what happened to it. I actually used to drive a 2002 Ford Focus ZX3. That's the 3 door hatchback. It looked like an egg. It had lots of details that drove me nuts as a designer. The new Focus has a lot of details that are well crafted. So why does it look so offensive? The past few years, the Focus has fallen completely out of my cardar. That's my car radar. You heard it here first. Anyways, what I am saying is that it was so bland and boring the past few years that I couldn't draw one during a game of Pictionary Car Edition. Now, this Focus has certainly caught my eye, like a train wreck, cheetah print, or a girl with a muffin top that for some reason, you just can't look away from no matter how much it pains you to keep looking. No one else has that problem?

Get on with it!

I'll comment on the things I like about this car. I'll start at the front.

1. I like how the headlights integrate well with the grill. I don't like the headlights or the grill, but I like the way they integrate with each other. I like how the fog lights follow that hard line down around the front of the car.

2. I like the body work as it relates to the fake air vent. The top of the cutout connects the front and the rear of the car well. I don't like the "chrome" piece that fills it. It stops too abruptly at the door line. It feels like they forced the piece into too small of an area.

3. I like the dash board. I don't know how much you'll like that brushed aluminum finish when it's reflecting the sun in your eyes, but from a purely aesthetic point of view, I like how it frames everything. The controls look very balanced. Even the steering wheel looks integrated well from the angle the picture was taken from.

4. The back end... Well I don't like anything about the back end. Except maybe the blinking third brake light that my wife pointed out to me.

So as a whole, the car somehow fails. It's too tall, the wheels look too small, the tail lights are too small for such a big back end, and the grill is a weak interpretation of Ford's new beefy horizontal grill treatment that seems to work great on all of it's other cars. Overall, the car just has weird proportions that keep it from looking sporty, sophisticated, bland, or cute. But I'll keep looking at it when I pass one on the road, not understanding what captures my attention. The beauty is in the details if you can make yourself stare long enough to see them.