RSS

Tag Archives: design

The Big Idea: Little touches that matter

In the last few weeks, I’ve driven the 2015 Volkswagen Golf and the 2014 Kia Forte5 (which I wrote about here). Both are small hatchbacks aimed at buyers in the market for a good-looking and practical compact car.

Both also have this neat feature:

2015 Volkswagen Golf

That’s one of the rear outboard seatbelts in the Golf. Notice that little raised edge between the belt and the seatback? That’s there for one reason: to keep the seatbelt from getting caught behind the seat when you flip it upright from its folded position.

Here’s the same detail in the Kia Forte5:

2014 kia forte5 010

It’s the kind of thing that most buyers (and, in fact, most car reviewers) won’t notice, and that’s because it works so well. Some cars have a little clip to hold the belt out of the way, but a) that’s not as effective, and b) you have to remember to slide the belt into it. This barely-noticeable design element works all by itself, simply because it’s there. I want to find the engineer who came up with this idea and take him or her out for a beer, that’s how much I appreciate this kind of detail. You can bet I’ll be looking for this in every vehicle I test, from now on.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Kia, The Big Idea, Volkswagen

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Does Land Rover’s new Discovery Sport have Nordic roots?

Land Rover just revealed its 2015 Discovery Sport, a sharp-looking compact crossover/SUV powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

2015 Land Rover Discovery

2015 Land Rover Discovery

But I can’t be the only one to see more than a passing resemblance to a couple of Saab models developed just before the Swedish company was dissolved. Check out the 9-4x, a crossover that barely made into production before Saab shut its doors.

Edit: No, I’m not alone! Sniff Petrol thinks so, too!

Saab 9-4x

The new Disco Sport isn’t a carbon copy, and its styling does fit well with Land Rover’s current styling language, but it does look a bit Nordic, no?

03_Side_profile_D

And now, compare that rear-three-quarter shot of the Discovery Sport with this image of the 9-5 SportCombi, another Saab that never made it past the auto show circuit:

Saab 9-5 SportCombi

Finally, here’s a Land Rover promo video for the Disco Sport—made to show a vehicle apparently well-suited for life in Iceland. Or does it highlight the Nordic influence in the car’s styling? You decide.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Design, Land Rover, What I Think

 

Tags: , , , , , ,