New cars just aren’t what they used to be. No, we’re not getting all crotchety and decrying the evolution in styling and technological breakthroughs that have literally reinvented the automobile during the last quarter millennium. Rather, we’re bemoaning the fact that, unlike as in past model years, there’s a dearth of truly wretched cars on the market for us to openly and readily ridicule.
Despite the recent spate of recalls in the auto industry, it’s difficult to find catastrophic fault with today’s new cars. It’s been ages since the industry produced vehicles that were so mechanically misbegotten they’d, say, drop a transmission to the pavement within days after being picked up at the dealership.
We don’t even have a particularly gruesome-looking model like the oft-vilified Pontiac Aztek crossover SUV to kick around these days or even an unfortunately executed flop like the Chevrolet SSR sport truck to deride. Heck, what was until recently the poster child for ungainly contemporary cars – the Chrysler 200 – managed to morph into what is now a capable and downright amenable midsize sedan with its model-year 2015 redesign.