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danglin

You are getting behind Ford!!

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I remember a year or two ago, and article that was going around in which someone from Ford said that they were 5 years ahead of General Motors in interior design.

 

Well it looks to me that Ford is 5 years BEHIND NOW!!!

 

A co-worker of mine just bought a Chevy HHR and for 20,000 grand, this vehicle comes with modern attractive switchgear and a message center with trip computer. I did some research on chevrolets' website and the cobalt offers the message center and trip computer standard on all models!!! Why cant Ford get with the program and get this on all of their vehicles. And it is also time to upgrade the switchgear the HVAC system. The Rotary dials being used now and for the past several years look cheap!!!

 

One other thing, The radios that chevrolet use have an attractive display. The Ford radio looks nice except for the cheap looking display.

 

Quit wasting time and upgrade PRONTO!!

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And it is also time to upgrade the switchgear the HVAC system. The Rotary dials being used now and for the past several years look cheap!!!

 

oh yeah I'm so in love with the "modern" Camry's HVAC switchgear!

 

For a company that's supposed to be the benchmark in automotive engineering, what a joke they are.

 

In other words: You don't have to be faster than your friend, just faster than the bear.

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When Ford switched to this Audiophile BS, their headunits and audio systems took two steps back. The designs are a lot more clean and modern, but they are very basic and the audio quality is meager. I know I will be glad to see Audiophile gone.

 

That aside, GM interiors are still no better than those found in comparible Ford vehicles. I've been in HHRs and the interior is still filled with chintzy hollow plastic, and lets not talk about the Malibu, G6, Lacrosse, or various other GM interiors. If you ask me GM and Chrysler (as well as Ford) could learn alot from Mazda. The Mazda 5 and Mazda 3 are nearly perfect examples on how to do an interior right.

 

BTW, those rotary knobs are simple to use and require little distraction while driving. If they were so bad, I think VW would have abandoned them a while ago.

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When Ford switched to this Audiophile BS, their headunits and audio systems took two steps back. The designs are a lot more clean and modern, but they are very basic and the audio quality is meager. I know I will be glad to see Audiophile gone.

 

That aside, GM interiors are still no better than those found in comparible Ford vehicles. I've been in HHRs and the interior is still filled with chintzy hollow plastic, and lets not talk about the Malibu, G6, Lacrosse, or various other GM interiors. If you ask me GM and Chrysler (as well as Ford) could learn alot from Mazda. The Mazda 5 and Mazda 3 are nearly perfect examples on how to do an interior right.

 

BTW, those rotary knobs are simple to use and require little distraction while driving. If they were so bad, I think VW would have abandoned them a while ago.

Did you know that The HVAC system on the YARis, Tc and MZ3 are fully electronic?

 

I.E. the mechanisms that actuate the flaps and blend are little motors, not the Cables and gears but a digital connection From the switch to the flap.

 

This allows lighter feeling switch gear, lighter HVac system and optional Automatic HVAC, without adding too much cost.

 

By sahreing this sytem on soo manny models, like power windows a decade before, ou redue the cost to sometime less than a mechanical HVAC, system.

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Well it looks to me that Ford is 5 years BEHIND NOW!!!

 

This is really model specific. Look at the F-150 and then look at the new 2007 Silverado pictures. Who is 5 years behind?

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Did you know that The HVAC system on the YARis, Tc and MZ3 are fully electronic?

 

I.E. the mechanisms that actuate the flaps and blend are little motors, not the Cables and gears but a digital connection From the switch to the flap.

 

This allows lighter feeling switch gear, lighter HVac system and optional Automatic HVAC, without adding too much cost.

 

By sahreing this sytem on soo manny models, like power windows a decade before, ou redue the cost to sometime less than a mechanical HVAC, system.

 

Are people that much of wusses now that they dont even want to feel a HVAC cable being moved around? like theres that much drag on it for crying out loud. How numb of a feeling in a car is required to make it 'feel' high class. Take a vicodin before you get in the car then youll feel nothing.

 

I dont see how adding all these electronic connections is comparable in cost AND SIMPLICITY to a cable and gears.

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I dont see how adding all these electronic connections is comparable in cost AND SIMPLICITY to a cable and gears.

 

Not to mention reliability.

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When Ford switched to this Audiophile BS, their headunits and audio systems took two steps back. The designs are a lot more clean and modern, but they are very basic and the audio quality is meager. I know I will be glad to see Audiophile gone.

 

That aside, GM interiors are still no better than those found in comparible Ford vehicles. I've been in HHRs and the interior is still filled with chintzy hollow plastic, and lets not talk about the Malibu, G6, Lacrosse, or various other GM interiors. If you ask me GM and Chrysler (as well as Ford) could learn alot from Mazda. The Mazda 5 and Mazda 3 are nearly perfect examples on how to do an interior right.

 

BTW, those rotary knobs are simple to use and require little distraction while driving. If they were so bad, I think VW would have abandoned them a while ago.

 

I like the general look of the head unit, my main complaint is with the VF display. I think it would look much better with a backlit LCD display. I even think that the small LCD display used in the late 80's early 90's radio in a larger scale would make a big difference. As for sound quality, I rented an 05 Focus last year and was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the system. It was quite good.

 

I do not have much complaint about the plastic quality or design of most Ford interiors, except for the Focus redo. I just would like to see better switchgear and better gauge lighting. I also would like to see the message centers added or at least available on all models.

 

I definitely agree about the Mazda interiors. Those are done very nicely.

 

This is really model specific. Look at the F-150 and then look at the new 2007 Silverado pictures. Who is 5 years behind?

 

This is true, but the even the F150 would be look better with an improved radio and manual HVAC switchgear. Everything else about the interior is Top Notch.

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Not to mention reliability.

 

I have the same opinion on the newfangled "drive by wire" throttles. Will it ever be as reliable as the proven cable operated throttle, I wonder?I drove a new Mustang V6, and the acceleration lag on that thing was awful, especially when you floored it. A Vulcan 3.0L Taurus has better throttle response, I will not kid you....

 

I really have to ask myself is all of these electrontic "upgrades" to today's cars will prove themselves as reliable as their mechanical ancestors when the cars get 8 years old, or if they'll all deteriorate into a big pain in the neck.

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I have the same opinion on the newfangled "drive by wire" throttles. Will it ever be as reliable as the proven cable operated throttle, I wonder?I drove a new Mustang V6, and the acceleration lag on that thing was awful, especially when you floored it. A Vulcan 3.0L Taurus has better throttle response, I will not kid you....

 

I really have to ask myself is all of these electrontic "upgrades" to today's cars will prove themselves as reliable as their mechanical ancestors when the cars get 8 years old, or if they'll all deteriorate into a big pain in the neck.

 

Honestly, I worry about the later. For the throttle to be little more than being manual input into the car or truck's computer and then it deciding how much 'gas' to give the engine is a bit of a concern to me a few miles out. Hopefully, we won't have no CNTRL-ALT-DEL situations further out with these throttle by wire systems.

Actually, both vehicles that I'm presently in possession of has throttle by wire and both respond differently. Ford nailed it perfectly on the Crown Vic. You'd never know the difference. There's only been one high speed downshift that was substantially noticeable in its lag. The Ram is a bit different. Maybe its because mine was a 03 and that was the first year for it. Its not bad, but there is what feels to be a 1/8 inch of dead space on the initial down press of the throttle, however if you press down to quickly and hit the point of response, the torque of the engine will cause the truck to lunge forward in an aggressive manner. I've also noticed when accelerating from a stop that you feel a greater surge of power if you tip in to the gas, back off slightly and then floor it. I still love the truck, but I feel as if it would have been so much better with a traditional throttle cable and no electronic torque management built in to the system. I've read where some of these aftermarket programmers work well to eliminate it, but of course that sort of shoots your warranty to you know where.

I suppose all this electronic gimmickry is for nothing more than to allow greater control over your own vehicle by the manufacturer. I think it allows for a system that acts like a tattle tale ready to blab to the dealer how you drive and also to help control the vehicles power to avoid warranty issues. Of course there are some benefits there I guess with throttle by wire. My truck's engine is electronically governed in neutral or park to not allow revs past 4000 RPM. In drive, it revs like any other engine you'd expect. Again, warranty protection I suppose. With modern automobiles with electronic throttle and automatic trannys, I guess its really pretty hard to tear one up short of running it without oil.

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I have to agree that GM's interior design is by far the best coming out of Detroit these days in terms of design, quality, and features. They have made an amazing turn around after years of abysmal design. It's one of the reasons there is so much doom and glum at Ford. When GM design can go from disasterous to fantastic in so short a time and Ford can barely save their interiors from looking like part bin collages, you see why people are very skeptical.

 

GM has always been the leader in terms of standard/optional interior technology. Ford is just now putting similar stuff in the Fusion/500 20 years after GM had already been doing the same. Ford is starting to turn around now for '07 with Nav systems, MP3 jacks, etc., across the line. Hell, even the Mustang is getting GPS which is just stunning to me when they couldn't even give it an IRS ;).

 

Ford has had a few hits along the way with a great looking interior for the F-150. However, some of their newest designs are not well received, like the 500/Freestyle/Montego. Gosh, Ford will never live down the design of the 500/Montego, lets hope the 2008 model heals some wounds and builds confidence in Ford the same way GM has been able to do so with its new products. There is a fantastic car under all that boredom and nobody will discover that until they are persuaded by attractive design.

Edited by BORG

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I have to agree that GM's interior design is by far the best coming out of Detroit these days in terms of design, quality, and features. They have made an amazing turn around after years of abysmal design. It's one of the reasons there is so much doom and glum at Ford. When GM design can go from disasterous to fantastic in so short a time and Ford can barely save their interiors from looking like part bin collages, you see why people are very skeptical.

 

GM has always been the leader in terms of standard/optional interior technology. Ford is just now putting similar stuff in the Fusion/500 20 years after GM had already been doing the same. Ford is starting to turn around now for '07 with Nav systems, MP3 jacks, etc., across the line. Hell, even the Mustang is getting GPS which is just stunning to me when they couldn't even give it an IRS ;).

 

Ford has had a few hits along the way with a great looking interior for the F-150. However, some of their newest designs are not well received, like the 500/Freestyle/Montego. Gosh, Ford will never live down the design of the 500/Montego, lets hope the 2008 model heals some wounds and builds confidence in Ford the same way GM has been able to do so with its new products. There is a fantastic car under all that boredom and nobody will discover that until they are persuaded by attractive design.

 

WOW!! GM finally offers a semi-decent interior and all of a sudden they are deemed the 'best by far'?

 

I will say that the new head unit GM offers, is better looking thenthe generic version Ford uses, it's nothing to write home about. That same radio can be found in varying products from Chevy to Buick, along with same switch gear, tired panel gaps, and brittle hollow plastics.

 

Sure GM offers remote start, keyless go, XM on almost every vehicle, and backup camera units, but a bulk of those features are nowhere to be found on most of their mainstream cars. Try and find a navigation head unit on a Malibu or Impala. Then you have crap like that tap shit BS found in the Malibu SS, and the lack of flat folding seats in their minivans and fullsize SUVs (a feature introduced a long time ago). You have Cadillac, a brand that received a huge financial shot in the arm, with interior quality that happens to be some of the worst in their class. Yet, GM wants consumers to pay premium prices that make some German cars look affordable.

 

Big deal already. The Mustang doesn't have IRS, get over it even the press has. You would think with all the complaining the car handled sloppily. Obviously the Mustang is not for you, but don't discount it because it doesnt' have a complex rear suspension.

 

Anyhow, at the end of the day what has XM radio, aux jacks, and OnStar done to bolster GMs sagging car sales (not SUVs cars)?

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I suppose all this electronic gimmickry is for nothing more than to allow greater control over your own vehicle by the manufacturer. I think it allows for a system that acts like a tattle tale ready to blab to the dealer how you drive and also to help control the vehicles power to avoid warranty issues.

 

That, as well as cost savings, are why they use drive-by-wire now. When the throttle is just another electronic accessory, it makes things like cruise control much simpler to install.

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I don't know which GM interiors you are talking about Borg. The Impala/Malibu and Cobalt are nothing special at all. Pontiac is just old looking. Buick and Caddy have improved but they are hardly best in class. I like the 500/Freestyle. The dash is logically arranged, has useful storage and its good looking.

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I don't know which GM interiors you are talking about Borg. The Impala/Malibu and Cobalt are nothing special at all. Pontiac is just old looking. Buick and Caddy have improved but they are hardly best in class. I like the 500/Freestyle. The dash is logically arranged, has useful storage and its good looking.

 

The Cobalt's interior reminded me of this when I sat in one:

 

igloo_maxcold_cooler_120qt_13021_b11.jpg

 

The only soft-touch surfaces were the headliner and carpet. Even the steering wheel was hard plastic.

 

NOT impressed AT ALL.

Edited by NickF1011

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And the Cobalt's exterior is no better. The 4-door model is an awkward looking sled. The 2-dr looks a little better, but there's a serious lack of imagination. As the Asians and Chinese get their act together with styling, the Cobalt is going to be a hard sale, unless they rebate the sumbitch.

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They have made an amazing turn around after years of abysmal design. It's one of the reasons there is so much doom and glum at Ford. When GM design can go from disasterous to fantastic in so short a time and Ford can barely save their interiors from looking like part bin collages, you see why people are very skeptical.

GM, like Chrysler, has made no structural changes to its product development process. Like Chrysler, they continue to cling to vestiges of the infamous "What's good for GM is good for the country" mindset.

 

While Ford's press site is chock-a-block with discussion about designers having 'freedom', one of the most revolutionary changes at Ford, and indeed, within the domestic car industry, is the focus on marketplace driven product decisions. Ford designers are free to work within boundaries that have been carefully delineated based on market research. Sounds boring and stupid, until you realize that Ford is, ultimately, selling a consumer product, and the methods Ford is implementing have been used for years by other consumer product companies with demonstrable success.

 

GM and Chrysler persist in "expert" driven product planning (viz. Bob Lutz) which occasionally results in hits (Caliber, 300C, Equinox, Solstice), but more often results in misses (Malibu, G6, Charger, Magnum, Crossfire, Aztek, Terraza, etc.)

 

For instance, DCX has just begun to undermine the "Grab Life by the Horns" and "That thing got a Hemi" reputation that Dodge has built by their corporate advertising campaign featuring the handlebar mustached über-nerd Zetsche, which touts the German roots of Chrysler products. The last thing the "grab life by the horns" consumer wants is a German car. This campaign does not help the image of Dodge (or Jeep) in the slightest.

 

What this suggests is that Chrysler stumbled into the success of "that thing got a Hemi", the same way that the Charger suggests that Chrysler stumbled into the success of the 300C.

 

In this industry, individual success stories are meaningless. The important thing is whether or not you can duplicate success. The success that Ford has enjoyed with the Mustang, CD3s, F150 looks to be equalled by the upcoming SD (which will dramatically improve class-leading payload and towing capacity), the Edge/MKX, Fairlane, etc. Other alleged "failures" are pretty much limited to the Freestar and Focus. To call the D3s which maintain a heavy retail mix and which are the best sellers in their price range among retail buyers, failures is simply uncalled for.

 

Now, to this hoo-hah about GM's rapid turn around.

 

It is apparent from your past comments that you are impressed most by GM's ROUND click-wheels on their HVAC head (an ergonomic no-no), and their ROUND dials for thermostat settings (at best the jury's out on whether this is more intuitive and user-friendly than buttons).

 

Aside from that, you have offered only personal objections to design and ornament. Seeing that these matters are in the eye of the beholder, and not necessary objective (as are ergonomics), I suggest that you refrain from suggestng that your own opinions on design are representative of the entire U.S. population.

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Most manufacturers have gone to all-electronic HVAC controls including Ford. Even the standard F-150 3-knob HVAC control panel is all electronic, there are no mechanical cables or vacuum hoses any more. I know because I pulled my '06 down to install an I-Pod input for the factory AM/FM/CD player. A friend of mine just had to have his HVAC control panel replaced in his 3-year old Toyota Highlander and it cost over $700 for the standard system not the climate control type.

 

The drive by wire throttle control systems all manufacturers are using are benificial only to the manufacturers. It is much easier to incorporate cruise control, traction control and RPM limit systems when the computer is in charge instead of the driver. You can floor the throttle all you want but the computer decides how much acceleration you will get. With the new active cruise control systems that detect a vehicle too close ahead and reduce speed automatiacly the drive by wire system is the easiest way for the computer to adjust speed. The second benifit for the manufacturers is that they get to sell very expensive electronic throttle assemblies instead of cheap, simple throttle cables. Besides, the old school cables almost never failed but the electronic throttle systems are so likely to fail that they even get their own malfunction indicator light on the instrument panel (the little yellow wrench light). You would almost think Ford was expecting a few problems with this advanced technology. Oh well that's progress.

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One thing when it comes to interior design and GM I have to comment on...HOW MANY YEARS did it take them to move the cruise control buttons off of the turn signal stalk and onto the steering wheel??? I remember my Dad had a 1980 Cougar when I was a young kid, and it even had steering wheel cruise control switches. Seems like it took YEARS for some of them to figure out that they are much easier to use on the steering wheel. They are FINALLY getting an improved placement when Ford has been doing it since the 1970's.

 

I know that is one thing I don't care about my Explorer...is the drive by wire throttle system. When you kick down to pass, it always seems to take a few seconds to respond. I know with AdvanceTrac and RSC, it all has to be computer controlled, but you can tell the difference from my older vehicles.

Edited by 2005Explorer

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You know how many years more, it'll take Honda to put the stupid Sunroof button overhead where it belongs, than behind the left side of the steering wheel... And LIGHT IT UP PLEASE !!

 

Same with dashboard mounted power mirror switches...So for me with long legs, I have to reach forward from my seating position, OUT of position, to adjust it?

 

Geesh

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You know how many years more, it'll take Honda to put the stupid Sunroof button overhead where it belongs, than behind the left side of the steering wheel... And LIGHT IT UP PLEASE !!

 

Which reminds of me Honda's from a year or two back that didn't have controls for the fog lights. Turn the headlights on, and the foglights were there, whether you wanted them on or not.

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Supposedly the Honda's are praised for their ergonomic efficiency, but as of late, they have been critisized for confusing common knobs, and such. As seen on a friends Accord, the Radio display washes off in certain angles during sunny days...which my friend learned, it's about $700-800 just to replace that bulb for the display at 43K miles.

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Supposedly the Honda's are praised for their ergonomic efficiency, but as of late, they have been critisized for confusing common knobs, and such. As seen on a friends Accord, the Radio display washes off in certain angles during sunny days...which my friend learned, it's about $700-800 just to replace that bulb for the display at 43K miles.

 

So much for those glorified LCD head units eh.

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