Travels & Tribulations
The Great Thunder Snow Storm of Dec 2010 has covered our street with at least a foot of snow. As of Monday night our street hasn’t been plowed, 18 hours after the snow stopped. This has resulted in a 1/2 dozen idiots in CUVs thinking they can use our block as a cross-street, only to find their compact-car-based, tall, AWD with fat street tires ain’t gonna make it through the mush. A guy in a BMW X3 caused a minor traffic jam when he got stuck with 3 cars behind him. 15 minutes of spinning and pushing and he finally started moving. 10 yards later and he was stuck again, requiring another 15 minutes of spinning and pushing. The cars behind couldn’t go backward so they sat there. A food delivery guy in an old Nissan gave up on his delivery and was chowing down on some lo mein. Once the beemer got out the Nissan was able to skate across the snow, benefiting from low weight and skinny tires.
I don’t need to drive anywhere til Wednesday but figured I’d shovel out so things don’t freeze. Above my daughters stand on a snow-drift next to my car. I had shoveled a bit the night before but there was plenty more overnight. Below is a couple hours later, with salt under the tires, a snow-berm to protect against fishtailers, and a tunnel near the front of the car so the kids can crawl through to the sidewalk.
It looks like the Honda Acura Crosstour isn’t the only crossover beast from the east this fall. In April Acura announced the ZDX, a “four door sport coupe”. Huh? From the round rear end I assume they’re referencing the Porsche 928 of yore, but it’s so bulky it doesn’t really add up. Searching for “four-door-coupe” on Wikipedia pulls up the sleek Mercedes CLS, a sedan with a small rear seat and a graceful roofline. But the ZDX looks more like the bulky Infinity FX.
The BS really flies when you hear what the designers think of their achievement.
Honda is developing the Accord “Crosstour” pictured above, and decided to post some teaser images onto Facebook. Mistake. The page got mobbed by station wagon lovers, and others who are tired of rounded-rear “Cross” badged vehicles. Comments were scathing, and many posted images of what they wished it had been, like the 80’s wagon above, or what they thought it was trying to be, like the Pontiac Aztek. It was enough to make Honda defend itself for not offering a real wagon:
It’s not the European wagon: We’ve seen a lot of comments about the desire for a wagon, but this is neither a wagon nor designed for wagon buyers. We think the Euro wagon is a cool vehicle, too, and we appreciate the feedback… but a version of that wasn’t our intention here. That’s another segment worthy of our consideration, but the Accord Crosstour, built on the larger, Accord platform, is meant to give you the best of two worlds – the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness of a car.
With a sloped rear like that, you’ll have a hard time calling it versatile. Can I fit all my families bikes in there without folding down the rear seat?
After the jump, a collection of choice words from FB users.
The Truth About Cars lays waste to the 2010 Outback, claiming it’s moved from being a cool off-road wagon into a cookie-cutter CUV. The last redesign was in 2005 and looked handsome and relatively sleek; not quite as sexy as the Legacy Wagon but still cool. Now it just looks chunky and clunky. Let’s hear what TTAC has to say:
Towering more than four inches higher than its predecessor, spanning two inches more across the beam, standing another awkward inch higher off its tires, the new Outback looks—IS huge. The super-chunk roof rails are grossly exaggerated (until you discover the trick design that allows the crossbars to disconnect and swing 90 degrees to find residence integrated in the longitudinal rails). The rear quarter view screams “Venza!”—which is like shouting “movie” in a crowded firehouse. Curiously, there wasn’t a Tribeca on the showroom floor. Cannibalism avoidance? Either that or the former “flying vagina” was hidden by the swollen Outback.
The Outback’s ergonomics couldn’t be further from Audi’s if they were designed by Daewoo. Every button on the Outback’s dash now requires reading glasses, a precise finger, and a map. Twin Big Gulps and a swollen armrest bin take precedence over the handbrake, which has been demoted to a tiny button buried left of the steering column amidst a myriad of other tiny, illegible, and obstructed switches for stability control, external mirrors, trunk release, and a bunch of curious blanks. To compensate, the twin steering column stalks are chunkier. Thanks. So much.