GMC Terrain – Another Ugly Truck

May 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm (Cars & Trucks, General) (, , , , , , , , )

Greetings, fellow citizens and auto enthusiasts! I’m back to abuse GM’s styling department once again. (Yes, the very people who brought us the Pontiac Aztek.) Sorry, but it’s just the sort of hateful, bilious, unhappy little man that I am.

(And sorry about the lapse in posting. It’s been a bear of a month. E-mail me if you really must know more.)

OK! Let’s get on with the sneering, giggling and pointing, shall we? Today’s styling victim – the GMC Terrain.

I do have to give GMC some props – they did make the effort to create a vehicle that gets 32 mpg with its 4 cylinder engine, and they’ve included some nice comfort features. There’s even a rear-facing camera. And I’m sure, a plethora of cupholders. But for Pete’s sake! Why do automotive styling departments seem incapable of designing an SUV that doesn’t look like a smiling chimpanzee?

What is it with auto stylists these days, that makes them think that cars and trucks need to have a face?

Notable examples of this are the recent Acura and Mazda cars, and the new Chevy Camaro. For some reason, they seem to have stupid little grins pasted to their front ends. Why? Do focus groups really say that they like to have cars that smile at them? Or are the people in the focus groups just screwing with the auto makers?

So, what makes the Terrain look so ungainly? What’s the deal with the bulges around the wheel wells? Is that supposed to make the truck look “muscular”? Not even close. It looks like a fat chick stuffed into an undersized pair of sweat pants.

Sad, really. Sad that the guys that designed this wee beast don’t seem to have heard of Harley Earl. That’s a guy who really knew how to design a vehicle that looked great – sleek and well-proportioned. The Terrain suffers from a disproportionate design. The fender bulges are too pronounced, and look like an afterthought. The beltline is in the wrong place. It’s either too high, or not high enough. Wrong place! The front clip is bulky, bumpy, and fails to appeal – well, at least to me. The overall effect is of an upside-down bathtub on wheels.

These are pretty much the same complaints I have with the Jeep Compass. And I stand by my assessment. If need be, nose to nose with the lead designer. I’ll bring my pencil and sketchbook. But I realize it’s an uphill battle, trying to make a good-looking SUV. Better to swing and miss than not to swing at all.

(Gawd, I’m a bitch tonight! Bring on the insults, Terrain owners!)



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FloRida Spins Us Right Round (Like a Record)

February 25, 2010 at 12:58 am (Entertainment, Media, Music) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m afraid that now that I’ve got this whole “this song sounds like that song” thing started, I may not be able to quit. It’s becoming like a sort of addiction, or compulsion. Every time I turn around these days, I spot another new song that sounds like a tune I heard years ago. Case in point…

I was visiting a friend the other day, and the TV was playing a music on demand channel. This song by FloRidaRight Round – popped up, and my memory ran up a flag, too. Let’s listen to FloRida:

Yep. There it is, a nifty little musical hook from 1984. Back when I was a much younger man, a band called Dead or Alive had a big hit titled You Spin Me Round:

At least FloRida seems to be open about the origins of the hook, which was sampled for Right Round. The Wikipedia entry for Right Round discusses the source, so it looks as if the lawyers will not be called from their crypts to put the bite on FloRida.

Hey, maybe there’s some hope for modern music after all! And no, I’ve got no idea why the eye patch. Or that ’80s Big Hair! Damn, man! One forgets. Go back and watch music videos or movies from the ’80s, and you’ll see what I mean. Stick thin girls with short skirts and hair teased and sprayed until the blondes look like dandelions with eyeliner.

Tank GirlWhich reminds me. Not sure why it reminds me, but – it reminds me. I ran across a site online where you can watch the movie Tank Girl all the way through for free. Never seen Tank Girl? Oh, it’s an experience. Go ahead. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

More soon, film fans and music mavens. It’s a busy time. Got a sick friend, and my dad had surgery a couple weeks ago, too. So – chaos, discord, and mayhem. Lovely.

And if you have any ideas for topics, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Oh, one more thing, in the immortal words of Columbo. I had a really interesting comment on my most popular entry, They Call This a Jeep? Click the link to read the comment, and my response.



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They call this a Jeep?

May 22, 2007 at 10:48 pm (Cars & Trucks, Die Rat Bastard) (, , , , , , , )

Somehow or another, this vehicle got completely under my radar until I saw one in a local parking lot. The Jeep Compass.

Jeep Compass

Ugh. One horrified glance at this pompous rig and it becomes apparent why Daimler-Benz wants to sell their interest in Chrysler. Styled (if the word can be tortured into applying here) as if it were some sort of Transformers action toy, it has every chance to become a complete embarrassment to the Jeep heritage.

The original (Willys) Jeep has an honest charm that derives from its utilitarian design. It was made specifically to go anywhere, as a workhorse for the infantry of WWII.

Willys Jeep - WWII Era - and no damn cupholders

The Compass can make no such claim – it’s dishonestly ugly.

Jeep Compass

It looks as if it’s smuggling acorns in its cheeks, and was obviously engineered to appeal to suburban posers who will never take this atrocity more than a hundred feet off-road. And I mean the Trader Joe’s parking lot.

It’s really sad. Chrysler has shown that they can do chunky and retro properly, if they put their minds to it. Just look at the Chrysler 300. Nice. Oh, nice. Want one. Want it baaaaad.

300C

But the Compass? It looks as though, instead of making a clay model of the design, they carved it from a bar of soap. Bah. It’s bad enough that Chrysler is selling a damn ugly car, but to call it a Jeep is an affront to the intellect.

Yes, it looks like people will not quit designing ugly crap, and other people will not stop buying ugly crap, at least not within my lifetime. But I can speak out. And I can dream. I can dream.

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