Ok, I’ve got a thing about American cars: I think they pretty much suck.  There are a lot of good people who work at building them, but there are always design elements that just… suck.

The last American car I bought was a Dodge Neon.  After that, I got a Honda Civic, and decided to never ever buy another American car.  There are just always things that you wonder if anyone even bothered to think about.

For today’s post, we’ll look at the Chevy Equinox.  I’ve driven this a couple times, and each time I notice something that’s just not right about it.  Here’s just a couple of things.

Power Window Controls – On the center console.  This is always an annoying choice.  They are never in a configuration that makes it easy to figure out which window is which, and it’s counter-intuitive to open the window away from the door.  And of course they were rocker switches, but at least they were mounted so that up was above down.

Console controls – Yay! Pictograms!  I guess they wanted to be able to sell in different languages, but there were some things that I was afraid to touch without looking in the manual.  Oh! They’re computer readout controls!  Plus the radio has way more buttons than readouts.  There are only 4 digits on the whole readout!  For an 8 inch wide panel.  You keep wondering what the point of the big readout is.

Turning radius – This is really the worst turning vehicle I think I’ve ever driven.  It never goes into the parking spot you think you’re gonna get in, unless you back up and straighten it out.  I couldn’t make a u-turn in 2 lanes and a 10 foot median.  Just really terrible.

Outside design – One of the times I drove the vehicle was in the sleet and snow.  Cleaning it off, I realized there’s a 2 inch lip on the sides of the windshield.  You can’t just push the snow off the sides.  You have to pick it up to get it off.  Just bad, and unnecessary.

Seatbelt latches – just cheap feeling.  A loose fit, a loose spring, hard to get the belt into.

Overall, the vehicle’s not that bad.  It runs good, it’s not rattly, it’s not too noisy.  But when you’re facing these bad design elements for the little things, it’s just making you think “Why can’t they do this right?  Didn’t anyone even try this?”

I’ve got a couple other vehicles I’ve driven, and will hopefully add to this  series.

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