Buying a car in 2020 is a tale of purchasing something that isn’t something else. People buy most crossover-type vehicles because it’s a truck, but it isn’t. It’s also a car, but it isn’t. Above all; it’s sporty, but of course, it isn’t.
Making a car shaped-like a high-riding jellybean is easy enough, just lift your average hatchback. Making any car “sporty” isn’t much harder either. Just add red.
Stop it. Get some help.
To be clear, this reminiscently soviet distribution of crimson to the masses also affects plenty of actual performance vehicles. In fact, It’s even more strange when little red bits get glued all over any self-respecting sports car. If a car is already quick and exciting, tacking on a bunch of plastic to remind you is pointless. “I’m a sports car! No–don’t bother putting your foot down. Just take a look at all of this red!”
A prime example of this is the just-released Volkswagen Golf GTI:
Have you forgotten you’re in the most well-known hot hatchback of all time? Yes? Look at all of this red! Red seats! Red lights! Red on the steering wheel! Red trim! As if the huge red patches on the seats were not enough, all of the upholstery has red stitching.
Beyond Volkswagen, Subaru must be the single biggest offender in this category. The interiors of the BRZ, WRX STI, and Forester Sport could be parted by Moses and nobody would think anything of it.
Red = Sports
This doesn’t just happen in cars. In fact, I know it’s a tasteless trend because red is the official trim color of computer accessories designed with GAMING in mind. Automakers must think that, because young people like video games and every gaming accessory is festooned with red, kids must like red. Red is cool, red is hip. If you want to sell a car to a young person? Cover it in red trim inside and out. Oh, but you can’t make the entire interior red, and god forbid you buy a red car. That thing would be a ticket magnet, and horribly garish.
Still don’t believe that it’s a bad trend? If you like this red trim crusade automakers are on, you also have to like the Nissan Juke Nismo. I’ve just decided that’s a rule.
This trend goes beyond just entry-level cars, though. Remember when my fellow Hooniverse writer Kamil Kaluski reviewed the Acura MDX A-Spec? Look at the interior:
The inside of your car is somewhere you spend a lot of time. It’s absolutely not some sticky, dimly-lit ‘gamer den’ where vanquished cans of Mountain Dew reach dizzying heights. You’re not spending fifty dollars on a new mouse, you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars on a car.
Color & Material Designers Do Better
It isn’t even as if this is the best we can do–we do so much better. Look at the interior of the Hyundai Venue Denim:
This car isn’t even expensive, yet you get actual tasteful color & material design. Look at the nice white piping on the seats, and the subtle pattern that was embroidered into them. My goodness. Did they use BLUE? The madmen!
Another great example is the new Genesis GV80:
Oh no! My virgin eyes! They’re using green–and brown! I know what you’re going to say; they’re using red. I know they’re using red–its a subtle accent of red light. It isn’t great long strips of red plastic stretched around the interior to remind you what an active and dynamic lifestyle you live.
Even Lincoln has gotten their act together. The interior trim options on the new Continental and Corsair are tasteful and unique.
I’m not asking for much.
I don’t even care if you make your sporty plastic trim green, blue, or yellow. Just enough with the red. Porsche uses lime green in the 918 Weissach. Great. BMW likes to put that weird blue on everything these days. That’s fine.
There are quite literally infinite different finishes to use on your trim, and there are scores of color & material designers working for every automaker. I’m certain RED isn’t the only thing they can come up with.