My membership in the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) gets me an invitation to its Fall Rally, a day-long event that involves driving as many cars as you can in about seven hours. The organization does the planning, the manufacturers supply the cars and media reps while two of the manufacturers spring for the meals (breakfast and lunch) in exchange for a chance to bend our ears for about 15 minutes while we wait impatiently to get at the cars.
Cars are driven on public roads over prescribed routes (more or less) and there isn’t time to do much more than form some initial impressions. Here are some of mine.
Manuals Making A Comeback?
Car and Drive launched its “Save The Manuals” campaign last year in an effort to stave off the demise of the stick shift. The campaign might be working as there seemed to be an unusually large number of manual trannies among the cars assembled for the Fall Rally, including a Buick Regal GS.
Nicest Floor Mats Award: Hyundai Veloster
There are a lot of good things one could say about the Hyundai Veloster but I was impressed with the quality of the floor mats. They are a kind of corded or ribbed pile carpet that look and feel nicer than those found in cars costing far more. With this sort of attention to detail, it is little wonder that Hyundai (and Kia) have been growing market share.
Deja vu HVAC Controls
We all know that car makers contract out production of a wide range of parts and that they often are buying from the same suppliers as their competitors. The knurled rubber air flow controls on these two cars almost look like the same part even though the cars they’re attached to were assembled on different continents. One is from a Dodge, the other a Hyundai.
They Still Put Ashtrays In Cars?
Hyundai does, in the the Genesis sedan.
If You See This Message On Your Dashboard, You’re About To Have Some Fun
What more can I say?