Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Most car interiors are still in the dark ages

THAT demented artist of Fast Show Fame, Johnny Nice Painter, would have had a field day with the latest hatchback I’ve driven.

My abiding memory of the Audi A1 a colleague and I had the pleasure of piloting wasn’t that we had the delicious irony of driving an A1 car along the A1 road, or that it suffered from having a particularly dim-witted automatic which forever wanted to change up. No, it was that once you’d clambered inside absolutely everything – dashboard, floors, seats, even the headling along the roof – was black. Black! Black! Black like the dark that envelopes us all!

Comically challenged painters aside, the A1’s unrelenting sea of blackness does raise a question which has longed irked me about today’s cars. Why are almost all of them various shades of black and grey?

Ingolstadt’s smallest offering is by no means the worst offender – I’ve driven countless cars, usually German hatchbacks, which offer the owner an interior which is virtually indestructible but with all the flair and colour of a prison cell in Dresden. It’s as though the VW Group’s chief designers invited Joy Division, Morrissey and LS Lowry to create a car interior which would perfectly encapsulate the steely industrial feel of Manchester on a grey Monday morning, and have – save for a few chrome flourishes in recent years – stuck with it.

Is there some unwritten rule that car interiors have to be crushingly dull, so that drivers are forced to look at the (equally grey) road instead? It’s got to stop. There are a few rare flickers of light in the car cabin world – step forward, Fiat 500 – but it seems ludicrous that you can specify pretty much any interior colour you like at B&Q and fifty shades of grey at BMW.

Surely, in today’s era of Grand Designs and trendy hotel rooms, we deserve to be able to go into a car showroom and pick out whichever pastel shades please us most? For what it’s worth, I reckon it would make us happier drivers, and a happy driver is a safe one.

I know lots of people – including one chap who enjoyed a four hour commute every day - who spend very nearly as much time in the car as they do in the house. Would you decorate your living room to look like the inside of the new Volkswagen Golf?

Nope, neither would I.

1 comment:

  1. What is the model no..Interior looking great....I am gonna to plan and buy a new car this year...How much is the price tag?