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On modern cars

Illustration for article titled On modern cars

I rented this fancy modern Fiesta recently. My car back home is from 1990 so here are the bits I didn’t like.


The speedo is inconsistent. The gap between 40 and 50 is twice as big as it is between 50 and 60. I don’t know how the analog needle figures this out but it confused me.

The Bluetooth sync was a mess. It showed what song was playing on my phone but didn’t want to play it using the on screen buttons. Oddly, it would do annoying occasional loudtraffic reports in German, and after these it would play the song. My aftermarket head unit back home isn’t fancy, but works much better.


Stop start is weird. It bothers me not knowing what the engine is doing. Feels like the car is driving me not the other way around. Sometimes it seemed to start for no reason, sometimes it would stop while I was rolling. Feeling the car shake itself on as you clutch in feels like you’ve done something wrong.

Ditto the indicators. They do that thing where they stay on a few clicks even if you only bump them. So sometimes you’re not sure what position the stalk is in, since the indicator may be on with it in the neutral position. Or it may not.

I think the headlights turn themselves on. It’s weird not knowing if your lights are on.

Maybe these are all good things, I’m just saying I’m not used to them and didn’t like them. I think there’s an argument to be made for turning on your indicator and headlights by choice rather than the car trying to do it for you. If you can’t get these right, should you be driving?


It’s not all bad. It was spacious and comfortable and a bit sporty and plenty powerful.

I have other stories to tell about this Fiesta. In another post.

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