Has design at Toyota and Lexus turned a corner?

Judging from Toyota’s cars, design has been an afterthought at the world’s largest auto maker, something tacked onto whatever the engineers came up with. Even when the company decided to place more emphasis on design, this meant adding more extraneous details to a shape that was largely beyond the designers’ control. As a result, the cars appeared neither coherent nor… More →

AutoWeek Design Forum 2013

Each year following NAIAS (the Detroit auto show), AutoWeek puts on a design forum where the general public can hear car designers discuss their work. This year the program included the exterior design manager for the new Corvette, the executive in charge of Alfa, Lancia, and Maserati design, the well-dressed head of a design consultancy, and a pair of executives… More →

NAIAS 2010 impressions: Audi A8 best in show?

I attended the 1.5 press days of the North American International (i.e. Detroit) Auto Show earlier this week. You’ll find detailed coverage on many other sites. Here I’ll just post a few of my personal impressions, covering the makes in alphabetical order. First, a general comment. Like last year, but perhaps to an even greater degree, the auto show had… More →

The feel of quality

Some vehicles simply feel higher in quality than others–even before you drive them. This was brought home to me today, though not for the first time, while going back and forth between a Mazda CX-9 and a Saturn Outlook. While I prefer the Saturn overall, the Mazda has more of a quality feel. Such impressions begin when you open the door. Does the outside… More →