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This will be the 2nd debate that I've started about most cars and their ability to portray shifting in focus of changes in a car. You can find the first one in here:

http://www.iwsti.com/forums/off-topic/240526-debate-modern-cars-driving-thrill-driving-fast.html

This time I would like to debate about form or function. It's really easy for many car manufacturers to make a car that will just work and fulfill its simple function, which is to transport, but the challenge these days would be to make the most out of the cars now.

Perhaps the easiest example to get out of all of this is a good looking, but terrible car, or vice versa. When the GR first came out, a majority of the community thought it was ugly (obviously this ratio has changed a lot as time went on), but it performed very well. A late addition to the line-up now, is the BRZ/FRS, where many criticize it for it's lack of speed, but it's a great looking car. Now obviously this is just the general consensus I'm hearing, it's all relative to each person. Is having function better, or having form better?

What do you guys think about this topic? Do you feel that form is more important than function, or vice versa? Having both is obviously great, but if you had to pick, which would it be and why?
 

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function is definitely the priority for auto makers these days, especially in the focus of efficiency. the chase for high fuel economy dictates above all else.
 

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*Thinking of ALL auto buyers in North America these days, not segregating power/performance/muscle/handling enthusiasts separately, since we prolly only account for 10-20% of all auto buyers in today's market*

IMHO; For 80-90% of all auto buyers these days, the MAIN thing they care about is all about MPG's, with technology packages coming in a close second.
They're not "too" concerned whether its domestic, European, or Japanese, but rather what gets the best MPG's, then if the (luxury) package suites their needs such as; Bluetooth, Sat/Nav, Heated/Cooled seats/steering wheel, steering wheel mounted volume controls, etc....




As opposed to us "performance enthusiasts" which I would say account for around 15% of all auto buyers these days, which tend to mainly put MPG's by the way-side, in leau of other luxury's such as heated seats/steering wheels, etc.......
 

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Little off topic regarding driver function. I absolutely dislike the fact that automakers are adding more and more electronics as the technological revolution advances.

Stuff like:

1) Smart key entry;
2) Proximity warning system;
3) Lane departure warning;
4) Blind spot detection;
5) Auto braking sensor;
6) Early collision warning;
7) Rain sensing wipers;
8) Seat memory functions;
9) Power seat adjustment;
10) Efficientdynamics start-stop;
11) Power button to close trunk.

A majority of these features are garbage IMO and it is honestly a recipe for more distractions and accidents. I could do some of these things much quicker -- (i.e. closing the trunk and adjusting seat manually & simply a touch of a button to activate rain wipers.)



Even more off topic, ever wonder about those electronic paper towel dispensers? It is just maddening. Just think of how much time you spent placing your damn hands over then sensor to dispense 3 paper towels VS. manually dispensing it? I could say the same with electronic sensing faucets ... and the list goes on and on. :rolleyes:


Point of my post? Newer technology isn't ALWAYS better in terms of functionality.
 

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^^ Agreed ^^

Before I got my STi, I test drove things like TSX's, and there were just so many damn buttons on the dashboard it was almost confusing. As opposed to my car which has 3 dials which I can change w/ my eyes closed.




























.......... as I'm looking at TSX's for a DD :lol::p
 

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I like a good balance of both, but I lean towards function. I did own an impreza after all, and I'm now on my 2nd ae86 corolla :lol:. Although they both look cool, neither are good looking cars imo, but they both perform well and are really fun to drive.

Edit: I got back into older cars for the simplicity. Less electronic do dads to go wrong and lower weight. They're death traps though :lol:
 

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I agree with Dchee. Those luxuries are nice and all, but think about it. How many people would actually even know what half of those systems do? IMO I think it'd just make motorists more desensitized to what they're doing behind the wheel anyway.

Before my STi, I drove a 2006 Audi S4. Loved the car. Performed well, looked great, and the bells and whistles were nice. Don't get me wrong, I like bells and whistles too... but come on...

In the Audi, I liked the things like the automatic headlights and wipers, the heated seats were nice, memory seats, the tracking headlights, and that's pretty much it. Everything else, I could do myself. Some of the technology is cool and all, but IMO, it's just more stuff that adds weight to the car, will end up going unnoticed by the average motorist, and will just increase maintenance and repair costs.

Even in the STi, the thing that throws me off is the "hill assist" thing. I know why it's there, and that's cool and all, but I've driven manuals enough to not need anything to assist me.
 

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I'm really hating all the technology being put inside the cabin, there's TOOOO many buttons, knobs, levers and such. No one needs more than a damn hazard button, AC/Heater adjustment knob, wiper button assembly, lights button/assembly... Next thing you know, if you swipe your hand under your driver consol, your hood will pop open :rolleyes:
 

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Even more off topic, ever wonder about those electronic paper towel dispensers? It is just maddening. Just think of how much time you spent placing your damn hands over then sensor to dispense 3 paper towels VS. manually dispensing it? I could say the same with electronic sensing faucets ... and the list goes on and on. :rolleyes:


Point of my post? Newer technology isn't ALWAYS better in terms of functionality.
i think in regards to paper towel and sinks being electronic - it's more a sanitary and hygiene thing than convenience. just IMO
 

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i think in regards to paper towel and sinks being electronic - it's more a sanitary and hygiene thing than convenience. just IMO
I don't disagree with you; but what about after washing your hands and dispensing paper towels? You would still have to use YOUR HANDS to open the door handle.
 

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I don't disagree with you; but what about after washing your hands and dispensing paper towels? You would still have to use YOUR HANDS to open the door handle.
True; but most people have hopefully washed their hands before exiting. Some bathroom doors I've seen actually have a metal piece attached down near the bottom that you can grab with your foot to open the door.

Back on topic though, the reason I've owned 6 Subaru cars is because they are the embodiment of both form AND function. Every detail seems to be there for a reason, with all the extras you find on most other cars shaved off. Everything is simple to use and understand, and the cars are as basic as they come.

My dad is the one who got me into Subarus, and he liked them for this exact reason. His previous car to his first Subaru was a 1971 VW Beetle which had as many amenities as a WWII army jeep and drove the same. I'll never forget when he was buying his Legacy wagon (base model of course), he was upset at the salesman because he couldn't get him one without power locks. He removed the key FOB and always locked/unlocked his car with the key.
 

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Little off topic regarding driver function. I absolutely dislike the fact that automakers are adding more and more electronics as the technological revolution advances.

Stuff like:

1) Smart key entry;
2) Proximity warning system;
3) Lane departure warning;
4) Blind spot detection;
5) Auto braking sensor;
6) Early collision warning;
7) Rain sensing wipers;
8) Seat memory functions;
9) Power seat adjustment;
10) Efficientdynamics start-stop;
11) Power button to close trunk.

A majority of these features are garbage IMO and it is honestly a recipe for more distractions and accidents. I could do some of these things much quicker -- (i.e. closing the trunk and adjusting seat manually & simply a touch of a button to activate rain wipers.)



Even more off topic, ever wonder about those electronic paper towel dispensers? It is just maddening. Just think of how much time you spent placing your damn hands over then sensor to dispense 3 paper towels VS. manually dispensing it? I could say the same with electronic sensing faucets ... and the list goes on and on. :rolleyes:


Point of my post? Newer technology isn't ALWAYS better in terms of functionality.
And it is because I can do some/most of those things quicker that I love the STI. The STI gives me a sense of I'm untouchable, like a mountain goat. You come at me, I move somewhere you can't and I do it in a very nimble, precise, predictable fashion. And as you said, it's the old technology in the machine that get's me the satisfaction and confidence I need on the road.

Function wins in my book.
 

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I think simple yet elegant is underplayed. I like the bare minimum of electronics (like the current gen STI) but all the high-end vehicles seem to be moving towards having too much shit that makes drivers lazy. I like the heated seats in the cold ass winter and heated windshield wipers and different drive modes. I like A/C (didn't have in my last car and god damn did it suck). But the newer gadgets seem to be excessive and useless OR make the average driver more lazy/less aware than they already are.

I guess that's why I bought an STI over an Audi or BMW though.
 

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The only additional electronic feature I would like in my STi is air-conditioned seats. This should be standard in all vehicles. A few years ago I did a ride along with a rep who had a Lexus with this feature and I didn't want to get out of the car. It made driving around SO much more comfortable. I don't know if I have back sweating issues or not, but my back gets clammy no matter what time of year it is and regardless of how cold the cabin is from the A/C.

I've tasted the forbidden fruit and I want more!
 

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The only additional electronic feature I would like in my STi is air-conditioned seats. This should be standard in all vehicles. A few years ago I did a ride along with a rep who had a Lexus with this feature and I didn't want to get out of the car. It made driving around SO much more comfortable. I don't know if I have back sweating issues or not, but my back gets clammy no matter what time of year it is and regardless of how cold the cabin is from the A/C.

I've tasted the forbidden fruit and I want more!
yeah I could probably agree on that, for those real hot days!
 

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In the end, it's all about profits for the car manufacturers. That ultimately decides the balance between the two; People nowadays want gadgets, the more the better. Driving a car is a hassle for most people (not an enjoyment) so driving aids galore. Higher end look with cheap price, that's always a winner. If you can combine all of that at the cheapest price, you get exactly what Hyundai & KIA are doing. Quebecers looooove them... sigh... 50% of car sales is here... :rolleyes: :lol:
 

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In the end, it's all about profits for the car manufacturers. That ultimately decides the balance between the two; People nowadays want gadgets, the more the better. Driving a car is a hassle for most people (not an enjoyment) so driving aids galore. Higher end look with cheap price, that's always a winner. If you can combine all of that at the cheapest price, you get exactly what Hyundai & KIA are doing. Quebecers looooove them... sigh... 50% of car sales is here... :rolleyes: :lol:
lol, SO true. And sad that most people don't enjoy driving...take the bus :p but seriously, the scary part is that most people who don't enjoy driving are the ones who tend to tune out, get distracted, and cause traffic or accidents. Another reason why traffic gets so f*cking BAD in Montreal for no GOOD reason!!!
 
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