I shared my affection for Honda’s on this blog in the past. The automaker’s “man-max, machine-min” engineering philosophy helped me rethink my own understanding of church programming. How many car companies have inspired your ecclesiology?
In high school I worked at a Honda dealer as a porter. My first car was a Honda Prelude. And in the years since I’ve owned six different Hondas-from a sports car to a minivan; an SUV and a scooter. So, yes, I’m a fan of the fuel-efficient, ergonomic, and very reliable vehicles.
But lately I’m beginning to wonder what they’re smoking over at Honda’s design studios. Honda has never been known as a cutting edge design company. They’re notoriously conservative. That means they’ve never produced anything as beautiful as a Jaguar E-type, but they haven’t laid a turd like the Pontiac Aztek either.
I started to worry when the latest Accord debuted. It struck me as over-designed; loosing the understated tone of the earlier generation. And it didn’t have the unity of design seen in its leading competitor, the Toyota Camry. The Accord isn’t offensive, but it doesn’t strike me as a pleasant design either.
But now Honda has really blown it. Take a look at the 2010 Accord-based Crosstour. What a mess. That massive grill…the angular front attached to that bulbous behind…the frumpy tailgate with the fake black-out glass…and the tiny oval fog lamps in those awkwardly large bumper slats. It’s just terrible. And I’m not alone in my opinion.
In an attempt to be “cool,” Honda decided to release the first images of the Crosstour on Facebook and Twitter. They were hoping to make an instant splash with social media. It worked. The car has been trounced. Reports indicate Honda is reeling. (Yet another reason to be skeptical of using Twitter.)They should have tested the design with social media fans long before building this beast.
Sorry, Honda. High quality, fuel efficiency, and interior ergonomics aren’t going to be enough this time. Are you watching, GM? Honda is weak. This is your chance to make your move.