What things were better 10 years ago
1. More all-round visibility
- Thin pillars - like here on the first Audi 80 - were perhaps less stable in the crash, but they provided perfect all-round visibility.
- Today's pillars are so wide that even public buses can hide behind them.
The window pillars on the car used to be called window pillars - and they were so thin that you could enjoy a perfect 360-degree view. Today we have a 360-degree camera on board, but not only motorcycles but even buses disappear behind the front A-pillar.
2. Contact parking
- They used to exist: bumpers made of real metal, sometimes even with horns and later often with rubber strips.
- Today, every touch of another car inevitably means a scratch in the expensive paint on the plastic.
In the past, cars weren't wrapped in plastic aprons all around. There were exposed beams at the front and rear, called bumpers - with which you could just push and park without damage. Today there are sensors. You need it, because every contact inevitably results in scratches in the paint.
3. Pragmatic form
- In the past, practical virtues counted instead of lifestyle. You can load a whole cupboard into this Volvo 850 without having to take it apart.
- Today's models are all too often geared towards style, but with the flat shapes they are not always particularly practical.
In the past, a car had to be practical - and so we didn't care that the models were also angular. A great example are Volvo station wagons such as the 240 or 850 (picture). Where we are only fumbling apart the Billy shelf today, we used to push it in one piece into our “Schwedenpanzer” - it fits!
4. Fresh air by hand
- Simple technology, lots of fun: after manually opening the roof in the VW Beetle, summer could come.
- Today everything works automatically - but that also adds a lot of unnecessary extra kilos to the car and often takes longer.
VW Beetle and Citroën 2 CV were cars that almost everyone over 50s today knows a youth story. They were also popular because of their fabric tops - for the «Döschwo» to roll up, for the Beetle to open up. By hand! Today only Mazda's MX-5 can do that, everyone else needs heavy-duty technology.
5. Less height
- Optimal for the terrain, almost one size too high for the parking garage: the new Land Rover Defender.
- Even other giant SUVs such as the Audi Q8 are only conditionally suitable for parking in any direction due to their size.
Go shopping in the new Land Rover Defender? At the barrier to the multi-storey car park, the message: "Vehicle height exceeded!" Today's cars are taller and today's SUVs are just too tall. To get the snow off the roof, you should ideally have a stepladder with you in the trunk.
6. Air conditioning
- They used to be standard on many cars: the vent windows. With them you could ventilate completely draft-free.
- Today nothing goes without air conditioning on board.
Before aerodynamics eradicated them, they belonged to the car like cheese to raclette: small opening windows. Your advantage on a hot summer's day: Unfold on both sides and you could ventilate completely draft-free. If you open the window today, you reap a storm, and that's why air conditioning is mandatory.
7. Real buttons
- This is what the cockpit of the very first VW Golf looked like: simple and pragmatic.
- Today it looks like this: car editor Andreas Engel tries to control the volume of the sound system via the touch bar.
Earlier cockpits were reduced to the bare essentials: there is a rotary switch for operating the light on the left, there the buttons for the fan and radio on the right - this can be operated blindly. Today manufacturers annoy us with volume control via buttons or touch bars - a real car nuisance of the modern age.
8. Self-made service
- In the past you could change V-belts or spark plugs yourself - some were even available in the supermarket!
- With today's complex technology, if the headlight is defective, the garage operator must inevitably be approached.
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