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Cars are popular worldwide, with many gearheads dedicating their lives to collecting, maintaining and driving them. Many people are prideful about their favorite manufacturers, racecar drivers and more. Car enthusiasts often hold strong opinions, despite how many people come for them. So, are you ready for Modded’s unpopular opinions about cars?
1. Autonomous Vehicles Aren’t Happening
In the last few years, automakers have made progress in self-driving cars. Vehicles from Tesla, Nvidia and Waymo have made advancements in cars with autonomous features. However, according to standards from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), we’re still at level two. Currently, most self-driving cars are at level two, requiring the driver to always control the steering wheel.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled Drive Pilot, which reaches level three, which is not fully autonomous. But there are some times when the car can drive itself. This begs the question, will we ever see level five vehicles, meaning you can relinquish control of the car and let it drive itself at all times?
Level five means you can relinquish control of the car and let it drive itself at all times. It’s taken this long to get to level two, and automakers are just now able to crack level three. If we get to level five, it won’t be in our lifetimes. I’m not a believer. If it happens, and the cars are verifiably safer than humans, I’ll gladly eat my words. But for now, it’s one of my unpopular opinions.
2. Sports Cars Are Overrated
There’s a mystique that’s been around sports cars for ages. When you’re a kid, you pretend with your friends that you’re driving a Lamborghini or a Porsche. You read on the internet about celebrities like LeBron James and Drake, who own Ferraris. They’re sleek and cool, but I think they’re overrated. Come at me if you want, but it’s one of my unpopular opinions about cars.
There’s no universe where I’d spend a lot of money on a sports car unless I had as much money as the previously mentioned celebrities. They’re unpractical because they’re super expensive to maintain in addition to the cost to purchase. Sure, these cars are nice to look at in pictures or in video games. But I’ve never had the desire to drive one or own one. They’re only prestigious because of their name and how much celebrities value them.
3. EVs Are Not the Answer to Global Warming
The electric vehicle (EV) market will explode in the next decade. Experts project EV revenue will double from 2023 to 2027. Manufacturers across the board are gearing up to make EVs almost exclusively. EVs are a welcome sight as the world suffers from global warming. What’s been contributing to the problem? Gas-powered vehicles. But are EVs the solution? They’re merely a bandage on a much larger problem.
I’ll speak from the perspective of an American –- our country is far too dependent on cars. A passenger vehicle annually emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). It will take a long time before EVs are the dominant car in the US and other countries. CO2 emissions directly contribute to global warming and remind us that we could have gone in a different direction.
Many other countries don’t rely on cars as we do. Nations, especially in Europe and Asia, rely on trains as their primary source of transportation. This transit is more environmentally friendly and efficient, especially when you take high-speed rail. Yes, the US is a large and spread-out country. But look at China, which is similar in size. They have the world’s most extensive infrastructure for high-speed rail, connecting cities nationwide.
This section may seem like a rant, so let’s stay on topic. EVs are better than ICE vehicles. But they’re not the answer to our nation’s biggest problem, global warming. The solution has been in front of us for decades: advancing public transportation. The past century of urban and suburban development has led to un-walkable and car-dependent cities like Houston. One of my unpopular opinions is that an environmentally conscious nation should have never relied on cars.
4. EVs Are Not Morally Better Than ICE Vehicles
EVs, at face value, are better for the environment and more ethical for drivers trying to be conscious of their carbon footprint. But it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. In fact, there are dark sides to EV production that make car enthusiasts like me question the sustainability of the electric car market.
The first problem deals with cobalt mining. Cobalt is integral for EV production because that’s what the cars need for their lithium-ion batteries. But cobalt is a problem for EVs and everybody on the car market. A recent study finds cobalt mining is dangerous for human health. This process could cause cancer to the mine workers, and the miners face hazardous conditions with the electricity and blasting.
It’s also a liability for people living near the cobalt mine due to the emissions. Some companies worldwide aim to reduce their cobalt dependence and find alternative solutions. For example, China is trying to create an EV battery that doesn’t rely on nickel or cobalt. But it’s a symptom of a more significant problem. What we think is more sustainable and conducive to the planet isn’t always the most ethical.
5. Ford Is the Worst Domestic Automaker
The United States has iconic makes and models dating back to the early 1900s. Automakers have come and gone, but titans like Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Cadillac and more remain. But not all of these manufacturers are on equal levels. Who’s the worst one? Mustang owners will fight this one, but it’s the original one — Ford.
People make fun of the blue ovals and say Ford is an acronym for “found on road dead.” It’s hardly a joke when you realize just how unreliable their cars are. Henry Ford should be rolling around in his grave, discovering how his company has fallen behind domestic and international automakers in terms of reliability, popularity and forward-thinking.
So what makes Ford so bad? My opinion is partly anecdotal from personal experience and those from others who have had unsuccessful runs with Ford vehicles. But it’s not a coincidence many have run into the same issues. Look at JD Power’s dependability study for 2022. They ranked 32 automakers, and Ford clocked in the middle at 16th, behind American rivals like Buick, Dodge, Cadillac and Chevrolet.
Ford vehicles generally are unreliable. In fact, Ford has led all automakers in recalls for two years in a row. Their parts aren’t high quality, leading to these breakdowns. In comparison, other American automakers like Chevrolet and Dodge make better cars. Ford closes the gap with its line of trucks. But overall, they lag behind.
6. Kia Souls Are Not Ugly
Some cars are notorious for their beautiful designs. Car enthusiasts laud models like the Corvette Stingray, especially the 1962 model. In the sports car world, the Ferrari 250 GTO gets a lot of praise for its iconic look. On the other hand, some cars get flack for their looks. For example, look at the Kia Soul. This car gets a lot of heat for its ugly appearance, but it’s one of my unpopular opinions that these cars are not ugly.
In fact, there’s no such thing as an ugly car. The closest thing we have to that is the Tesla Cybertruck. They’re different and show that everybody’s so creative about car design. Over time, the Kia Soul (and, by association, the Nissan Cube) have become part of American culture. People love to hate them, but they’re not horrific.
You can compare the Kia Soul to peoples’ unpopular opinions about music. The Kia Soul is the Nickelback of the car world. Many love to hate it and call it ugly, but there’s a reason why it’s still around. People buy the Kia Soul, and it’s a decent little car. All cars are beautiful. And as car enthusiasts, we should appreciate creativity because car design is like an art form. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What Are Your Unpopular Opinions About Cars?
So there you have it. Those are my six unpopular opinions about cars that I will defend with the passion of a thousand suns. Fords are terrible, and Kia Souls are gorgeous. EVs aren’t the answer to sustainability like we think they are. Sports cars are way overrated, and we’ll never see level-five autonomy. Those are my six hot takes, so what are yours? What’s the hill you’ll die on concerning cars?