Friday, March 20, 2009

Only make improvements where they are needed.

I'm enjoying my new Honda Element. I replaced the old one with a 2009 model year largely because I liked the changes they'd made externally. But on taking delivery of the car, there are numerous things which Honda have improved - almost all of which were things I griped about in the past. For example the cruise control on/off button is now on the steering wheel instead of down by my left knee on the dash, and the intermittent wipe now has variable timing. Plus, the improved engine air intake, remapped ECU and 5 speed auto instead of 4 speed returns 5mpg more than the old one. Ok so these aren't exactly groundbreaking items in today's car market, but the fact that they were so illogically implemented the first time around meant there was room to improve. So either Honda listened to their customers, or they've since employed a designer who looked at the original Element and had a "WTF?" moment.

The really nice thing is that a lot of the stuff which didn't need touching has been left alone, and that was also a pleasant surprise. How many times have you upgraded a car, or changed cars within the same brand, and found something which worked just fine in the original but seems to have been "improved" or moved in the new one just for the sake of it?

I guess the message to the car manufacturers here is to only improve that which needs it. If something works well and logically, leave it alone.

No comments: