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I've been fortunate enough to have a pretty booked press vehicle calendar for the past two months.

Because of this I've been driving everything from fully electric vehicles to mom and pop grocery getters to high-end exotica.

And, like always, it's been a blast.

But just about this time every year when I take a moment to reflect, I typically start to surface some trends I am seeing in the automotive industry. It's not uncommon that manufacturers take some creative license from each other.

Having said that, tonight I was going through my catalogue of gripes and realized that I have three rather big ones that keep coming up. Rather than squirrel them away though, I wanted to bring them to your attention and get your feedback: Do YOU agree that these are the three WORST trends in the automotive industry today?

1) Four-cylinder motors, everywhere. OK, I can understand why an automaker would employ the use of a four-cylinder powerplant in entry-level vehicles. They're cost effective and they get a helluva bang for the buck when it comes to fuel economy. But in vehicles north of $60,000? This just is getting ridiculous at this point. I will never buy a luxury vehicle with a four-cylinder engine.

2) Stitched vinyl. This may just be the worst offender at the moment. While some automakers do a pretty good job, BMW and Mercedes-Benz come to mind, other companies are abysmal — Honda and Toyota. The stitched vinyl move is supposed to mimic über luxury vehicles with their stitched leather door panels and full leather dashboards. Vinyl just doesn't have that same impact no matter how much you dress it up. Please stop embarassing yourselves.

3) Screens, screens, screens.
After driving a screen-obsessed Land Rover Range Rover Velar, I will admit the screens are actually a nice touch. However, there's just two problems: It's not uncommon for these screens to freeze and then owners have to reboot as needed. This means driving for up to five minutes as your vehicle gets its act together. Every time I drive a vehicle with several screens, I can only think "What will this cost to replace these when they all go dead — and they will go dead."



Are THESE The Three WORST Trends In The Auto Industry Today?

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