Camaro vs Cube

It just so happens this week that I am driving two of the most visually striking cars of the year – a Chevy Camaro and a Nissan Cube. What will the neighbors think?

It’s always interesting to sit at my office window and watch the reactions of passers-by to the cars I have parked outside. Twice per day, parents drop their children off at the school around the corner, and while they’re mostly oblivious to what’s around them, they often notice what’s in front of my house.

This week, I have two visually striking cars that wouldn’t be more different if one was from Mars and the other from Canada. Example: A seven-year old began screaming from a half-block away “A Camaro! Oh my God, Mom, it’s a Camaro!” He ran right past the Cube and threw himself up against the Camaro, looking in the window. (And applying an uneven film of french-fry grease to the glass, because that’s what kids do.) After a minute of his hysterical oil slathering, his mother summoned him into their SUV, and he left, staring longingly at what is, no doubt, the hottest muscle car around.

An hour later, an elderly lady approached on her daily walk. She walked right past the Camaro, but stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the Cube. I heard her say out loud “what an absurd little car” as she inspected it from front to back. She looked at the front, the back, the sides, the interior, and then fixated at the Nissan badge for a little while before walking away, staring back at it.

Whether you like either of these two vehicles or not, the sight of the two of them together makes you wonder: these are some bold designs – are they a reaction to all of those comments we hear that every car on the road looks the same? I mean, they do. I still can’t tell an early 2000s Camry from an Accord. And I drove a Kia Forte for the first time last week and someone asked me how I liked my new Civic. (Here I thought the Civic was finally a car that was ugly enough not to look like everything else… and now Kia went and copied it.)

The point of all of this is: bring on the polarizing designs. I love how two cars on the street, one $20,000 and one $36,000, can stop people in their tracks. I often park $100,000 cars on the street that nobody notices. And while there’s certainly a place in the world for those cars (yes, you hunk of a 911, it’s you I really want), it’s really cool that style is back, and sometimes it doesn’t even cost that much money.