Do soft dashes really matter?

otispunkmeyer

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Surely softer dash materials have a better sound deadening effect than hard wheelie bin plastic?
 

mitchell.scott

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Surely softer dash materials have a better sound deadening effect than hard wheelie bin plastic?
Makes sense to me. In my family, the cars with the most rattles are in order of the softest dash/interior materials. 2006 Xterra is the worst, 2006 Subaru is a bit better, my Accord is still rattle-free after 12 years.
 

MadCow809

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The dash on my old SLK was ugly as sin. Plus it was made with some horrible cheap plastic. As you can imagine, the tactile feel wasn't very Mercedes like.... more like something you'd expect from a Hyundai.

Personally, I prefer my dash to be covered with cows. Lots of 'em.
 

Vette Boss

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One of the main reasons I bought the Passat, was for the nice interior plastics and soft dash. I think it sort of sets the tone for the car, if the interior is nice, it means the manufacturer has a commitment to quality and more thought has been put into everything else, as well.
 

Lastsoul

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If I were in a front end shunt I'd prefer seatbelts which allow your body to meet the airbag in a controlled way.

1mm thick soft layer on a dashboard doesn't do anything in a collision.
 

rickhamilton620

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If I were in a front end shunt I'd prefer seatbelts which allow your body to meet the airbag in a controlled way.

1mm thick soft layer on a dashboard doesn't do anything in a collision.
It does look good though! :D :p
 

TC

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One of the main reasons I bought the Passat, was for the nice interior plastics and soft dash. I think it sort of sets the tone for the car, if the interior is nice, it means the manufacturer has a commitment to quality and more thought has been put into everything else, as well.
Could be a big fallacy though, and an obvious tactic for a big company to sell more cars. Make it look good on the surface and the marks won't look beneath the skin.
 

argatoga

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Could be a big fallacy though, and an obvious tactic for a big company to sell more cars. Make it look good on the surface and the marks won't look beneath the skin.
Yep. Spectre has a picture around here of the bolts used by VW for their current cars' front subframes. The things are a joke.
 

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Soft dashes really matter in the showroom. Once you buy the car, you're not going to caress the the foam padding and soft paint all day long, but you will touch it on occasion when fiddling with other things. Most of all you know it's there, which re-assures you that you bought a nice car.

I, as I usually do, took a round in the dealerships down dealership road when I picked my car up from service on friday, and after knocking on many a french-japanese and korean hard dashes I was re-assured my car was nicer then them (altough I won't complain if anyone gives me a Mercedes or Volvo ;)) when I got back in because of soft touch materials and leather highlights. Koreans are gaining though, the french-japanese, not so much. The Juke feels like the entire car was made from hard plastic. And because of that, I wouldnt buy a Juke, even if it wasn't hideous.
 
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rickhamilton620

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Soft dashes really matter in the showroom. Once you buy the car, you're not going to caress the the foam padding and soft paint all day long, but you will touch it on occasion when fiddling with other things. Most of all you know it's there, which re-assures you that you bought a nice car.

I, as I usually do, took a round in the dealerships down dealership road when I picked my car up from service on friday, and after knocking on many a french-japanese and korean hard dashes I was re-assured my car was nicer then them (altough I won't complain if anyone gives me a Mercedes or Volvo ;)) when I got back in because of soft touch materials and leather highlights. Koreans are gaining though, the french-japanese, not so much. The Juke feels like the entire car was made from hard plastic. And because of that, I wouldnt buy a Juke, even if it wasn't hideous.
Even some of the jukes center stack controls feel cheap. Other offenders in this department are any small newish Toyota product with manual climate controls. The "grasp the outside and twist" knobs do indeed feel cheap.

Hmm what other cars was I impressed/uninpressed with:

The last two generations of honda civic was decent enough. Even though the dashboard was hard on both, importantly it didn't look hard. Upper door trim was soft on the 08, hard on the 05.

Surprisingly, the previous E-series van interior was mostly soft touch:



When I drive my uncle's avalon....I "get it" when it comes to people's (now misplaced) praise for toyota interiors. The tactility of almost everything seemed to be sweated over. The shift lever in that car, for example) almost glides into each position yet never ever feels cheap or flimsy. Other buttons/knobs operate in a similar fashion. Seemingly every covered cubby and handle is softly damped, and the dashboard/doors are nicely covered in cloth/soft materials.

His GF's rodeo interior though....that's just god awful. Hard shiny plastics, insubstantial feeling controls, some "screw hole caps" in highly visible places that could probably be pulled off...just eww.

How ironic that a year or two later, the Rodeo got one of the first DI engines...why not put some of that money toward the interior? Not that it mattered much as Isuzu no longer sells SUV's here.

1st gen Sedona. It was 2002 and family was contemplating replacing our venerable 96 grand voyager. The base price for a Sedona was unheard of in the states, under 20k iirc. Anyways when we got there and poked our heads inside one at the local auto show, it was impressive. Excellent fit and finish, robust fabric, great materials/refinement (the sliding doors remain the smoothest, most refined feeling manual doors I've tried, even compaired to gen 2) it was shockingly good. Parents decided to keep the voyager (if it ain't broke....) but that experience definitely inspired confidience to buy a Sportage years later.

A ride in another Sedona of this vintage at 17/18 corroberates my findings I made as a very young (prob 13) car guy. To this day I believe that the first Sedona and Sorento began their quest for interior quality, although they've stumbled a bit with the current Sedona (hard plastics..at least they look convincingly soft) and Sorento (ditto + some gaps jussst large enough to annoy)

Last one: The refreshed 2nd gen Dodge Stratus sedan. Daimler got a hold of the interior and cheapened it beyond anyone's expectations. Doors that used to be plushly padded in soft touch material, stopping only at the map pockets, were switched out to a hard plastic version with a thinly padded "insert". The dash was also cheapened and made hard. Disappointing to see such a leap backward in interior materials WITHIN an product's generation.

They did make the front end look better though, so I give them that. I guess.

And that'll be all for now..my thumbs hurt (yes I typed this on a phone...slide out keyboards FTW!) :p
 
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ninjacoco

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Rattles already in a 2010?
The entire dashboard is hard plastic.

Meh. All this means is that I need to turn up the radio louder or make more tire squealy noises.
 

SirEdward

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It's a matter of proportions and rattles. So long as it doesn't rattle, then it's ok, a bit softer in case of crash is ok, but the ridiculous things where you can twist some part of the dash with your own hands are really annoying. Because plastic degenerates with time and what will my extra-soft dash look like in 5-8 years time?
 

AiR

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Well it should look nice unless it's a Volkswagen. Oh wait.
 

JCE

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Soft dashes do matter. The harder the material the more likely it is to make noises where fashioned together. My Focus has a reasonable dash in most places, however some of the window trim is hard and makes noises when I go over rough roads. My wife's RX-8 has a terrible dash and the whole car rattles to death. The only part that doesn't rattle is the portions of it covered in the soft rubber/vinyl material.

I don't need to go into my Camaro's interior for obvious reasons. Two letters describes it perfectly: "GM".

Having a dash that looks good but is cheap feeling, hard + plasticy and or cheaply finished is not preferable over one that feels quality but doesn't look as good in my opinion. I'd take a simple dash with quality materials over one that's all tech'd out but cheap materials from a wheelie bin.
 

jasonof2000

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My SVT Focus developed a rattle until I tracked it down and a quick tightening of some screws fixed it. Personally I don't care as long as the dash is funcitonal and isn't hideous.
 

AiR

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Do you think the situation is THAT bad?
Nah it's fine, it's just that VW, being one of the forerunners in the softlack department, and as one of the big volume manufacturers, have been subject to much publicity regarding the issue of softlack peel and bubbling, predominantly on older cars. Also we must not confuse softlack with soft foam dashboards, altough they usually come hand-in-hand.
 
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sifu

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My SVT Focus developed a rattle until I tracked it down and a quick tightening of some screws fixed it. Personally I don't care as long as the dash is funcitonal and isn't hideous.
mine too, its the power window controls that rattle in mine. should tighten it.
 
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