Breadbox cars.

Whats with the new craze of the cars shaped like breadboxes. Like the Scion xB and Honda Element. isnt being a square a bad thing???


remember when Bad ment good? This is the automotive equivalent. An interesting treand that has some payoff as far as vehicle packaging is concerned. Check out the Japan only Nissan Cube, my favorite of the boxes.

I gotta’ admit…I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Honda Element. Even the Scion. Funny, though, that these cars are marketed towards the Gen Y (or whatever letter they’re using these days) crowd, and they’re finding that most of the buyers are comprised of baby boomers.

does it really matter what you think?..People like it and it is obviously selling well, so shut up. It’s refreshing to see an appreciation for efficiency and logic. Plus i’m tired of my knees hitting the steering wheel on all of those cars designed by american ccs and art center students. Step aside art geeks, china’s designers are gonna stir fry yo ass!

Well that was rude. If you havent noticed this web site is for “art geeks”.

I admit that you do get more room for the size of the vechicle. But still as shape of the vechicle it is so… so… lacking. where is the fancy lines people look for, at designers at that much…

Yeah, and how about those VW Buses. Talk about bread box, they won’t be around long. Oh, wait they have been around over 35 YEARS already!!!


I love seeing a guest get his courage all up and then sign with some initials that don’t mean anything. You really showed us that you can stand up.

You see many VW busses these days do you? Don’t get me wrong I love 'em. And I like a lot of the new boxes as well, just don’t think that in 5-10 it will be hot in tha Mass market since the trend right now is totally missing the target demographic. Really I don’t think people like to be “designed for”.

I think when you design something for an eighteen year old kid his imediate reaction to it is “you don’t know me, i’ll by an old civic and spend $10k on fixing it up, so fuck off”

But when you design something for an eighteen year old kid, a 35 year old person’s respons to it is “cool, I still look young, I’ll get one of these new boxes the kid’s like” killing it even further. I know about 5 people that have xB’s, they are all over 30.

The Scion TC is selling more to younger people, but probably because it looks like a better sculpted Civic with knock of BMW headlights and a huge sunroof.

Let me know if you are having trouble logging in next time.


Wow, that was surprising coming from you. Usually you are kind of level and mellow or whatever.

I get your point though. I haven’t gotten around to setting up a log-in yet, and I know there are people out there who find the time to set up a special log in just for a smart ass reply. I guess I’m lazy or just half assed lurking. I put my initials after my posts since I wrote it, As opposed to another random “quest” who might be posting in the same thread. (o.k. whatever, right?)

I will crawl out of guest pond scum soon, for whatever that’s worth.

The Scion example is very good. We had a client pull up in one with his kid in a car seat. That totally killed it.

As far as intended consumer versus actual adopters, this can happen for many reasons. The Subaru Forester is a good example of a vehicle designed for 20 something year old “outdoors active” men, but demographically could be described as appealing to “outdoors active” women 30-40 year old.

The Scion is an example of how a “customizable” platform will, by it’s nature appeal to more demographics than a car company could effectively predict. It will cycle through and eventually 18 yo will be able to pick them up 2nd hand or maybe 10 years from now 18 year olds will be into something else that nobody predicted.

My point was that a bold design will endure for reasons beyond the original intent. VW was going for a practical affordable van in the bus, and a car in the bug. The new bettle may be reaching back to leverage on the old beetle, but with more requirements of the design due to modern needs.The original designs were simple and sold well. Scion may implode or populate the roads for awhile. 18 year old who want a car “for them” will have to adapt anyways, because the car world doesn’t revolve around them.

I think the Scions (Xb) look cool because they have KGB surplus vehicle look. I don’t have one though.

TF (aka quest scum of the unverse)

this is very cool and sort of on-topic:

I think we went over the Element before, but it’s worth another look.

The box trend started in the 1990’s in Japan. Space is a premium in Japan, where you have 1/3 the population of the US living on an archipelogo no larger than California. The cars got smaller and taller. Play Gran Turismo 2 or 4 for good examples. Suzuki and Daihatsu, in particular, are well known for their boxes. The Wagon R especially comes to my mind.

Because of the explosive popularity in the US of Gran Turismo, it began to have an effect on the thinking of the auto execs. It turns out the kids didn’t automatically buy and drive the familiar large cars with trunks, but they were driving Japanese hot-hatches.

The Element steals the aesthetic feeling of those Japanese cars, but mixes it with the familiar US SUV feel. Honda was probably afraid to bring a true small car to the US market, plus they could build the larger Element on the same line as the Civic in Ontario. Big advantage.

Toyota took a different avenue. They created three cars based on the Yaris/Vitz/Echo platform to maximize profits on the popular small car in their domestic market. This meant a sporty version and a boxy version.

Probably because Toyota has never had success in the youth market, they decided to ship these Japanese market cars over to test the waters, instead of designing cars specific to the market. Once again, Toyota missed the mark by 10 years of age! (but at least they are consistent)

Advantages of the box is space only. Aerodynamics were sacraficed because in Japan highway driving is limited. In my opinion, the box is the wrong shape for a US vehicle because of the wide flat open roads.


Congrats you have officaily just posted somthing that was already on the core77 homepage.

Goodjob guest

Sorry, I didn’t mean it exactly like that. I assumed you where the same as the first “guest” chump. Logging in prevents that though right?..