Recently I ran a small article on the hard edges of public transport design. Sitting in a VW Touran I noticed that someone in Potsdam had been cutting corners too.
How did they do that? On this b-pillar trim I noticed that the main fillet had a pronounced shadow before it turned the corner (where the orange arrow is). Sure, it’s not a major part of the car interior and I am probably the first person who ever noticed it. What it does is lend this part at coarse and cold look, precisely akin to the hard edges of a Xerox photocopier from 1986 or that Alstom train interior I showed.
What happened here was that someone decided this part was not worth modelling to the same standard as parts such as the dashboard. That means that the little rounded edge known as the fillet is not curvature matched. You can get a technical explanation here. A layman’s way of understanding it is that the blend from one face of the part to the other was not smooth.
Notice how as you look from left to right the surface lightens, then darkens and then lightens. It should not darken before lightening. How hard is that to do? In most CAD packages you can get a good curvature matched surface on a coarsely-grained part at the stroke of a button. In this instance, VW decided the rear seat passengers weren’t worth the effort.