The hunt for quality: where does the perception of goodness reside in this car?
Editor’s note: Since we are currently evaluating the E30 3 Series BMW, it seemed germane to re-run this piece by Richard Herriott, considering some of the finer points. First published on DTW – 21 May 2017.
Recently the opportunity afforded itself for me to take a lot of photos of a car Clarkson called an over-priced Escort, a chance to hunt for quality. What did I find? This is a close look at the car:
On the inside we see where the potential Sierra customer was most tempted:
The interior is composed of premium plastics and top-quality upholstery (bolster-wear notwithstanding). Once inside the car, the customer observed well-fitted and noticeably robust materials. Colour, materials, finish (CMF) is a branch of design that emerged from the car industry. It was in products like the E30 that the power of material and finish (if not colour) to persuade customers was refined. This car positively glows with a sense of refined durability that alternatives from Ford and Opel lacked, even at the top of the price hierarchy.
On the outside, the E30 then is a symphony of small refinements and some eye-catching embellishments. On the inside, the customer is seduced by a sense of well-being. The geometry of the shapes is calm; the dashboard puts the driver in charge but the way it is put together seals the deal.