What makes some cars more tiresome ?

Joined
Mar 8, 2012
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Colorado Springs
I will take my BMW from coast to coast any time. On other hand I need to prepare myself mentally to do road trip with Sienna, and physical time off after road trip. Mind, my BMW is actually track vehicle too.
The reason why that E60 is like that is steering response and keeping direction on the road. Probably best seats in business if comfort package ones, responsive brakes etc.
I did 5,200 miles trip with X5 35d. And this is big thing: ability to keep direction without much input. My small kid at that time would do something in the back that would require me to turn, car stays as it is and if something makes it change direction, I can feel immediately on my hand.
In my minivan as soon as I have to pay attention to the kids, car is off. And worse, there is absolutely no feedback what wheels are doing. It is tiring constantly correcting direction. That is among many other shortcomings from short seats, weird seating position, poor sound insulation etc. On sound insulation it is not even db level as much as just unpleasant noise.
 
Joined
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For me… it just depends. I LOVE my truck, but driving it (or forbid parking it) in a crowded city like Chicago is very nerve wracking for me. In my normal day to day life though? It’s like a home away from home… sometimes I even look for an excuse to go for a drive.

On the flip side… my little Kia Forte Koup was a blast to drive in the city, but on the highway with most everyone else in crossovers/trucks/SUV’s it got a bit dicey since I seemed to turn invisible.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
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California
Others have touched on this factor; and that is if anything about the vehicle is mentally fatiguing it adds up to overall fatigue from driving.

For example, my Mazda CX 5 is normally a very comfortable car to drive. But the other day I had to make a 75 mile drive in the rain with the last 35 miles being on a 2 lane mountain road. The rain conditions were constantly changing and none of the intermittentent windshield wiper settings seemed to match the rain conditions. So that required almost constant adjustments to the wiper controls. I was also going through some thick patches of fog which required intense concentration to see the road and also watch out for oncoming drivers. The windows would fog up inside and I needed to use the defogger function and then shut it off again.

So in other words besides having to make almost constant adjustments to the various vehicle settings, there was also a lot of concentration and stress involved in keeping safe and a lot of steering wheel movement on the winding roads. I was really exhausted by the time I got home.

If your car needs constant adjustments while driving, that will add up in a negative way. On the other hand you don't want the car to lull you into inattentiveness. I like to be engaged with my vehicle while driving but road, weather and traffic conditions can make a short drive seem like a marathon too.
 
Joined
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Jupiter, Florida
I've talked about pleasant 'highway trip' cars, and in the end, there are only a few left I really enjoy. One that I like to rent is the Chrysler 300 V8. Big comfy seats, a very pleasant smooth engine/drivetrain with RWD that does not get on my nerves, Note: low RPM V6's under load, such as climbing a slight grade really annoy me. And a 4 cyl drone while climbing long grades eventually makes me prefer to walk. :)

People tend to forget that road trips often have long hills/grades and the addl weight of cargo/pax. Leading to certain otherwise nice vehicles showing their ugly side while struggling, droning or screaming RPM's.

But if I move up to one of my boss's Mercedes sedans or SUV's, I start to dislike it again. Terrible throttle response, and driving dynamics "delays" in everything. Makes it frustrating. In the end, a responsive chassis with a V8 and RWD tend to be most pleasant, whether it be truck or car.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
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SW Ontario Canada
For me, a tiring or relaxing drive comes down to these details:
- how quiet (wind noise, tires, drivetrain)
- how comfy (seats and suspension)
- how much driver involvement ( straight tracking, blind spots)
- how reliable is the car, does the trip cause you anxiety about making the distance
- how many idiots witnessed on route
- how much nagging does she do during the trip
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
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Great thoughts in this thread. i think the p2 Volvos I’ve had were probably the best multi-hour cars I’ve owned.
- superb seats
- unobtrusive engines, whether NA or turbo. Both have plenty of highway power, and were *fun*.
- steering and tracking is precise.
- road noise is better than most in that size
- surprising Ability to maintain road feel while remaining completely free of drama over bad roads. Bmw is the only other make I’ve seen do this so well. 2wd were like cats in the snow, very confident with all seasons, no issues at all, a surprisingly capable and even athletic snow car.

our f150, 2018, comes next. BUT, it has a camper shell, bilstein shocks and a rear sway bar added. It tracks straight, the rear sway provided much needed on-center feel which was totally absent before, and the 250 lbs of fiberglass settles the rear. before I added the shell and suspension upgrades, @Cujet described it well. (Note on the 10speed, a small splash (2oz of lubeguard) radically improved the behavior of the transmission in mine - it shifts on par with Lexus now). It’s also very quiet, however it’s getting noisier as the weatherstripping is losing its tightness.

it surprised me how the Lexus GS is not my first pick for highway. I love the tall gearing on 8th with the big NA v6 just loafing along. Seats are surprisingly good for being as firm as they are, but while they minimalize fatigue well aren’t really that comfortable for long spells. The drawback is the steering is so razor precise that it’s very twitchy at 70 and it takes a super light touch to guide it, yet some grip to correct it. It’s weird. I like taking it on some trips if the destination is city with tighter parking, etc., and it gets better hwy mileage than the truck (26-7), but the truck remains the goto.

honda crv- cant stand it. It’s loud, and the Eps kills on center, and the tip-in threshold for electric assist is not set well against rack stiction in ours. It’s like piloting tricylce gear small plane down a runway…. For those that don’t know the reference, the steering gear is attached by springs, so there’s always this tug of war between steering input and then the wheel deciding to pivot - not elegant on the ground, but very necessary for landing).

m
 
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Joined
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wv
The most fun car ive been in was my buddys VW Scirocco 8V. He drove it like he stole it on a daily basis.. he would race anybody any time.. just good honest fun. It never blew up but he tried.. it felt like a race car.

The most enjoyable vehicle ive owned was my Subaru Forester. Yes it needed head gaskets, and it went thru a few axles.. but something about a Subaru is just a different experience. For daily driving it was comfy, got good gas mileage, ergonomics were great. I felt like any dirt road, snow or bad road just made it shine. Alot of road noise and the engine was more pronounced..so long trips werent the best. I would love to own that thing brand new right now.

The worst vehicle ive had was a Honda Fit.. it got 33mpg but it was noisy, cramped, and got tiresome to feel every blemish in the road.

I would love to have a 1990 Subaru Legacy 5 speed brand new also. My buddys mom had one and we drove the wheels off of it.. it never really needed anything.. and was fun.

My current ride Ford Fusion gets around 32mpg and is pretty comfy in relation to its mpg. Its boring but im happy with it.

My 2003 Suburban gets 12 mpg for the most part.. it has almost 300K miles and it drives really well. No creaks or slop in anything. Its comfy but i would hate to drive it every day all day. Parking places seem too tight, all kinds of blind spots, poor gas mileage..
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
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One automaker uses the computer to make driving less tiresome. This video explains it well.

As a Mazda owner, I can tell you that I cannot feel any difference or when the system kicks in. But on the long distance drives I’ve been on I definitely feel less tired and more refreshed than before. So I think there is something there. Also, all the passengers benefit from not having their heads moving back and forth during the drive. It’s a subtle thing. The best way to describe this is that the car drives like it’s on rails.


 
Joined
Oct 15, 2006
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On long trips I notice a difference in vehicles with a lot of road and wind noise vs quiet vehicles. Not physical fatigue but I just get mentally worn out by loud vehicles. My Canyon is brutal for long trips.
 

NICAT

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Too much great information here. Thanks
Surprisingly, i adjusted seat angle, it mades huge difference :D
 
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I drove semi truck for quite a while from 1976 to 1981 running the continental U.S for a few years then drove out of the line driver local for a few years driving on the week ends as a casual while working Monday through Friday at the fork lift company doing L.A. and San Diego or Portland Oregon and sleeper teams to Utah . I cooked the log books , they were paper then. it was lots of fun and I loved it . Now I really notice the noise and vibration and after about 3 hours of being in a moving vehicle the movement hurts my body so bad I can't tolerate it , yes it is strange.
 
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south dakota
I prefer my Ford F-150 for comfort but the gas mileage is not that great. If I had to go cross country it would be my first choice out of my fleet. It's very quiet and comfortable to drive on the highway. The Corvette is a great road vehicle too however it's somewhat rougher riding and the interior has no extra room. I am only 5'8 and feel a little cramped in the Corvette on long trips. I believe a lack of options makes cars more boring to drive on long distances. All those bells and whistles are fun to play with on lengthy road trips. Navigation and a high tech radio help too.
 
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Kuala Lumpur ,Malaysia
I've talked about pleasant 'highway trip' cars, and in the end, there are only a few left I really enjoy. One that I like to rent is the Chrysler 300 V8. Big comfy seats, a very pleasant smooth engine/drivetrain with RWD that does not get on my nerves, Note: low RPM V6's under load, such as climbing a slight grade really annoy me. And a 4 cyl drone while climbing long grades eventually makes me prefer to walk. :)

People tend to forget that road trips often have long hills/grades and the addl weight of cargo/pax. Leading to certain otherwise nice vehicles showing their ugly side while struggling, droning or screaming RPM's.

But if I move up to one of my boss's Mercedes sedans or SUV's, I start to dislike it again. Terrible throttle response, and driving dynamics "delays" in everything. Makes it frustrating. In the end, a responsive chassis with a V8 and RWD tend to be most pleasant, whether it be truck or car.
Could you describe why RWD ? What is the difference that you can feel ?
 
Joined
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Great Lakes
Could you describe why RWD ? What is the difference that you can feel ?
For me, there’s something about the “push” feeling as opposed to the “pull” feeling I just like more. The steering is also nicer IMO as you’re not forcing the front wheels to do double duty. I despise the way FWD feels as you turn and accelerate… “gummy” is the way I’d describe it.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
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751
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Upstate, NY
Its odd, i'd say the Elantra is pretty tiresome to drive. i had many different cars some newer, and many older, but the Elantra is the oldest with EPS so it has a weird feeling on center, and is easy to swerve without constant corrections. If it did not have EPS, i believe it would be up there in one of the best. It's laid out very logical, has enough power, body control is pretty nice, and has mid size sedan space.

The sonata on the other hand also has EPS, but it much much more pleasant to put miles on, its a few years newer, body feel is stiffer, the 6 speed automatic is actually pretty decent, has about 200HP in the 2.4L flavor, and the EPS has been made better so on center feel is acceptable, and it does not require the constant corrections like in the elantra.
 
Joined
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For me, there’s something about the “push” feeling as opposed to the “pull” feeling I just like more. The steering is also nicer IMO as you’re not forcing the front wheels to do double duty. I despise the way FWD feels as you turn and accelerate… “gummy” is the way I’d describe it.
The p2 volvos are the only FWD I really didn’t mind once rolling. Agree - RWD feels natural to me, which I guess is why both of my vehicles get pushed from behind. But, Volvo got something right. I seem to recall some discussion in the journo‘s years ago about giving them an honorable mention in their abilities to almost not feel like a FWD.

but, when I pull one out of the parking space or spin the tiller while the front pulls it around a corner, there’s no way of hiding it.
 
Joined
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Connecticut
Rough ride, loose steering, road/wind noise, and a buzzy drivetrain. I also hate the trans programming on some cars where it never knows what gear to be in.

While my Jeep is loud on the highway it is actually comfortable to drive. The seats are supportive, the suspension is soft with the larger tires, and the engine has plenty of torque. My BMW is the ultimate road trip machine though. Comfy, stays planted on the road and doesn't get blown around by the wind, quiet, and a turbine smooth straight six. I've driven it 10 hours straight and wasn't tired afterward.
 
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Atlanta, GA
I have been very happy with my road trippability of my Volkswagens. Probably by far the best long distance cruisers I have ridden in. On the other end of the spectrum my Mercedes E350 was middling to poor when it came to seat comfort on a trip.
 
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