Snapshot – A modification if done tastefully can transform the way a car or a SUV looks. Then there are those mods that will make your car or SUV look downright stupid. And these includes a few that are deemed to be “functional”, which instead do exactly the opposite. Here’s an idiot’s guide that’ll help you stay far away from modifications that will make your car or SUV look plain bad.
Adding metal bullbars to hatchbacks
Some ladder framed SUVs, which have no crumple zones to speak of, can carry off mean looking, metal bull bars. Some other SUVs even have bull bar manufacturers actively designing units that don’t interfere with the crumple zone and the airbags’ function. In India though, bull bars are simply meant to prevent other cars from coming too close, which is why you see hatchbacks featuring massive metal bullbars and looking absolutely ridiculous. It isn’t just about looks. A metal bull bar can actually end up transmitting more force to a small car’s passenger shell in case of a colission. And in cars such as the Tata Nano and Maruti Alto, which already have weak body structures, a bull bar can be suicidal. So, bull bar for your hatchback? Just don’t do it.
Plastering your car/SUV with stickers
Bumper stickers can make you look cool but making the entire car a bumper for your imagination could make you end up somewhat like this.
Plastering your car with stickers is a bad idea. Yes, cars are used to express individuality but making it a sticker canvas is just adding to the visual pollution on our streets. Keep it classy.
Adding a spare wheel to a hatchback
A spare wheel on the tail gate is a classic SUV styling cue. Doing something similar on a budget hatchback screams wannabe. And some people don’t stop at this. They go a step ahead and add a ladder to the hatch lid, turning up the weird and wacky quotient by a few more notches.
Massive spoilers are a no-no
Massive spoilers on race cars serve to provide downforce. On a road going car that is stuck in traffic for the better part of its life, with speeds under 40 Kph, a large spoiler is better used as a a clothesline. Or maybe even a book rack, given the shape of the spoiler on this heavily modified Mitsubishi Lancer. Adding a short duck tail spoiler can boost looks, not so much a large, unweildy contraption stuck onto the boot of a car. Like this one here.
Lights, and more lights
Stock headlamps and fog lamps can be woefully inadequate. Adding a pair of auxillary lamps from Hella or Lightforce does the trick as far as lighting is concerned. But some clearly disagree, and this Toyota Etios Liva hatchback owner is one such person.
How else do you explain the profusion of lights that pepper the front of this budget hatchback? From the bumpers to the rooftop, every possible mounting point has been used for adding lights, and more lights. It’s not a very tasteful thing to do to your car, isn’t it? Then there are those who love neon lights, inside out.