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View Poll Results: Plastic cladding in cars, Yes or No?
Yes 97 33.45%
No 55 18.97%
Depends (Eg: only on a proper SUV) 138 47.59%
Voters: 290. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15th October 2021, 22:54   #1
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Default Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

With the growing market for micro/mini/compact SUVs, we are seeing most manufacturers using the plastic claddings extensively in modern day cars. These are commonly found in wheel arch, running board and rear bumper. Though they look very nice and fancy when the car is new, as the car ages they become dull and the looks of the car is totally compromised. Also, if the plastics texture is slightly rough, it attracts a lot of dust and it is hard to clean. Writing this post to see if anyone else also feels the same. Or am I the only one?
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Old 15th October 2021, 23:03   #2
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

I guess the apt way to summarise the use of extensive plastic cladding by manufacturers is "You Get What You Pay For".

With Mini/Micro trend on the rise and feature rich/safe cars in demand (maybe not Maruti buyers), manufacturers gotta cut costs and save up wherever they can.

Last edited by RohaNN_kWh : 15th October 2021 at 23:04. Reason: typo
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Old 15th October 2021, 23:12   #3
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

I like it. To me, those cladding give a dual tone look to the car, just like the Mercedes of the yester years (smart beauties they were!).
Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?-mercedesw124300efeatures1170x780.jpg

With proper care, these trims still look new after years. A wipe with trim polish / restorer once a quarter will keep them shinning like new. The trims of this 7 year old Ecosport still look good, IMO. (Pic source: Google)
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However I agree to your point, they're a dust magnet and tough to clean due to their not so smooth surface.

Last edited by Sheel : 18th October 2021 at 09:24. Reason: Typo.
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Old 15th October 2021, 23:21   #4
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

I'm a big fan of plastic cladding as they are infinitely cheaper to repair /replace especially in Indian manufactured models than sheet metal. Speaking out of experience from the wheel cladding on my indica which everyone says looks ugly but have saved pretty penny on bodywork bills
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Old 15th October 2021, 23:24   #5
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

Almost half of my Tucson was plastic cladding. Not a modern car though, 2005. But this was painted cladding, and a paintjob which included the bumpers used to cost me 10k every 2 years. That's what painting my whole Fiesta used to cost me.
Why every two years? Because that cladding bore the brunt of countless scrapes and hits all over north India. I was so glad for it.

The new stuff on cars, The black cladding, I don't think it will give me as much protection, I'm sure. But it's pretty simple to keep it clean and shiny, there's spray on wipe off products which take about 20 minutes each month, keep it looking like new.
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Old 15th October 2021, 23:28   #6
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

Mod note: Poll added, please vote!


I always order extra cheese on my Pizza and extra black cladding on my cars:

Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?-p_20160627_164623_1_p.jpg

Last edited by SmartCat : 15th October 2021 at 23:35.
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Old 16th October 2021, 08:12   #7
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

I was fine until I saw this in real life.
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In general subtle black cladding is good on all types of cars. It looks good, abuse friendly, cheap, and easy to maintain.

Last edited by Latheesh : 16th October 2021 at 08:15.
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Old 16th October 2021, 09:05   #8
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

The excessive black cladding in the cars is a subjective matter. Some people like it and some don't.
Although the plastic is cheaper to maintain/replace, but not at all the times it is used as means of cost cutting. It also accentuates the vehicle, presents the SUVish look and feels more off-road ready.
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Old 16th October 2021, 09:08   #9
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

Black claddings look good, on most vehicles.
With the exception of XL6 & CelerioX (which come with ungainly eyesore claddings).

In vehicles with substantial height, they help immensely to cut the 'visual' bulk.
They are easier to clean and maintain too.
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Old 16th October 2021, 09:37   #10
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

Wow!!! Seeing the Punch and an old 800 with repainted white bumpers side by side made me think on the same line. And now we have a poll on that.

Clearly remember the time when body coloured bumpers were the craze. I loved it in the 90s last gen Cressida, while my dad clearly hated it. Saying it was susceptible to scratches and peeled off paint unlike our 80s Cressida which had almost US spec bumpers. The park bench types. But again, modern cars have clearly useless bumpers. Especially Indian market budget cars.

I should be liking the black plastic claddings, since they are more Indian traffic friendly what with most of our 2 wheeler brethrens caring a damn about other people's belongings. But if not given proper care, they tend to become ugly over the years. The usual wipe down won't work with them. Ofcourse, there are polishers and ways to restore the finish, but it is one extra job. Not to say, most of the claddings in budget cars are shoddily built. A slight clip and they may tear off.

In my books, most of the cars with plastic claddings are just wannabes trying to be butch. Weird times. When a proper butch Fortuner/ Endeavour ends up with smooth body finish, while hatchbacks/ crossovers have claddings and protruding bodywork. Hope, the next gen Scorpio atleast goes back to the 80s/90s SUV cladding/bumper design.

Do I hate black plastic claddings? No. Hate fake vents even more. Do I love black plastic claddings? Yes, if they are purposeful. No, if they are for show only.
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Old 16th October 2021, 10:03   #11
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

Can’t comment on “most cars”, but it sure does look good on the Ecosport, especially the facelift.

Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?-a07a0c2060e24386849813db0e1ea4e8.jpeg

Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?-3ea387ab3de24023a81425c4b1c6dfe0.jpeg

Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?-85e4cbe7fc48402599f68a3bcab0d172.jpeg
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Old 16th October 2021, 10:34   #12
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

There's a Creta owner and a Seltos owner who's painted the black cladding white. Having parked mine next to theirs their car looks no more bigger than an i20 bulk wise.
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Old 16th October 2021, 10:36   #13
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

In an ideal world, I would have loved totally clean cars, devoid of any cladding/plastic/guards.

But we live in India - so, with cramped parking spaces + idiots driving dangerously + everyone just rushing to scoot off at a traffic light - ultimately, have to live with this:-

Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?-20170806_094403.jpeg

Tried to cover the bare minimum surface area, though.
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Old 16th October 2021, 11:03   #14
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

The plastic cladding designers take over from where the real metal designers exit.

The plastic cladding designers fill in the gaps, where they or their car maker feel that the design was not perhaps thought of or well executed by the real metal designers.

Never mind if the claddings later on fall off, sag, wrinkle, age not so gracefully! In quite a few cases these are the reason why a car looks ugly while ageing.

The black claddings on the Mahindra Armada used to be in any colour as long as it was only black. Body coloured was an alien word for Mahindra then. A few surviving Armadas without the front bumper or a defaced front grille are tell tale signs of the lost battles of TIME versus the CLADDINGS. The 1990's saw the earliest entries by the plastic cladding designers. .

The black add-ons on the Bajaj Super/Chetak nose and turn indicators (much later body coloured) in the 1990's are examples of the original 1940's Wasp design by Piaggio, attempting to get a contemporary look. If defaced minus these add-ons, the scooter in metal looks sad and malnourished.

Today the attempt is to make the new car look more muscular, macho or more appealing with those claddings in the new, original design.

It's common knowledge that the claddings and such OE add-ons disappear after some 5-10 years from the ASC spare shops and also from the aftermarket shops or websites.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 16th October 2021 at 11:27.
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Old 16th October 2021, 14:14   #15
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Default re: Black plastic cladding in modern cars | Love it or hate it?

As most of you are saying, its looks really nice when it is new. I have also mentioned the same in my post. However, as it ages, it starts looking dull. I started noticing mostly on Jeep Compass, its such a nice vehicle and the faded plastic claddings are just an eyesore on such a beast. That is when I started noticing on other vehicles which prompted me to start this thread. More than the dust and not maintaining it properly, it fades due to sunlight. That could be the main reason. And also as few of you have mentioned, its goes well only with few cars and now are days they are used in almost all the cars to give them a beefy look.
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