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Click & Clack
Talk Cars
“The Tappet Brothers’’

By Ray Magliozzi

These ‘denTed’ doors do no good

Dear Car Talk:
We have a 2017 Jeep
Cherokee with the denteddoor look. Is this a fashion
statement, or does it have a
genuine purpose?
We live on a dirt road that
gets muddy in winter. The
shape of the Jeep’s doors
splashes mud onto the door
handles. We do not have
this problem with any other
vehicles. Thanks. -- Sam
We call it the “sunken
cheeks” look.
Automotive fashion is like
every other type of fashion.
Once somebody has success
with some odd twist or look,
everyone else follows.
The sides of cars used
to be slabs. A crease or an
indentation was relatively
rare, because it was hard
to manufacture. We felt
fortunate enough that the
doors didn’t fall off when we
opened them. Making them
look fancy never crossed our
minds. But as manufacturing
got more sophisticated, we
started seeing more creases,
lines and bulges. Then it was
off to the races.

carmaker will buck the trend
and make an old-fashioned,
slab-sided car that sells like
crazy. Then everyone else
will go back to slabs. This
is as inevitable as watching
lapels widen and thin, or
watching your grandmother’s
ugly furniture show up on a
trendy magazine cover at the
I don’t think it has anything
to do with aerodynamics.
It’s possible a “scooped
out” door may have an
effect on the handling of a
Lamborghini when it’s going
170 miles an hour. But it’s
not going to change anything
on a Jeep Cherokee doing 70
on the highway.
So, if the only downside
is the mud splattering, Sam,
you need to go back to your
dealer and buy the official
Jeep door-handle mud rag
for $39.95. Don’t worry; your
next Jeep Cherokee will look

Got a question about cars?
Write to Ray in care of King
Features, 628 Virginia Drive,
Now, pretty much every Orlando, FL 32803, or email
new car has a rising belt line, by visiting the Car Talk
a crease under the windows,
website at
a huge front grill, bulging
fenders and some kind of
Ray Magliozzi
carved out doors, like your
and Doug Berman
Cherokee has.
Eventually, this trend will
get out of hand, and some Features Syndicate, Inc.


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