Quick Question: What's The Most Satisfying Car Part To Bite?

Biting, as a means to derive sensory satisfaction, isn’t something that’s usually discussed, but I believe almost everyone understands the concept. Some things just feel strangely good to bite. It’s a complex mix of resistance, texture, density, and a number of other factors that all combine to form an ideal bite. I also believe there is one specific car part that meets these esoteric criteria remarkably well.

That car part is, for me at least, the center bar of an ‘80s-’90s-era Volvo headrest, most specifically the ones used in the 200-series Volvos, the earlier, more rectilinear ones. They had a foam interior and a textured rubber skin that had just the right amount of resistance, and provided a good contrast to the softer foam within.


A true biting enthusiast would never bite through the headrest’s rubber skin—you’re not there to eat it—but would rather enjoy the fundamental bite-qualities of the object. It was sort of analgous to biting a sausage just before the snap of the skin breaking; that moment of tension is the closest thing I can think of.

Cars are actually full of potentially satisfying bitables: steering wheels, grab handles (the dash grab handle on a ‘68 Beetle is quite good, especially with the central grooves in the rubber) shift knobs, seatbacks, and other parts.

Assuming I’m not the only one who appreciates this, here’s your chance to tell the world what your preferred automotive bite-target is!

You know, as I read this over, I’m starting to wonder if this is something weird about me. I’m almost positive I’ve talked to other people who understand the satisfaction of a good bite, too. Haven’t I? Now I’m getting nervous and starting to wonder.


No. It’s not just me. You guys’ll understand what I mean, right?


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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)