So I don't know if this is a real thing or something in my head but searching mainly returns issues with broken/spongy brakes and I don't think this is that. So I figured I'd ask you guys.
All my life I driven mainly one car - a 2006 Nissan Altima. I know it isn't the nicest car but after 15 years of ownership I have gotten very used to it and it runs well-enough. The one thing I like about it is that the brake (and accelerator) feels firm. Even at low speeds the brake requires a bit of foot force to depress.
Over the years while traveling, I have had the opportunity to drive other (rental) cars and I've noticed something: many of these cars tend to have incredibly "soft" brakes. This is especially true when I just start the car up and idle/drive slowly out of the parking lot. The brake is so soft and I'm not used to it so I end up constantly slamming the brakes. The soft brakes are mostly noticeable when driving very slowly and they do tend to stiffen a bit when traveling at normal road speeds.
I don't think the soft brakes are a mechanical issue since I notice it mainly on newer (rental) cars. As far as I can tell this is only a subset of new cars and might inflict luxury vehicles more than economy cars? My partners 2019 Mini Cooper is especially affected by this issue.
So my question is - why would some cars have softer brake pedals than others?