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Top 10 Design Winners and Losers

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  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    One of the few things IMO that detracts from "the getting better looking all the time" Ford line-up is the insistence on those horrible taillights. They have the effect of making black a terrible color choice, since they stand out so much on a black car... :(

    I'll add, generally, modern gauge design. What's wrong with simple, functional gauges you can read at speed? Instead, there are tons of odd fonts, weird lighting, printed speeds the car will never reach cluttering the dial, Lexus' dumb "chronograph" design where all the gauges were clustered within the speedo, etc.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Yeah, fake import tuner taillights are really tiresome now, soon they will date a design to the same extent of tailfins.

    I LOATHE goofy fonts on gauges, I like my last-of-the-old-school AMG with its classic gauges.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    I saw two CLK 500s with the full AMG body kit and AMG badges today.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    Two more things-

    > Exaggerated, overstyled headlights (lots of previous gen Toyotas starting with the last Celica, previous ES300, Q45, previous Accord, BMW 5 series
    > Gunslit windows
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Now AMG is as much a marketing tool as anything. I do not agree with this strategy, but I guess money talks.

    I remember back in the day when seeing an AMG car was something special, and virtually all models had USA sales of under 1000 units per year. This was only 5-6 years ago!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    The headlights of the previous Camry/Solara/Lexus ES are ridiculous. I compare them to a woman who has had a few too many facelifts.

    I didn't like the high sills on the Audi A6 I rented a couple weeks ago. This doesn't appear as bad as some, but I found it impossible to be really comfortable with my arm on the windowsill as I drive - which is a position I like.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    They did discontinue the R63 that has to make you happy. I think they are on the verge of discontinuing the G55 as well.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Yeah, I don't care for either of those. If I was to have a G-wagen it would be a 2 door diesel Euro model.

    I just don't like how common they are now. I think W211 E55 production outnumber W210s by something like 6:1.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Sometimes I think I would like one of those older E55s but then I always think I can get a Super V8 Jaguar for about the same money.

    The Jag is almost as fast, has better styling IMO and is a lot less common.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    I saw one of those for sale around here not long ago. How many did they make? Those came out like in 04, right? I think they still cost a bit more than a W210 E55.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    There were Super V8s in 2003 but that was the older steel chassis X308. You could probably get one of those in the mid 20s or so and maybe a little less for a higher mileage one or a non-standard color. The X350 bodystyle is the one to get as that is the all aluminum chassis. It weights hundreds of lbs less then the X308 but is much a much larger car.

    There are only four Super V8s listed for sale on cars.com in the whole country. One of them is a 2003 and the rest are new body style Jags. The new body style ones are a lot more then a W210 but they are still deprecating rapidly while the W210s are starting to level off some. Looks like a 2005 Super V8 can be had in the mid 40,000 range.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Yeah, if I wanted one I would want a new bodystyle, that old one was really bland in my eyes. Mid 40s is too rich for my blood anyway.

    A nice enough early W210 E55 can be had for 20K, the nicest late ones shouldn't hit 30K unless they are somehow special. I paid 28 for my 27K mile 2002 model last year. A decent 2003+ W211 E55 will still cost you 45K+, but I see this as a different car - different engine. The styling is very similar, I like some aspects of both cars - I prefer the older dashboard for one.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    *This is the definition of the Dodge Caliber : sharp angles, curves, stuck on tail lights, chaotic side view.The 21st Century Road Toad. Not cute, not pretty, not attractive. A real eye sore.

    You have it described perfectly Mr Shiftright:"Front half has nothing to do with the back half", "things stick out, jut at crazy angles" and the most perfect description for this car wreck of a design: "Ridiculous Pomposity; call it the gold chain and hairy chest syndrome".

    The Cadillac XLR meets this criteria as well.Lines going every which way,no definition, overwrought "art & science" bull****.

    Everyone mentions the Aztek as the "gold standard" for ugly. Why not the Mitsubishi Montero? Both discontinued and both beyond ugly.Meets all your standards as well. It is as bad or worse than the Aztek, but with a lot of chrome and awful from every angle: lumps, strakes, cladding, curved where it should go straight. A mess.
    The new Scion box takes the torch as the current offerings Aztek. UGH.

    On my short list of the best [and soon no longer offered] : the Mazda 6 station wagon. It looks better than the sedan for some reason, balanced and finished off with beautiful tail lights.It's just perfect.Elegant.
    Compare that to the Malibu Maxx.

    Passat; again finished off with incredible tail lights.Looks chiseled out of a single piece of steel.

    Other than a couple of ringers, I'd say the Edmund's community got the list just about right.

    *Opinion solely that of the author, no insult, affront or flame intended. !!!! ;)
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    Here's a different question - what do you think are the worst technology disasters? We're not talking looks, we're talking things that just didn't work well. Here are some of mine -

    - Vega's aluminum engine
    - Fiero's low-oil engine
    - Corvair's undeveloped engine
    - BMW's original iDrive system

    Others?
  • im surprised the volkswagen thing didn't make it anywhere on here!
  • SalGoodSalGood Posts: 11
    Dunno what some folk got against the Honda Element. I have the SC model and get constant comments of "nice ride." I think of it as the box the ScionXB came in. I agree with most of the posters here that all GM, Ford, and Chrysler products are lacking in aesthetics. My sister says that about my Element, but she hasn't lived with it. But she likes the color. It handles every bit as well as an Accord and the hauling room is incredible. It's a very versitile vehicle that is fun to drive, gets great mileage for its class. People who think it's "too boxy" are living in the past. Practicality is the wave of the future and I think Honda hit it dead-on with this vehicle.

    My top 10 ugly vehicles:

    Of course Pontiac Aztek, and its platform mate, Buick Rendesvouz
    Dodge Caliber
    Ford anything, especially the Focus...very awkward styling
    Hyundai anything, Sonata excluded...but how's the reliability getting, and it's a copy cat of the 98-02 Accord
    Kia anything
    Hummer
    Cadillac anything...trying too hard..what up with them fender vents? Passe.
    Lincoln anything...again, trying too hard, and anyone who wants fender vents should buy a Buick. I hear they're back.
    Any gargantuan SUV by any maker...get with it folks, these vehicles are pigs, they don't impress anyone...if anything, they make you look like you're selfish and overcompensating for some shortcoming, and who can see around the beasts?
    Chevy anything...see the USA in something more stylish and reliable.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    While I appreciate the utility of the Element. It is Aztek ugly from every angle. The Toyota Venza has it beat on just about every point and it is a good looking vehicle. Much better mileage, more towing, more seating, and better rollover rating. For a few dollars more you could have gotten the VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI, with 25% more room and double the fuel mileage.

    Element=marginal utility and gross looks. It is not a pleasant vehicle to behold. The old version of the Scion xB was so ugly it was cute. The Element is not cute.
  • SalGoodSalGood Posts: 11
    Hello gagrice...I was not looking for "cute." That's for the girlies. I disagree with your comparison of the Element to the Aztek...not even close. I'd rather drive a box than a deformed potato. As I said, I get more comments of admiration on this vehicle than any other I've owned. Seems people either love it or hate it, and I happen to belong to the former group. The ones who say they hate it obviously haven't driven or lived with one. Looks are subjective, and I've heard some dubious comments on how attractive a vehicle I think looks hideous is. Mine is the SC model with the body all one color, factory lowered/tuned suspension and factory 18" wheels. It handles great, and sits all hunkered low to the ground. It has 5 stars in every safety category except rollover, and that is only because of the tallness vs. the short wheelbase, and I don't drive so much like a maniac that I need to worry about a rollover. I agree with your comments on the Toyo Venza...sharp looking vehicle, but I ain't got the 30-plus grand it takes to get one, and it doesn't hold as much. I've owned a few Toyotas, and while they are reliable, my preference is the Honda on handling, quality, component integrity and overall reliability and driving satifaction. You couldn't give me a VW for free -- they are German junk, incredibly expensive to repair and very unreliable...just like Mercedes and BMW, although I love the driving experience of the Bimmer.. Anything with a turbo and diesel engine is off my list. Turbos screw up all the time, and I don't wanna have to hunt for a truck stop to get diesel. My Element gets great mileage...I happily afford the gas. At current prices, I pay $26 for a fill-up, and it lasts me a good week and a half, and I put 20K miles a year on my cars. I don't see any significant difference in fuel usage than I did with my previous car, an Accord. Besides, fuel economy is not my priority, utility is. I would not drive a Tahoe or Suburban or other truck platform tank...talk about ugly, ungainly and plain unnecessary for most folks...I just need the room for a little plywood or sheet rock here and there (yes it will hold it) and maybe a little furniture or junk hauling once in a while. I never thought I would gravitate to and SUV-type vehicle but need one now thanks to buying and in the process of renovating a house. I get the best of both worlds. Car-like handling, tons of cargo room, and, oh yeah, I like the way it looks. I don't tow anything and am no longer a Toyota affiicianado, so I don't care what people think about it's styling. If that's all they're interested in, let them buy that Venza or that Murano or Acadia or CX7 or whatever the sleekest new utility vehicle happens to be. Whatever floats yer boat. You never mentioned what your "cute" vehicle is. I'd be interested to know. Or are you just a frustrated Element-owner wannabe?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,004
    I don't love the Element but I like it. Never been inside one though, and that's what really counts. I thought the khaki color was sharp.

    I liked the Thing ok too.

    Nice defense of your rig. :D

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • SalGoodSalGood Posts: 11
    'Preciate ya steve...I liked the khaki too, but they didn't offer it when I bought mine. I've got the "Root Beer" metallic. I think that's what people like about it. Sorta overcomes the negativity some folks have about this vehicle. They shouldn't knock it 'til they've tried it. Plus the XM stereo is killer! I ain't no young'n...I'm pushin' 50. Still looking for that original condition '59 Buick for a leisure car...talk about styling!
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