Top 10 Design Winners and Losers



  • neile457neile457 Member Posts: 65
    Dodge Caliber
    Honda Element
    Toyota Yaris
    Scion Xa
    Nissan Versa (sedan)
    Buick Rendevous
    Land Rover LR3
    Hummer (all of em)
    Toyota Camry
    Nissan Sentra
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I still think it's kinda cute, in a froggie, banana slug sort of way:

  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Dude what is wrong with the LR3 besides the back which is for function.
  • tlongtlong Member Posts: 5,194
    There are a lot of cars that aren't pretty, yet aren't really ugly. It's funny how there are some cars in these posts that are ugliest to some yet good looking to others. Yet there are a few that most people seem to agree are truly ugly.

    My truly ugliest:
    1. Fiat Multipla (original design). I know it's not sold in the states, but when I saw it in Europe I couldn't believe it. There is no comparison to anything else ugly, even the Aztec. 3#
    2. Aztec - not made anymore, but so ugly it deserves mention.
    3. Subaru Tribeca - what were they thinking? A horrible look on an otherwise decent vehicle
    4. Subaru WRX - I like Subarus. Why do they make their cars so ugly that they destroy their positive traits of reliability and all wheel drive?
    5. Original Echo - talk about out of proportion. Add a center speedometer to complete the horror.
    6. Nissan Quest (current) - It looks like a pregnant guppy. Add poor reliability and center instruments and you've completed the failure of this model.
    7. Saturn Sky - take a beautiful body and add boy-racer taillights. How gauche. Solstice looks a lot better. Perhaps a benefit of rebadging in this case.
    8. Element - ugly but cute in a bizarro way.
    9. BMW 5 series - it's growing on me a bit, but I still can't get over the Bangle butt and taillights. Add i-drive and you have a real loser. Apparently there are still enough people willing to buy them.
    10. Audi Q7 - Most Audi's are gorgeous. This isn't one of them.

    Other cars not mentioned:
    Camry - I actually don't think it's that bad. I like the new one a lot better than the fat rear end of the previous model.
    Xb - It's ugly but in a cute way.

    Cars I think are gorgeous:

    Most Mercedes, particularly a black E-class
  • fezofezo Member Posts: 10,384
    Funny thing that. I think it depends on the color of the thing. In certain colors it kinda resembles a canister vacuum cleaner.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    Accord is some beauty queen?

    Camry looks a lot like an Altima to me, in design. Nothin' wrong with that! :)

  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    Would you agree Doctor that the 08' Accord looks A LOT better ?

  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    But the coupe looks better than the Solara. And it is better than the overstyled Altima coupe, as well.

    No need to uncork the champagne, doh. :blush:

  • poorcruzerpoorcruzer Member Posts: 141
    What's with Ford these days? The new look for Lincoln (Navigator,MKZ etc, etc) have to be the up there with the Lincolns with the fake spare wheel in the trunk lid. The new look is hidious inside and out. The new FLEX and or Fairlane is not much better. I heard going out on a design limb can work, but not in this case. Even the 500 (Taurus) is as dull as dull can be.

    A real close second to all the Lincolns and some Fords is the entire Jeep and Hummer lines except the Grand Cherokee. The Jeep Commander takes the cake. The new Compass, Patriot and are off road wannabes based on the Caliber platform. The 4dr Wrangler is a total performance dog. 0-60mph in somebodies lifetime.

    I will stop now as thats more than 10, I could go on. :confuse:
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    OMG, those are so damn ugly they almost make the Sprinter and xB, look like Jessica Simpson's :surprise:

  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    The best-looking car of all times was the Lamborghini Miura from the sixties. The ugliest is my very own Toyota. Enough said - Amen.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Member Posts: 4,277
    Muira was nice, but I'll vote for the AM DB-4 and Ferarri 330 America. As far as ugly on the current market, the new Silverado is dorky looking (The GMC is better proportioned) and I cannot stand the Saab 9-5 with the "Sunglasses" around the headlights.

    But I must give the UGLY award to the Nissan Versa hatch. :sick:

    Edit: Another beauty

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    In keeping with Shifty's "ugly" comment earlier and posts like the above one, let's try broadening the scope of this discussion and give credit to the designers who hit the mark. Holler if you have a better idea for tweaking the title.

    And feel free to limit your list to one or two.

    btw, I saw a Multipla recently and they don't look as bad in real life (to me) as in the photos.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    When I was growing up, a friend of mine had a Fiat 600 Multipa. It was a hoot to drive and ride in.

  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    ...anyone here who *likes* the Chris Bangle BMW designs?

    Not a value judgement at all, just curious; I've yet to meet anyone who speaks of them with praise. At best, it seems to be tepid acceptance and deflection ("well, for me, BMWs are about driving performance, not looks...")

    I personally think that Ford seems to be on the right track with the design style of the Fusion. Very contemporary Euro-look, and likely to age well. Some bits need to go though...the fake chrome grill is too much, and the taillights look like something off of a teenager's Civic...

    Though I hate those Ford-Toyota-Honda comparo ads that Ford did, they do have a point on styling (as subjective as that is). To me, the Camry looks like a bloated pig and the Honda just looks like a Honda...dull.

    Oh, and I'll add that the new Ford generic gauge cluster (used in most of the cars except the Mustang) looks really good. Readable, tweak-able (white faces for performance, chrome rings for luxury) and minimalist. Nice job Ford.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Member Posts: 4,277
    I like it some places, and dislike it in others. It looks really good on the 3 series and 5 series and especially the new X5. The X3 pulls it off well but not as nice as the X5. I hate it on the Z4, it just makes the car look like a wooden shoe from Holland.

    When it comes to midsize sedans, the Fusion triplets are quite handsome. If I were buying based on style and substance, those would probably be my top choices. But I think in the end I would just buy a Mazda6 so I could get the V6-manual combo.

    As far as the Camry goes, it is also a handsome design in the higher end models, especially the SE trim. Hey, compared to the previous Camry, this one appears to have taken some design risks and it has paid off (450+ thousand sales per year!). Doesn't fall into the bland persona that the old car did. It'll be interesting to see what the next Accord comes out looking like. Based on the coupe, I am positive it'll be a stunner. Could even be a close race in sales between the Camry and the next Accord. Oh, and a new Mazda6 is on the horizon as well :shades: The current redesigned Altima is probably the sharpest out there right now IMO. Those 4 really make it interesting if you are shoppiing that segment. So many choices... :shades:
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,369
    My favorite whipping boy, not helped by his comments to the effect that "those who don't like my designs don't understand style". Of current models, the 3 and X5 are fine, but the 7, 5, X3, and Z4 are not. I was hoping to get a 5 right when the new style came out (I don't fit in a 3) but the new style stopped me. Compund that with the iDrive fiasco, and BMW dropped off my list.
  • carguy58carguy58 Member Posts: 2,303
    1.) Mazda 3
    2.) Mazda 6
    3.) Acura TL
    4.) Pontiac Solstice
    5.) Mercedes S-Class
    6.) Mitsubishi Outlander
    7.) Caddy XLR(sales flop though.)
    8.) Mazda RX-8'
    9.) Hyundai Tuscon

    ugliest or least favorite:

    Mercedes convertible
    Mazda Tribute(new one is just dull)
    Acura MDX(the new one is polarizing)
    08 Chevy Malibu(the back end styling ruined the whole car, I rather have the Aura if it was a choice between a GM car than the 08 Malibu because of looks.)
    07 Chrysler Sebring(what was Chrysler thinking, this exterior design makes no sense to me.)
    Pontiac G6(ok its ok looking but the look of it looks incomplete to me if you will.) The back end and front need to be proportioned a little better.
    07 Lexus ES 350(just dull)
    The Dodge Aspen
    The Dodge Nitro(nasty front end on that one.)

    As far as the new Camry styling goes the hanging emblem on the grille is not pleasent looking but the rest of the car looks wise looks alot better than the 02-06 model did.

    Oh yeah the BMW 7 Series I forgot about that one thats not a very good looking car.
  • bpraxisbpraxis Member Posts: 292
    Hello everyone and a belated happy July 4th. My take is a little different than some of you because I very much like very distinctive individualistic styling. So let me give you the best and worst of a few brands:

    1. Mercedes is hitting the ball out of the park.
    Best: CLS Worst: Ugly station wagon

    2. BMW is a trend setter and somewhat contraversial.
    Best: New X5 Worst: 7 series

    3. Audi has wonderful interiors and nice exteriors.
    Best: New R8 Worst: A3

    4. Lexus is becoming a little more interesting.
    Best: New IS Worst: SC

    5. Infinit has the best styling of the Japanese.
    Best: FX Worst: Q56

    6. Acura is being adventurous.
    Best: TL Worst: MDX is akward

    7. Nissan has some french influence.
    Best: 350Z Worst: Sentra is boring

    8. Honda has made a major improvement in styling.
    Best: Civic Worst: Pilot is boring

    9. Toyota is a mixed bag, good and bad.
    Best: FJ Cruiser Worst: Scion Xd and Yaris

    10. Mazda had some nice styling.
    Best: CX9 Worst: ?

    11. Cheverolet has mostly non descript styling to me.
    Best: Corvette Worst: Aveo

    12. Ford has a major opportunity for styling improvement.
    Best: Mustang Worst: Most

    13. Jeep is losing their way, derivative of the cherokee.
    Best: Wrangler Worst: The big one

    14. Ferrari is rolling art, yes.
    Best: F430 Worst: ?

    I hope that you find this list interesting, cheers.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,369
    A great list. I agree with most, but here are some alternates:

    BMW-5 series is close to the 7 in bad looks to me, especially because I've been wanting one up until now.

    Mercedes - the SL has aged extremely well, but I saw a spy photo of the update with a CLS-type front end. I'm not a fan, don't like the 'bent' headlights.

    Lexus-The GS is also good, and I'm disappointed in the ES, even though it's a huge improvement over the last generation. Nothing beats the SC for bad proportions, though. The LS is OK, but it should be more...something...

    Acura - I second the TL, it's the best looking sedan anywhere under $50K IMHO.

    Honda - New CR-V has an odd front, and the side windows share no lines with the roof. I worry its looks will show up on the new Pilot.

    Porsche - the Cayenne never clicked, while the Cayman is outstanding.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    You guys want to see ugly? I know its just a concept, but they did actually build it. It's not just a drawing or something

  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    "Porsche - the Cayenne never clicked, while the Cayman is outstanding."

    Yeah...the Cayenne is for people who want a SUV, but also want to be able to tell their (non-enthusiast) friends they own a Porsche.

    But the Cayman is beautifully executed IMO. I just take issue with the name...why couldn't it have been something like "Monaco" or something else reflecting Porsche's racing history?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    You know what would have been an outstanding name for the Cayman and kept the theme between the Cayenne and Carrera?

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,228
    Monaco makes me think of a huge 1970s Dodge coupe that Andre would drive.

    Chicane is good, but can too easily be made into 'Chicken'
  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    The only thing missing from this car is the water and the Beta fish inside
  • andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,069
    Porsche was never much of a factor in F1 racing so "Monaco" would not be a good name. The Cayman should have been named simply the 987. There was nothing wrong with
    Porsche's numeric names , why did they change?! :mad:

    I agree that the Cayman is great looking. My dream car is the Boxster which I prefer to the Cayman because the top goes down but the Cayman is the looker of the two.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    "I've yet to meet anyone who speaks of them with praise."

    I like his designs, of which concepts are being integrated into a number of vehicles. That's the sincerest form of flattery.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,369
    Instead of cars (how many times can we talk about Pacers and Azteks), how about ideas better not hatched? Here are some of mine:

    Current -
    > 4-door coupes (just make it a 2 door, why don't you?)
    > Bangle anything (yes he's being copied, doesn't make it good)
    > Dubs
    > Those tuner tailights showing up on Hondas, Mazdas, Fords, etc.
    > Spoilers
    > Black wheels

    Past -
    > SUVs (recent past, that is)
    > Vinyl/padded roofs
    > Opera windows (Ford even had something called the 'Twindow')
    > Fake hood scoops
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    If you like vinyl roofs and fake hood scoops, you're gonna love this. :D

    DECANO fake moonroof

  • john_324john_324 Member 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 Member Posts: 56,228
    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 Member Posts: 8,502
    I saw two CLK 500s with the full AMG body kit and AMG badges today.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,369
    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 Member Posts: 56,228
    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 Member Posts: 56,228
    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 Member Posts: 8,502
    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 Member Posts: 56,228
    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 Member Posts: 8,502
    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 Member Posts: 56,228
    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 Member Posts: 8,502
    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 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 Member Posts: 56,228
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 10,369
    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

  • TwistedRacerTwistedRacer Member Posts: 1
    im surprised the volkswagen thing didn't make it anywhere on here!
  • SalGoodSalGood Member 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
    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 Member Posts: 31,450
    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 Member 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 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 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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    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
  • SalGoodSalGood Member 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 about styling!
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