By on March 13, 2008

land-rover-lr3-drain.jpgLots and lots of modern cars are pretty gnarly looking. Why, just look at the Sebring. Kidding. Don't. But when it comes to non-beauty, lumbering SUVs take the ugly-cake. Mr. Berkowitz just posted about the newly facelifted MB ML and I agree with his comment about the need to sue the surgeon for "negligence and malpractice." The thing is, by SUV standards, the ML isn't even that bad. Just look at the Mercedes GLK. Blech! Furthermore, the more Land Rover LR3 rear ends I see, the more I realize how horrid that drooping window looks. And then there's the BMW X3, which is simply a joke. A bad joke at that. And can we forget Subaru's Tribeca? No friends, we can't. Which SUV do you consider the most Medusa-like?

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68 Comments on “Question of the Day: What’s the Ugliest SUV?...”

  • avatar

    This questions is yeeeeeears too late J-Dawg, Subaru already changed the nose on the ugliest SUV ever made.

    In any case, my vote goes to the Jeep Commander. It’s so ugly, it’s almost charming.

  • avatar

    Maybe because I am Swedish, I hate the Hummer, not only is it fugly, it reminds of every bad image we have of the US. I also hate the Escalade, I am probably short on company on this opinion, however it is guache.

    I agree with Samir Syed, the Jeep Commander, it was designed by brick company.

  • avatar

    Ugliest SUV? The Ford Flex. Or the Mercedes Unimog. Or the Jeep Compass.

  • avatar

    The Aztec is the obvious answer. One of the most humorous things I’ve ever read on the web was a joke review of the thing. I think the author rented the Aztec for a week and then just decided to have fun by writing his own review. I couldn’t find the website now, but does anyone know the site I’m talking about? I wish I could find it again.

  • avatar

    If those Chrysler SUV wannabees count, then I’d say the Dodge Nitro is the ugliest.

    If not, whatever category it’s in, the Nitro is the ugliest in it.

    I presume we’re talking current production.

  • avatar

    I don’t know about ugliest, but I can never drive behind a Buick Rendezvous without laughing. They even sell some labelled CX.

  • avatar

    when I see an LR3 i stare knowing that someone paid that much for something so ugly and that unreliable, I just punch the gas pedal and pass them in my Cvic so I don’t have to stare at it. Other ugly birds out here.. Honda CRV…and all the current Jeeps lineup.. Toyota FJ Monster…and The Hummer H3.

  • avatar

    The front end of the current Navigator hands down. Two levels of egg-crate grille, split head lamps and the chrome eybrow that can be added to the front of the hood add up to a whole lot of yuk:

  • avatar

    I’d add the Pathfinder to the list of uglies. How could they make it look so bad when the previous generation looked so good?

    The Nitro is the ugliest that I can think of though.

  • avatar

    I actually like the “brick” looking SUVs more than the swoopy “sport” SUVs. Bad aerodynamics and following an archetype-style just seem like a natural part of an SUV’s existence.

    As for the question, the flying-vagina B9 Tribeca was the ugliest SUV ever. The ugliest SUV on sale right now is the Lincoln Navigator that looks like its grill is wearing braces. The Traverse isn’t shaping up to be the best looking thing to come out of GM either.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman


    Buick Rendezvous — how could I forget?

    12 times uglier than its sister, the Aztek.

  • avatar

    I hate the short hood, narrow headlights, and huge grill on the Dodge Durango.

  • avatar

    Aren’t they ALL ugly?? I mean… have you ever seen a good looking SUV? It is hard to single out any one of them, as they are universally such a collective eyesore.


  • avatar

    Mercedes-Benz MLK gets my nod.

  • avatar

    Do we have to pick just one? There are so many candidates: the Pontiac Aztek, obviously, the Buick Rendezvous, Subaru Tribeca (pre-facelift), Dodge Nitro, Jeep Compass, Honda Element (with grey plastic panels), Toyota FJ Cruiser . . . the list goes on and on, really.

  • avatar

    My vote is the GMC Envoy XUV from a couple of years ago. What were they thinking? I’m glad I had a light lunch:

  • avatar

    I think it would be easier to name the best looking SUV…if there is one.

    Aztec gets my vote…what the hell was GM thinking when they styled that ugly terd?

    It’s too bad ‘ol Tom McCahill has passed away…he never pulled his punches…he said this about the 1955 Pontiac: “It looks like it was born on its nose!”

    Looking at all the new Chevy grilles (especially on the Uplander), reminds me of that ’55 Pontiac.

    It won’t be long before that ‘one box on top of the other’ Ford Flex gets a few slang names…I can think of several, already.

    Another Ford that won’t sell, just like the Edsel, called the Dead-Sell by those that starved while trying to sell them.

  • avatar

    SUV’s have gotten to the point where every successive version is just a parody of the last.

    The whole genre has jumped the shark.

    I like old wranglers and Land Rover Defenders myself (as well as the old series Land Rovers).

  • avatar

    For me, it’s the B9 Tribeca. Hands down. Every time I see one, “fugly” is the only word that comes to mind. People who bought that thing must care 0% about style.

    Pontiac Aztek has to be a close second.

  • avatar

    The first time I saw a photo of a Tribeca I threw up a little bit in my mouth. The Mercedes GLK is fairly bad as well. If were talking all time, I don’t know if the Aztec qualifies as it was such a (bad) joke. I know a lot of people like Honda Elements – they’re Hondas afterall – but, the first generation Elements with their boxy exterior, funky second row stadium seating, and ridiculous body cladding – enough all ready, stop trying to make your car-on-steroids SUV look tough – all lead me to the statement, “What element would that be? Buttuglium?”

  • avatar

    I like the square look of the LR3 (though the rear door is iffy), and I’m okay with the Hummer H1 and H3…

    But the Hummer H2 is hideous! From every possible angle its ugly. A painful eyesore of machismo and fake upscale marketing clues, with an interior by Wal-Mart. It makes me a little sad every time I see one.

  • avatar

    The Cayenne is probably more expensive ugliness than any other SUV. It also hurts worse because its a Porsche. But they’re all ugly to me, and the bigger, the uglier.

  • avatar

    There are certainly a lot of ugly ones, but I do know the BEST looking one (not mine, but close).

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    Does the Jeep Compas count? It’s more os a SUV wannabe, actually, it has ro be more like a CUV wannabe.

  • avatar

    “But they’re all ugly to me, and the bigger, the uglier.”

    Metrosexual all over this commnet.

    The Armada is ugly. The LR3 is misguided.
    The Lincoln Vaginator is hideous. Lotsa grill, Dawg.

    Anything that follows a trend and doesn’t set one is ugly.

  • avatar

    Nissan Murano

  • avatar

    The LR3 is actually the best looking SUV out now, the Commander 2nd. The Jeep Cherokee was the best looking SUV ever.

  • avatar
    Jeff Niman

    4 dr Wrangler. It looks so unbelievably off. I love the 2 dr though. Toyota FJ is a distant 2nd

  • avatar

    The LR3 is actually the best looking SUV out now, the Commander 2nd. The Jeep Cherokee was the best looking SUV ever.

    Second that, an all three accounts.

    Ugliest suv must have been the first generation Mercedes ML. Could have been soooo good-looking, ended up looking like a pregnant roller-skate with korean (mid 90’s) build quality.

    I Actually think that the Audi Q7 is quite hideous. It must be the modern land-yacht if there ever were one. Square lines work better on bigger suvs, á la Land Rover, Range Rover, mid 90’s Suburban. Round lines make the car look bloated, and even streamlining can’t hide the fact that the car has a frontal area as big as a barn-door. Audi Q7 looks like the Jocelyn Wildenstein of cars.

  • avatar

    Infiniti QX – 60,000 and it looks like a pickup with a camper shell, with badging designed by little jon.

  • avatar

    Uh, is there really more than this one, simple answer…..?


    Nuff said.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Ugliest of all time? The LaForza.

    Current, The Porsche Cayenne.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    oh god, is this even a question? the pontiac aztec, hands down.

    It’ll be winning this prize far into the future.

    Ugh, just thinking about it makes me want to throw up…

  • avatar

    There are very few good looking SUVs – they all look clumsy overgrown hatchbacks (which is what they are). However, for me the Toyota FJ cruiser takes the prize – it looks like something Picasso might have sketched while under the influence of bad hallucinogenic drugs.

  • avatar

    Currently: the Jeep Commander,from the past: the Aztec .

  • avatar

    The Ssangyong Stavic (they call it here). I don’t know if it has been inflicted on North America

    Check this link for photos

  • avatar

    Last body style Hyundai Santa Fe.

  • avatar

    Currently in production: Jeep Compass

    Of all time: I can’t decide between last gen Santa Fe and (of course) the Pontiac Aztek

  • avatar

    Jeep Commander. It’s the antithesis of proportional design.

  • avatar
    Brendon from Canada

    If you include dead and gone, I guess the Aztec is a no brainer. I second the opinions of those who prefer boxy SUVs – though I’ve always been partial to the old Rodeos! Currently the LR3 and Jeep Cherokee are the best going – with the older “Series” and the Cherokee Sport being my favorites from the past. I also have to give a nod to the Range Rover Sport (not the regular full size RR) – sure it looks a bit like a poser, but it actually has true off-road under-pinnings being a shortened LR3 as opposed to most SUVs that are simply wagons on stilts with worse gas mileage.

  • avatar

    Jeep Patriot, Durango, Hummer H2, and some others are ugly. I guess the Durango is number one in not prettyness.

  • avatar

    Some pretty good candidates for sure. Funny how many of ’em came from GM: Aztec, Rendezvous, GMC Envoy XUV, but the SSangyong Mercedes-engined monstrosity from a few years back could probably cause nightmares in small children.

  • avatar

    I actually like both the X3 and LR3. I really find the Ford Edge/MKX to be hideous (and not to mention of dubious quality), though… and the Escape’s not much better. Mainly because it’s about as interesting as a 2000 Toyota Corolla.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Let’s be fair. When it comes to SUV’s, there’s good ugly, then there’s bad ugly

  • avatar

    Gold: The Navigator….any year….wins this award going away (and I wish it would!)….this monstrosity proves the adage concerning the application of lipstick and ear-rings to a swine. It’ll always be a PIG!

    Silver: The Escalade. A-trocious.

    Bronze: The Sequoia. Looks better AFTER a roll-over accident

    Honorable Mention: Mitsubishi Montero. Proportioned like a mis-shapen hippo.

  • avatar

    From the past, the Aztek is a no-brainer. And its near-twin, the Rendezvous isn’t much better. The current Navigator is hideous. I don’t like the Infiniti QX or the cross-eyed Durango either. The pre-facelift Tribeca was pretty bad — not just the front, but also the “alien eyes” taillights.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    How could the LR3 be anywhere on this list? The minimalist, utilitarian approach they took is everything an SUV should be, and a natural evolution from the also-good-looking Discovery II. (And the reliability cracks are really dated.)

    Mercedes currently makes the worst looking SUVs, besides the G-Wagon. They all look like minivans or car wannabes.

    SUVs are supposed to be solid and tough looking. Leave the swooping lines to the cars.

  • avatar

    Good Gawd…how could I have forgotten the hideous Infiniti QX56? Most ppl have forgotten it too, since sales are slim and none.

    Carlos Ghosn has hinted the QX56, and its near twin, the Armada (an apt name for the beast), and the Titan are going bye bye very soon.

    Poor sales is the reason, but Nissan (actually Renault) hardly advertises the trio either.

  • avatar

    The Aztec gets lots of votes, but have you noticed how the Prius profile and rear is a lot like Aztec? People say the Prius is “odd” or “quirky” but it doesn’t seem to provoke a visceral reaction. In my opinion, once Pontiac removed the silly cladding, etc., for the facelifted Aztec, the CUV was no worse than “odd” or “quirky.”

  • avatar

    The Aztec, naturally.

    Of more current build, the Ford Flex and all of the Land Rovers suck as far as I’m concerned. LRs are built for on-road folks that want to play they are off-road folks.

  • avatar

    The Chrysler Aspen. It’s a Dodge Durango trying to wear lipstick and pearls, but it’s still an ugly pig.

  • avatar

    Durango and Commander.

  • avatar

    Actually, the cladding was never removed from the Aztek. It was made body colored, not charcoal.

    Odd that the original Ford Escape, which also had that same ugly charcoal cladding, got a pass from most critics.

    The thing I dislike about most crossovers other than Aztek is that their ceilings are too close to their floors. I don’t want the “’67 Country Sqire on ridiculous 20″ rims” profile of the Ford Edge. I want a tight turning circle, a compact overall length, headroom and space for taller cargo than a ’60s station wagon can accomodate.

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought that the current Kia Sportage looks like a late ’80s Pontiac/Passport/Daewoo Lemans (remember those?).

    Out of older SUVs. I have a strong distaste for all S10 based Chevy Blazers. The gray porridge of SUVs.

  • avatar

    The fugliest SUV of all time has to be the Pontiac Aztek. Absolutely freakin’ hideous. I’m really surprised that some consider it’s cousin, the Buick Rendezvous, to be even uglier. It ain’t pretty, but damn, it’s at least a million times better looking than the Aztek.

    The Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Murano, Subaru B9 Tribeca and Infiniti FX35/FX45 are all ugly. I find the Murano and FX35/FX45 in particular to be downright offensive. The Dodge Nitro is not only ugly as hell, it’s silly looking too.

    OTOH, I actually do like the Jeep Commander, Toyota FJ Cruiser and Ford Flex.

  • avatar

    Last time I had to use opaque glasses for a month to get my sight back it was due to a close encounter with a Saang Yong Actyon…

  • avatar

    Dodge Nitro.

    It looks like a cartoon car, with a Pinocchio look of surprise on its face that it finds itself rendered in metal and plastic.

  • avatar

    @Andrei Avarvarii: I concur wholeheartedly.

    I was just reading down through and was going to post that the not-available-in-the-US Actyon is the worst. The Aztec may be worse, over all, but the Chinese (technically S. Korean, but SAIC is calling the shots) actually copied this awful, awful vehicle and are still making it. At least GM had the good sense to kill the Aztec.

    I have to drive by the SsangYong dealer nearly every day…It’s hideous. Everything they have is just awful.

  • avatar

    Audi Q7 based on its snout alone. A ridiculous Billy-the-Big-Mouth Bass grille, trying hard to conceal a bloated, unreliable dog of a vehicle. (Yes, I know they sell.)

  • avatar

    There’s ugly and ugly. I kinda like SUVs that look purposeful, such as the wrangler, the H1, or even the Mercedes GL (the miliraty version, of course).
    I also like the flowing shapes of crossovers such as the FX, Murano, or MX9
    My favorite has to be the Land rover Defender
    Now, on to the worst:
    – chrysler Aspen Just plain ugly, especially when blinged
    – Dodge Durango: the previous version looked cool, and the new one is just big and bloated
    – Cadillac escalade: not only gigantic and usually blinged out, but its proportions are all wrong, and the grille just horrible
    – GMC Yukon: those headlights!!
    – LR3: that back window looked ok with soft angles in the previous gens, but now? Uck
    – BMW X3: omnipresent, but no less ugly. The rear in paticular is a mess
    – Jeep Commander: too tall and narrow, and the new headlights just don’t work
    – the audi Q7: proof that what works on a car doesn’t on an SUV

  • avatar

    I always thought the rear end of the Chrysler Pacifica looked like an elephant’s arse, and the rear of the Rendezvous looked like a monkey’s (binobo?) arse.

  • avatar

    More or less everything since the old Land Rovers and International Scouts.

  • avatar

    A great deal of the SUVs on the road are ugly, even more than most people are suggesting here. I’d even say less-ugly vehicles like the RAV4 are ugly.

    Aztec obviously wins, but only because of the massive reaction it got. Subaru Baja was also considered an SUV by Consumer Reports, and that would get my vote. So much potential in a car-based truck wasted because it looked like a car that was pretending to be a pickup. Pretentious and as useless as they come. I hope the A-BAT comes out and takes some of the sting away from that one.

  • avatar

    i forget the name of that whacky Isuzu

  • avatar

    Dodge Durango
    Pathfinder Armada and the Infinity derivative of that
    Jeep Commander

  • avatar

    SherbornSean :

    You must be talking about the Vehicross

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