By on March 14, 2014

Galant1

All new family cars look the same nowadays, am I right? The Camcord and the Sonatoptima and the, um, Altusionbupassant. Never before have we had such identical cars in the mass market. Compare this to, say, 1963. It was so easy to tell the Ford from the Chevy back then, assuming you worked for a Chevy dealership or owned the Ford. Or 1956, when, uh, the tailfins were way different. Or 1984, when the Camry and Stanza literally had different numbers of headlights. Let’s not forget 1936. Does anybody even have the ability to distinguish a ’36 Ford from a ’36 Chevy any morer?

You get what I’m saying, right? Ever since somebody made the second car to compete with the first one, there’s been a certain sameness among the mass market offerings. But that doesn’t mean that all the animals are created equal. Somebody out there makes the best-looking midsizer. Is it the Camry, with its sharp creases and avian front end? The Accord, with its dramatic side creases and taillights that mimic the far more upscale rear end of the Genesis Sedan? Perhaps it’s the Galant, with its, um, grille.

Regardless, now’s your chance to show some venom on the vellum, so to speak. For what it’s worth, my robotic vote is for the Optima. It literally looks more like an Audi than an Audi.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

82 Comments on “QOTD: Who’s Got The Look?...”


  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    I don’t know about you guys, but I can spot the 1980s, err…. anything Mitsubishi makes from a mile away.

    Could they have made the new Outlander any more offensive?

    • 0 avatar
      Wscott97

      In the late 80’s Mitsubishi had great looking cars. The Galant, Eclipse, 3000gt, Montero, Diamante. My 89 Galant that had different features that are now standard on cars today (ex. pullout door handles) I always thought it had a nicer sportier luxury look than the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Boy they went downhill quick.
      The Outlander Sport isn’t a bad looking car. I actually thought about getting one just to be different. But when I looked at the car, it just felt outdated and not worth it due to the lack of fit and finish.
      I think the direct comparison to the last Galant was the Suzuki Verona.

      • 0 avatar
        KindaFondaHonda

        Mitsu has had quite a few uggos too: mid-80’s Mirage (Lego-looks), Galant Sigma (made Pontiac’s gridded tail lamps look restrained!), any Montero (yick), Van (the worst by far of an already weird lot), Outlander Sport (who hacked off the rear 1/3 of that thing?), and the above Galant (strange detailing everywhere).

        In 1989 I cross shopped the Galant GS against the Nissan Maxima which I ultimately bought. The Galant was praised by the auto rags and I gave it a real close look because of that. While it felt like a quality piece, I was let down by the weird body-side undulations/fussiness, bland shape overall and a real lack of I-4 powertrain refinement compared to the V6 Maxima. It was also kinda cramped. I loved the Maxima so much I kept it as a third car until 2004.

        Don’t forget the Galant was all-new in 1989, the Accord in it’s last year, and the Camry in year three. The (all-new)1990 Accord blew the Galant away in refinement and quality immediately (as did the 1992 Camry). The Galant was never able to take full advantage of all the great press it received in 1989… despite the GS version’s goodness.

        Isn’t that the whole story of Mitsubishi anyway?

        • 0 avatar
          Wscott97

          I agree with you about the Maxima. The 1989 Maxima blew all the other cars in it’s class out of the water. My aunt bought a fully loaded Maxima and it felt like a luxury car.
          I never really cared for the 92 Camry.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Depends on trim. The big wheeled Titanium Fusion looks good while the base model looks like a whale riding on a radio flyer wagon. Camry SE looks sharp, L and LE leave a lot to be desired. Even the Malibu dresses up nice in the LTZ but looks bad in base trim. Basically, throw big enough rollers on them, and most of them look alright. I guess the question should be, which midsize family sedan doesn’t look dumb in base trim? That is probably your winner. IIRC, the base 6 looks pretty nice. So, the 6.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    Part of me hates to admit it…

    But I really like the way the 2014 Fusion looks. Front, sides, rear, really my only complaint about it in a vacuum is I don’t like the way they executed the hips below the C-Pillar – just kind of bubbly without a hard cut line.

  • avatar
    Feds

    In terms of standing out from the crowd, I’d have to go with the Hindustan Ambassador.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustan_Ambassador

    In North American terms, it’s hard to beat the Kia Optima (<- as a 34 year old male, this is a sentence I never thought I would write in my lifetime). As I am dispossessed of fancy designer words, I'll just say that it has the right balance of aggressiveness and style. I.E., it looks aggressive without feeling like a teenager's car (I'm looking at you STi and Lancer evo!)

  • avatar
    James2

    The Mazda 6 is the best-looking car of the bunch, with the Optima in second place.

    However, it’s like F1 –at least until this year– as the same decisions drive car design. Try to be too different, such as going for a lower, coupe-ish roofline, and people complain about rear headroom.

    When the masses go for white bread like the Camry and Accord –and everyone else wants big sales numbers too– they’re not going to stray too far from the template.

    At least, Nissan decided not to Juke-ify the Altima, though the new one is plenty ugly on its own.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I remember being happy during the mid-90s when Accords and Camrys stopped some styling sameness.
    The CTS looks like nothing else in the front, but it is very good.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    I think the Mazda 6 is the best looking sedan (vs honda, toyota, etc) on the market right now. There isn’t an angle that I don’t like and the front end and front panels it’s the most distinctive family sedan on the market right now.

    Also, just noticed they started to produce the Touring model w/ a manual? Wasn’t it only the Sport before?

  • avatar
    Prado

    In my vote for best looking, I like to look at the base models because looks are too easily positivly impacted by adding huge bling wheels to just about any car. The great looking Mazda6 and Fusion suddenly look very ‘meh’ and ackwardly proportioned in base trim when you take away those big wheels. So my vote goes to the Accord, with its clean and crisp looks and nice proportions regardless of trim. A couple other cars that alsao look good to me across trims are the Optima and Passat.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    I saw a black Camry SE the other day and thought it looked surprisingly sharp. (Maybe it was just because it’s clean and most cars this time of year are dirty).

    That said, they really do all look similar now. In my opinion a lot of it stems from the E46 BMW 3 series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_3_Series_(E46)

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      No, I think the basic lines of the Camry SE are nice. Angles, not blobs. A wedge shaped profile I’ve been missing in autodom since the late 90s hit. The front bumper is far too wide and gaping, though, so you need a dark color to hide that.

  • avatar

    The Mazda6 is best from the front, and the Accord is best all-around, and I actually like the look of both of these cars. The optima is ok from the back, but that grill looks like some ancient chainmail that was just dug out of the grave, and the front is otherwise pretty stupid looking.

    The fords are distinctive but they look like angry fish.

    Face it: 92.3% of modern cars are just plain ugly, as if beauty wasn’t a consideration in their styling. Put them next to anything from the first half of the ’60s, and most anything from before the first manned moon-landing, and you’ll see what I mean.

    Happy Pi day everyone.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The most attractive US midsizers are the Optima and Mazda6, in that order.

    But if I was buying a car in that class, I would get an Accord.

  • avatar
    mjg82

    My unscientific answer:

    Optima > Fusion > 6 > 2015 200 > Regal > Accord > Sonata > Malibu > Passat > 2014 200 > Camry > Altima > Avenger > Legacy (current or upcoming) > Galant

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I think the Mazda 6 has the best body lines in this segment. It went from a basically invisible also-ran to a fine looking mid range sedan with flowing sport sedan looks.

    High end Fusions with the 5 spoke wheels in unusual colors also catch my eye fairly often. Ford really set this car aside from the pack styling wise.

    Those two models are probably the most daring in the segment, and it has paid off for both of them. The same thing happened to the Sonata when the current generation came to market, we’ll see how the toned down version fares.

    To me, the Camry looks the stodgiest, like the granny panty incarnate of a car. The only car less attractive being the Passat. The Accord and Altima on the other hand have much more pleasant lines, falling closer to the Mazda 6 in the spectrum of stylistic direction.

    The Malibu occupies the middle ground, the 2014 revision is a big improvement over the 2013, but it does little to set itself apart.

    The new Chrysler 200 is poised to make a bit of a dent in this segment. The styling isn’t as daring as others, but it’s clean and fairly attractive in upper trims, if a little ambigous. The verdict is out on how it’ll be received.

    In all, there are some stylish cars to choose from on the segment. As far as homogenious design is concerned, hardly anyone would confuse a Fusion for a Camry, or an Accord for a Passat. So I think those accusations are a bit exaggerated.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Mazda6 by far. Shame the engine can’t match the promise of the exterior design

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Personally I find the Optima to be one of the fugliest overdesigned cars on the road, surpassing even the Sonata. It’s the Korean Pontiac, and not in a good way. The huge C pillars must cause some serious blind spots. In my opinion the Mazda6 would take the crown if not for the black plastic fake window on the C pillar. Right there’s a sign that the designers were writing checks that the engineers couldn’t cash. The Ford Fusion suffers this a little at the A-pillar too due to the door mounted mirrors, but it’s a much more forgivable fault and is otherwise a fine looking car.

    The Altima and Camry are disqualified for utterly generic boringness. The Malibu and Impala try a little harder, but they just don’t do anything for me. In the end I’d have to pick either the Accord or the Passat, both of which are very clean, simple, purposeful designs that are likely to age very well.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The Impala is not mid-sized. It’s full-sized, competing with the Azera, Avalon, Cadenza, Taurus, Maxima (sort of), 300 and Charger.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The sad part for those of us who actually drove the tuna boats of yore (and thought 14 mpg was terrific), is that 40 years ago, all the cars you named would be midsized cars. A couple of them would have been about the same size as a 1970 Dodge Dart. Compare the Chrysler 300 specs to a 1974 Newport.

    • 0 avatar
      genuineleather

      The Fusion is “fine-looking” but the Optima is overdesigned?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      It’s a “Korean Pontiac” despite not having all the side cladding?

      Good thing for Kia then that designers disagree since the Optima has won every major auto design award.

      The 6 is nice, but the Optima has the better greenhouse and used to have the better rear (since the refresh which changed the shape of the taillights – the Optima rear has been downgraded).

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Mazda6 turns my head more than any other. I liked the last one too. Optima second.

    The Fusion is beautiful if looking at it from 30 degrees of elevation, otherwise it’s a slab-sided tank. Camry SE in dark colors only and when not in motion, otherwise the rear bumper flutters in the wind.

    Accord is really bland and the coupe is overwrought, particularly the rear. Take off the Honda goggles.

    Altima looks great in profile, but the wide set head & taillights look like someone put it sideways through a taffy puller.

    Sonata is grotesque but no one will mistake it for another brand. With that scrunchy crinkle-face you could just skip the repairs on fender-benders because it’s just another crease.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Optima but the 2014 refresh I dont like…it looks like the 2011 but fatter in the rear…fat tail

    The fusion I say second but its blatent knockoff front and afterthought rear end makes me say men. Best looking rear end? Buick regal.

    The most polarizing is the mazda6. Everyone says its beautiful but that ugly nose and overly bulging curves make me say UGGGGLY! The 09 -13 model was much better looking,

  • avatar
    Dan

    FWD front overhang combined with the mandatory high hoodline for pedestrian safety ruins the look of the entire class to me, there’s just too much mongoloid forehead there to do anything attractive with. The zamboni chins don’t help either.

    That said, the Mazda 6 is the least bad of a bad lot. The visual space behind the front axle helps a little.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    The Galant has been out of production for nearly 2 years. People need to do some research and stop listing it as a car that’s still sold.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Perhaps so, but some dealers still have them in stock…

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yeah… the Galant is selling like the Chrysler Crossfire did when new.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/01/caught-in-a-crossfire-hurricane/

        Which brand has the dealership personnel with the most skill at jumping dead batteries, gone flat from sitting too long?

  • avatar
    koreancowboy

    *Disclaimer: Kia quasi-salesperson (BDC mostly) here*

    We get the most hits on the Optima…on more than one occasion, I’ve heard that the Optima “speaks to me”. People love it.

    Me personally? I think that the new Accord is the looker of the bunch, and the design will last the test of time. Then again, the upcoming Sonata will give it a run for its money, design-wise…

  • avatar
    dtremit

    I would guess that part of the problem with midsize sedans is that the demographic is shifting pretty dramatically. Younger buyers who would have been shopping midsize sedans ten years ago are shifting pretty heavily to crossovers, leaving a much more conservative market of buyers for automakers to appeal to. Taking chances may not pay off in the way it did in the past.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ford Fusion, best looking front end even if it is “look like an Aston Martin until an Aston Martin pull up.” The rear however is completely forgettable.

    I know I’ll probably get flamed but I honestly think the brand new Mazda 6 is the best overall look, front to back.

    I am glad the Honda Accord shrunk a bit, it was starting to become to this century what a Chevy Impala was circa 1975.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “The rear however is completely forgettable.”

      No it isn’t. It’s been unpleasantly seared into my retinas. I think the Fusion’s tall, squared-off, alien-looking rear end is hideous—worst-in-class—and that it completely cancels out the nice lines that are everywhere else.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Kyree, I guess I was talking more about the fact that the Fusion rear looks like they “gave up” or “ran out of time”. Like they were working on the design of the Fusion from front to back and the office phone rang: “Hello… yeah we’re working on it… what do you mean the deadline is Monday… NEXT MONDAY!?!?!?” *click*

        Shoot, guys, we’ve got to hurry the f*&^ up.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I agree. Absolutely. it’s the same way the previous-generation Malibu’s rear-end looked.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Kyree, I have more respect for your style judgments than my own, but I’m a bit surprised by the comment about the Malibu’s derriere. If by “previous generation” you mean 2008-12, I always thought that was rather restrained and tasteful (as was the whole exterior, for that matter). But hey, I don’t know nuttin’. I just know what I like.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Thanks for the compliment, although my opinions are no better than yours.

            The reason that I say the 2008-2012 Malibu had an abrupt rear-end is that it was very squared-off and flat compared to the rest of the rest of the vehicle. But it wasn’t outright ugly, like that of the new Fusion.

    • 0 avatar

      I strongly disagree about the Fusion. It IS distinctive, but it looks like an angry fish. And while fish can get away with fish faces, nothing else can.

      I had a sort of an epiphany today. My girlfriend’s son has a ’91 Skylark coupe. I never would have expected to like that car, but looking at it today, I did. And a major part of the reason I like it is that it looks so much better than about 95% of what’s currently manufactured.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    To me it’ the 6, Accord and Camry SE. Of those, the one I’d buy is the Accord.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The three designs that seem to be the most popular *here* are the 6, Optima and Accord…and I’d have to agree. My pick out of the three would be the Optima, especially after the 2014 refresh and the revised interior. Moreover the Optima looks quite unlike anything else in that class, or at all.

    P.S.: Has anyone noticed that almost all of the mainstream mid-sizers have six characters in their names? Altima, Optima, Sonata, Passat, Fusion, Malibu, Legacy, Mazda6, Accord…even the defunct Galant. Only a few (Camry, Avenger, 200) don’t have this rule.

    Double P.S.: All three of the domestic compact sedans now use alliteration. Chevrolet Cruze. Dodge Dart. Ford Focus.

    • 0 avatar

      very interesting observation (six characters in search of big bold brand identity). I suspect the cognitive scientists might have an answer for why that might work.

      Alliteration: In my youth, Chevrolet made the Chevelle, the Chevy II, the Corvair and the Corvette. Ford made the Fairlane and the Falcon. Of course, there was also the Mustang.

  • avatar
    matador

    Who makes a unique- looking car? Dodge. Look at a Challenger or a Charger someday. They look unique- and I personally like the looks.

    It may be a throw-back design, but I have no problems noticing a Charger. And not just the Wyoming Highway Patrol ones.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I may not know styling, but I know what I hate. And I hate the 2013 Malibu. I mean I HATE that style job. What a giant bag of soiled ass.

    Conversely, I think that 2014 rushed redo-beak on the car looks pretty good. The interior continues to look like burning trash.

  • avatar
    Forty2

    Mazda6 may have the look, and it drives nicely, but after you’ve been stuck with a rental 6 for a week when the audio system consistently took about five minutes to “reading… please wait” an iPhone 5 every.goddam. time. I started the car, well, I was very happy to return it to Avis. Finally, someone has made a system that’s orders of magnitude worse than Ford’s MS abomination. Yes it was a 2014 model.

    Also thought the interior looked cheap. Unsure what trim level it was, but it looked like the base model, and the driver’s seat took me about ten tries to get a decent fit, and I am on the small side. Even then it felt like I was sitting in a black bathtub.

  • avatar
    Viquitor

    The Mazda 6 looks so good it should’ve been an Alfa Romeo. Maybe the whole new Mazda identity is even way too much Alfa Romeo-esque.

    The rest looks the same to me. The Optima would be better if it wasn’t so similar to the Cerato/Forte/whatever-it’s-called-overseas and other offerings from Kia. The Fusion we get down here always come with the bigger rims, btw.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Actually, nothing made today floats my boat. In terms of styling, I’d prefer a ’56 Dodge Coronet (in 3-tone color combo), but with modern mechanicals.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Amen. As safe and reliable transport tools today’s cars are unarguably superior to anything commonly available before.

      But all emotional attachment ended for me when chromed bumpers left and exterior vinyl arrived to claim ever more surface area. Also, the perceptible thinness of the remaining sheet metal has its own off-putting effect.

      Nothing has gravitas anymore. No stateliness, just more or less craven, 3-D excess sculpted in foil and plastic. Look what our computers have rendered!

      I never detail my vehicles like I once did because I just don’t care. Even pristine and gleaming, they’re still just aesthetic pop cans.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      ‘Lorenzo’_ “I’d prefer a ’56 Dodge ”

      I would second that sentiment.

      Still have fond memories of one of my two favorite uncles buying a new 1956 Dodge Custom Sierra D-500 with the Super Red Ram V-8 and overdrive, With the Black and Salmon Pink color combo. Had a lot of adventures in that car. He drove it for years then traded it in for a new 76′ Toronado. Wish I had know that he was getting rid of it. It was still like new.

      There has been a 54′ Dodge wagon with the Red Ram listed on ‘CL’ down in Redding that I have thought about checking out, make a nice Rat wagon. But a reality check has me to far behind on the 61′ Olds Speedster project. Personal projects always take a back seat to customer projects and Summer fun.

      And, that Red Ram is a sweet little engine.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    For me, this is easy. Passat CC, Passat, Optima, everything else, with a special hatred for the Camry and the current Sonata.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      You just beat me to it. For me, the VW CC stands alone in this class as by far the most elegant styling job.

      Which figures, since it’s:

      •a knockoff of a luxury car, which
      •compromises interior room and rear-seat access more than higher-volume models would allow, and
      •is an old enough design that it wasn’t saddled with the pedestrian impact standards that have made high, pillowy hoods and huge, unsightly upright grilles de rigeur on everything newer.

      You’ll never see a family sedan that looks like this again.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Reviews of the esoteric tell a lot about society.

    Reviews of the mainstream tell a lot about the reviewer.

  • avatar
    SV

    I’d say it’s a tie between the 6 and Fusion for best-looking, followed by the Optima. The Accord is nice but too bland to really be in the running, IMO, and the Camry? Seriously?

  • avatar
    KindaFondaHonda

    Best Looks:

    VW Passat CC (a ringer at $40K+… 18″ wheeled versions mostly)
    Honda Accord Sport (right out of the box… timeless proportions/detailing/std. 18’s)
    Mazda 6 (high-end models only)
    Kia Optima (high-end models only)
    Toyota Camry SE (big wheeled versions only, to combat the very slab sides)

    Me no like:

    Hyundai Sonata (any and all… Korean over-reach and fussiness)
    VW Passat (except maybe 18″ wheeled/high-end versions)
    Subaru Legacy (Gaaaaaack!)
    Ford Fusion (not getting any Aston vibe… just big-fat-fatty)

    Next!

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      I almost bought the CC – I love its looks – but the reviews were always that the CC was “pedestrian” dynamically. Plus the first car I bought was a VW and I promised myself “never again”.

      I buy cars – German cars are for leasing – let them pay for their mistakes.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        thornmark, agreed about actually buying the CC. I too was tempted, but once you actually buy it, you have to actually own it. I mirror your experience, and your sentiments, about starting my car-owning life with VWs (cars #2 and #3) and thereby experiencing a miracle cure from them.

        But I always do enjoy watching a CC go by. The refresh didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt as much as the inevitable redo will. The design is like a Beetle, Audi TT or Mini in that there’s nowhere to go from here.

    • 0 avatar
      xantia10000

      CC starts at $32,500 with 17s. R-Line a couple thousand more with 18s. $42k gets you the VR6 4Motion

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Another important reminder to TTAC writers, the Galant is out of production. It died a thousand deaths two whole model years ago!

    I remember some writer gushing about his female friend buying one and how ‘good a buy’ it was since it’s ‘so cheap!’ Cheap is right! Look at any repo lot and see all the ‘distinctive’ and ‘cheap’ Galants towed there.

    New cars today are safer, sip fuel, run longer, need less work to maintain. And yet, “hobbyists” whine since they need to see “different looks” at the Auto Shows, so they can memorize them and recite back. Then go buy a ‘unique looking’ used Galant and save cash for all the towing!

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    I don’t really find any of today’s midsize offerings ugly; even the slab-sided Camry is a huge improvement over it’s rounded, manatee-looking mess of a predecessor.

    But if people are including premium cars ($40k CC doesn’t qualify as basic family transportation, sorry), I vote used Quattroporte.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Is it the car designs, or that nobody sees, when they look, anymore.

    Sure, there is a lot of sameness in today’s designs, but they are, for the most part, a lot more nuanced then most observers realize.

    Distinguishing between the early Ford and Chevy, is not a problem, the tough ones, for most, are the differences between 28′-29′ and 30′-31′ Model ‘A’s, then the 32’s versus the ‘A’s with a 32′ grille. Same make, but the point is about design nuance.

    The Optima is a visually interesting design, but it is trumped by the new Mazda ‘6’s undeniable presence. Would love to see a new Miata or RX7-8(without the rotary) using the KODO design language.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Designing cars now must be a lot harder than i was in the past. I think we ran out of good looking new shapes somewhere around the mid 60’s. In at least the 30 or somethign years before that, you could more or less throw together a working car from available parts, and it would look good. It’s not that easy anymore. I think all the retro designs prove my point. Just take an old popular design, and ‘update’ it, voila, good looking modern car. With all the different cars that have been made over the last 120 years, it’s a lot harder to make something unique, that hasn’t been seen before. I think Honda had a cool looker with the Euro Civic in 2007, and before that they had the NSX in 1989(?) Both of which kinda reminds me of Italian design studies from the 70’s. (the 70’s wedge design inspiration was also prominent in the last TSX)
    As for who is the ‘looker’ right now, I think it’s mostly agreed that the new MAzda 6 is one of the better, and completely knowcks the germans out of whatever lead they may have thougt they had. BMW and Merc lost their way ages ago now, but they still occassionally stumble upon a looker. Audi has made increasingly good looking cars in the last 20 years, and almost had me loving the 70’s Ford Torino look to the Audi A5 (seriously,try putting some slotmags on a red A5, and paint a white hockey stripe on it)
    I do like that ‘practical’ designs are returning a bit with all the large hatchbacks being produced, but they somehow rarely look good this time around. But, I don’t really want car design to be quite as pragmatic as it was in the 80’s either. Difficult subject to say the least, as looks are sadly a (somewhat,also mass-suggested) subjective thing too.

  • avatar
    calmaro

    Is ‘Who’s Got The Look?’ asking which of the herd has best put-together package of same cues, same boxes checked, etc. So, who is most generically generic?

    Or is it asking who bucks the trend of sloppy sameness? Buick’s designs (I guess mid-sizers are Regal/ Verano) sure attempt a fairly dramatic, brand-distinctive and individual look.

    Mazda 6 design language also stands out as cohesive and ‘finished’ as opposed to above comment regarding Fusion being unfinished.

    As for who has ‘The Look’ in terms of beauty, togetherness, excitement, presence, let me get back to you.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Glad you mentioned the Regal. I can’t think of another midsizer besides the CC and Mazda6 that looks as well proportioned and graceful. Which is another tribute to the 6 for visually punching above its weight class.

  • avatar
    Eric the Red

    Before saying this WE ARE ALL BIASED, but I am right.

    FUSION. Everyone knows that Ford stretched to bring something out that didn’t look like everything else when they made this model. And everyone agrees, or grudgingly, agrees that it is a fine looking car.

    The only way it can be said to look like others is in a high end (Aston Martin) way or because more Fusions are being sold and put on the road and seen more.

    That being said I love when manufacturs stretch on car design. I may find it extremely ugly and wouldn’t be caught dead in a model, but different styles and designs are great. If all auto designs converge we all lose choices and at that time we just start fighting over our prior prejudices of past cars we owned (and then Hyundai has no chance at all despite building fine cars today)

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Gotta go with the Audi A5 Sportback. It’s a mid sizer done right and the looks are perfection.

  • avatar
    Keith Tomas

    Then you also have to do an article on why car interiors are all the same color nowadays. That bothers me even more.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I beg to differ on cars of the 60’s-80’s as far as “sameness”, yes a number of them did look similar but due to their basic styling it was easy to tell one apart from another, with the differing details being fairly obvious (though most Japanese cars stood out like Chameleons).

    Todays cars are much more stylized, so not only is it more difficult to find just one detail thats different but also it just looks lazier with every car using the same grilleSpider-Man headlight shape.

    Yes older cars typically had circle or square headlights, at least they were that way for practicality.

    It’d be nice if we could see a family car that doesn’t in one way or another borrow from the Citroen DS.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    Which is why I am keeping my 2003 Jaguar S Type. Love it or not nothing looks like it (except the older Jag it was styled after).

  • avatar
    kuponoodles

    Mazda RX-8 is pretty… I wonder what would’ve happened if they put a V6 in there and called it something else.

    Pontiac G8. Yes. the boxiness of it made it a standout from all the current teardrops

    Infiniti FX-35. dated? a little, but I think Porsche just took the shape and added it’s own headlights. When it came out, people bought it just for looks.

    Tesla S. It reminds me of the golden age of cell phones, before smartphones… when companies were trying to make them as curved but as straight at the same time.

    Z32 Nissan 300zx. the design is 25 years old.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    My favorite looking sedan is the 2014 Impala LTZ with it’s std 19″ alloys. In red jewel or ice blue it got more compliments on the show room floor than anything we looked at all week and stands out from the plain dull blandness that typifies the rest.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States