By on February 1, 2017

chrysler crossfire

“God, that looks awful.”

We’ve all uttered the sentence above at one time or another. We’re sitting in traffic and are suddenly faced with something grotesque, something which was undoubtedly “of the moment” for only a moment, and which is now part of recent history best forgotten. But enough about the hooker leaning on a Crossfire.

Today I’m going to ask you to think back in time — up to ten years ago (which may be a challenge for some of our more wizened commenters) — and reflect on car designs. Tell me your pick for the most aged design of 2007-2017.

The rules today are simple — the car you pick must have had a model year between 2007 and 2017. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to writing this article at the end of 2016, when it popped into my head and made it onto my Spiral Pad of Awesome Ideas.

In following my own restrictions, my pick is now quite different than it would have been last year. But I can still use my prior choice as an example, which is off limits to you, the commentariat, because of my privilege. You see, 2006 was the final model year for this very elite Nissan Altima.

Infiniti Q45

“Man, that Altima 3.5 Luxury was rare!” I hear you typing. But wait — that is, in fact, the very final version of the flagship Infiniti Q45, which ran through the 2006 model year as mentioned above. The Altima-carbon-copy styling, droopy rear end (which was factory spec), expressive blob headlamps, and slightly-too-old interior accoutrements made this my pick for the 2006-2016 era. It looked a bit dated when it was new, and very dated within a couple of years. It is understandably worth very little today.

Now, on to my rules-compliant pick, for 2007-2017.

2004-2005_Chevrolet_Malibu_MAXX_LS

Look at it. There are few things more sad than a Malibu Maxx when you see them in modern traffic situations. Yes, this Epsilon platform stunner was still on sale in GM showrooms for the 2007 model year. Hard to believe, as I’d always assumed they died a much earlier death.

But I think you get the idea. What’s your pick for the most aged car design of the past ten years? As a bonus, I’ll give you my runner-up answer — the 2007 Suzuki Reno.

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280 Comments on “QOTD: What’s the Most Aged Car Design of the Past Ten Years?...”


  • avatar
    noorct

    2007 jelly bean Ford Taurus. Sold next to the new fusion
    https://www.kbb.com/ford/taurus/2007/se-sedan-4d/

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      You leave that beautiful product of Atlanta Assembly alone!

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        LOL

        • 0 avatar
          noorct

          Too funny. It’s one of the few cars that started off looking ahead of it’s time… and ended up looking so dated by the end.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Unfortunately, that’s how it goes for many “bleeding edge” designs.

          • 0 avatar
            noorct

            That’s a good point. It either stays looking good longer or looks immediately dated. I’d argue the xc90 prior to this one looked good for a very long time because it was a little bit bleeding edge

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            I think it’s always the case with bleeding edge designs. I can’t think of one that doesn’t look dated in 10 years. The conservative and boring designs look current the longest.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            My personal pick is the 350Z. It also proves the point above. Still available in 2007 unchanged, and it looked very new and futuristic when it was released. It looks very old and outdated now.

          • 0 avatar
            GermanReliabilityMyth

            In my opinion, the more rounded curves and swoops a design has, the more quickly it ages. Although I can’t put my finger on the reason why, maybe it’s just a precept of human aesthetic interpretation. I could name a few examples, but I think most of us here are well-versed enough in cars to see the point.

          • 0 avatar
            IHateCars

            ’99 – ’02 Mercury Cougar falls into that category to a “T”.

    • 0 avatar
      pdieten

      Might as well bring up the 2009 Taurus. Last year of a design that was copied from the 1997 Passat, itself copied from the 1995 Audi A4. And riding on a platform from the 1998 Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      Bill

      I think you’ve got this backwards. That Taurus was not a car that looked good at first, and aged badly. On the contrary, it was dismissed at first as being ugly, but it turns out this was only because the front and back were so awful (especially the nasty little pinched-mouth look of the front end.) When they fixed those in 2000 we could see how fine the design really is. The pontoon shape of the side is distinctive without being outlandish, and the greenhouse is gorgeous. Overall, far better looking than the vast majority of cars on sale today.

  • avatar
    gear-dog

    Ok, assuming we can look past legacy sports cars like the Morgan +4 or the Caterham 7, then my vote is for the GM full-size vans. The GMC safari and Chevy clones look essentially unchanged from the full-size vans I drove camp kids around in the 1980’s, and they were old then!

    • 0 avatar
      komododave

      That’s cause they pretty much were unchanged since the 80s. If it ain’t broke….

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Not disputing that they were very dated by the end of their run, but the Chevy Astro and GMC Safari were minivans, not fullsize. They died after MY2005, far outlasting the Ford Aerostar which was their closest competitor, but not allowed under the rules of this game. :)

      If you mean fullsize GM vans in 2007, those were the Chevy Express and GMC Savana. They replaced the previous generation of fullsize vans in MY1996.

      Of course, especially when it comes to vans and pickups, I think a long time between design cycles is a good thing. It makes for good replacement parts availability.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Buick Rendezvous. OR WAS IT?

    All you 4ssholes seem to love your damned CUV’s, so maybe it was ahead of it’s time?

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Kia Amanti – a bad pastiche of retro ideas.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Dodge Challenger is essentially unchanged since 2008, the platform it is on is even older. Toyota Tacoma is another one of those designs that milk it for all it is worth.

    As an aside, I hope to come back and read these comments later and find no mention of the political landscape. Man, is that shit getting old.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    The 2007 Elantra is pretty ugly.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    2008 Ford Focus. Somehow manages to look more dated than the 2000-2007 models.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Jeep Wrangler, of course. It’s basic design goes back to WWII, and its evolution has been so slow and subtle that a new one always looks just like one from 20 years before.
    It works and it’s a classic, but it’s like the old Beetle – this year’s version is the same as last year’s, and so on.

  • avatar
    Clueless Economist

    All small Nissans, Fiat 500L, all Honda CR-Vs, Honda Accord Crosstour, Buick Encore, all Acuras with the beak grill, and 2017 Ford Mustang.

  • avatar
    renntech

    2007 Taurus Fleet – taken
    2007 Chevy Uplander – was always ugly http://o.aolcdn.com/commerce/autodata/images/CAB70CHV302B0101.jpg
    2007 Suzuki Forenza – https://i.ytimg.com/vi/9ccfM6EOqtg/maxresdefault.jpg

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Another fun QOTD.

    I’d have to offer up the 2007 Hyundai Accent. The “egg” version.

    I guess you could put all Hyundais (and Kias) into that category.

  • avatar

    It’s funny you brought up an Infiniti, because I was going to say the 2009 Altima.

    Failing that, I proudly foist an easy target: the 2014 Kia Sedona.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Pontiac Grand Prix. The previous two generations have aged better. Especially the 5th generation that was 88-96.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      The final Bonneville almost made my list. But looking at photos it felt wrong to criticize the last large Pontiac.

    • 0 avatar
      PRNDLOL

      I forgot about this one. With its mis-proportioned grill, wonky tail light bulges continuing the trunk and just plain wrong rub strips, GM got all the sides wrong, and it looks just terrible now.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      No way, I love the original W Grand Prix.

      Well…the ones with squinty 77-78 Firebird headlights and nice body color trim, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        I love the early W Body GPs. The 2004-2008, not so much. I love the 88-96. I don’t know why. Maybe it transports me back to a more simple time.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          My favorite old W-body was the Cutlass Supreme coupe.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Cutlass_Supreme#/media/File:Oldsmobile-Cutlass-Supreme-Coupe.jpg

          We give automakers crap for making a car for too long, but that also means that the original design was solid.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I like almost all early W-Bodies. The Cutlass may be the best.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            The only early W design I have true hate for is the Lumina. Something so odd about it, as if GMs Design Studio drew something up in 1975 to predict what a sedan would look like in 1995.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            No Lumina is good. The early Z34 coupes are the best of the lot though.

          • 0 avatar
            Eyeflyistheeye

            The reason the Lumina looks like what it does is that the design was originally done around 1985 or so when GM was developing a plethora of midsize cars (H-body, W-body, L-body) and it was supposed to be on another platform.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I agree with the Cutlass coupe being best and the Lumina being…ill-advised. Now if only the Cutlass and GP had had factory 3.8 power…

          • 0 avatar
            Nikolai

            The last Cutlass Supreme coupe was a car I owned and loved for a few years. I had a 94 which had that great final body style, but still the interior from ’88. It was a weird mix.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Adam, agreed. My cousins 2006 Grand Prix is still sitting here waiting on parts. Its awful to look at, and the rear seat is like sitting in a coffin. I’m sick of looking at it. I told him months ago what parts I needed to fix it, but he steadily puts it off.

          I’m tempted to put it in N and roll it down the hill. Smashing into a pine tree could only improve its looks, and at least it wouldn’t be the first thing I see when stepping off my back porch.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          @Dan re: 1995 Lumina

          Sit inside a 1986-1988 Taurus, then sit in a 1995 Lumina.

          Its like they took a gen one Taurus dash, added a passenger airbag and used a screwdriver to pry odd the “TAURUS” badge and glued a “LUMINA” badge in its place.

          Still better than the 1973 Oldsmobile dash in the first gen Lumina. I swear, its like they spend all their styling budget on the exterior (which was a waste) and forgot to do the dash. So, they just stuck the Celebrity dash in and called it a day.

          Clearly they were counting on only selling the car to people who were such strong GM loyalist that they had never even sat in a Taurus or Accord.

          I might get a sheet thrown over me and the the $h¡t beat out of me for saying this, but the 1988-1994 Tempo dash was more modern than the first gen Lumina’s IMO.
          I remember reading an article on the new-for-’88 Tempo where they said the dash looked more like something you’d find in a Honda rather than an American economy car. I agree.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            The “ribbon” speedometer on the first gen Lumina was hilarious – especially compared to the dashes of the other W bodies.

            “Well we wouldn’t want Uncle Clem to be turned off by that new fangled dash like in the Grand Prix so lets give him what he’s been looking at since about 1970.”

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_HHR#/media/File:2007ChevroletHHR-001.jpg

    Icky.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Hahaha. My parents had a 2007 HHR. I think they got it for $11K, new. Now my sister has it because beggars can’t be choosers. She thought they were going to lease her a Prius C, but a car transport truck dropped off tha HHR turd for her instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Nikolai

      I think HHR might be the best answer.
      Funny how popular compact crossovers are now, but in the first few years they were still figuring out what people wanted and were still in love with retro styling.

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      I was thinking PT cruiser but the GM version serves just as well. Ford had a 49 Ford and a retro Tbird that stuck around about long enough for a cup of coffee. All of them fit the bill intentionally. To give credence to my geezer cred, I liked them all when they came out.

  • avatar
    Landau Calrissian

    You guys remember when America thought Hummers were cool? When I see an H2 today, in 2017, I feel a little embarrassed for them.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I’ve thought about buying one because I still think they are cool, and they are getting cheap too!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’m amazed, because they actually hold their resale value rather well. I would think people would have dropped them like hot-potatoes, but evidently not. And still, there’s nothing quite like a Hummer (wasn’t that their slogan at one point?)

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Definitely dated.

      H2s, to me, have always projected a sense of inexplicable outward aggression and a juvenile need to be noticed.

      The H3s are a much more reasonable size. Not a very good vehicle overall, though. Fantastic off road but kind of a one-trick pony. Pillbox greenhouse, cheapo interior, a wheezing donkey-slow 5-cylinder plus a 5000lb curb weight to provide Toyota Yaris acceleration with an incredible thirst for fuel (14/18 mpg).

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        That’s why you get the V8 one!

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        To me the H3s are like the CLAs.

        “Hey I’m poor but I dream of being rich and want people to think I’m not broke”.

        I can’t help but see the H3 buyer as “This car is not capable and is useless, but I want to be able to brag that I bought a Hum-Vee, despite it really just being an overpriced Chevrolet”

        But maybe I’m biased.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Do you know much about the vehicle you’re talking about? Or are these just assumptions misconstrued as facts?

          The H3 is far more capable than a TrailBlazer, and they were somewhat related but were not the same vehicle.

          The H3 was based on the first gen Colorado. Again, the TrailBlazer was related but not the same. Case in point: the TrailBlazer had an Inline 6, the H3 had the I-5 from the Colorado.

          For something not capable, please name a period mainstream (so not a Land Rover or Land Cruiser) SUV other than the Jeep Wrangler that is as capable off road. The Toyota 4Runner comes close, but of sheer off road ability, I would pick the H3 over it.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Nissan Xterra or possibly a crew-cab Frontier/Tacoma.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            I argue that they still don’t match the H3’s abilities. Just because it didn’t suck off road like an Explorer or TrailBlazer doesn’t mean its a trail king.

            Look at its approach and departure angles, its 4 wheel drive systems, it was not a poser SUV like the cartoon styling suggests.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    Picking the Nissan Juke or Cube seems almost like shooting fish in a barrel. The current Civic hatch seems like it will be a perennial contender. The original Ridgeline was a poke in the eye. Chrysler offers the hunchback 2007 Sebring sedan and the bug-like Jeep Compass. The front end of the original Subaru B9 Tribeca makes me long for the halcyon days of the Edsel.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      This is news to me.

      I didn’t like the cube, but I don’t think it looks outdated. I also think the Juke still looks very modern. I also think the Compass looks fine on the road.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    How about the new for ’07 Chrysler Sebring?
    http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Chrysler/chrysler-Sebring_2009_image-04-1024.jpg
    The style job was always the opposite of right, but now it’s aged to imperfection.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I was going to go for something easy like the PT Cruiser, but instead I’ll go for a subtle one, the sixth-gen Sonata.

    A drastic departure from the plain, starchy fifth, it sports a “four-door coupe” profile and offbeat use of chrome. I’ll admit, I was pretty stunned when I saw it, but even then many said it would date fast, and it has. It is now an utterly anonymous car, and I’d argue it’s aged worse than the plainer 5th gen.

    Hyundai itself toned down the slinky styling for the current 7th gen.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Yep, I was saying that about the Sonata. Way too swoopy and incongruous.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      +1 on the Sonata. I didn’t think it would age well, and it really hasn’t.

      I’d also say the same for the seventh-generation Honda Accord, and for the same reason.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        +1 on the last-gen Sonata. I turned my mother away from it (mostly) because I thought it wouldn’t age well (style-wise at least). When it first came out, it caught my eye, but something inside of me just made me feel it wouldn’t look very appealing five years down the road. It’s cousin, the Optima, seems to have faired a tad better in the “aging well” department.

      • 0 avatar
        never_follow

        For some reason, I’m only now softening to the 7G Accord. Knowing what the rest of the world got instead is what really gets my goat.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Personally, I’d say that Sonata’s styling has aged fairly well.

      Now, the cars themselves…that might be another story.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Except for the hybrids tail lights…

      Have you seen the 6th gen hybrid tail lights? My goodness, I feel like I’m looking into the future, literally.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Previous-gen Ford Mustang. Retro is dead and buried.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Man, that’s harsh. I’d still love me a last-gen GT.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        What’s funny to me is that my lady loves the 1965 to 1973 Mustang and the 2005 and up Mustang. Can’t stand any of the other designs even though she was born in 1983 and came of age when the Fox Body Mustangs were as common as dirt.

        • 0 avatar
          Johnster

          Your lady has good taste in cars. She sounds like a keeper.

        • 0 avatar
          Grant404

          I’m a Mustang person, I’ve owned three new ones over the years and I still own one. I liked the ’64 1/2 – ’70s, especially ’67 – ’70, but I was never able to stand the bloated, blocky ’71 – ’73 from the minute they hit the showrooms (the unfortunate and short-lived “Bunkie” Knudsen attempt to move the Mustang toward the “personal luxury” segment). I also didn’t care much for the Mustang II or the early Foxes, but by the mid to late Fox years they had gotten a lot better. In fact, my second new Mustang was a ’93 LX 5.0 5-speed in Electric Red. I had that car for ten years and wish I still had it. She loved to run. I didn’t like the SN95 much, the criticism of which (too curvy) led to the New Edge Mustangs of ’00 – ’04, which brought back the slab sided, harder-edged (hence the name) styling of the 1st generation ‘Stangs. The Edge cars could look nice depending on their options and color, and the ’03 – ’04 SVT Terminators are still legendary. I didn’t like the 2005 5th gen restyle for a few years (I thought its “mouth” was open too wide) but by 2010 they looked a lot better (smaller mouth), and 2014 is my favorite recent model year. The 6th gen Mustang is ok but a little too curvy and a bit awkward-looking from certain angles, IMO.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ll name a few offenders:

    1) Honda Element
    2) Honda Ridgeline
    3) First-gen Dodge Charger (could be that so many of them have devolved into ‘hood crawlers…)
    4) Dodge Caliber

    And my nomination for the one from that era that’s aged the best:
    Chrysler 300C. Still tasty today.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      3) 2000s Dodge vehicles (could be that so many of them have devolved into ‘hood crawlers…)
      4)

      Fixed!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, but a lot of early-to-mid-2000s Dodge designs still hold up pretty well today. The Intrepid, Neon and first-gen Durango come to mind. All of them troll the ‘hood quite stylishly.

        But the Charger was ugly when it was brought out and looks worse today.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Think of the 07 Durango. BLEH

          http://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/900×600/240503.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yep. And the Chrysler Aspen looked even more ridiculous.

            But the first-gen Durango still looks pretty good today. And you see a lot of them around. Chrysler had good stuff going on before the Anschluss.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Here in salt land, the gen 1 Durango died many moons ago. I haven’t seen one in quite some time.

            And the Voyager rear end bothered me on those.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Cars don’t rust as much here, Corey…but the reason, as it turns out, is that the climate here is arid, despite the fact that we get a good amount of snow. Colorado uses mag chloride versus salt, and technically, it’s just as corrosive as salt.

            But we also have very low humidity here, and 80-90% of the time, it’s sunny and dry. You never get rainy days in the winter (or any other time of the year) like you’d get where you live.

            So, here, the mag chloride (or salt) doesn’t have as much moisture to interact with.

            That’s probably why cars rust more in your neck of the woods, or in the upper Midwest. Salt + humidity = rust.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Exactly. Having grown up in Ohio I can tell you two stories from the Northwest part of the state.

            1984 Chevy Malibu sedan, two tone brown, copper interior, few options except the V8. Purchased my a little old man who died a few years after. Widow kept it and it lived almost every night in the garage. Rarely driven in poor weather and it was NOT a heated garage. Concrete floor and fairly weather tight.

            The old lady finally passed in about 1992. The kids sold it off to the dealer where it had been purchased. Body panels were straight and rust free. They got it up on the lift and you could literally poke your hand through the frame due to the rust.

            My Dad’s cousin Bruce owned a body shop. He picked up a 1st gen Dakota Sport with the V8 pretty cheap. Two wheel drive short-bed, gorgeous paint and body. No damage he was just looking for cheap wheels for himself.

            He put it on the lift at the body shop (one of those ones that lifts the car by the middle, letting the suspension hang). The truck came off the ground and started to break in two at the point the bed and cab met. Soft rusty frame.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Mike, I’m detailing a first gen Durango SXT this afternoon (I’m halfway done, taking a break at the moment). 144K on it.

          Its the one I mentioned before that I was sure was powered by a giant box fan, given the noise and the acceleration.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I agree regarding the first gen Charger, the only place it EVER looked good was in dark blue as a government fleet car in NCIS.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      No. The 300 was gross until 2011.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Actually, I’d say the 2011 300 shrank the original design’s balls.

        If I didn’t know that all the old 300s were basically used up or trashed by now, I’d love a cherry one. In Inferno Red. With the Heritage Package.

        http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Chrysler/chrysler_300c_heritageEdition_manu-06_01.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I agree with Adam. The first-gen 300 was a daring concept that (as always with DaimlerChrysler) was ruined by a million obviously cheap details. It looks like a gangsta Caliber.

        The second gen actually added refinement adequate for the price point.

  • avatar
    MartyToo

    If Corey wanted to choose a 2006 Infiniti he could have allowed a dozen years for the question. But choosing 2007-17 makes me wonder how many fingers he sports as this is an 11 model year span.

    As someone who owns an Accord coupe, wants AWD and won’t shell out the cash for an Ac-cord-ura, my choice had to be the Crosstour. I look at the styling as the modern answer to original Eagle. To add more hilarity to the mix I have an older cousin who owns a Crosstour as does my wife’s younger cousin.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The automotive mullet known as the Chevy Monte Carlo. If you think the exterior is bad, there are dog kennels with nicer interiors.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’ll agree with this, except that the last Monte didn’t “age” badly — it was horrible from the second it was introduced. As a bonus it’s also possibly the worst-packaged FWD car ever built.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Mercedes has been incapable of designing anything that ages gracefully since the 90’s. Original CLS and R-class looked cool when they came out, not at all now. Also +1 on the last-gen Sonata. Also vote for the Sedona/Entourage and Spectra. Most Korean cars, really.1

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    2005 to 2010 Optima and 2009 to 2014 Subaru Legacy.

    Generic sedan, size medium.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    This doesn’t meet the rules… but a fairly well-kept 2-door Oldsmobile Intrigue passed me the other day. It really didn’t look as good as I had remembered it. As for 2007-2017 designs, I’m with those who think almost no Nissan or Infiniti looks right new and most look even worse a few years down the road.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    All 2017 full sized pick ups. Fugly is as fugly does. Enough said.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I am going to have to pick the Lexus NX. My god that thing is hideous. Perhaps even the entire current lexus predator look. Part of me wants to like it, but its difficult to look at on a car that is supposed to be luxury/classy. It comes off as just gawdy at times, especially on models that have no sporting intentions.

    I am the president of my home owners association and I have considered issuing blight citations to the two owners of the NX in my hood, citing deed restrictions that require unsightly yard waste to be garaged or placed beside/behind home until garbage pick up day.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    The Volkswagen Tiguan looks like it just rolled out of a time machine from 2002. With its rounded, frumpy design and decade old VW styling cues, it looks like the logical follow-up to the ’99 Passat rather than something sold new in 2017.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      We have a winner. No wonder VW is itching for a new crossover to sell, there current one doesn’t look like it was made during this decade.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Since it debuted in calendar-year 2006 in the rest of the world, the Tiguan’s basic bodyshell *is* from another decade. They put new fascias and a revised interior in it to bring it more-in-line with the then-newish Golf Mk.6 for 2012 or so, but yeah, it looks its age.

      I think the Equinox and Terrain have also aged poorly, mostly due to their plastic-fantastic interiors and wide swaths of small, incomprehensible buttons.

      • 0 avatar
        e30gator

        I test drove the Equinox (I think it was a 2010) before buying my Enclave. I thought it drove nice enough, although the four-banger was a dog–too much car for the engine. Maybe the six cylinder makes it more tolerable. And yes, the cockpit felt dark and depressing (the plastic didn’t help here). It’s interesting that even though my Enclave’s design is a couple model years older, it feels like a fresher design. Then again, it’s a Buick. Maybe a Traverse is a different story.

    • 0 avatar
      Clueless Economist

      And the new 2018 Tiguan looks dated before it even hits the streets.

  • avatar
    Rochester

    The 2017 Lexus IS. Makes me gag every time I see it.

    Cars should never be inspired by origami.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I can’t think of anything that has aged poorly.

    The cars from ten years ago that look bad now were unattractive from the start. It’s not as if there ever was a golden age for the 2007 Amanti or Sebring.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Excellent point. If it started out bad, chances are it won’t improve with age.

      Although I think more people warmed up to the oval 1996-1999 Taurus/Sable years after it left production.

  • avatar
    jimbo1126

    The currently on sale Buick Cascada looks very dated.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agreed. But, that could be because it is. Its one of those “not a new car, just new to us” things.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Rumour has it that the Cascada started life as the next gen Saab convertible, before GM got rid of the Swedish marque.

      Even in the European lineup (Opel/Vauxhall) it sits awkwardly, bigger than an Astra (Verano), smaller than an Insignia (Regal)

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Second-gen Scion xB. The first gen was daring and efficient, the next-go-round mutters “we kinda gave up.”

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Nobody said Mitsubishi Mirage?

    • 0 avatar
      Menloguy

      +1 – the Mirage looks like it was launched in 1999. Which is sad because Mitsubishi had sharp designs in the 1980’s relative to Nissans and Toyotas of the time with models the Mirage, Galant, Sigma and Pajero.

  • avatar
    AVT

    2007 lincoln mkx. The chrome front, enough said. Also, the 2007 ford escapes and taurus’s.

  • avatar
    arach

    the Nissan Titan. I couldn’t believe they were selling the SAME truck from 2003-2015.

    Now this is one of those cars thats tricky, because when I look at pictures, they don’t look THAT bad…

    But when I see them on the road I think “OMG- Thats awful”. They had some really odd colors over the years like the seafoam green.

    A seafoam green Nissan Titan with the trademark yellowing headlights and clearcoat peel? Youd think the thing was from 1995, and then you find out it was a 2015 and think “WHHHAT???”

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Cadillac SRX.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    First-Gen 06-16 Jeep Compass. They started ugly, stayed ugly for a decade, and as they age, get even uglier. That bulbous front bumper. Square wheel wells with disproportionately small wheels. The 7-slot grille slapped on a Caliber. The hey-I’ve-got-round-headlights-like-a-Wrangler poseurness. Yuck.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I always think of the pre-refresh Compass the Wrangler’s mentally challenged little sister. Mom had a fling with a meth junkie and then an alcoholic during her pregnancy, and it shows.

      Slapping a Grand Cherokee nose on it helped.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Not an easy question to answer because there are numerous ways of defining ‘dated’. I don’t want to fall into the trap of simply naming an ugly vehicle (ie. Crosstour), so I’ll define it as a design that looked fresh and attractive to a large audience when it launched but is tied so deeply to the period of its birth that it just looks old.

    2007 VW New Beetle
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    2007 Ford Mustang

    Honorable mention goes to the category of conservative mainstream cars that looked OK/innocuous back then but just seem faded and old now: That Malibu Maxx, the Kia Rio, the Taurus, the 2008 Corolla.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    Four nominations from me (some of which have been mentioned already):
    -’07 Dodge Charger. It looks like it was designed by a 13-year-old, reflecting their idea of cool at the time.
    -’07 Lexus IS. Kind of the same affliction as the Charger, plus the fact that a lot of the ones I’ve seen look like they’ve been used up within an inch of their life.
    -’07 Infiniti M45. It’s not wholly unattractive (taillights aside), but it was staid-looking then, and only more so now. My impression of it is also probably shaped by the number of them I’ve seen with completely hazed-over headlights.
    -’07 Subaru Impreza. I guess this one is easy to pick on since it was the second refresh of the new-for-2000 model. I don’t think it’s unattractive (aside from the stupid aero grille), but the 2008 model left it light years behind stylistically.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Edit: I have an M35, the revised version, and I disagree! I was thinking you meant the M45 from the early 00s.

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      -’07 Subaru Impreza. I guess this one is easy to pick on since it was the second refresh of the new-for-2000 model. I don’t think it’s unattractive (aside from the stupid aero grille), but the 2008 model left it light years behind stylistically.

      Methinks you are confused. The 2006 and 2007 Impreza’s had the same body style and larger 2.5L engine. They were coined the “Hawkeyes”. Then the 2008 came out and was a stylistic dud; so bad that it was refreshed for 2009.

      • 0 avatar
        Thorshammer_gp

        Huh? I was thinking of the one below, which as far as I know lasted until the 2007 model year, which was the second facelift of the second generation:
        http://static.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/images/Auto/izmo/286623/2007_subaru_impreza_wagon_angularfront.jpg

        Which was followed by this, first sold as a 2008:
        http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/subaru/impreza/2008/oem/2008_subaru_impreza_4dr-hatchback_25i_fq_oem_1_500.jpg

        As far as I know, the third-gen got a very slight update with a different grille, but was otherwise basically the same until the 2012 model came out.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I’d say the 07-08 Acura RL. Seems like they were too forgettable for anyone to have already mentioned. Its still hard to understand how they got the ’04 TL so right and that car so wrong.

  • avatar

    I’m going to go on record and predict the current Chevrolet Cruze and Malibu will not age well stylistically. The Cruze is way too fussy in its detailing, with a swoopiness that screams cheap to me. The Malibu is just too generic overall, and the squinting headlamps hark back to the 1980’s. Now I have no issues with car styling from the 80’s, but it just doesn’t work here. Oh, and those DRLs that look like they are about to fall off, who approved that?

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I’ll buy that for a dollar.

      Impala aside, current Chevy design language is lost on me. The Malibu and Cruze look squished. The first gen Cruze was a good looking car to me.

  • avatar
    arach

    How about the Land Rover LR3.

    I know its a retro design, but I bet most people don’t realize how dated it still looked in the mid to late 2000s. The Discovery 3 was actually sold through 2009!

    The LR4 looks like a rocket ship compared to the LR3.

    I don’t think the Range Rover faired much better, but I guess it can be argued that its jeepesque, but even the interior to me looks dated.

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    Is there a reason why 2011 Crown Victorias have not been mentioned yet?

    In my defense I have a 2008 MY of its Mercury sister.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I’m going to defend the Maxx and Crossfire. They look dated now because they’re distinctive, nothing before or since looks like they do(whether or not that’s a good thing is left as an exercise for the reader). Most of today’s SUVs and 4-door-coupes will be spared the “curse” of looking dated because they all look like each other, they’re eminently forgettable.

    I won’t defend the Q45, it shouldn’t be possible for a car to be that horrible AND bland, but there it is.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Oldest styled with fewest styling updates

    Hindustan Ambassador
    Caterham 7
    VW Beetle (air-cooled)

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I saw a Chrysler Crossfire yesterday with a PapaJohn’s Pizza gizbob on its roof.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    F-body Camaro and Firebirds. Hard to find one that doesn’t look like junk. Because new ones looked like junk.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’d say the previous-gen Durango and especially its chromed out cousin, the Aspen, aged pretty badly. The previous 200 / Sebring didn’t do well, either. In general. Chrysler’s attempt to make every car look luxurious—without actually putting in the work to make that a reality—has aged very poorly.

    So did the heavy-refresh version of the Focus, which was 2008-2011.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agreed.

      I don’t hate the 08-11 Focus, but a stylish and fresh design it was not. This isn’t something I would actually seek out to buy, but if I needed wheels and one came up in my price range and in decent shape, I might pull the trigger.

      Maybe I only tolerate it because it was home to the only Focus coupe?

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      I agree – the 2008 Focus managed to look older than the 2007.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Yeah, the ’08 Focus didn’t age badly, it was “meh” from the get-go.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          I know exactly one person who owns one.

          Her previous vehicle was a late 1990s Cavalier, so from that, the 2009 Focus she has now was a step (albeit a tiny one) in the right direction.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        People! You’ve got to never forget the hideous abortion leftovers that led to the GM deathwatch series! Uplander, Terraza, and Relay…True story. I know a woman (not all that bright) who owned a 2 year old Uplander, and the dealer actually refused to take her Uplander in C4C!

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Gen2 Insight. I’m a Honda fanboi, and I can’t stand it.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Any Infiniti, Buick, or Oldsmobile from the 90’s. Nothing good or positive with those brand models of the 90’s.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    The Suzuki Reno is a totally anonymous hatch. Yes, it’s a piece of hot garbage, but I have no idea how someone could mention it as having aged poorly, given what Aveo hatches look like. Wasn’t it designed by that Italian studio?

    I’m a big Hyundai fan, but yeah, I never liked that 2007ish Sonata. All other generations were quite handsome. But hey, it sold well.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Oddly, that was my favorite Sonata of all time. That’s not saying a whole lot, actually. Lets put it this way: its the only Sonata I could actually see myself owning.

      This is based on styling alone, because…

      They do not age well mechanically. I see plenty of examples with less than 150k with “engine knocks” or some other mechanical disaster.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3 C3

    thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/mercedes-gets-more-into-mobility/#comment-8896073

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Pontiac Aztek. Dated and ugly too.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      There was no 2007 Aztec.

    • 0 avatar
      never_follow

      If anything, the Aztek, along with the ZDX, look BETTER now than they ever did. They were prophets that showed up looking alien, but blend in just fine nowadays.

      That does not mean either of them are a masterpiece, but they definitely go against the premise of this question.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Ugh…No. Just no. The Aztec was ugly 10 years ago and it’s just as ugly today.

        If we ask this same question in ten years, my vote will be for the 2017 Civic. It’s ugly now and I can’t see it ever aging well.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Two I haven’t seen mentioned yet:

    – Gen 1 CTS (final model year in ’07). I say this as an owner of a Gen 2 CTS. Striking but really unrefined design. Those door handles ugh.

    – Mark V Golf (Rabbit) and Jetta. Too-big headlights (virtually 100% of which are yellowed now), blobby shape.

    Regarding the Q45 in the article, I remember how those headlights that look so ridiculous now were a major selling point at the time. I remember print ads with close-ups of the lighting elements and a parrot sitting on top of them or something. About as logical as the ads for the original Q45.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Yes, I believe the Q45 was the first production car to feature such an arrangement of HiD lamps like that.

    • 0 avatar
      never_follow

      For some reason, I love that headlight projector design, even if the rest of the car around it is utterly terrible.

      The JDM Cima and President are much less homely, though still look like big marshmellows – which is a real shame, because the 2nd gen Q45 was very attractively designed.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Look up a picture of the first CTS’s interior if you want a good laugh. Made of leftover Saab NG900 and Nintendo 64 parts, with a big freakin’ 5.25″ floppy drive in the middle!

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      It seems the consensus is big headlights = dated. That wasn’t my criteria for making my list, but as it happens all of these do have big, tall headlamps, so maybe that’s part of why they look old.

      Cadillac DTS – More than any other car I can think of, this one looks the most like it wandered in from the last millenium, yet it was built though 2011. Even when this car was new in 2006 it looked old. Of course it was just a facelifted 2000 DeVille, but *that* car looked old when it was new, too.

      VW Passat – the model currently for sale has always looked a bit dated, not merely conservative and bland as it’s frequently described. The previous 6th-gen car looked newer.

      Dodge Nitro 2007-’12 – not sure if this looks dated or just ugly.

      GMC Envoy – there were a half dozen rebadged versions of this one, including several from now-orphaned brands (Oldsmobile, Saab, Isuzu), but I’m picking the GMC for a few reasons. Along with the Isuzu, it has the tallest, squarest headlamps. Unlike some of these TrailBlazer variants, the GMC offered that oddly proportioned 3-row extended version, which had a bumped-up roof over the 3rd row and had the proportions of a minivan. And then there was the Envoy XUV; evidently someone at GM thought that since the mid-’60s Studebaker Wagonaire was such a big hit, surely their was untapped demand for a new wagon/pickup truck tweener. It looked just like the 3-row version without actually having a third row.

      – Ford Transit Connect first-gen. Looks more than one generation older than the current model (which I quite like).

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    I think some of your examples miss the point.

    If the car was already very dated in 2007 (Taurus bodystyle was 7 years old, for example), then the fact that it hasn’t aged well is a moot point. Same for Crown Vic and Nissan Titan. Just my opinion.

    My picks:
    Chrysler Sebring
    Honda Crosstour
    Nissan Juke (argument could be made for damn near all Nissans)
    BMW’s coupe CUVs
    Mercedes-Benz CLA/GLA
    Lexus predator grille models (all)

    I think blandly styled cars age far better than most, so the Suzuki Reno is disqualified IMO. It isn’t good looking and no, I have no fondness for it, its just too bland to age at all really.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    might be too old – caddy xlr

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    before anyone badmouths is, the Jag S Type, which I still own and love

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      … and I was glad I scrolled down before mentioning it.

      Yes they’re nice cars, but compared to the XF and ‘new generation’ Jags, the entire 2007 sedan range – X type, S type and XJ look dated.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    The Bugatti Veyron. By a decade. Maybe not completely fair since the concept was made in ’99. But what other supercar (hypercar?) manufacturer finalizes the design before even starting to develop the actual car?
    Hence it looked (and was) over 5 years old before the first one was even sold in 2005

  • avatar
    TMA1

    1. Cadillac XLR. It looked like car that should have ceased production in 1999, not 2009.

    2. PT Cruiser. Can’t believe that thing lasted until 2010. Every time I see one, I can picture the wife saying, “honey, remember when we were cool, way back when the PT Cruiser was hot?”

  • avatar
    raph

    2016 Chevrolet Camaro! It was nice for the 2010-2015 cars with their take on modern retro but the “’69 Maro” look is played out.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Pre-facelift Chevy Trax. Looks like they designed it in 2004 and forgot about it. When I first saw one, my first thought was, “Hmmm…which 2004 Saturn was that?” But no, it was a new 2015 model!

    Mercedes GLK: someone really liked the 2001 Toyota Highlander. Also, the dinner-fork wheels (http://www.originalwheels.com/mercedes-wheels/images/mercedes-glk-class-rims-85276-b.jpg) that 80% of them (base model) came with look like Pontiac leftovers.

  • avatar
    Chan

    Gen 2 Ford Focus. While the RoW moved forward, the American model was an exercise in cost-cutting.

    The unbelievable blankness of the design is especially egregious on the rear lid.

    • 0 avatar

      I actually know the guy that was tasked with the ’08 Focus redesign, he said he was given really strict parameters that he had to follow when he did it, so the end effect was not one of his greatest hits, but those in charge were satisfied.

      For the record, he’s really good at what he does, you would be surprised at some of the things he has done!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    My list narrows down to specific cars, dont wanna list all of Lexus or whatnot:

    1. Toyota Yaris, its okay visually but with its 4-speed auto, 1.5 litre 4 cyl, and its Tercel inspired suspension, the Yaris is still very much stuck in 1995. The latest Mazda-based Yaris only makes the original redundant.

    2. The Nissan Juke will age just as well as the Pontiac Aztek did, ugly, but it will find a cult in time.

    3. Most recent Honda Civic hatchback, which looks much like an older Hyundai Elantra mixed in with Nike shoes.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Allante.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Also, the Mitsubishi Galant that could still be bought new in 2012 looks like one of those “developing world” cars based on a decades-old platform but haplessly festooned with ugly bumpers and plastichrome to make it look “modern”. If I had never seen one, and you told me it was from Paraguay and based on a 1988 Mazda 626, I’d believe you.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    The only car worse than a a Malibu Maxx was the standard Malibu sedan. The exterior and interior of the car looked almost east-bloc quality. These cars were so far behind everything else in the segment that they helped give Hyundai/Kia credibility in the market.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      The only thing that always gave me pause on that generation of Malibu was the shifter. It looked like it didn’t belong with the rest of the interior.

      http://tinyurl.com/gpptd56

      I gave a Malibu SS (because 3900 V6 in midsize car) careful consideration but that shifter!

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The remarkable thing is how much better that generation’s interior was than the previous one. GM really had a hole to climb out of in the ’90s.

      http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/17058633.jpg

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    As a lifelong arrowhead fan the Pontiac G6 particularly the GXP version with it’s walrus tooth like grill and out of proportion rear wing. Not that it was a bad car. The Eplison platform offered a 3.9 VVT which for GM was quite advanced. At least it was not full of body cladding like 90’s era Pontiacs.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    2017 Prius. (drops mic, turns back, walks off stage.)

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    QX50, QX70 hideous vehicles all versions. Updating the name every few years doesn’t change how hideous they look. Rear hatch makes them look like upside down bathtubs. Take a look at an older model. That mess of buttons on the dash look awful.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    2007 Suzuki aerio

    I thought they were rare, but they kept showing up in my body shop and I was always hunting for odd moldings and clips

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    As a counterpoint I offer the 2007 Nissan Murano. Despite the slightly decked hood, à la the PT Cruiser, this car looks organic and interesting ten years on. I have no idea what they’re like to drive or own but the design had legs IMHO.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    How dare you insult my Infiniti Q45. This has been much better looking than anything that Lexus has ever come out with

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      Don’t fret: my 2007 CTS-V is a victim of the fledgling ‘Art & Science’ design language. It looks like the box it shipped in – but I adore it. Also, I can’t say ‘Art & Science’ without yelling the latter word in an English accent.

  • avatar
    davew833

    Current Toyota Prius– because tailfins just needed to come back!
    2011- ish Infiniti QX56.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Over 250 comments and nobody mentioned the Saturn Ion?

  • avatar
    Edsellent

    Pontiac G3
    Chevy Aveo hatchback
    Smart For two

  • avatar
    Grenade

    From the Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery School of Design:

    2007 Kia Amanti
    http://www.velocityjournal.com/images/stk/2007/ki2007amanti20112717m.jpg

    Looks like some design student aped an (already ugly) Jag-you-ah S Type, from memory, while taking Quaalude.

    2008 Jag-you-ah S Type!
    http://momentcar.com/images/jaguar-stype-7.jpg
    Kinda retro cool in ’99 when it premiered, then 9 years later, it looks like a Kia Amanti. Snicker.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    Toyota Matrix – Boring and riced out at the same time

    Pontiac Torrent – If anyone remembers the song from its commercial (“Struggle” by Ringside), it’s aged as well as that song

    Nissan Sentra B16 – Looked like a French car for the third-world. Oh, wait.

    Honda Element (can I get that in there?) – Good idea in theory, but reeks of the era between the ’90s and noughties where some thought everything was gonna go Dave Matthews

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    Couple of marques where their entire range look dated a decade later:

    – Jaguar – X type, S type and last of the ‘old school’ XJs
    – Peugeot – the pointy lights and blobfish styling of their x07 generation hasn’t aged well, the new x08 range seems to be a bit sharper

    I would also say that the Mazda 6 introduced in 2007 hasn’t aged that well, especially as the replacement model is such a good looking car.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    The newest Honda Civic. Does anyone like that strip of chrome across the front?

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