QOTD: Which Current Vehicle Has the Most Timeless Styling?

qotd which current vehicle has the most timeless styling

Ahh, style. The word that means different things to different people. The khaki-clad middle manager and the 20-something hipster from Seattle both have a sense of it, even if wildly divergent. And this equally applies to cars.

For example, though many of the B&B complain about how all cars look the same now, I don’t think that’s true.

Your assignment today is to think about present-day exterior styling as applied to cars, and come up with a suggestion that’s suitably timeless.

Not all vehicles age as gracefully as others. The hot trends of the day don’t always translate well into the new dawn of the next decade. Check out the gone-soft styling of the new Discovery in the headline image. It’s a current example of what not to do. The blocky and upright design lineage of Discovery generations I-IV is gone in this new iteration. The floating roof, hiked-up rear belt line and obtrusive C-pillar are all things which won’t look great in a decade.

Keeping with this SUV thread, I’ve got a timeless design in mind which proves me right. Look at this.

The magnificent solid block of metal you see above is the Infiniti QX4, which had its last model year in 2003. Three-spoke wheels, xenon lamps, wood trim [s]and brougham stuff[/s] — it was and is excellent. I propose this vehicle still looks great today, a full 14 years later. But what about a vehicle from the same year which has not aged so gracefully? I’ll be fair and use another midsize, semi-premium SUV.

And here it is: the 2003 GMC Envoy. Though these two vehicles are similar in many ways, right down to metallic beige paint and wheel design, the way they’ve aged is entirely different. The Envoy is a classic case of a design lacking in timelessness. This particular case is unusual, since the Envoy is largely made of straight lines, and doesn’t feature any of the swoops or flame surfacing which generally serve to age cars more quickly.

But neither of these (now ancient) examples are current vehicles, which is where we focus today. Time to put on our thin-frame designer spectacles. To your mind, what are the timeless designs you can go and purchase in North American showrooms in 2017? What’s your best bet if you don’t want your car to look all Envoy in a few years?

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  • King of Eldorado King of Eldorado on Mar 16, 2017

    The 2003 QX4 is a good example of timelessness, except that C-pillar-mounted rear door handle bothers me all out of proportion.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Apr 15, 2017

    Out of all the vehicles; the Mercedes Benz G Wagon has aged the best! It been a consumer item since 1978 and looks exactly the same! Of course; you have to have around $125K+ to buy it not including sales tax and registration fees! But it looks still fantastic! How many vehicles can you say that about?

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.