QOTD: What Current Vehicle Will Become Dated Most Quickly?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd what current vehicle will become dated most quickly

Today’s Question of the Day is the inverse of one I posited back in March of this year. At that time, we took your suggestions for current vehicle designs which you thought would stand the test of time.

It’s now time to cover the other side of the ugly coin; the vehicles on sale today which will become dated-looking quicker than all others.

Now, I hinted at one example of date-happy design in that original post: the new Land Rover Discovery. My opinion on that particular vehicle hasn’t changed, but the parameters used in suggesting the design won’t age well apply to our question today. Think about these trendy design cues:

  • Sloping roofs
  • Floating C-pillars
  • Increasingly egg-shaped designs
  • Overly fussy detailing
  • Gigantic grille openings

Here are a couple of nominations to start off this celebration of bad design.

Lexus NX

A prime example of all-round wrong. The subcompact CUV segment is flaming hot right now, and Lexus has pulled the NX down from an alien outpost somewhere and shoved it onto dealer lots. The NX has the aforementioned egg shape, is needlessly aggressive, and the grille is huge. All the exterior details have to be fussy, in an attempt to cover up the underlying egg-shaped elephant in the room.

And would you just look at that fat upper lip, hanging out over the front end. The styling is only acceptable at present because of the huge demand for CUVs. In a couple of years though, the NX will be the one of the first to look like old hat.

Nissan Maxima

While the NX narrowly misses the floating roof treatment (the RX is not so lucky), the Maxima embraces it with open arms. The current generation debuted for 2016, and in theory is an attempt to capture the “4DSC” magic the Maxima had through the mid-1990s. But this sporting pursuit has edged the large front-wheel drive sedan into a styling corner.

Flame surfacing and high door sills are front and center, along with a gaping corporate grille, and (on this example) very fiddly wheel design. It’s just too much, and less is usually more when it comes to ageless designs.

What are your picks for the current vehicles most eager to date themselves? (No, not like that.)

[Images: Toyota, Nissan]

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5 of 79 comments
  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Aug 09, 2017

    Retro tends to date rapidly. The 2002 Thunderbird, the New Beetle, PT Cruiser, the 2010 Camaro, even the current Mustang. The Challenger has managed to keep things interesting enough to keep the sales pace up, but will eventually need some new sheet metal design to keep the average buyer interested. The problem with retro is, how do you successfully follow up?

    • See 2 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Aug 10, 2017

      @hpycamper I'd rather have a '57 Thunderbird over an '02 model; the designers only copied one of the old version's features well while including some '56 Corvette lines... which killed the concept. I'm really looking forward to EVs becoming more popular, though. Imagine being able to develop real, unique styling cues again without having to worry so much about fuel mileage. Aerodynamic is good but you lose personality as a result. There are ways to offer personality while keeping most of the aerodynamics. The designers, however, are going about it all wrong.

  • Smapdi Smapdi on Aug 14, 2017

    Here is something I couldn't have predicted I would say. The Isuzu Vehicross is STILL a very attractive design to me. I still want one. I wanted one when I was in High School, and I want one in my 30s now... A fairly radical design for the time but still looks great (maybe it is because of its scarcity?). I put the Vehicross as the survivor of the trio of "MAKE THAT CONCEPT NOW! never mind we don't want it anymore" that were the X90, Aztek and Vehicross.

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