By on September 17, 2017

2017 Toyota C-HR Turkey assembly plant

Toyota has been the brand par excellence in terms of quality and reliability for as far back as many of us can remember. But, as value became its hallmark, someone decided to turn the excitement volume down to a faint whisper — breaking the knob off entirely in the mid-2000s, when the MR-2 and Celica were discontinued. Even with the company’s introduction of the 86 in 2013, its mainstream designs were about as safe a play as one could make.

If you haven’t noticed (let’s face it, you have) Toyota’s styling has changed immensely of late. The automaker has a new attitude and affixed angry gaping maws onto the core brand and added folds to the bodywork we never would have anticipated.

This wasn’t an accident. Toyota is intentionally trying to push the envelope in terms of design and rattle a few cages along the way. Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Co., decreed that boring cars would be a thing of past and has given designers the means in which to accomplish that goal. 

“The era of boring cars, of bland cars and anonymous design is over,” Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer for Toyota and Lexus, told Automotive News carmaker’s global headquarters. “It’s what Akio expects. When the president says something like that, it really allows designers to feel creative freedom.”

2018 Toyota Camry SE and 2016 Toyota Camry SE - Images: Toyota

We’d dismiss this as hype-talk were it not for numerous examples that prove Cartabiano’s point. Take a look at the evolution of the Camry between 2012 and now. It underwent a major facelift in the 2015 model year, followed by a new generation that a lot of us didn’t know what to make of. While its styling has grown on some of us, the operative word when discussing the bodywork is polarizing.

“I respect something that’s new but not perfect, rather than something that’s beautiful but nondescript,” Cartabiano said. “I’d rather be challenged than made comfortable. Polarizing is OK.”

“In the beginning, it was like, ‘Oh that would be cool, but they’ll never make anything like this,’ ” he said of the Camry redesign. “But then, engineering’s getting excited and we’re figuring out ways to do it.”

Cartabiano said that more funding was designated for the Camry’s design, specifically to make desired design elements a reality. In addition to the sweptback c-pillar, Toyota dropped extra coin to ensure multiple bumpers, more wheels, and an optional blacked-out roof for the sedan.

2018 toyota camry xse

“The design budget was increased, and a lot of that was because of [Toyota’s New Global Architecture],” he explained. “We can make this kind of sculpture, but still make lots of product and keep our costs down.

Toyota isn’t the only brand trying to refresh its image, however. Most automakers are continuously trying to bring something new to the table without rocking the boat so much as to capsize it. Honda is also pursuing internal changes as it strives for a more futuristic, angular, and exciting design language — but the jump isn’t as dramatic. Toyota leapt directly into the deep-end of the styling pool, updating the majority of its lineup with Lexus-adjacent grilles and more visual attitude. Even the Yaris has gone under the knife.

Toyota Yaris SE

Meanwhile, the C-HR looks so much like the concept vehicle that is is almost unfathomable Toyota was willing to put it into production.

“That’s a crazy-ass shape,” Cartabiano said. “I think the side panel of the C-HR would look really cool hung on the wall as a piece of art … In the old days, people would have said, ‘That’s a lot of extra cost or that’s a lot of extra time. Let’s take the easy way out.'”

“In the olden days, when we had brand identity, we would just toss it with the next car. It frustrated a lot of us,” he said. “Now we’re not throwing out what’s good. We’re now evolving it … Often, when you design something, you can see the compromise when you see it on the road. But when I see these cars just driving around here, I don’t see compromise. I see purity.”

But is Toyota giving the public more than it can handle?

“Many viewers find the new visual identity bordering on ‘too much, in your face,’ ” said John Manoogian, former General Motors designer and a professor of transportation design at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. “While I believe in standing out and eschewing the bland and boring, they have to be careful in executing this new direction. The sales numbers will tell the true story.”

“It’s almost impossible to miss or ignore Toyota’s products anymore,” Manoogian continued. “It’s so difficult to get a large corporation to understand the importance of design as a strategic tool and a product differentiator. Apple understands this. Mr. Toyoda understands it as well and has unleashed Toyota’s designers to be as creative as possible.”

2018 toyota c-hr

[Images: Toyota]


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74 Comments on “The Rationale Behind Toyota’s Insane New Styling...”

  • avatar

    At least they are trying. After decades of blah, any attempt is welcome. Toyota just didn’t quite succeed. We should acknowledge that they TRIED.

  • avatar

    I guarantee you that the folks now complaining about the latest Toyota styling trend are the very same ones who have been castigating them for the past decade-plus for being boring AF. I don’t mind carmakers giving polarizing styles a try. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But it sure beats boring.

    • 0 avatar

      Nope, I liked the older cars, especially from the mid-90s. Then again, I would take “boring” over garish any day.

      • 0 avatar

        Depends on what is defined as “boring”. Nothing is more boring than CR-V et-al, yet…

        In my view, the OEMs are in a difficult spot. They sell boring in the previously mentioned mini-CUV, and yet they won’t market against the flaws of said CUV with their other products (or the gullibility of the general public) so as to not kill the golden goose. Their response is, let’s make the slower selling products “more exciting” in the cheapest way possible (plastic/sheetmetal) when in actuality neither the FWD transverse car or CUV were ever exciting and never will be since ultimately they are one in the same.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing is – a car can be striking w/o all the weird shapes and/or lines going in every which direction.

      For instance, find the A7 to be a very handsome vehicle; same with the previous gen Kia Optima (pre-refresh) and both have clean lines.

      The 3G TL is still the best looking sedan that Acura has done in that segment – much better than the 4G with the “beak” or the current TLX (esp. with the revised grille.

  • avatar

    There is a middle ground between bland and ridiculous….and I’m not sure Toyota is striking the right balance.

    New Camry, it isn’t terrible. The new Lexus’s however are mostly too much. And after seeing my first C-HR 2 days ago…yeesh, that is just awful.

    Maybe I’m boring, but IMHO the Germans for the most part get it right. Classy yet strong, well proportioned, no in-your-face cues, they just work, look good, and stay classy long into the future.

  • avatar

    Consumers: We’re tired of boring cars with 2.0L 4 cylinders and bland styling caused by FWD architecture.
    Toyota: Increase production of tiny 4 cylinders, increase the bland rear profile of all cars – BUT add stupid looking black plastic tears from the taillights

    Count me as one that was fine with the vanilla styling of Toyotas of yore, they were cheap cars made for cheap people. They didn’t make any attempts to be anything more than they were. Don’t like the boring styling of a FWD 4 cylinder? Don’t be a boring person.

  • avatar

    I suspect whatever weird style they settle on, they expect us to get used to it, the same way we got used to their weird model names. If we could get used to Camry, Corolla, Corona, et al. through sheer repetition, the look of their cars will be deemed normal after a time.

  • avatar

    All good. But where is Android Auto and Apple Car Play?

  • avatar

    Not sure how this will work out. I am worried that like New Balance shoes Toyota might abandon their core demographic by pursuing young and hip.

    Time and sales will tell. I suspect they will do OK not so much because of the “challenging” new look but simply that their main competitor has moved away from their core strength even faster.

    Maybe Mazda or Subaru will pick up sales with their less radical redesigns and platform changes.

    • 0 avatar

      At some point Toyota (and any other company for that matter) has to target a new demographic, their existing demographic is aging.

      • 0 avatar

        But that aging demographic has the expendable income. And as they age there will be even more aging ones coming along. I am not a Toyota fanboy and wish Toyota all the best but sometimes there is a market for just a comfortable pair of shoes.

        • 0 avatar

          You don’t need expendable income to get a Toyota. Unless you live in a bin and are so poor you have to eat your own shoes, you can get a Toyota. Like Kia, Ford, Hyundai, Honda. I haven’t mentioned Dodge or Chrysler, because they are meant for the shoe eating people I referenced earlier.
          If you’re going to compete in “99% of the world can afford our cars” market, being reliable and well made isn’t enough any more. All cars are well made, apart from FCA group machines. You have to be different. And they have to be applauded for realising this. And that C-HR is a fantastic looking thing in my opinion, but I also know people who hate it. Polarising is good. At least people notice.

          • 0 avatar
            Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

            People will buy Toyotas because they are Toyotas, not because of the current styling.
            As long as they always start and don’t break down, the loyalty will continue.
            Still, the pendulum has swung just a bit too far.

          • 0 avatar

            I think you are grossly underestimating how people in my age bracket (25-35, Toyotas main customers because we havent got to the stage of being able to justify purchasing a good car yet) have changed the ways they view cars. Brand is NOTHING to millenials when it comes to cars, brand is important when it comes to tech, apple fanboys, etc. Looks are EVERYTHING. We live in an instagram age where everything is face value, nothing else matters. Thats why absolutely woeful cars like the Nissan Juke sell well, they are utter garbage, but damn, dont they look different, that’ll make me look like an edgy individual in my facebook posts, because, after all, thats all that matters, other peoples opinions.
            Cars are now accessories, to make you look good, to be an extension of your personality, it is now 100% expected that a car is fully reliable, thats no longer an issue, it has to look cool.
            Thats why we will see so many freak cars coming soon (Hyundai Kona, step to the plate). This is the world we live in.
            Style over substance every time, baby. Or perceived style.

  • avatar

    In the “Old(s) Days” GM designers would look at a proposal and say “That’s 100%; let’s go 110%” and you would get a 1969 Toronado.

    Now you get “Hey, we just have to use five-year-old Lexus designs and the idiots will always fall for it”.

  • avatar

    Toyota designers listen to their President, feel the creative freedom…..then get it totally wrong.

    Forget the marketing hype comments that feed this type of article. If they don’t have entrants in segments like the Supra and Celica, with class leading performance to go along with them, but churn out Camrys and Corollas instead, then it doesn’t matter what sharp edged plastic forming they do to cover the things.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly this.

      Pontiac declared, “we build excitement,” during a period where they F-body died, and a Camry had more V6 HP under the hood than a supercharged 3.8 could produce. The same Camry would smoke a Bonneville or Grand Prix. There was nothing “exciting” in GMs sporty brand.

      But hey may, flare, spoilers, cladding, buttons, swoops, and we build excitement!

      • 0 avatar

        Pontiac had its big issues, but there is a lot of reaching in this comment.

      • 0 avatar

        “during a period where they F-body died, and a Camry had more V6 HP under the hood than a supercharged 3.8 could produce.”

        I feel a need to address this heresy.

        The F-body was discontinued in 2002. The MY01-06 XV30 Camry was offered in a 3.0L (1MZ-FE) and later in MY05 a 3.3L (3MZ-FE) V6. Bhp in both models was 194 and 225 respectively, both of which do not exceed the MY96 to MY04 Series II L67 (240bhp) and MY05 and later Series III L32 (260bhp) variants of Our Lord of Eternal Torque. I suggest you spend more time in our Church for such truths, Brother APaGttH.

        “The 1MZ-FE is a 3.0 L (2994 cc) dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine. Bore is 87.5 mm and stroke is 83 mm. Output is 168–194 hp @ 5200–5400 rpm with 183–209 lb·ft of torque at 4400 rpm. ”

        “The 3MZ-FE is a 3.3 L (3310 cc) version. Bore is 92 mm and stroke is 83 mm. Output is 225 hp (168 kW) with 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) of torque in the Camry and 230 hp (172 kW) with 242 lb·ft (328 N·m) of torque in the Sienna and Highlander.”

        “GM listed the engine output as 240 hp (180 kW) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m) of torque, although broad torque span and perhaps conservative rating by GM due to the engine’s temperature sensitivities have established a belief in higher actual output.”

        “The L32 is a supercharged Series III. Introduced in 2004, the main differences between the L67 and the L32 are the L32’s electronic throttle control, slightly improved cylinder head design, and updated Eaton supercharger, the Generation 5 M90. Power output is up to 260 hp (194 kW) in the Grand Prix GTP.”

  • avatar

    German opionate carpaper AutoBild on the sixth generation Corolla: Too boring, nobody will buy it. Seventh generation has round headlights. AutoBild: Too extravagant, nobody will buy it.

    The curse of being Toyota.

  • avatar

    Take my wife (please!). She is the most “common man” consumer of cars you will find. He first criteria for a car is how does it look. Horsepower? Pfft. Acceleration? Meh. How does it look.

    So earlier this year we were looking around at what she would be buying for her next car. Had a pretty wide open field. And I remember getting to the Lexus options and in about a nano-second she said, no way, those things are hideous looking. OK…on to Audis….

    But at the same time I think Toyota is a lot like Apple. Its customers are loyal and will buy anything as long as it has the logo. Toyota’s brand equity is in its reliability. So if the car looks a little out there, as long as it goes 200K miles without anything breaking….it will still sell.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting comment. My wife knows two women in different cities. Both are very stylish & are in design fields. Both were in the market for a luxury SUV. Both loved the way the Lexus RX drove & the upscale interior but rejected that model for one reason – the gaping front facia design. One ended up buying a BMW X5, the other an M Benz GL.

      • 0 avatar

        I read the picture you paint and I wonder how many would survive a genuine difficult situation, such as the aftermath of post-war Europe.

      • 0 avatar

        Lexus new wonder grills are helping sales
        SALES FOR 2015…344,601

        SALES FOR 2017… (est) 290,195

        Oh wait maybe WE MIGHT HAVE A PROBLEM

        • 0 avatar

          Their sales are doing fine on all the recently fully redesigned stuff, it’s the fact that the LS and GS are ancient that hurts the overall numbers.

          The RX and NX combined put up huge #s that any other carmaker would kill for in the luxury segment.

          Once the new LS comes out sales will likely improve though I don’t know if the GS really has a place anymore. They should probably combine the GS and IS into one vehicle and offer it in a hatch or wagon format in addition to the sedan since sedan sales are dying and it’s just too much money to build two different luxury sedan platforms.

          • 0 avatar

            The RX and NX put up big nos. b/c they are cheaper FWD crossovers.

            Same reason why the XT5 has been a huge success for Cadillac.

  • avatar

    people are atomized. always seeking new, novelty, the next viral tweet. there is no brand, no heritage, no consensus within society or industry to help us answer questions of morality, aesthetics, ideal ethics or taste.

    so we look for the new. we crave being uncomfortable and we crave changing the world. it’s how we gauge our success. i interview tech people. big movers and shakers. i ask what motivates them. they always say to change the world, to impact billions of lives. but rarely do they have an idea WHY, or specifically how the world could be better. the toyota designers want to accelerate design change, but don’t know what is beautiful, tasteful, ugly.

    we watch shock-jock news that pretends it’s political commentary, media airs only extremists hyping up their personalities to gain attention, the pink genitalia hats and new genders. you want to flood our social media with selfies constantly so to change it up you have snapchat filters of dogs ears, make weird faces, use different filters. you’re not prettier, just new. if you’re not beautiful, being interesting and new is the only way you’ll get attention.

    people are detaching themselves from “norms” to feel less “anonymous.” companies driven to disrupt and reinvent itself to compete. scorn for the past, tradition, heritage. japanese cars have no historical design language, crib elements/designers from europeans. thus perhaps they scorn that past. now they get to be at the forefront of design by deconstructing it.

    tangent: what separates us is no longer culture, language, creed, religion or national origin. to tech and car companies, we are data points sorted by an algorithm. interchangeable like our cars. cars share the same colors, platforms, tall gearing, tiny engines sourced from the same plants, not named (names have distinct cultural identity/significance) but numbered to signal the driver’s (owner) place in a transitive hierarchy. design doesn’t matter.

    we want to be different, quirky so people can’t judge us within that hierarchy. for instance, a prius is 20k but poor and rich alike have it. anyways i’m rambling and my adhd meds are wearing off. peace

    • 0 avatar
      Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

      We write a thoughtful, philosophical and observant mini-essay, but somehow forget to ever capitalize the first letter of a sentence.
      Pay attention to the details, man, they really do matter.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    These designs are from a company that ran “grounded to the ground”ad campaigns. The B&B, auto writers, and slick car mags will all go “OMFG” it’s hideous!!! Toyota dealers will have all of their salespeople working every Saturday.

  • avatar

    I guess I am one of the few who is a fan of this new Camry exterior styling. I am also a fan of Toyota engineering. What I cannot get over, and would not be able to live with, is the design of the center stack / dashboard. IMO it is disgusting. No sale for me (if I were in the market for a LARGE sedan)!

  • avatar

    Someone is making the mistake that “bold/polarizing styling” equates to “attractive styling”. They are not the same thing. I can point to several designs that are attractive without also turning a large segment of the population off.

    Toyota/Lexus has built up enough reputation for quality that people will buy bland, but you can only push the polarizing style so far to where people will go elsewhere.

  • avatar

    “Exciting” means “tacky” in Japanese.

  • avatar

    I vastly prefer the purity of line you find at VW-Audi to this kind of tortured sheet metal. But others find that purity boring, so to each his own.

    • 0 avatar

      This is why I find that a lot of professional level income earners with families are turning to Subaru’s these days. Your average Youtube commenter will pillory the Impreza / Crosstrek at the drop of the dime, but the vast majority of income earners with families that I’ve met regard the new cars as good-looking and tasteful.

  • avatar

    You know things are getting bad when the outgoing Juke disappears in the crowd…

  • avatar

    Japanese styling was very “fussy” and gaudy in the mid-1970s and into the 80s – think first generation Honda Prelude, Datsun 200SX and F10, Toyota Tercel, several generations of Celicas, etc. and to some degree Toyota seems to be returning to those overdone times.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Probably because for the last twenty years, all of the Toyota conglomerate’s cars got called “boring” in all of the big publications.

    • 0 avatar

      Wasn’t the big knock on Toyotas that they were boring *to drive* more than that they were boring looking?

      • 0 avatar

        Recently rented a Corolla which, to my eye, is goofy looking in a fun way. No issues with its looks. But after a half hour behind the wheel I was desperately wishing to be somewhere else. Sure, it goes, it stops, it turns, but all the while it screams, “why bother?”

  • avatar

    CH-R looks fantastic to me. Too bad underneath it is 100% Toyota economy car. If this had the running gear of a modern day Celica All-trac Turbo, I could see myself in one.

    • 0 avatar

      I wouldnt go as far as to say ‘fantastic’ however I dont mind the way the CHR looks. Further to this, I think Baruth said that some cars look better in some locations… the CHR works in Tokyo Hong Kong Malaysia etc. It doesnt work in Texas the Mid West etc.

      The car’s home is Ginza Shibuya etc.

      I agree the 1.2 turbo we get here is NFG.

      They shoulda went with a 1.6-1.8 turbo.

      The hybrid I dunno, I dont care to know.

      I also feel that in the 90’s Toyota was very US centric in pandering to that market.

      Now they are not.

      The example of the CHR seems to be that its sold out in many Asian markets.

      • 0 avatar


        Also, whatever shapes Toyota could efficiently manufacture in the 90s, are now withing grasp of lower cost Asian competition. The very edgy and sharp, thin, angle shapes they do now, are much more difficult to pull off in mass production. And are also shapes where any slip up in tolerances and overall metal shaping mastery become visible and obvious.

        More than anything else, Toyota’s core strength is sophisticated production processes. Allowing them to go places, including design wise, where others have a hard time following. Which is becoming key in emerging Asian markets, where Toyota is by no means a low cost leader, and where brand reputations and loyalty has not yet had time to form the way it has in Japan and the West.

  • avatar

    I really like the 12 Camry styling. But, when the 15 came, I decided to keep the 12. The 15 Camry was terrible. What were they thinking. Not sure what to think of the 18, but I do think it looks better than the 15 … that is for sure. I have seen a few on the road, and I am not sure. But, I did think the 18 LE Camry I saw driving on the freeway looked much better than the picture of the higher end model in this article.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 jimmyy, the pre-facelift XV50s were underappreciated from a styling standpoint, especially in SE guise. The front end treatment spiced things up without slipping into boy racer territory.

  • avatar

    They’re ugly, and getting uglier with each revision. At some point, and I believe it has reached that point, buyers will flock elsewhere. The good news for buyers is Toyota has had to put some $$$ on the hood to move the ugly ducklings.

  • avatar

    Designers are one thing while engineers are another as the latter focus more on the mechanical aspects while the former focuses on the looks though each MUST work each other and find common ground.

    The designers should all be smacked across the heads and fired. The tear drop shaped center console is hideous and can’t really be replaced. The front mesh grill on the Toyota/Lexus vehicles are just UGLY!

    If the engineers were actually given some free rein, they’d produce more sportier functioning vehicles but actually can’t since they’ll alienate the core audience, the Old Timers who will eventually pass. The younger generation wants some styling and Oomph! Many people won’t buy a Toyota since it’s LONG associated with ‘Old People’ just like Toyota’s management team and engineers who needs to be replaced.

  • avatar

    I don’t think the new Toyota designs are ugly or particularly exciting….polarizing yes. If you are going to go full retard, I think you need to pick something you can build on, something that is truly distinctive, not just loud. Sort of like what cadillac has done with “art and science”. Polarizing yes, but cohesive. I’m not sure Toyota’s new designs have anything that can evolve, it’s sort of a disposable look that I would describe as “a little busy”, but neither memorable nor beautiful.

  • avatar
    George B

    Imagine a world where Mazda6 chief designer Akira Tamatani had access to the design budget of the 2018 Toyota Camry. Then imagine being able to buy Akira Tamatani’s version of a 4 door sedan with the power of the 2GR 3.5L V6 to go with the looks.

  • avatar

    My wife has owned two Toyotas. The new styling is so ugly that she has no interest in ever owning another one.

    When we go to the auto shows, she doesn’t even want to look at the the Toyota or Lexus displays – just so ugly that it is a waste of time.

  • avatar

    We are still driving our 2000 Corolla my wife bought brand new, before we were married in 2003. It is rusty, but it still works, even the a/c. Of course it is not our main family vehicle, but we have no reason to replace it.

    I always think if they still sold the 2000 Corolla, I’d buy a new one. I’m not interested in touch screens, hooking my phone into my car, alloy wheels, pollen filters, electronic gadgets, etc., It’s not just Toyota – the styling of most new reasonably prices cars is now hideous.

    It’s not that we could not pay cash for a new car, it’s just that they are not worth the money – a new Corolla LE lists for almost $20,000 to drive a car that looks like a carp from the front.

  • avatar

    Did Toyota recently aquire Tom Peters? These CHR styling queues are reminiscent of the late great Pontiac Aztec… I could only handle one.

  • avatar

    I realize that looks are highly subjective (one man’s princess, blah, blah), but I’m really having a hard time coming to grips with the wide open grills that are fronting cars these days. Is the rationale purely decorative, or is that much space and air supposed to advance performance somehow? Is it cheaper to manufacture a piece of plastic with so many holes in it? What am I missing with this styling trend?

    • 0 avatar

      Pedestrian impact standards, threeer.

      They started in Europe and, I think, extended here. Cars now have to have a fascia that’s an upright blunt surface of collapsible plastic so they harm pedestrians less if they hit them at low speed. The stylists have been left holding the bag.

      Pretty much the same thing has happened with the sides of cars, too. People decry the impracticality of the huge-wheels fad and the ugliness of the Bangle “flame surfacing” on bodysides, but both are to disguise the battleship height of the sills made necessary so you’re not killed when you’re T-boned by some dim-bulb in an SUV.

  • avatar

    Thanks for the article and the link…now we know who’s ass to kick.

  • avatar

    Someone has got to tell Toyota that design is as much about what you leave out as what you put in. If adding more resources to their styling team just means more grills, slashes, curves, colours, etc. then just don’t bother. How does anyone look at the simplicity of Apple products and then conclude that the same person would also like these Toyota monstrosities?

  • avatar

    As a Toyota customer I am not attracted to the appearance of the new Camry LE.
    When I consider the resources available to Toyota and the visual results, my confidence in the Toyota product is reduced.

  • avatar

    Ugly, ugly, ugly, and getting worse.

    Toyotas have almost always been ugly cars, so adding ‘excitement’ could only mean adding more ugliness.

    But now Honda has completely lost the plot, with fake and drag-adding ‘scoops’ and ‘vents’ at the corners of all of their front and rear fascias. Why?

    This was hated in the 70’s and 80’s, then being called ‘surface excitement,’ before Honda cleaned up their styling, reaching a high point with the Euro Accord (1st generation Acura TSX). It’s been downhill ever since.


  • avatar

    The latest Prius is crazy ugly, but they seem to have toned it down a little for the Corolla and Camry.

  • avatar

    A couple of thoughts.

    Not boring does not equal beautiful. Rather than running away from a heritage of boring, maybe they should instead focus on creating an aesthetic that is beautiful and attractive (like classic Alfas or Maserati or whomever).

    Second, it can take a while to get a design right. I’d argue that Lexus styling, while initially off-putting, has been going the right direction with the LC being just about perfect. The new LS looks good too, predator maw and all. I do think they should have a different design language for the SUVs since it doesn’t work too well there.

  • avatar

    Give it 15 years and they’ll be quaint. Around the turn of the 2000s I couldn’t imagine anything uglier than the then-current Cadillacs, but then the era of all-rulers, weird creases and sharp angles came to Cadillac and those early 2000s models look downright sexy, in my eyes. I’d never buy one, but my eyes bleed every time I see the current crop of whatever-they’re-calleds.

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