QOTD: What Styling Quirk Gets Under Your Skin?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd what styling quirk gets under your skin

The other day, we talked up the things that annoy us about the cars we own; today, we delve into minor annoyances seen only in a few fleeting seconds. The model you don’t own, but are forced to live with on the roadway. Perhaps you’ve never even driven one.

While those other drivers may have a laundry list of gripes with their vehicle, it’s likely of no concern to you. You didn’t drop money on it. You’re just observing from afar — and not liking what you see.

Specifically, we’re talking styling gripes. Everyone’s a critic, and automotive design teams have provided each of us with a buffet of decisions worthy of criticism.

It doesn’t have to be big — just something that annoys you each and every time you see the offending car.

For the record, this writer takes no issue with the styling of Ford’s Ranger pickup. It’s quite attractive. No, in this case, a new addition to the crossover landscape is a prime candidate for scorn: the BMW X2. A number of drivers in the snooty neighborhood to the north have decided this subcompact CUV is just the thing to advertise their inclusion in the six-figure club.

And boy, does it advertise.

In addition to the usual propeller badges adorning the front fascia, liftgate, and each wheel, for some reason Bimmer decided to slap a couple more on the C-pillars. From afar, they look like the world’s smallest opera window. Up close, it’s an overload of badging. It seems the brand’s entry-level crossover is insecure, requiring it to loudly proclaim its German pedigree. How gauche.

All right, B&B, what model currently on the market is worthy of a little design denigration?

[Images: Ford, BMW]

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  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on May 26, 2019

    The universal tail light. Those horizontal strips that first appeared on the Edsel, then the mid 90s Contour, Cavalier,Corolla,Buick LeSabre, Sonata, Optima, Focus, Fusion, Lincolns, Acuras, Nissans, Mazdas. Continuing it's incomprehensible riot of lines, angles, curves, horrible roof line and DLO fail + and overall hideousness: the Hyundai Veloster. Add that new Toyota thing and the Prius. Eye sores, total eye sores.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jun 04, 2019

    1. Any car with red rear turn signals. STOP IT. It's garbage design that reduces safety. Germans, I'm looking at you...you actually KNOW better and you would never do this crap in your home market. 2. Even worse, any car with f-ing FAKE clear or amber rear turn signals that are NON FUNCTIONAL, with turns actually being indicated by the red stop lamp. STOP IT! It's garbage design that SERIOUSLY reduces safety and it should be illegal. GM, I am looking at you. Absolutely, completely, scandalously 100% inexcusable. 3. Any car with turn signals integrated into the headlight housings, such that the glare of the headlights or DRLs obscure the flashing turn signal. COME ON, MAN. It's garbage design and it reduces safety.

  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?
  • Inside Looking Out Toyota makes mass market cars. Their statement means that EVs are not mass market yet. But then Tesla managed to make mass market car - Mode; 3. Where I live in CA there are more Tesla Model 3s on streets than Corollas.