QOTD: Best Standard Car Design of the 2010s?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd best standard car design of the 2010s

As we’ve entered a new decade, I thought it might be time to take a look back at the 2010s and see if, among the largely nondescript egg-shaped crossovers, there were some design gems. The sort of cars that’ll be looked back upon fondly down the road.

Got one in mind?

Before we begin, I’ll clarify that we’re only talking standard production cars today. That means no bespoke cars or one-offs, no design exercises that were cancelled during the prototype stage, and no ultra high-end supercars or exotica. Today’s designs should be relatively attainable; let’s keep their starting prices under $100,000. You know, cars for the common peoplekind, as they say in Canada. The model year of your pick must reside between 2010 and 2019.

Here’s mine:

And isn’t it lovely? It’s the original Audi A7. When introduced in 2010, I recall being very unsure about this new four-door liftback experiment from the conservative people at Audi. As an Audi traditionalist, prior owner of three Audis, and an apologist for their maladies as they age, I’d had a set of characteristics in mind for what an Audi should be and how it should look. Namely, the only acceptable shapes for Audis were coupes with trunk or liftback, sedans, or wagons. And that’s it.

But what I didn’t realize at the time was that Audi was about to go the Same Sausage Different Length approach with its models, standardizing the appearance of even the prestigious A8 along strict corporate design lines. So this new Audi which didn’t fit the mold ended up being, relatively speaking, the only unique design the brand offered. Sameness and crossovers, that’s what Audi was about post-2010.

Then I started seeing the A7 in traffic. I noticed its proportions, sleek shape, and little details. Like how the A7 had different wheels to other Audis, and how the Audi Rings played inside the rear tail lamps. A decade on it still looks great, especially in dark colors. The original A7 is easily my pick for best standard car design of the 2010s.

If you’ve got a better pick, let’s hear it.

[Images: General Motors, Audi]

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2 of 94 comments
  • CRConrad CRConrad on Mar 08, 2020

    "...and how the Audi Rings played inside the rear tail lamps." As opposed to the front tail lamps?

  • Billjimtimbo Billjimtimbo on Apr 10, 2020

    Tough call. I think there were plenty of examples of stellar automotive design throughout this decade. For me, the best-looking sub-100K car to come out in the last 10 years is the current-gen Mustang. The lines and proportions are spot-on. It's been out for 5 years and I still stop and stare whenever I see one on the street. Runners-up: Saab 9-5 (RIP) Mazda 3 hatchback (current generation) Honda Accord (current generation) Volvo V90 (current generation) Lincoln Continental

  • JMII So this pretty much confirms the long standing rumor that the C8 platform was designed for hybrid AWD support. If this is even faster then the current Z06 it will be a true rocket ship. GM was already hinting that even more impressive C8 was coming, most assume a turbo ZR1 but an e-assist AWD package seems more like... and apparently it will be called E-Ray.
  • Tassos the announcement is unnecessarily verbose, aka full of it. Most 'justifications" for the shutdown are shameless lies.
  • Jwee I can post images...?????
  • Jwee @Bobby D'OppoThere is no element of the reported plan that involves taking people's carsSeems like you missed the Southpark reference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAtsMy comment was humor (or humour if you prefer). The city council is not literally taking people's cars, but seems like they wouldn't mind a drop in car ownership. More cyclists! Less pollution! More public transport! A £70 fine per violation! Surely if they came out and said "we are going to take your car", they would get a very stern letter written to them in the strongest language possible, or perhaps even called a bunch of rotters. I am all for good transport networks, but this is just a terrible plan. Visit Amsterdam, and study how to manage traffic skillfully in a dense, medieval city, with no traffic cameras whatsoever, with first rate public transport, where pedestrians, bikes, boats and cars coexist.
  • Tassos with 170k+ miles, and over 15 years old, this vehicle has had a full life. Maybe it's time for the scrapyard.