QOTD: Worst Upscale Car Design of the 2010s?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

We continue our exploration of vehicular design from the 2010s today. Thus far, we’ve covered the best and worst examples of more affordable car design, following it up last week with the best design among upscale vehicles.

Now it’s time to consider the worst of the upscale.

Just like last week, we have a price range of between $100,000 and $200,000 — enough to cover a broad swath of the high-end car market. Off limits are one-off prototypes and design exercises, as well as custom hack jobs with pavé diamond steering wheels. Production cars are where it’s at today. Have a look at this pricey item:

The standard BMW X6 increased its base price throughout the 2010s, a statement even more true for its M variant. A base X6M cost $89,000 in 2010. That price escalated to $103,000 in 2015 (pictured). Right now, new ones cost $108,600 before any options.

Regular X6 models look bad enough and struggle to define their actual purpose. Is the X6 commodious for people or cargo? Is it efficient in standard I6 guise with 21 combined miles per gallon, or with the M’s V8 version for 16 combined mpgs? Is it as comfortable as a sedan would be doing the exact same duties? Can it go off-road as its X designation might suggest? The answers to all these questions is “no.” But hey, at least it’s 300 pounds lighter than a Chevrolet Suburban.

The X6 is offensive in many senses, from ocular to financial. It easily qualifies in M trim as one of the worst designs from the past decade. Hopefully it’s cancelled soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

What’s your best of the worst selection?

[Images: Bentley, BMW]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 24 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Mar 04, 2020

    bmw 5 series gt or whatever they called their version of the Pontiac Azteck wins the prize for ugly design and overpriced garbage. Acura tried to make the hideous ZDX work with the same formula, but at least it was reliable. Same with the Honda Crosstour. Gen 2 executions of these ideas are much better looking AND more functional - Regal Sportback, Kia Stinger, VW Arteon.... it's a shame that these aren't selling.

  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Mar 04, 2020

    I feel totally bored with most ultra-high-end design, except possibly Ferrari's 2-seaters. The cars all look the same and none of them make me want them. Let me put it this way: if I were a billionaire, my most expensive car at the moment would be an Audi S8.

  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.