QOTD: What Car Looks Better in Person Than in Pics?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd what car looks better in person than in pics

The Acura Integra has been generating a lot of conversation since it launched. I finally scheduled one for a test loan, and I am excited to drive it, even though it will be a while before that date (we often schedule cars at least a month out, and two months out is not uncommon).

That said, I haven't been enamored with its looks, at least in pictures.


Nor has at least one other staffer, whose name rhymes with Morrie. But here's the thing -- I've also seen the Integra up close a couple of times now. Once at a local event back in December, and a few times on the street. I find it much, much better looking in person, especially in A-Spec guise with dark gray paint and blacked-out wheels. That's the color combo on the one I saw at the event -- and I think it's the exact car I will be testing.

This happens a lot in this business. Sometimes you see a new car for the first time in photos, not in person -- we can't make it to every shrimp-filled launch event -- and think it's an uggo. Then you get a chance to see it up close at an auto show or on a dealer lot, or one shows up at your door, and you realize it looks much better in person.

The opposite also happens, but not nearly as often. It sorta happened to me with the new Prius -- I dug it in photos but was a bit underwhelmed seeing it in person a couple of months ago.

Anyway, I am sure this has happened to you, too, as a consumer and/or car enthusiast. This phenomenon isn't limited to automotive journalists, though maybe we notice it more.

What car gave you the creeps in photos but turned your head in person?

Sound off below.

[Image: Acura]

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  • Cprescott Cprescott 2 days ago

    I do know that Honduhs and Toyoduhs have a special level of eye irritation when you see them in person. I think it is airborne rolling rabies.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later 2 days ago

      Agreed but you're busting my balls on KIA in a different thread and H/K styling for the most part is equally if not more so atrocious.


  • JMII JMII 2 days ago

    I just got a Santa Cruz and in person its bigger but less edgy then I was expecting. After seeing so many pictures I was imagining this tiny thing but my immediate reaction was in person its taller and wider, even muscular in stance compared to my Dakota. Of course compared to a full size truck its still a mini-blob, but what looks odd in pictures - like the door triangle body line - is hardly noticeable in person. The whole vehicle flows better in person vs its weird vibe in photos. However it looks terrible in white, like a half melted marshmallow. Like most vehicles the gray and pastel colors (mine is a light blue) work well for its body type. It really does look best in the dull green launch / promo color.


    In constrast the Maverick looks like an 80's mini truck that doesn't even register as a new or modern vehicle, its just a boring slab from all angles. I think Ford missed the boat and should have copied more of the Broncos styling cues instead: such as the round lights and fender flares to break up the squareness.

    • See 1 previous
    • JMII JMII 2 days ago

      It was always assumed the Mav would outsell the SC about 4 to 1. After all when you think "truck" Hyundai is not what comes to mind at all. Also Ford has like 3X the number of dealers. The SC stlying (both inside and out) is polarizing. So you either love it or hate it. I'm sure that 90% of people pick one or other based on looks alone.

      And yes Hyundai dropped the ball by not making a hybrid SC. In fact the first question I get when people see my SC is it an EV or Hybrid. When I tell them its a turbo 4 that has more HP and TQ then my Dakota's V8 they are surprised. Even my neighbor who has a Ridgeline didn't know Hyundai sold a CUV-truck-like thing.

  • Redapple2 C2 is the best. C3 next. Then C7 (looking at you jimII).
  • Jeff S Vulpine--True the CAFE rules are for ICE.
  • Gray I grew up in the era of Panther and Fox platforms. If only they developed a good looking two door Conti. The four doors became a cult in their own right. And kept the 351W as a top line option.
  • Vulpine ABSOLUTELY YES!!! Bring back the TRUE compact trucks. The demand for them is far higher than the OEMs want to admit.
  • Brn More likely, with Google having troubles, the money tree isn't as ripe as it once was and cutbacks are needed.I hope the overall industry continues to evolve. When I get the the point I can't easily drive, I would still appreciate the independence that autonomous vehicles can bring.
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