I used to mock the BMW X6. You may have noticed that, in some of my earlier pieces on this site, it was my go-to example of an ugly car. I thought it was an affront to good taste and utterly pointless. Well, I still think it’s pointless and I still feel it makes no sense to pay more money than an X5 to get less practicality. I still find the whole notion of a coupe SUV laughably absurd. But I no longer find the X6 as hideous as I used to, and there’s one good reason.
Mercedes-Benz made an even uglier coupe SUV. Two, actually. The GLC Coupe and GLE Coupe are late to the niche BMW started but have managed to out-ugly it so thoroughly, it’s made me re-evaluate the Bimmer’s styling and in turn made me appreciate it a little. Heck, I even found myself gazing appreciatively at a couple of X6s this week. Maybe I… *gasp*… like the design now?
(clockwise from top) X4, previous X6, 3-Series GT, current X6
Would I buy one over an X5? Hell no. But I actually prefer the X6 and smaller X4 fastback SUVs to some of BMW’s other weird, niche, gap-filler models like the 3-Series GT. But as much as I and many others mock those, too, kudos to BMW for selling $60k hatchbacks to Americans. Who could’ve seen that coming?
While we’re talking Bimmers, I recall hating the E65 7-Series. Yeah, a lot of us bashed Chris Bangle back then but now I appreciate how he shook up BMW styling. It would have been quite easy for BMW to endlessly re-tread the same basic design language for years, like Jaguar did. Bangle’s designs weren’t pretty but they were bold and many of his design elements were widely copied. And today, I find the E65 7-Series and E60 5-Series very desirable.
I can say the same about some other controversial designs, like the final generations of the Honda Prelude and Toyota Celica, and the facelifted 2011 Lincoln MKX. I found all of these ugly when they were launched – perhaps in large part due to their prettier predecessors – but now I like them all.
So, tell me: is there a car that you once found repulsive that you now actually like to look at?