Last week, William Stopford asked us “What Car Commonly Regarded As Ugly Do You Find Attractive“. So now on the flip-side, I ask: Which car commonly regarded as attractive do you find ugly?
I’ll be honest when I say that this is a much more difficult question to answer, because quite simply, it seems like the opinion of a car design generally falls into one of two categories: disapproval or indifference. The number of cars that receive a large amount of overwhelming praise for their looks would appear to be a rare occasion. Nevertheless, there are several cars over the years which despite having received mostly praiseworthy reviews for their styling, I’ve never personally found them remotely attractive, and have questioned the positive hype around their looks.
Ever since the moment I laid eyes on the 2005 Chrysler 300, I was disgusted by it. From its gaping oversized chrome egg crate grille to its overtly blunt front and rear ends, its ridiculously high beltlines to its archaic-looking non-wraparound headlights, not to mention uninspired blocky and slab-sided styling, this car was the epitome of offensive style and poor taste when it came to car design.
Yet for reasons I can mostly never understand (apart from its return to rear-wheel drive and Hemi V8), it seemed like everyone from automobile magazines to everyday consumers alike were showering this car with a high degree of praise for everything, including its macho looks.
An interior that mimicked the exterior in its blocky, uninspired styling and featuring some of the worst plastics used in American cars of the mid-00s only made me question the seemingly overwhelming applause surrounding the 300.
Personally, I always likened the 2005 Chrysler 300 to a pre-packaged version of a car created by Pimp My Ride, or in a less-harsh way, a cheap rip-off of another heavily praised design I find nearly as sickening to a gaudy degree. This of course, brings me to the next car on my list, the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Now I can’t fault the Rolls for its radiator grille, imposing proportions, or immeasurable amounts of chrome because after all, it’s a Rolls-Royce! Cars that cost over $400,000 need make no apologies for using expensive finishes, but that said, I found the Phantom’s design tremendously muddled and like stylists were trying way too hard, even for Rolls-Royce. To be dead honest, I think the Phantom looks a casket on wheels.
Compare that to one of its prime competitors at the time of its launch, the Maybach 57/62, which exhibited far more finesse and grace, despite the general lack of enthusiasm surrounding its general mission in life. Furthermore, turn to the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which is clear evidence that stylists can incorporate historic Rolls-Royce styling cues into an attractive design that doesn’t look like a statue.
Another car I’ve never quite warmed up to is the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Touted as “The car you can’t ignore!”, it certainly was a better, more inspired design than both its immediate predecessors, rightfully earning much of the praise bestowed upon it. And to be quite honest, I did mostly like the design from the side and rear angles.
Yet the generic corporate Chevrolet face grafted on the front end completely ruined the otherwise, mostly elegant design. The boring-looking headlights with their cheap, corporate GM amber running lights (one of my biggest pet peeves of GM cars from this era), ugly and overused Chevy split-grille design, and general shape of the front fascia just all came across as uninspired and forgettable.
Adding to this are two other pet peeves of mine: the gold-colored Chevy bowtie and unattractive, all-too-common GM paint colors I can only describe as rental car colors. It’s truly a shame that designers couldn’t have thought up the face of the 2014 Impala for the 2008 Malibu, because otherwise, it was an fairly attractive car inside and out.
These are just a few generally praised designs I find unattractive. Which car or cars commonly regarded as attractive do you find ugly?