Another top 5! So this overcast Sunday I am going to list the 5 ugliest cars…but unlike a lot of lists which include easy targets like the Pontiac Aztec or Ford Edsel, I am instead going to focus on cars which are currently on sale in the UK, and as I have tried not to choose easy targets (such as the Porsche Panamera) it could get interesting…
Subaru Legacy: The Legacy is an excellent offering in the mid-size market…with a classy image, excellent diesel boxer engine and masses of space it has long been a stalwart of Subaru’s range. The last generation also topped this off with a subtle yet sporty looking exterior, but the generation that launched in 2010 gave it a horrific front end akin to an aging celebrity with an over-aggressive facelift. Maybe I am being abit harsh but it just does not sit right with me, and maybe somebody at Subaru agreed because only the estate version is sold here; the ungainlier saloon stays away.
Nissan Murano: An SUV? A Nissan? Have I gone mad? Well despite my love for all things AWD the Murano is one model which has never entirely struck a chord with me looks-wise. The first generation model was different in a just-about-ok way, with lots of chrome and a weird future/retro look it stood out from the crowd. The second generation though, well its front grille has been described in many reviews as ‘a row of teeth’, and its this quirky detail and odd headlamps that I especially take issue with. Despite the rest of the design being non-descript, with a decent front end the Murano could have been moderately successful in the UK, but coupled with the fact that a diesel engine took years to come (and is only a 4 cylinder) it would appear that Nissan is determined to handicap its crossover, maybe as it already has several alternatives in its lineup.
Mercedes ML: Another SUV, and a premium one at that! Well the ML isn’t that bad and may well be a design which ends up growing on me (in fact my attitude has softened since it’s introduction). I get what Mercedes were trying to do by retaining traditional ML styling cues (such as the C pillar) as well as bringing in a softer look, but from certain angles the car looks plain wrong. In particular it’s the rear 3/4 of the car which looks unfinished, probably because the back of the whole car seems to sag and the roofline drops. It’s a shame because the previous ML was one of the most attractive SUVs, and even though the new GL has also lost some of it’s good looks, it at least looks rugged still.
Ford Grand C-Max: I am by no means a fan of any of Ford’s family offerings. The new Escape/Kuga looks too soft and the Focus’ front end is a mess of blandness and weird triangles. Probably the least offensive to my eyes is the standard C-Max, which although tall and ungainly still manages to look cohesive (when it has large alloys anyway). But the Grand version’s styling is a horrible mess and the extra length at the rear of the car looks like it has been welded on after the car was rear ended. Even the purpose of the Grand seems puzzling; the C Max seats 5, S Max seats 7 and Galaxy seats 7 but with more space. The popularity of all 3 would suggest that no more models were needed, but in an attempt to offer buyers something slightly smaller than the S Max with even less space in the rear seats, engineers slapped on a couple of sliding doors to the C Max and that horrific backside. I don’t see many of them.
BMW 1 Series: The 1 series is living proof that there are people so blinded by premium badges that they cannot see how ugly certain vehicles are. The original 1 was near universally derided for its unusual Bangle styling, cheap interior and lack of space for rear occupants/luggage. Despite this the car was a great success, and to be honest I never thought the car deserved the bad press it got, although it seems stupid that alot of customers did not even realize they were buying a rear wheel drive car. With the new 1 Series it was heavily rumoured that BMW would choose to make it FWD, but whilst the fortcoming ‘1 GT’ appears to be be front driven, the regular models have retained a RWD platform. But they did listen in other ways and added more cabin space and quality, to the relief of many family buyers. Maybe the improved interior is why buyers were willing to pay for a car whose front end is so horrific looking, because those mahoosive headlamps just look too out of place for me to even look at a current 1 Series without shuddering. Annoyingly if they were simply to have made them a little smaller and angled the car would look completely fine, but I’m pretty sure they won’t bother judging by the number I see on the road-its one popular car for sheep. Baaaaa -.-
I didn’t realize how many unpleasant cars there were on sale today, and it was hard to get this list down to just 5. Annoyingly the vast majority of models I find ugly are ones which used to be attractive or at least cohesive, yet have been ruined with an over zealous facelift from designers. The poor Punto springs to mind…