RAC Cars News


Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

By raccars Published

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Some cars are so beautiful that they become cultural icons - see the Jaguar E-Type - or so cute and funky that they come to embody the spirit of a generation, such as the original Mini or the VW camper van. While taste is a matter of opinion, there are also some cars which are, by almost universal agreement, downright ugly, ungainly or awkward looking.

Mini Paceman

Alec Issigonis would no doubt be horrified at the butchering of his iconic Mini into this lumpy SUV/city car crossover attempt. This showed Mini trying just a little bit too hard to stretch the success of its brand. See also the Fiat 500L, which has followed the Paceman's lead, with disastrously ugly consequences.

Jeep Cherokee

From the boxy workhorses of previous generations, Jeep Cherokees have become successively curvier. While this is, in theory, a more modern look, it also lacks a lot of the angular earlier cars' retro charm. Newer models are more luxurious but look ungainly and dull next to the rugged, macho appeal of old Cherokees.

SsangYong Turismo

Frequently accused of making the ugliest car ever in the Rodius, the South Korean brand is living up - or down? - to its reputation with the Turismo. The well equipped and spacious MPV fortunately does have some merits to recommend it, but there's no denying it has a face for radio.

BMW 5 Series GT

The German giant has previously had great success at melding automotive segments but this saloon/hatchback/estate mash up is not only unattractive but also impractical. What was BMW thinking?

Porsche Panamera

Design has always been crucial to the Porsche brand and, sadly, the otherwise excellent Panamera is let down by its uncomfortable looking back end. Plenty of buyers have overlooked this awkwardness as the Panamera sells well, but let's hope the next generation model sees designers reimagine it with some grace and style.

BMW i3

The clever i3 has been revolutionising the electric vehicle market, offering an everyday usability previously lacking. However, it demonstrates none of BMW's usual restrained elegance, almost resembling a Smart car.

Citroen C4 Cactus

Its funky originality, practicality and excellent performance seem to be helping buyers overlook the fact the Cactus looks like someone has stuck a couple of sheets of bubble wrap to its sides. Designed to protect the body panels from those annoying bumps and scratches that occur when parking next to other vehicles, those clever little panels have, nonetheless, divided opinion among the automotive fashion police.

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