New-Car Styling Details That Drive Us Mad

New-Car Styling Details That Drive Us Mad

Car design is a subjective business. One man’s Aston Martin could be another man’s Kia Amanti, but often it’s the little details that can really decide whether you’re going to love or hate the look of a certain car.

Aerodynamic conventions observed to maximize fuel efficiency and the need to comply with safety regulations means many cars look fundamentally similar in shape and proportion, so automakers rely on lights, grilles and odd bodywork quirks to help us tell them apart.

But while some of those try-hard details, like the BMW 4-Series’ grille, will have half of us gushing with praise, they’re just as likely to turn the rest of us off. Which new-car styling details drive you mad? Take a look at this collection of subjective design flourishes then leave a comment to tell us the ones that really grind your gears.

Subaru WRX

Related: Square Steering Wheels Are A Questionable Design Trend 

The 2022 Subaru WRX’s controversial crossover-style black plastic fender trims seem to have won as many admirers as haters, but most people seem to be united in their dislike for the big black diaper that serves as a rear bumper.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz

VW’s ID. Buzz electric retro minivan is a cool thing, but we’d love to get an automotive beard trimmer and buzz off the weird lower bumper plastic that makes white versions look like Santa Claus wearing some kind of medical facial hair net.

Genesis GV70

Between the Bentley-esque grille and strange bisected headlamp arrangement there’s plenty to catch your attention on the nose of the Genesis GV70. But you won’t even notice either once you’ve spotted that the hood looks permanently ajar.

Land Rover Discovery

An offset license plate has been a hallmark of the Discovery’s rear styling since the model was first introduced in 1989. But back then it made sense because there was a spare wheel bolted to the rear door. It still looked okay on the later LR3 even though the wheel had migrated below the trunk floor because the rear window had a dogleg shape. But applied to the current Discovery it just makes the back of the Brit SUV look like it’s suffering from Bells palsy.

Aston Martin Vantage

The 2018 Vantage’s radically different face caused a huge stir because it dropped the traditional vaned grille for a moodier mesh version. We actually like the new look, but aftermarket company Revenant Automotive was quick to come up with a replacement bumper/grille combo for buyers who preferred the face of older Aston Martins, and now Aston itself offers a choice of grilles at the point of order (pictured above).

Ford Mustang Mach-E

If we’re bitching about grilles it would be all too easy to head straight for BMW, but there are so many controversial ones it’s difficult to know where to start. So let’s take a pop at the Ford Mustang Mach-E instead. Is it just us, or does that annoying partially cut-out grille look like one of those handle holes on a cardboard box that’s begging to be folded over?

What are your new-car design hates? Leave a comment and let us know.

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