Sunday, July 22, 2012

10 boring cars: neither attractive nor ugly

Acura RL / RLX
When Acura released images of the new RLX, I was disappointed. I think the swoopy character line on the sides is homely, and the rest of car is undifferentiated from a lot of the other midsize luxury cars on the market. The RLX made me think of some other cars that are neither good looking or unattractive, but rather boring. Click through for 10 examples.

Acura RL
1. Acura RL: As mentioned in the intro, I've never understood where the RL fits in. The design is completely dated, and could have potentially looked cutting edge 10 years ago. It's a perfectly capable car, but probably not what Acura executives would prefer to be their flagship offering.

Lexus ES
2. Lexus ES: Yawn...the ES is soooo boring. The first-generation model had cool taillights that looked like a baby LS, but the current model looks more like a tarted-up Camry than ever. The average ES-owner is probably well into retirement age (not that there's anything wrong with that!), and reviewers consistently describe how bland the ES's performance and handling are.

Audi A8
3. Audi A8: The Audi A8 is by no means ugly; in fact, it is quite handsome. However, it does not have the excitement that the S-Class or 7-Series have. The A8 is actually a fairly boxy design if you think about it. What makes the A8 work are the subtle curves, technology, and, frankly, the Audi logo. I would love to own an A8, but it is not the first car that comes to mind when I think "excitement".

Honda Pilot
4. Honda Pilot: My guess is that Honda saw the success of the Jeep, Hummer, and wanted in on the action. While the resulting Pilot is similarly boxy, it is by no means rugged or cool. It is extremely bland and devoid of character. Not ugly, just boring.

Toyota Corolla
5. Toyota Corolla: Ugh. Renting a compact car and winding up with the Corolla is like drawing the short straw. Everyone knows someone with a Corolla. They are endlessly reliable, last forever, and capable enough to handle the average person's daily commute. However, that makes the Corolla ubiquitous, and it happens to be a boring design as well! When the current generation first came out, it was stylish, but Toyota hasn't made enough changes over the years to substantially update the car, and the competition has certainly caught up.

Dodge Journey
6. Dodge Journey: Everyone's heard of the Dodge Durango, but most people haven't heard of the Journey. The interior was never up to par, but there is something too "dainty" about the exterior. I don't know what it is...maybe the chrome accents? Taking a step back, the design looks more like a minivan than a rugged SUV. It's not ugly, but falls through the cracks because of its run-of-the-mill style.

Kia Forte
7. Kia Forte: Most of Kia's current lineup is, dare I say, exciting. Cars like the Optima, Elantra, and Sportage have brought Kia's reputation to a new level. The Forte was the first car to preview Kia's new design language, but compared to the others cars I just mentioned, the Forte looks tame in comparison. It is a good design, but there is not enough going on for the Forte to resonate in people's minds. Hopefully the next model will inject some more uniqueness.

Nissan Altima
8. Nissan Altima: As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't understand the Nissan Altima. Unlike the Fusion and Sonata, both of which are beautiful designs, the Altima is blobby and disproportioned. In 5 years time, it will blend in on the highway, just like every other previous Altima has.

Scion xD
9. Scion xD: The Scion xB has always had a cult following for its boxiness. The tC is a cool coupe with lots of standard features. However, the xD makes no sense. It costs about as much as the xB, but is smaller and isn't as distinct looking. The xD replaced the xA, which also prompted the question, "what's the point?"
Subaru Forester
10. Subaru Forester: I understand why people - especially in the Northeast - get Foresters. They are good in the snow and have plenty of room to store things in the back. However, it is so nondescript. Some people call it an SUV, others (like me) call it a wagon, so it's stuck somewhere in the middle and suffers from weird proportionality.


  1. the S8 needs to be on the list of best sedan in the world...not the most boring 10...Drive one do not do this car has presence that everyone needs to feel in person before buying anything else. Mercedes and bmw have no match to this car for 2013. Wait for the shootout results.

    1. Thanks for your post! The A8/S8 is clearly an impressive car with awesome technology, etc., etc. That's obvious. Realistically, the Top 10 boring cars list could have been Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Chevy Impala, etc., etc., etc., but that would have been a boring, predictable post.

      The reason why I included the A8 on this list is because compared to other $80k cars, the A8's exterior styling is not as expressive. From afar, a non-car enthusiast would have trouble distinguishing between the A8 and A6, whereas (in my opinion) the S Class is fairly unique compared to the E or C Class, and the 7-Series vs. the 5-Series. Many people buy the A8 precisely in order to blend in (and I can understand that)...because it is a safe, conservative design. Nothing offensive, nothing groundbreaking, that's all.

      I haven't driven an A8, S-Class, or 7-Series, so I can't comment on how it drives in comparison, but that wasn't my point here.

  2. Don't know if it was your intention, but, the cars get uglier from top to bottom (1-10). These cars are so boring, I think this is the first time I have ever seen them! If they are on the road I have not noticed them at all.

    1. Ha! That wasn't my intention, but I agree...

  3. Did you notice they are mostly asian cars? These are the exception to " bizarre asian styling ".