They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some cars offer looks only a mother could love. Aesthetics are extremely subjective, but there are a few cars out there that are deemed atrocious-looking by pretty much everyone with a good set of eyes.
Cars like the Fiat Multipla and the Pontiac Aztec are famous for these very reasons, and it’s kinda hard not to think that these two are even objectively appalling-looking. The ”ugliest car in the world” title is contested by these two ill-favored barges, they are certainly built differently.
Cars like the Toyota Mirai, Mitsuoka Nouera, Nissan Juke, Subaru Tribeca, Chrysler PT Cruiser, and the Nissan Juke are questionable, to say the least. But some multi-million dollar cars made by design-focused brands like the Lamborgini Veneno and McLaren Senna are contentious as well.
At the end of the day, beauty is indeed subjective, so it is hard to say if one is right or wrong. But the aforementioned cars are more often than not topping most of the online ugliest car lists for a good reason.
The Pontiac Aztec is a fairly common sight in the USA, and it seems like a US version of the Fiat Multipla, and it probably is the ugliest common car in the US. It’s fairly interesting as to how this design ever got approved.
The Aztec was released in 2000, and it was made famous by an excentric leading character in one of the most famous TV shows of the modern era. But it’s safe to say that the extended spotlight did not help the Aztec to ever be anything more than downright ugly.
The Fiat Multipla is a fairly popular car, but not for the right reasons. The Multipla is a great family car with a spacious cabin capable of accomodating up to 6 passengers. The Multipla is equipped with loads of cubby holes and cupholders, and the ceiling is incredibly high, but starting a family owning the Multipla is an achievement on its own.
The Multipla was released in 1998, and lots of online sites and car magazines were utterly disappointed that the 2004 restyle of the Multipla no longer resembled a ”psychotic cartoon duck”. The Multipla sold best in Italy, which is rather weird considering that Italy gave us Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini.
The Toyota Mirai is a really interesting car because it’s powered by hydrogen, and is one of the very few popular hydrogen cars out there. But with such a controversial design it seems that the interest in hydrogen cars has only gone down with the release of the Mirai.
The Mirai is weirdly proportioned, the window lines are incredibly high, and the body creases are so pronounced that it seems like the designers just could not decide when to stop styling it. It’s no secret that lots of modern Toyota cars are a bit overstyled, but the 2014 Mirai certainly takes it to the next level.
Chrysler PT Cruiser
The Chrysler PT Cruiser was always a car for only a handful of buyers. The entire ”cheap car looking luxury” Chrysler design language of the 2000s has spawned a decent number of rather unsightly looking automobiles.
The Chrysler 300C was a cheap Bentley knock-off and was bought by people who wanted to fool everyone they own a luxury car. The PT Cruiser took inspiration from cars of the past but combined it with the dullest 2000s design language ever.
The Lamborghini Veneno is incredible. This car is limited to only a handful of roadster and coupe forms, and the starting price was north of 4 million dollars. You’d think that at such a price, beauty was easy to come by, but that’s not necessarily the truth.
This V12-powered thoroughbred supercar is either loved or hated, but pretty much everyone has an opinion on it. And that was probably what Lamborghini wanted, a striking car that is surely going to spark conversation wherever it goes. And they certainly succeeded.
Just to get this out of the way, the McLaren Senna is one of the most capable cars ever to be produced. The design language of the McLaren Senna was highly dependant on aerodynamics, and it’s safe to say that the Senna is more about function than form.
And even though the final result is an incredibly capable car, the design was a bit meh. The Senna is just a bit too fiddly and inconsistent, and the large rear wing certainly does not help either. This is especially obvious if you consider the predecessor of the McLaren Senna, the stunning McLaren P1.
What is the most beautiful car ever made?
Beauty is subjective, but hardly anyone is going to argue the Mercedes 300SL, Ferrari 250 GT CS, Aston Martin DB5, and the Jaguar E-Type when it comes to car beauty contests. Choosing the most beautiful car is a lot tricker than it is choosing an ugly one.
Cars like the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic, Alfa 8C 2900, Jaguar XK 120, Lamborghini Countach are also in contention for the best-looking car ever. But there are so many beautiful-looking cars it is just impossible to choose a single one.
Are older cars better looking than modern cars?
Answering this question is rather hard. But it is safe to say that older cars were not as complicated nor large and that the safety standards were not as intense as they are now. Lots of modern cars are victimized by regulations, and that’s probably why lots of people think we already passed the design peak of cars.
And people tend to appreciate older cars more because they remind us how things once were, a tad bit simpler and less cluttered with technology. Older cars have stories of their own, and it’s not likely this will happen again.
Is modern-day car design a bit too overstyled?
Modern-car design is most definitely a bit too overstyled at the moment. Cars are starting to look more and more similar, and the design identity of lots of manufacturers is constantly changing. Lots of car manufacturers offer the same design elements throughout the range, and it kinda diminishes the specialty of some models.
Pair that with ever more rigorous restrictions and EV technology, car design might even become highly dependant on functions such as range, aerodynamics, and efficiency. This only further reiterates the fact that peak car design is long gone.