Oh, how the mighty among car design have fallen, according to our readers. If not fallen all the way flat on their face, then maybe some automakers have just stumbled into disappointing designs, which don’t live up to their predecessors. Readers mostly seem to agree this is the case with the BMW M Division, which has wrought the BMW XM upon the world.
The BMW XM is the follow-up to the BMW M1, one of the most striking cars ever conceived. Full stop. It’s hard to fault any model that’d have to live up to the M1, and it’s also nearly impossible to separate either the M1 or the XM from their historical context; both cars are undeniably a product of their time.
The time for outrageously-fast EV SUVs is now, so the XM is not as out of touch with reality as it may seem, but that doesn’t make it any prettier. We asked readers what recent redesigns disappointed them the most, and these were their answers:
2024 BMW XM
The dedicated BMW M model
I know what they did, it’s their G-Wagen/Urus, and I understand. Luxury brands apparently need a big crazy SUV in their lineup. I’m just not sure the M division was the right choice, especially as it is slower than an X5M Performance.
Alpina may have been a better option.
Submitted by: Margin of Error
2023 Honda Accord
It kinda looks like an unimpressed sleepy knockoff of something
I won’t say that the previous version was great, it did look better in person but still. Going from “meh- ok Honda” to “meh - I don’t like where VW is going” is disappointing.
Submitted by: FutureDoc
2022 Subaru WRX
The Subaru WRX. So. Much. Grey. Plastic. Cladding.
Submitted by: paradsecar
2023 Volkswagen GTI and Golf
Never was a fan of the MK8 GTI. I always thought the MK7 looked a lot cleaner.
Submitted by: Stephen
As much as the E class has lost any sense of bespokeness since the original W212 and the BMW line as a whole is falling prey to the ever widening maw, I feel like volkswagen and especially the MK8 golf have just gone way too serious in appearance. All of the fun soft styling has been angled and smooshed down to a low, cramped line across the front giving them a general look of a looney tunes character after they got squashed by their own trap and storm off
Submitted by: syaieya
2023 Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover “Defender”. It is just garbage from the ground up. It is just another soccer mom mobile.
Submitted by: skeffles
The new Defender is the best Discovery ever made, but it isn’t a Defender.
Submitted by: krhodes1
Modern BMW Lineup, Overall
BMW’s been disappointing me with their redesigns since 2003... the E60 5-series, E65 7-series, E63 6-series, all absolutely hideous. The E90 was passable. The early years of the F-chassis cars like the F30 and F10 were promising, as they toned down the Bangle insanity for a more conservative style that felt more like BMW, but then with the G-chassis cars the giant beaver grilles came and everything’s been hideous ever since.
Submitted by: dannyzabolotny
2023 Toyota Tundra
The Tundra. Toyota took what was a good looking truck and made it look like an American truck by trying to mash together Dodge and Chevy designs, both of which look awful in their own right.
Submitted by: The Dude
The latest Toyota Tundra. Wash the frog, actual?
And do trucks need sequential tail lights? I saw one on the street yesterday, and I was like, is this the new “Altezza”?
Submitted by: wishous
2022 Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tuscon, the 3rd gen was fine, the 4th gen looks like it has spider eyes in the front.
Submitted by: klone 121
2022 Jaguar F type
Jaguar F-Type. The original design was almost identical to the concept and was perfection.
Minor refresh (something was really lost with those LED headlights):
Submitted by: Nakam
2024 Mercedes Benz E-Class
I feel ya on the E-Class. First impression of it was, ohhhh, dear..... It looks a little better in luxury spec with the more traditional grille IMO.
Submitted by: OutForARip
I absolutely agree with you on the E-class. I would go farther back in model generations to the 2009 W213 when both the E and C class were more often PR-exposed with the SL grille. To begin with, the Classic Mercedes grille has aged gracefully, specially after seeing the latest S-class rendition. The upcoming E has been shown in some press photos as having the Classic grille and it looks proper, the way a Mercedes should look. Wearing the SL grille and its Panamerican iteration should be relegated to special on request versions like AMG and the like; exactly the territory of optic tuners during the days of the standard Classic Mercedes Kühlergrill up to the W124. Another area where Mercedes should return to are the ridged tailights, which look even better and feasible with modern LED application. The upcoming 5 series has rear tail lights with horizontal bands or red, which look like the ridged tail lights introduced in the 70s W116 Mercedes. Lastly, its nice to see Mercedes witty take on the taillights, much like MINI’s quarter of a Union Jack graphic. The E-class tail lights have 2 facsimiles of the 3 pointed star - one for the tail light and another for the brake light - totaling 4. Again, they missed the all important detail - the classic ring around the 3 pointed star. One can argue that the first application of the 3 -pointed star was ringless; on a Mercedes model with the prow shaped 2-sided [2 emblem] radiator of a Benz that first wore the name of Emil Jellinek’s daughter [Mercedes]. Without the ring, the logo could be a redacted Chrysler Pentastar, Mitsubishi 3 point star of worse a Tata Jeep Pentastar. Mercedes’ designer teams seem to be not intensively immersed in Mercedes tradition and its design icons that are just as good, unchanged in concept, 70 years later. I am afraid Mercedes designers have gone farther and farther down the tradition disconnect route.
Submitted by: Tito F. Hermoso
2020 Nissan Pathfinder
I feel like I have answered some version of this before.....
Third gen Nissan Pathfinder to fourth gen.
What did it lose?
What did it gain?
Being mistaken for a minivan
Not even that much better a ride.
I fully expect any replies to also include such classics as:
“The WD21 was the last real Pathy”
“The 2005-2015 Xterra should have been the Pathfinder”
“2nd gen was unibody, but still better than that 3rd gen pig”
3rd gen was a BOF with a monster V6, had low gearing, and could tow 7k.
Sounds a lot like the Bronco everyone loves....
Submitted by: Kyrmdog
2023 Chevrolet Corvette
The new C8 looks great and outperforms the previous generation. But I’d still pick the C7, I think it looks so much better, plus manual transmission and it doesn’t have that weird long row of buttons.
Submitted by: thisismyid2
I am with you on this. I was sitting behind a vette yesterday and objectively it was a handsome car but as a vette, they can do better. It looks to me like a modified vette someone went wild with and no cohesive design to it. Its like a vette pretending to be Italian.
Submitted by: Lee Kilgore
2023 Subaru Outback
Subarus have gotten progressively worse. The Outback is a good example.
Outgoing model was handsome and simple.
New one is a little swoopy and goofy in some places, but I’ll take it.
Submitted by: Amore100
2023 Honda Civic
Maybe unpopular take, But I don’t really like the new Civic design over the last one. It just looks like it got bopped on the nose and it started to get inflamed:
The 2020 front end looked better to me. A youthful look, with a bit of class
Submitted by: darthspartan117
2023 Nissan Z
The Nissan z proto. After all the talk of getting back to the roots of the Z, I was expecting more than what we got, which looks like something of a mid-cycle refresh and short of an actual redesign. I’ve seen the Proto next to the previous 370z, it looks like nicely done aftermarket custom bodywork... and that’s it.
Submitted by: SlickS30r
Submitted by: Golden Ballfield
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