Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I never want to be the 'all-new-car-designs-are-ugly' guy.

Photo by Curtis Reesor.
I never want to be that guy who looks at the latest crop of new car designs and immediately thinks they're ugly. Everyone knows a person like this. "All new cars look the same," or, "All new car designs look like rounded jellybeans," or "If they'd just bring back the original, they'd sell millions." I never want to be that guy. Don't get me wrong, I've been that guy. When the Nissan Juke first came out, I thought it looked hideous, but it actually grew one me.

See, I was looking at some leaked photos of a new car model (that shall remain nameless), and my first thought was that it doesn't look as good as the previous iteration, and that the first generation model from the mid 1990s was the best.

Then I thought—let's face it—vehicles get redesigned. And while not all redesigns are going to be palatable, design changes are inevitable. Personally, I usually try to give the looks some time; allow my mind go fully grasp whatever the hell the manufacturer was trying to get at. Remember the Acura Integra? I used to think the third-generation Integra, with its four beady eyes for headlights and grille-less front fascia, was strange and unappealing. Guess what? I got used to it. Ditto that with a number of models. I'm not saying you have to think the current versions are always best, but there almost always seems to be the knee-jerk reaction to not like the new variant as much as the old version.

People are sentimental about cars. They remember when the original 1988 Honda Civic Si came out, and no other Honda will ever be as good looking (or as light weight and feisty). They remember the first generation Toyota RAV4 when it first came out, and that thing went everywhere you pointed it, whereas the new one is a bloated CUV. Heck, remember the 1957 Chevy? No other car on earth will ever be as good looking. They might as well just bring it back. Right.

Anyway, resistance is futile. And while I won't love every new design out there, I'm really going to give it a shot for a while before simply calling foul. Except for the current Scion xB. The original xB will always be better ...