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Old 28th August 2014, 22:17   #196
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Speaking of Maruti, the latest from their stable is quite a looker compared to the previous gen. I am just loving this old school simplicity.
The SX4, I am not too much a fan of in the design department, but that's just me. Now the Ciaz, that's something to look forward to indeed! Was that pic taken during the road trials?

Last edited by Rehaan : 1st September 2015 at 16:34. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 29th August 2014, 00:02   #197
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
Since you are aware about it at the back of ya mind, I really don't have to say much. Dolphin shape sucked. Nah. No negotiation here. Sorry. It sucked big time. Even if looks are objective, it sucked! No offense s_pphilip, I just cant stop saying that it sucked! hehe Sorry but that is no way to evolve from a perfectly good looking car!!
I completely sync with you Ajay, I never meant the dolphin shape was a head turner as in that progression, the arrow shape was better turned out. See that's the problem it faced, it was always compared with the really neat Type 2, you couldn't help it as they wrecked a beautiful design outright, just like the original Zen and then Estilo, they just plain ruined it.

But though radical and different, the design separately was better put together than a whole lot of bad designs we see in the form of the Xcent's, Dzire's and others. Being the first car to sport this sort of design language did not help either.

It was in your face design back then, but now it seems to be the trend, my point is compared to some of today's cars the NHC face lift was still better looking than current peers, angular, okay proportions, arrow shaped with minimum curves and cuts.

Today we have started to accept such designs and find the current cars approachable as they are surrounded by several similar absurd designs. Are we equally critical of the current designs, not as much as we love to hate the NHC design, when current ones have left the NHC far behind.

Last edited by Rehaan : 1st September 2015 at 16:35. Reason: Adding some paragraph breaks for readability!
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Old 29th August 2014, 00:17   #198
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Default What happened to good looking cars?!

Don't know what you guys are talking about but in my opinion- the 2nd generation Honda City started this trend of 'poorly integrated boots on hatchback' designs. It is one of the pioneers that led us to eventually need such a thread. Although the Indigo sedan beat it to the Indian market. I still remember one of the automobile magazines commenting that- Indigo has got a weird boot integration that customers may not like, but then the segment leader Honda City is soon going to come with an uglier shape making even this look better.

City (2nd gen) sold purely for that quality interiors and a frugal motor, looks was never its big strength! Yes, modern designs may have some bad cars but that doesn't make another bad design any better.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 29th August 2014 at 00:20.
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Old 29th August 2014, 00:36   #199
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Amaze is one car which looks more proportionate than others and if one wants a diesel , then its not available in its hatchback version so its kindof the only option people are left with. I personally don't recommend any of these compromised sedans to anyone , and whole heartedly recommend their hatchback versions to anyone who asks.
Me too, of that quartet, I find the Amaze finished proportionately at least, almond eyes, angular shape and cuts, though I find all of them a compromise of sorts, agree with all here, it is better to get a full fledged hatch or sedan than a botched up attempt being neither.

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It is one of the pioneers that led us to eventually need such a thread.
Yes, modern designs may have some bad cars but that doesn't make another bad design any better.
All these made for developing world cars, seems like from the design phase itself they get these budget cuts & time constraints, that's how these products feel compromised.
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Old 1st September 2015, 09:51   #200
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Default Where are the good-looking, timeless, affordable cars?

Well, this has been a gripe of mine for long. Lets set a cap of a million rupees!
10 lac, for the Coma-tically challenged (self included).

What I want to know is what has happened to all the good looking cars in this bracket?
If you want a car that looks good, you've got to head over to space occupied by the cars costing twice as much, maybe more.

I am not talking about cars with character, but cars that will not look like "What the hell was Maruti thinking with the classic?" levels of absurdity.
In the last 10 years, there has been a steady shift from a normal package with some bells and whistles, to gawky designs, sometimes ugly....ok, mostly ugly, loaded with chrome, touchscreens, and electric motors, and stickers.

Sure, a fluidic Verna, a brio, an xcent, all look good now, but can someone truly say that they will look like good in the morning 5 years from now? Everybody I know, and here too, buy their cars with this point definitely on the list: " Resale after 5 years would be....?"
And in the name of resale, we pick up dzires, Amazes, Alto 800s etc.
Request owners to not take offense, but you know they are not lookers, right? They will not age well, as in grow on you, because of this tremendous starting deficit.
When a car "ticks all the boxes", you can be sure that not all boxes are 100%.
If you go out and buy a sub 4 meter sedan, and you want a decent looking one, you should pick the aspire. But you wont. Because the ford will not give you at least half your spend back 5 years from now.

Which takes us a bit back in time, without even going into the previous century. The OHC, the Fiesta S, the Zen, old alto, and their ilk.
Not very loaded cars, and I am not talking about driving characteristics or power or mod-ability. That's the scrumptiousness of the excellent mutton dish you ordered. I am talking about how that dish looks even before you've taken a naan to the dish. How the chef has presented it on the plate.

Its amazing how some 10 year old cars, maintained well, still look like they're good for at least another 10.
They may be horrible on the inside, with windup windows, but will always have you look back at least once after parking, if you have ever sniffed petrol.

Now I am not one with much exposure to the 20L+ vehicles, but I do believe that when you have a customer who's plonking down big bucks for your product, you will not do a Fluidic theme, or a zany Celerio like design.
(Except for DC. He can do what he wishes.)
You'll not only put in the best gadgets, but you'll also have people designing the cars to look good to a focus group. Which is why you get proportions that click, which is a pre-requisite for a good looking car, isn't it?


I am not trying to get into any arguments, and most of the examples were thought of while I wrote this. So please do not take offense.
Just to disarm with self deprecation, I have a dzire, a tucson and a fiesta.
And the fiesta does still look good, ample, juicy!!
The dzire is a point and shoot. The tucson, though she has oodles of character, just looks zany. It'll last, but not like Ashley Judd, but Helen mirren.

Last edited by mayankk : 1st September 2015 at 10:07.
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Old 1st September 2015, 10:30   #201
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Default Re: Where are the good-looking, timeless, affordable cars?

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...king-cars.html (What happened to good looking cars?!)

Same discussion that's been going on, although it lost steam midway. Agree with you on the design aspect- there are only few cars in the market today (specially under the million rupee segment) that have given prime importance to design. Swift, Ecosport, Linea classic, VW Polo etc being few rare examples.
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Old 1st September 2015, 11:18   #202
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Default Re: Where are the good-looking, timeless, affordable cars?

Hi.

Appreciate the point.

It looks that the companies are treating "good looks" as a product differentiator. They are snatching away the good looks from budget cars and giving it to us only if we pay them more.

I still appreciate the looks of my Maruti 800 of 1996 (sold in 2011). After 1996, Maruti kept on degrading the looks of this car with every facelift, IMO. And I kept on wondering why they do not understand what looks good.

Not that they do not understand. I think, this is contribution of business brains.

Thanks for bringing this to our notice once again!
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Old 1st September 2015, 11:50   #203
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Default Re: Where are the good-looking, timeless, affordable cars?

If you go to carwale, and ask them to recommend a car too you, under 10 L, they have sliders built in the search, for styling, mileage etc etc.
And the default option for styling is "1".

Most designs nowadays look so busy, that shoulders, haunches, and lines are ignored.
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Old 1st September 2015, 14:37   #204
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
Since you are aware about it at the back of ya mind, I really don't have to say much. Dolphin shape sucked. Nah. No negotiation here. Sorry. It sucked big time. Even if looks are objective, it sucked! No offense s_pphilip, I just cant stop saying that it sucked! hehe Sorry but that is no way to evolve from a perfectly good looking car!!
+1 to your views. The 2nd generation Honda City is the worst looker among the series. The first and third gen were the best. The fourth looks bad only from the front, IMHO. But the inside of the 4th gen is the best and roomiest. The 2nd gen was also roomy.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 05:03   #205
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These days drawing boards are dominated by engineers rather than the creative type in pursuit of space efficiency, lesser CoD, more cost saving options, lesser parts/skus etc. No wonder most cars are getting uglier
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Old 30th April 2016, 21:27   #206
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Default Auto Design - Form and Function

Of late, I have started wondering if the Japanese carmakers are taking a backseat to the rest of the world in terms of design - both inside and out. While my observation is limited to cars that hit Indian shores, but when you do look at the US and European markets, the observation seems to hold true. I know looks are a judgement thing, but perhaps there is some common ground here. I am sure most of us would agree that the Chevy Enjoy didn't turn too many heads.

Take cars from different companies in the same class. The newly launched Honda BR-V vs Renault Duster or Hyundai Creta. The BR-V is the least appealing of the lot. The interior looks confusing both from a looks perspective and a functionality point of view. Look at the Toyota Innova Crysta. I actually think it looks worse than the outgoing generation. In contrast, look at the new Hyundais, VWs and Skodas. They have little in common when it comes to design philosophy, but they all appeal.

Going global, look at the Mazdas. By all accounts, they make some of the best cars on the planet (overall value-wise). While they seem to stand out in a crowd of Japanese competitors, they don't seem to measure up to the Europeans or even the Americans, design-wise.

Is this a personal taste thing or are there others who have the same opinion?
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Old 1st May 2016, 17:56   #207
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Default Re: Auto Design - Form and Function

Yes, it's true. Japanese are known to prioritize function over form, and it shows in the way they package their products. When it comes to design, they tend to adopt a "please most, offend none" policy. Have we ever heard of a defined "design philosophy" (for example, Hyundai's "fluidic") adopted by any Japanese maker? Or do they follow a uniform "family look" across their products? Nope. They adapt and cater to the masses based on the segment they operate in. Consider Suzuki's example: Wagon R (very neutral, boxy looks for the small family), Swift (Slightly sporty, targeted at young adults) and even the recent Brezza (tall, squared off SUVish looks, the current trend). The list goes on. You can never find anything in common between a single manufacturer's products design-wise.
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Old 1st May 2016, 18:28   #208
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Default Re: Auto Design - Form and Function

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Japanese are known to prioritize function over form, and it shows in the way they package their products. When it comes to design, they tend to adopt a "please most, offend none" policy.
Agree. Mostly the designs are predictable, not totally out of the box. And they don't offend anyone, almost.
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Old 1st May 2016, 19:28   #209
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Default Re: Auto Design - Form and Function

This Japanese cars " don't offend anyone" thing might have been true five years ago or so but not anymore. Look at Toyota for instance. Their history is full of boring and bland looking cars, especially in the late 90s and early 2000s. Now though, it seems that they've gone nuts and are turning out some hideous looking cars whose styling is way too busy. I couldn't believe how someone could come up with a car as ugly as the new prius?
Mazda currently has one of the best design languages in the world along with Renault,jaguar,Alfa Romeo,citroen and Ford.
I think German cars are quite overrated for their design. Their "understated design " excuse can't hide the fact that they look quite boring. Mercedes is as of now an exception but look at Audi's or VW's. Their styling is very predictable, unexciting and often just too slow to evolve. The last two generations of the golf look very similar,don't even want to talk about Audi here and now Porsche hasn't done any changes to the styling of the 718 so that to me is basically a turbo facelift of the now long in tooth Cayman.
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Old 1st May 2016, 21:23   #210
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Default Re: Auto Design - Form and Function

I reckon it's a cultural phenomena. Europeans generally tend to have a flair for good design and it reflects in their products. Japanese have tried to emulate Europeans in the design department and have had little success. That could be the reason for Asian manufacturers to open satellite design studios in Europe - Toyota in France, Hyundai in Germany, Nissan in the UK. These European studios hire European designers to cater to the European market. If you looked at some of the best designed models, their designers are usually European.

Take for example, Toyota. Their designs are usually the boring, oh-hum kind, please all, offend none. After years of bearing this negative criticism, Toyota decided to break its stereotype by going a bit outlandish, a bit unconventional, to answer its critics and also to have an image makeover. Well, for a start, they hired a Japanese designer to transform Lexus. And these are the abominations he could come up with:

What happened to good looking cars?!-lexusrx_450h_f_sport2016102403.jpg
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And more's coming from the Lexus stable, mind you. They're establishing a distinct visual identity with this new design philosophy for Lexus. Hopeless? Yes, these pictures explain better than a few paragraphs of my writing.

Koreans were smart enough and didn't want to take any more chances - Europe has been a tough market to crack and design was their Achilles heel. Enter, Peter Schreyer - Audi veteran, with timeless designs under his belt. This guy literally re-wrote the Koreans' future for Europe. Today, Hyundai or Kia is mentioned in the same breath as, say, a Ford or a VW.

I have nothing against the Japanese and in fact, there are some exceptional designers. Personally, Shiro Nakamura of Nissan is a favourite of mine.

The Nissan Kicks, anyone?
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Also, most of Honda's designers are Japanese. Overall, Japanese designers are good at churning no-nonsense designs, giving pre-dominance to function over form, however, when it comes to taking a gamble with an all new identity - most of them mess up.

Last edited by swiftdiesel : 1st May 2016 at 21:25.
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