Previewing the Ugliest Cars of 2012


I confess I took my cue for this piece from Dan Neil’s Wall Street Journal post on the BMW 1M (above). The post is typically overwritten and even florid in Neil’s praise for the car, but, finally, near the end he gets to the point I was waiting for:

The 1M Coupe is a total buttaface, one of the ugliest, most disturbingly wrong car designs in modern history. The addition of all the massive wheel arches, lip spoilers, aero mods and the so-called Air Curtain front spoiler helps not at all. This car is the last revenge of former BMW styling head Chris Bangle. Jeez, put a flag over its head and drive for glory.

Whether Chris Bangle or Adrian van Hooydonk, the new guy, is responsible for the 1 Series’ styling is sort of a who-cares point. The car’s stark ugliness and ungainly stance struck me the first time I saw photos of it.

We offer below a few of the more misshapen models you’ll find in showrooms next year. That is, until their makers decide to pull them.

Why do people want and buy ugly cars? There’s a pretty good explanation (five reasons) here. The biggest reason, I think, is many choose function over form, and many simply have no aesthetic sense. Design is something they just don’t get or care about.

One can only assume that the designers of the cars below either were trying too hard or were having a series of bad days.

Passion Pink Bentley Continental GTThis pink Bentley Continental GT is being auctioned off in San Diego to benefit breast cancer research. The car is a blob to begin with, even without the pink paint. By the way, aren’t we all getting a little sick of this pink thing? NFL players with pink shoes, etc.? Yes, we know it’s a good cause.

Honda Accord CrosstourHonda’s Accord Crosstour shows up on almost every ugly-car blog post and deserves its notoriety. Out of sheer stubbornness, Honda keeps offering it—for those who can’t decide whether they want a crossover, SUV or car and don’t care what it looks like.

Honda CR-Z Turbo, rearLast year, the Honda CR-Z was named Japanese Car of the Year, an exercise in pure chauvinism. So the company went one better with this concept, which may ditch the hybrid for “a small-displacement, turbocharged mill.” It looks even more foolish.

2012 Dodge Caliber SXTWe told you the Dodge Caliber was going to be dropped, finally, for a new car based on the Alfa Giulietta platform. Cheers were heard round the world.

2012 Audi Q7Audi is going all out to win the SUV Ugliness Sweepstakes with the new Q7. All it needs is a howitzer mounted on the roof.

2012 Lincoln MKT EcoBoostLincoln, too, is hanging on with its mostly unchanged MKT. We always show the famous shark’s-tooth grinning grille; this time you get to see the big hump in back.

Mazda Furai conceptAnother concept car appeared in 2008, and the Mazda Furai is still mentioned glowingly on the company’s website, so all you fans of weirdness may continue to hope for production. More dreadful Mazda concepts are featured here.

Well, the obvious question: Which of these, in your opinion, is the ugliest, most misconceived, misshapen creation?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used BMW 1 Series
Used Bentley Continental GT
Used Honda Accord Crosstour
Used Honda CR-Z
Used Dodge Caliber
Used Audi Q7
Used Lincoln MKT


  1. Your review of the ugliest cars is as bad as your blog’s logo …
    M1, Q7, and Furai!!! is far from ugly, even Bentley is not as ugly as some other cars on the market…

  2. You forgot to include the Pilot, any Acura with the hideous beak grille, yes the Crosstour and the CR-Z are also ugly. Honda really needs new design studios as both exterior an interior wise Honda is sadly lacking and no one would ever buy a Honda for based upon how it looks.

  3. Who the f%&# had the idea of putting the Furai on this list? When I find out I will break into their house while they’re sleeping and shove the keys to the Furai down their throat

  4. Yes, the M1 is a bit strange looking. Rather than a production car, it looks like something that a teenager with too much money has ruined with aftermarket parts. Too bad, it could have been a great small sporty car.
    As for the others, you forgot just about anything made by Acura or Nissan. Even my wife has said a few times “ugh, what an ugly car” with various Nissan products.
    Face it, even people with bad taste need to buy a car. At least they can buy an ugly car and not tart up something decent.

  5. The Q7 and Furai do not deserve to be in this list have you gone mental m8 ???

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