Happy or Angry: How Should a Car Look?

2013 Jaguar XF AWD

There’s a lot of anger in car design these days.

Back in my formative years, vehicles just looked like vehicles. Maybe a face could be perceived somewhere between the tungsten halogen headlamps and steel grilles, but generally car “faces” were nothing more than utilitarian methods of shining light and sucking air. I liked that.

Today’s cars are different, mostly because advancements in headlamp technology have allowed designers to get more creative and not only give their cars a face, but create an entire personality.

Typically the personality chosen is an angry one, intended to give the car a sinister look of intimidation.

It’s hard to find a new vehicle right now that doesn’t have LED strips in the headlights. If you don’t want that, you’d better include used cars on your shopping list. I happen to think LED lights are a passing fad, but time will tell. Whether fad or permanent fixture, LEDs are helping to create that sinister look so many automakers are shoving down our throats.

Maybe the intent is to try and give owners an extra sense of importance, or perhaps just to subconsciously make other drivers switch lanes when an angry car approaches from behind on a dark highway.

Check out the following pictures, and leave your input on what you prefer in your cars.


2012 Audi A6


2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S

And actually, there’s a third look that isn’t happy or angry. It’s an arrogant but confident look that just says, “Yes, I’m sexy. I know. You may stare as long as you wish.”

Aston Martin DBS V12 coupé

Do you want your car to look angry, happy or to convey no personality at all?


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  1. People love to anthropomorphise things, but I don’t think I’ve seen any car in a long time that looks face-like.

  2. I agree, LEDs are a fad I think will be replaced by lasers or something down the road. Some look cool, some look terrible. Plus, how any Audis have you seen with one strip of lights out on a headlight? Seems like I see it all the time.
    These cars do look angry, or at least intimidating. I’d go for the classic good looks of the Porsche or Aston

  3. As an artist I cannot agree with your choice of descriptions for these looks. I see Dull,Fad,Exclusive and More Exclusive in that order. Not the “look of love” that you perceive. :LOL

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