Cars That Have Gone From Bland to Grand

Remember how the Optima used to look?

Remember how the Optima used to look?

Automakers know that boring doesn’t sell like it used to.

Think back a decade or so, and I’ll bet you can name five boring cars right off the top of your head. I know I can. There were still a lot of beautiful and fun cars in existence, but plenty of mass-produced cars back then didn’t have anything to offer in design, power or handling.

Today some of those same models have experienced a renaissance and have gone from completely bland to utterly grand.

Keep reading for some of the cars that have graduated from transportation appliance to royalty of the road.

Chevy Malibu


I’ve long called the Malibu the “brown paper bag of cars.” Back in 2004 it was just that: an unmotivated vehicle capable of moving a family of four from one place to another in complete obscurity. Today’s Malibu is an eye-catching fun-to-drive sedan that has completely turned its back on its ugly past.

Kia Optima


Kia may get the prize for the most improved cars over the last 10 years. The company’s designs have gone from cheap and utilitarian to sexy trendsetters. If you were once embarrassed to be seen in a Kia, today you can be proud.

Honda CR-V


The little SUV that used to look like a duffel bag on wheels has transformed into a sleek leader in design, all while retaining the reliability and functionality that made it great.

Ford Fusion


Granted, Ford took a couple of pages from the Aston Martin Book of Design, but the end result is a car that grabs the attention of passing motorists rather than blending in with all the Toyota Camrys on the road.

Toyota Camry


Is it true that the epitome of vanilla car design is taking a gamble on something a little edgier? Yes! It’s not quite the evolution that the Optima went through, but Toyota is obviously looking to bring a little sexy to its game. We’ll take it!

Which version of these cars would you rather have, the bland or the grand?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Chevrolet Malibu
Used Kia Optima
Used Honda CR-V
Used Ford Fusion
Used Toyota Camry

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