Home » You Have The Power To Erase Up To Three Styling Trends From The Car Universe, Past Or Present. Which Get The Axe?

You Have The Power To Erase Up To Three Styling Trends From The Car Universe, Past Or Present. Which Get The Axe?

2024 Mustang
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Here’s the thing about being in style: it never lasts. It doesn’t matter if it’s cars or clothes, furniture or footwear, music or mustaches (I had trouble thinking of an m-thing): as soon as everyone agrees on what’s totally cool, that’s a pretty good indicator those cool things are rapidly approaching their expiration date. One minute you’re the guy with his finger on the pulse, the next you’re throwing your parachute pants in the trash and crying in your room, face buried in a beanbag chair.

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Now, for cars, styling trends can be particularly perilous. These are major purchases after all, so manufacturers are keen to make sure the new models look super fresh and modernly-styled, and naturally we consumers want our new cars to look all futuristic and rad and whatnot. But looking new and looking good don’t always go hand-in-hand, and time can be very unkind to what was once cutting edge. For example, remember when rectangular headlights were an absolute must-have? Round headlights were for squares, ironically. Heck, even motorcycles were wearing rectangular headlights. Gross.

Crosstrek Side

Today, car-styling trends are more diverse than ever. Some are tired but still innocuous (I can’t get mad at floating roofs), others were dubious when they first arrived and have only gotten dubiouser ever since. Plastic cladding, I’m looking at you. Literally, right now. I’m sorry, Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness, you look like a frickin’ sneaker. And what is the deal with giant, hideous grilles on trucks and SUVs? Sorry if you read that in a Seinfeld voice. They’re like parodies of alpha-toughness. Don’t get me started on phony cheek-intakes so large that they would look at home on an A-7 Corsair. Especially when they’re fake, I mean come on. I could go on.

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And so, The Autopian Asks: what are three styling trends, past or present, that you would select erase from history? To the comments!

Top graphic image credits: Subaru Crosstrek/Subaru; 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville by That Hartford Guy/Wikimedia Commons; Lexus LX600/Lexus; Cylon Warrior by Klapi/Wikimedia Commons

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Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
6 months ago

Rear door handles that are higher than the front handles.

Dave Edgar
Dave Edgar
10 months ago

Truck headlights at the top of the front end, instead of down by the bumper where they belong. Get those abominations outta my rearview mirror, please.

Col Hathi
Col Hathi
10 months ago

Possibly covered in other comments, but:

  1. Screens for the dash. Why can’t gauges be analogue? Why change something that doesn’t need changing? Give me my physical gauges, you thieves! (And no – the power to customize one’s speedo and tacho across three different styles – “cringy classic”, “messy modern”, and “shitty simple” is not a reason to lose the security of physical meters.
  2. Fake anything. Fake SUVs. Fake off-roaders. Fake audio piped through the car speakers to excite the yobs
  3. This need to electrify things that work perfectly well mechanically (sort of related to point #1). 4X4s with e-transfer cases, I’m looking at you

Phew felt good to get that off my chest.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
10 months ago
Reply to  Col Hathi

Hell yeah, couldn’t agree more! It’s good to vent about this BS that is sending us BACKWARDS

Last edited 10 months ago by Freelivin2713
Holly Birge
Holly Birge
10 months ago

Please let’s erase the over-lifted, oversized pickup trucks. They are pointless vehicles that are not suited for actual “truck stuff”.

Elhigh
Elhigh
10 months ago

1) Angry eyes. Everywhere, both aftermarket and OEM. If you have made your car’s face to look as if it were even moderately annoyed, I’m talking about you. On the road, surrounded by hundreds of people who have never even heard of you and armed with thousands of pounds of weapon, is not the place to embody aggression.

2) Gigantic Cylon grilles. Holy cow.

3) Crossover everything.

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
10 months ago

Black, grey, silver, and white.

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