In the 5th edition of the Style Smackdown series I will be going through Car & Driver’s segments and rating them myself. Where Car and Driver rank the respective vehicles on criteria like interior ergonomics, cornering prowess,and ride quality, I will be ranking them based on one factor: STYLE. The winner is determined using a top-secret algorithm developed by the cryogenically frozen brain of Walt Disney, and the input of a highly intoxicated panel of judges; myself, Mick Jagger, and Justin Bieber’s monkey. So with an enthusiastic chorus of meh, let the Style Smackdown begin!
I realize I placed the entries in reverse order. Oops!
#1: Kia Sportage - Look at that. A modern car with only one grille! It’s a positive breath of fresh air in an era where cars can have up to four grilles. I’m looking at you Mini Cooper S. And I just love the rest of the Sportage. The revised fascia was polarizing at first but it’s grown on me in a major way. The details in the headlight cluster are wonderful, and I’m a big fan of the quad foglights. Kia’s wheel game is on point as wheel.
#2: Hyundai Tucson - While the Tucson may be more conventionally beautiful than its younger sister, it doesn’t tickle my fancy as much. I generally like what Hyundai is doing these days, and the Tucson is a very attractive car. But a big turnoff for me is that dumb line splitting the foglights/intakes. It’s needlessly busy and ugly.
#3: Mazda CX-5 - In my opinion the CX-5 is Mazda’s least attractive vehicle. I’m in no way saying that it’s an unattractive car (as evidenced by its 3rd place spot) but I feel the conventional shape of the crossover holds it back.
#4: Volkswagen Tiguan - VW’s clean *cough*boring*cough* design language lends itself to lots of straight lines and the Tiguan has them in spades. It’s an attractive car if boring and unexciting.
#5: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport - I feel very conflicted about Mitsubishi’s new corporate face, if this is even it. On one hand it’s very Peugeot-esque, and I’m all for that. But on the other it’s busy and not executed very well. The plain Outlander pulls the look off better, and even then it isn’t done super well. I give them points for trying, but they didn’t try hard enough.
#6: Ford Escape - I wish I could Escape this car. I see them everywhere and I hate it! In all fairness, it’s not bad. It’s not good either. It’s like water; it just is.
#7: Honda CR-V - These last entries will be an exercise in meh, (except for a cameo at the end) so please stay with me. Anyway the CR-V is fine.
#8: Toyota Rav4 - The Rav4 actually had some things about it I like? It’s got kind of a cute puppydog face in a Japanese robot kinda way. But everything else sucks... IT’S JUST SO BORING!
#9: Jeep Cherokee - Like a bucktoothed snake with an underbite the Cherokee rolls from the grass. You try to run but somehow you trip over the perfectly flat ground. Before you have time to scream... it is upon you.
#10: Jeep Wrangler -The Wrangler is classic. Classic classic classic. It’s also kinda boring! There’s really nothing wrong with the design, but it doesn’t tickle my fancy.
#11: Nissan Rogue - I called the Rav4 boring but this! It’s an Ambien on wheels. Driving a Nissan Rogue is actually recommended by most doctors as a cure for insomnia. Although falling asleep behind the wheel isn’t. So it’s a catch 22, as in the number of seconds you’ll last behind the wheel before nodding off.
#12: Chevy Equinox - I don’t know who Chevy hires to design their crossovers, but they need to be fired yesterday. They hit it out of the park with the Camaro and Corvette, and in a smaller degree the Impala, but they can’t do crossovers right.
#13: Subaru Outback - If the Outback were an animal it’d be a camel. It’s pretty funny how you can lift a wagon up an inch and a half and call it a crossover. It probably doesn’t deserve to be this low but I’m so completely ambivalent about it that I can’t really put it any higher.
#14: Subaru Forester - It’s like someone took a Forester and stabbed it repeatedly in the face with a butcher knife. I’m just waiting for its maw to open and swallow me whole. Eeugh.
#15: GMC Terrain - GMC? GMC. GMC stahp. You’ve got a grille like a Gillette and a mustache like a chromed Frenchman. You’ve got round wheels in four square holes and a face only a parrotfish could love. Whai GMC? Whai?
#16: Honda Crosstour - Honda doesn’t technically sell the Crosstour anymore, but I wanted to write some mean things about it, so wth. The Honda Crosstour is the BMW X6 of wagons - the urinal of cars. If the Accord is Esmerelda, the Crosstour is her Quasimodo. It’s the ET video game on wheels. As Arnold Shwarzenegger said, “It’s not... yeah it is a tumor!” Are we done here? I think we’re done. I’m glad you’re dead Crosstour. And I hope you burn in Hell!