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Japanese Auto Styling #5343489 02/07/20 10:13 AM
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raaizin Offline OP
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To my eye japanese cars as a whole seem to be overly styled . American German even Korean seem much more subdued. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but does anyone else agree. I just helped an elderly friend of mine with the purchase of a car who didnt want to go to the dealer alone. She purchased a 2019 camry. I really like toyota reliability but to be honest I dont think I could get past the way it looks.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343496 02/07/20 10:20 AM
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diyjake Offline
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I love Japanese cars and that is what I always try to own but I do have to agree with you, their styling is weird, very weird.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343504 02/07/20 10:29 AM
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supton Online Content
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I kinda like their older designs. My '99 Camry and '10 Tundra "work" for me. But I view them as plain-jane vehicles and expect them to be boring. The wife's '11 Camry, I'd say it's ugly, but we own it for its functionality and practicality. Not sure about the latest Toyota's, for a while I thought they had gone off the deep end, but they seem to be pulling back from that and coming back around.

Not sure if I like the recent update to the RAV4, giving it a more macho look--it looks better but it's making promises its drivetrain can't keep.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 205k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 159k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k, his
Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343506 02/07/20 10:30 AM
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Triplicate Offline
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Some, not all.

Honda as a brand has lost it's way. In the early 00s Honda/Acura vehicles were across the board extremely appealing in terms of exterior styling. Then they went insane and now the Civic looks like an anime robot.

Toyotas, save for the deliberately weird Prius, are pretty conservatively styled. When was the last time they restyled the Sequoia? 2005?

If anything Subaru got away from the weirdness of the "toilet seat" grilles on the WRX and Tribeca from years back. Today Subaru has very middle of the road styling.

Mazdas are IMO gorgeous and not plain or conservative but not weird and grotesque.

My least favorite "design language" is probably Infiniti. Nothing they make, particularly their crossovers and SUVs, looks good to me. Sort of a bulbous sea monster aesthetic. Gross.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343509 02/07/20 10:34 AM
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Cujet Offline
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Saw a new Supra on the highway the other day. I find it weird looking, and I think that yes, it’s overstyled. Although from a mechanical point of view, it’s pretty epic. Despite the fact that a less expensive pushrod base model C7 can easily beat it.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343516 02/07/20 10:40 AM
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JeffKeryk Offline
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I love Hondas. The Accord is not over styled but is ugly.
At 1st I thought the Lexus RX was crazy, but now I love the look. Every other SUV looks the same.
The Lexus GS is probably the prettiest car you can buy.
Toyotas? Yuck. Nissans? Yuck.

All good.


2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
2006 Acura TSX
2001 Tundra Access Cab, 1998 Accord LX, 1968 Corvette L36 Roadster, 1965 Olds 4-4-2
Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343524 02/07/20 10:45 AM
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doitmyself Offline
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As an old, boomer curmudgeon I couldn't agree more with the OP. I bought my "dated" econobox Jeep Patriot 7 years ago partially because of it's iconic looks and I HATE the similar jelly bean appearance of today's CUV's/SUV's. Other brands are doing the same things. Today's pickup trucks are becoming ridiculously large and bloated.

I am somewhat pleased with the looks of the new Hyundai subcompact Venue CUV with slightly more chiseled lines and no over designed front end. It is quite small for anything beyond suburban commuting.

But yes, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Everyone have a great weekend.
[Linked Image from assets-news-bcdn.dailyhunt.in]

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343543 02/07/20 10:57 AM
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csandste Offline
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I'm sure this comment is decades old, but I remember reading (maybe in the eighties) that Japanese cars were designed to be attractive up close, like Japanese customers liked to get their eyes a few inches from the car and look for little detail bits as opposed to the over all macro design. Have no idea if that was true then or if it's true today.

I think the Koreans have a more conservative home market. The Sonata variations between the 2011 cars and the more conservative mid decade cars showed the tensions between different markets. I had high hopes for the '20 Sonata, but it does look a bit cat fishy. Think each of the Optimas/K5's may be a little more consistent and I'm looking forward to the new one. My girlfriend's '17 seems like a car that will age well.

Don't mind Accords except for the front end, same with Civics.

Mazdas are generally the best styled Japanese cars IMO. Never owned one, but might consider one in the future.


2017 Kia Soul+ Valvoline Daily Protection 5w30+ a bit of Harvest King syn 5w30-- 75,000 miles
Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: doitmyself] #5343554 02/07/20 11:05 AM
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madeej11 Offline
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If memory serves, the first vehicle with this new weird or whatever look was the Nissan Juke. It seems to have started this new trend.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343558 02/07/20 11:08 AM
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Onetor Offline
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Western/Asian cultures are very very different.


N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L
Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343559 02/07/20 11:09 AM
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Dwight_Frye Offline
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I detest the large, cow catcher style grilles that some makers, Lexus in particular use. I also hate the oversized, fake intake vents on the fronts, or in the case of some Hondas, on the rear.
The 2012-2020 period will go down as a some of the ugliest cars ever designed,
The worst trend was the Mazdas from a few years ago, they reminded me of those stupid Guy Fawkes masks that all the Occupy Wall Street dopes were wearing to disguise themselves when committing acts of vandalism. Thank god Mazda saw the light and now make some of the most handsome of the Japanese marques.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343638 02/07/20 12:26 PM
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diyjake Offline
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Overall Mazda currently does make the best looking Japanese cars.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: Triplicate] #5343652 02/07/20 12:53 PM
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nthach Offline
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It's all subjective but in the 1960s-1990s the Japanese never really modeled for the American market - their cars were designed for the Japanese urban environment to blend in or complement in Tokyo/Osaka/Yokohama. In the 1980s, they adopted hard edges, square/rectangular shapes and digital dashes. Japan flexed its electronics muscles then, Sony/Panasonic/Toshiba were at the top of their game, Korea was a me-too of Japan but Hyundai/Samsung/LG(Goldstar then) weren't near where they are today.

It wasn't until Toyota setup shop in SoCal with a design studio(Nissan and Honda then followed) that they truly localized or made a less nerdy/geeky looking car. The RA40 Celica of the late 1970s-early 1980s was the first Japanese car to be penned in the US. Toyota took a different approach with the Lexus LS400/Celsior - they designed it for the American landscape.

Now, the Japanese design for the American market with their US studios but their luxury cars have to appeal to the Chinese too - hence the "edgy" design Lexus and Acura are doing to court that market.

Originally Posted by Triplicate

Toyotas, save for the deliberately weird Prius, are pretty conservatively styled. When was the last time they restyled the Sequoia? 2005?

As a Prius driver I feel like a [censored] Star Wars geek driving it. I feel the Saab 900 Classic, Volvo 240/740, Prius, the 1st/2nd gen Insight were deliberately made to look geeky/nerdy for a reason. In the case of the Prius it makes sense from marketing/aerodynamic/packaging perspective. But the Prius' Cd isn't near the 1990-1994 LS400 which proves you can have a tasteful, conservative body shape and still slip through the wind. Saab wanted to link with their aerospace roots before GM [censored] them. Volvo did it for safety. The Insight was the first mass-market car outside of an Audi or the NSX to have an wholly aluminum body and chassis and Honda wanted it to cheat the wind.

Last edited by nthach; 02/07/20 12:55 PM.
Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343685 02/07/20 01:29 PM
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JOD Offline
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I think all of the Japanese mfgs have lost the plot on styling, except Mazda. To my eye, Mazda is the only Japanese make producing cars that won't look dumb in 10 years. None of them seem to age well. The German brands and Mazda just seem to have much more timeless styling, IMO.

Re: Japanese Auto Styling [Re: raaizin] #5343686 02/07/20 01:30 PM
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NO2 Offline
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Cars are designed for the Chinese and American markets. Rear seats have become much larger and more comfortable because of that, and styling has been largely dictated by fuel economy standards. Most engines are <2.0L because of additional taxes in countries like China, and the rush to electric cars is mostly Chinese driven.

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