When Looking Good (and Being Polarizing) is More Important
Cars are supposed to be practical, and they’re supposed to get us everywhere we want to go, plus haul all of our stuff. But what if a car’s primary purpose is to be a style statement? What do you do if you’re looking for a vehicle that stands out? The majority of current cars looking similar to one another, so it’s getting tough to find one that lets you express your personality. Luckily, a select few automakers still value looks and produce models that prioritize standout design.
The latest Volkswagen Beetle is less rounded and more muscular than the car it replaced, but that doesn’t mean it’s more practical; you still have a small cargo area and tight rear seats. However, if all you care about is being retro-chic, the Beetle has it covered with plenty of heritage. Got the need for speed? Grab yourself a Beetle R-Line with a 210-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four and a six-speed manual (the Beetle Dune is shown here).
Essentially the founder of the small-crossover segment, the Nissan Juke proves that polarizing looks and turbocharged fun are a winning formula. Everywhere you go, people will stare at the Juke’s unconventional exterior styling.
Think of the BMW i3 as an extended-range EV that comes standard with a quirky interior and looks that are unlike any other in the Bavarian brand’s stable. The blocky exterior design gives the i3 an identity of its own and prioritizes looking weird to flaunt its eco credentials. Colors such as the available orange exterior make the i3 draw even more stares.
There aren’t many unconventional cars out there, and the Hyundai Veloster is as eccentric as they come. Featuring an asymmetrical layout with one door on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side, the Veloster will have people scratching their heads. Complementing the lack of symmetry is an aggressive front fascia that gets even angrier in the 201-hp Veloster Turbo.
Appreciate the coupelike styling of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class but need something smaller? Essentially a shrunken CLS-Class, the CLA-Class will give you plenty of panache and prestige in a package that’s better suited for the city.
The Mini Paceman is the coupe variant of the Mini Countryman crossover. Unlike the more utilitarian Countryman, the Paceman puts style first and brims with even more character than its four-door sibling. You’ll get plenty of stares driving the Paceman, and its bubbly personality is as lovable as every other Mini model’s.
As the only boxy car available today, the Kia Soul brings plenty of character along with a dash of fun to America’s roads. Thanks to its color-changing speaker lights, vibrant exterior colors, and a joyful personality, the Soul commands attention as you roll down the street.
One of the newest entries in the growing small-crossover segment, the Mazda CX-3 is stylish inside and out. Featuring Mazda‘s Kodo—Soul of Motion design language, the CX-3 draws eyes and looks more expensive than it actually is. When combined with the Grand Touring trim’s tasteful two-tone cream and black leather interior with red accent stitching, the CX-3 becomes one of the best-looking small crossovers available today.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Available in three body styles, including a two-door coupe and a convertible, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is the crossover for those looking for a stunning design statement. Attractive and elegant inside and out, the Evoque brims with panache and commands attention.
Despite being nearly 10 years old, the Fiat 500 and 500c still continue to turn heads thanks to a cheeky, bubbly exterior. Add to that a full suite of colorful exteriors that bring an extra layer of retro-chic flair, and you’ve got a little city car that wears its Italian charm on its fenders.