Cars are getting uglier and uglier. Whether they’re American, Japanese or high-end German, it doesn’t matter. The worst offender may be Nissan, which a couple of years ago came up with what was the ugliest car ever: the Cube. Just because you have the technology to make a wrap around window, doesn’t mean you should. Nissan may have outdone itself this year with the perkily named Juke whose headlights extend up onto the hood. It’s an unfortunate precedent because you just know that other car companies have taken notice and this hither-to-fore expanse of plain metal will now become bedazzled and bedecked with all sorts of lighting bling.
Bling and collagen seem to be the theme here, the Juke looks plumped up like the bee-stung lips on a Bravo Housewife as does the is-it-a-sedan-or-an-SUV BMW X6 whose upwardly tilting rear end (and I’m sorry to be coarse here) reminds me of a baboon in heat presenting her ass to a courting male. I think perhaps Infiniti can be blamed for the introduction of the fubsy look to automobiles; they're no slouch in the hideous department this year with their JX and QX models.
And does anyone else see a goofy toothless grin when they pass by the front of a 2011 Mazda? It’s not an attractive look that’s only accentuated when the car is a light shade. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to look imbecilic driving down the road.
Don’t get me started on the SUV-pickup truck hybrids (and I’m not talking gas-electric hybrids here). The industry refers to this class of car as a crossover. I think Cadillac makes the worst version, though they’re all loathsome. These seem to be popular with pro-ball players, rap stars and recent lottery winners.
I could probably devote an entire blog to American car names, which in the past included Mirage, Charade and Caprice. Among the current line up in these macho post 9/11 times, Avalanche and Armada might be the best (i.e. worst) with special irony kudos going to GMC for co-opting the Indian name for Mt. McKinley, Denali, to bestow on its gas guzzling behemoth.
Speaking of irony have you ever noticed the disproportionately high number of SUVs out there that have the "9/11 Fight Terrorism" license plates? A friend says this is just because the drivers of such para-military vehicles are militaristic. But I believe it's more than that. On some level there’s an awareness of the ultimate toll vehicles like this have extracted from this country and it’s the owners' attempt to shift blame for the Iraq War from oil to terrorism.