Does anyone else dislike where car design and styling is going?

There's no accounting for taste, there are things I love and don't love about the direction this art is going.

On one hand we have stupid shit that can be summarized with "just because you can doesn't mean you should" - like video gauges.

I don't like how almost everything tries to have angry headlights and some sort of anthropomorphised expression of attitude... frankly I don't really want my car to have any kind of opinions of its own. A shovel can look well crafted and have a balanced aesthetic without looking like it hates the soil.

On the other hand, even today's most entry level car has a design touch to it - the lowest cost new car you can buy in America is the Nissan Versa and it still looks pretty slick for what it is - compare it to any malaise era econo car and it speaks for itself.

We kind of find ourselves in a situation where the natural consequence of uniform safety standards, uniform traffic/equipment regulations (bumper compatibility, lighting height, etc) and basic utility leave us with very little real differences among cars.

Part of this is the idiocy of letting critics define development - if you make a sporty 2 door with a concession back seat, some asshole reviewer is going to slam the car for not having four doors. If you make a rugged off-roader, some asshole reviewer is going to slam the car for not riding like a Cadillac. So you end up with every car trying to be "everything to everyone" and only succeeding at being nothing to no one. Look at the dozens of jellybean "CUV"/SUV/crossover cars out there, none of them are especially fast, none of them are any good at driving off-pavement, none of them are especially great at anything in particular they're all just jack of all trades with no standout trait.

The public expects that all of them are well built. All of them will easily do 100,000 miles with any basic care whatsoever. All of them meet federal safety guidelines and all of them have the standard battery of features we all expect (A/C, enough power to get out of their own way, decent fuel efficiency, a radio that sounds decent, cruise control and power steering and whatever) - let's be honest they're all just about interchangeable.

So how do you sell a car that for all practical intents is not any different than your competition? I guess you try to make it look slicker than theirs without looking so alien as to polarize your buyers. Nissan's been a little bold there with Cubes and Jukes and I appreciate that, but plenty of other people rage out at their audacity.

/r/cars Thread