Ugliest Cars in Indian automotive history
And for the most part, most cars sold in India have been at the very least, aesthetically bland and non-offensive, with some looking good even after all these years.
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A big part of the car buying process is the aesthetic appeal of the vehicle. A well engineered product may not find takers if it looks ugly, as the initial impression would be poor. Given that cars are still a status symbol in India, no one would want to be mocked by their neighbours for driving around in something ugly. And for the most part, most cars sold in India have been at the very least, aesthetically bland and non-offensive, with some looking good even after all these years.
But we are not here to talk about good looking cars. We are here to talk about ugly cars, specifically, the ugliest cars in the history of motoring in India. Here is my list, which ones are on yours?
1. Honda City 2nd Gen (the ‘Dolphin’):
The first-gen Honda City sold in India is a timeless classic. Whether its in 1.3, 1.5 or VTEC form, the wedge shape looks sleek and sharp even today. So what did Honda do to replace this sharp suit of a car? It gave us what is infamously known as the ‘Dolphin’ 2nd Gen Honda City, a car with a boot that places many Pixar moms to shame. It looked ok from the front, but that rear end needed to lose a lot of kilos.
2. 1st Gen Hyundai Santro:
The Santro was a landmark car in India. It sold like hotcakes in India and cemented Hyundai’s presence in the market. It, along with the WagonR, provided a lot of space and practicality in a small overall frame. And yet, while the WagonR was unabashedly a square box, the Santo, with its toothy grille and curves, was an overstyled box that only a mother could love.
3. 1st Gen Hyundai Sonata:
The Sonata was a well proportioned executive barge from the rear and side view, but like the Santro, it was way too overstyled in the front. It has the same toothy grill that was Hyundai’s signature at that time, and even worse was its twin eye headlamps, which will definitely scare anyone who sees it in their rear view mirror.
4. Mahindra KUV100:
Let’s make a small, compact SUV, said Mahindra. What could go wrong? Well, in this case, I would call it less of an SUV, and more of a warthog. It just looks so… disproportionate, as if someone took a longer car and squished its aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3.
5. Mahindra Quanto:
Let’s make a sub 4m Xylo, said Mahindra. The Xylo was never a pretty car, but at least its huge size, width and height was offset by its length. So what happens when you chop off the rear of the Xylo, while keeping all other dimensions intact? You get the Quanto, a car which looks so top-heavy I’m afraid it will fall over while standing still.
6. Maruti Zen ‘Classic’:
The Jellybean Zen is an example of timeless design brilliance. It’s like the kind of girl who straddles the line between cute and hot effortlessly. It was just… right. And then Dr. Frankenstein decided to bolt on a ‘Retro’ set of headlamps and grill on the front of this poor girl. Think of the worst botched plastic surgery, and you get an idea of what they did to the poor Zen.
7. Maruti Zen Estilo:
After the old Zen died, people were clamoring for a successor, and what did Maruti give them? An insult to everything the old Zen stood for, with the Estilo, a car which had no reason to exist in the market, given that it was just a WagonR with curves. It came in ghastly colours (like that below), and looked weak and pitiful, a car with no soul, an insult to everything the Zen badge stood for. Thankfully, they soon dropped the Zen moniker and just called it the ‘Estilo’.
Here’s what BHPian urbanzameendar had to say on the matter:
How come you forgot the ugly contraption called S-Presso? Seems like they took an Alto K10 and blew air into it to make it appear muscular.
Ugly from all sides.
Here’s what BHPian karan0009 had to say on the matter:
Adding a few more to the list. No offense to the owners.
1) 2nd Gen Creta – May be it is a futuristic design, but I am still not able to digest the overall exterior design.
2) BMW i4 – Never thought that a modern BMW will make it to the list. Those kidney grills are just super weird
Here’s what BHPian Avinash_R had to say on the matter:
The irony in the name called Dzire
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