Mercedes, Toyota, Others Make Some Handsome Cars We Aren’t Crazy About


The new car market currently is awash with attractive vehicles of all shapes and sizes, but just because a model looks good, doesn’t necessarily mean we want one.

Styling is one of many factors you have to consider when shopping for a new car, such as price, fuel economy, practicality and standard equipment. Some models might meet all of your qualifications, including being easy on the eyes, but their competition still is just a little more eye-catching. In other cases, a car could be exactly what you’re looking for, but it doesn’t have that x-factor that makes you want to sign on the dotted line.

To explain what we mean, we picked six vehicles we think are attractive that we wouldn’t buy for one reason or another.

Fiat 500X

2017 Fiat 500X Trekking

Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The 500X is a surprisingly pretty car, as we wouldn’t have expected the subcompact 500’s proportions to translate well into a compact SUV. Still, as much as we like the Italian crossover, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it still isn’t as appealing as the similarly priced Mazda CX-3.

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Photo via Daimler AG

With a design much like that of the roughly $75,000 Mercedes CLS, we can 100 percent understand the appeal of the CLA. Unlike most Mercedes that come with rear-wheel-drive, the CLA is front-drive, though it does have available 4Matic all-wheel-drive like rear-drive Mercs. That said, considering it starts around the same price as the BMW 2 Series, which is rear-wheel-drive and has available rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive, we’d take the BMW.

Kia Soul

2017 Soul Turbo

Photo via Kia

Kia styled the Soul similarlarly to how the now defunct Scion designed its XB. Interestingly, though, the slightly angular roofline and D-pillars, as well as the black A-pillars, prevent the Soul from looking ungainly like the XB. However, it still isn’t the best-looking compact hatch by a long shot.

Toyota RAV4

2016 Toyota RAV4

Photo via Toyota

Don’t get us wrong, we like the RAV4. It’s practical, reliable, relatively fuel efficient and frankly very pretty. Although we like its clean lines, compared to Toyota’s forthcoming C-HR, the RAV4’s styling seems a bit reserved and out of touch with the rest of the company’s lineup.

Chrysler 200

2017 Chrysler 200S

Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Credit where credit is due: Chrysler can make a damn good looking car. The 200, in fact, is one of the best-looking compact sedans on the market, but it certainly isn’t the most dependable. Given that FCA brands consistently receive poor reliability ratings from J.D. Power, we wouldn’t spend our money on a 200.

Lexus RX

2016 Lexus RX

Photo via Lexus

The RX is a model whose appearance is nearly flawless. We especially like the black portion of the bodywork that connects the back windows to the rear end, giving it a streamlined look. But competition in the premium compact crossover segment is cutthroat. BMW’s X3 and Mercedes’ GLA are both as attractive as the RX — the GLA arguably more so — but both offer a more engaging driving experience, which is why we’d prefer them to the Lexus.

Thumbnail photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

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