• Lifestyle

The Best-Looking Car Brands

List RulesVote up the car brands rolling out the best designs on the lot.

Taste is a subjective thing, but elements of style aren't. It is almost universally accepted that proportion, symmetry, shape, and other principles of design need to work in harmony to produce beautifully crafted works of art. Car and automobile design is no exception. This list includes some of the consistently best-looking car brands. 

The list follows a few basic rules. First, no single-model brands. Anyone can make a one-hit wonder if it's the only thing they have to work on. That means no Bugatti, Noble, or any number of other gorgeous single-model brands. Second, cars only, which means no preference or prejudice toward trucks, SUVs, crossovers, trains, or planes. And finally, the list is limited to current manufacturers and models. 

You'll probably notice that this list of the best-designed car brands skews heavily toward exotica and brands with only two or three models. That's the nature of the beast; generic shapes designed for mass consumption usually aren't notably pretty. At least, not compared with the well-designed car brands on this list.

  • Since Henrik Fisker showed up a few years ago, Astons have gone from being some of the best looking cars on Earth to the almost undisputed champions of style. That said, this one is a little bit of a cheat. Part of the reason all Astons today look stunning is because they all look basically the same. Try telling a Vantage from a Vanquish from a DB9 in less than 30 seconds, looking at them one at a time. Good luck! Still, you can't fault Aston for knowing a great thing when they've got it and sticking to what works. 
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    Photo: Liam Walker / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
    Most of us think only of the P1 when we hear the McLaren name these days, but they've got several models, and every one of them is a looker. Granted, they're unapologetically mid-engine, so they don't have the classic proportions of some other sports cars. And some people decry the styling as a bit underwhelming at first glance. But like any good art, it's the details that draw you into McLaren's styling. These cars demand some study to be truly appreciated - preferably at 200 mph.
  • Jeremy Clarkson once made the point that Ferraris were never pretty. Striking, yes, in the same way that a two-ton rhinoceros is striking. But not pretty. Some, like old Testarossas and F50s, were very eye catching, but they were also styled like shaved bricks. That certainly isn't the case anymore, especially with the 458 Italia. Even without the speed connotations, modern Ferraris like this are just objectively beautiful pieces of automotive sculpture. 

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    Audis are good-looking in the same sense that all properly tailored business suits are good-looking. Clearly, Iron Man's R8 is a stunning piece of machinery, but that's what's always been so great about Audis. They're machines, and they know it. An Audi doesn't want to be your object of lust, your weekend mistress, or your local psychopathic football hooligan. It just wants to be good at being a car. The fact that it looks as tailored as a Saville Row suit just shows the world that you (and it) mean business. 

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