Toyota out-GMs GM again

2007 Toyota Corolla (Japanese version though). 'nuff said.

Wow, that’s very Buick of them. But I must say, that’s a rather handsome car anyhow. There’s nothing wrong with emulating GM’s form language when they’re doing it well.

Then again, one could say that Buick’s Lucerne (All Current Vehicles: Luxury Cars, Sedans, SUVs & Convertible | Buick) emulates the form language of Japanese vehicles such as Nissan’s last form-factor for the Maxima.

I remember seeing the Toyota Prius and thinking “This is what the Pontiac Aztek was supposed to look like”. Now, if you remember, the Aztek is so ugly it violates your human rights, but the Prius is rather cute. Both have shapes reminiscent of each other. Sometimes I think GM’s designers know what they want to express, but just have a hard time getting it out looking right.

Let me get this right, you think the Prius is good looking? Sorry, cute?

I like the look of the Prius. It’s interesting. I feel like all of the attention paid to the aerodynamic details remind me of a Le Mans car. Also, the lights are really well detailed, I recommend everyone to take a closer look.

However, with the Prius and most Toyotas, there is something vaguely cheap looking about the car. Somehow, the overall shape is close to Honda, but has that built-to-a-budget look. That’s why I compared them to GM. I always thought the overall shape of a Cavalier was cool, but the car has that halo of cheapness that makes it disgusting.

I think its three things.

  1. designer gone way to crazy on the “apply generous radius” button to every to hide unresolved design issues and surfaces

  2. too small tires standard. (just compare the stock rims (usually 16 or 17") on a VW Golf to the 14 or smaller ones on a cavalier.

  3. GM/Chev name on the font/back.


and thats not even getting into the interior (cheapo plastic, visible fastners, horrible textures, cheap PU foam seats and fabrics…

Yeah, the Prius has that cute hatchback critter-of-a-different-breed look. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but I know it when I see it. The Prius outsold the Honda Civic hybrid in large part due to the look-at-me factor; the Civic hybrid still looked like a Civic, but the Prius made a statement that one was unmistakably driving a hybrid.

Yeah…I think Honda really missed the boat on that. I remember some ad material talking about how it was “just like driving a regular civic”.


I remember talking with some car designers a few years back and they said their was a big disagreement within the industry on hybrid design.

One school of thought said it should look like something different is powering the car, and this would drive sales.

The other school said it should be a good design and look like a normal car that just happened to have a different power source, and that this would prevent the geek factor that would limit sales.

Luckily the Prius and Civic squared off in a battle. I don’t really like the look of either, but I do like that the Toyota semantically says what it is to the user and to on lookers.

… Oh, and the Toyo-let up top is pretty hideous. At least the current Corolla is pretty non offensive.