Look-a-like: Nissan Micra and…

The latest, fourth generation Nissan Micra is a huge step-change from its dour predecessor, and a welcome return to form for the Japanese manufacturer. The latest European sales figures for the Micra suggest that consumers appreciate the new car, with sales over the past few months being almost twice as high as they were for the old model in 2016. A huge part of the new model’s appeal is its exterior styling – it is as bold as the third-generation model was shapeless. What’s more, it looks coherent even though the designers seem to have thrown every single design cues that’s trendy: strong character lines, creases, hidden rear door handles and a blacked-out C-pillar. Combined, they all give the Micra a look that’s unique in almost every way.

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Look-a-like: Audi A8 and…

I think it’s fair to say that the design of the latest Audi A8 has met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. While most of the styling is not in any way ill-judged or controversial, people’s reactions instead fall into a few camps: “wasted opportunity” is a common one, “yawn” is another, while many detractors level the same criticism as they have leveled at most German limousines for the past two decades: “looks too much like the mid-sized saloon blown up by 30%”. While personally I fall into the “wasted opportunity”, there is an aspect of the A8’s styling which actually bothers me, and that is the oversized, chrome-lipped grille that, to add insult to injury, reminds me a of a much-less exclusive car…

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Genesis debuts its 3-series fighter, the G70 [w/ poll]

Following what feels like a relatively short gestation process, with relatively few spy shots and no teasers (that’s refreshing in today’s world), Hyundai-Kia’s new premium brand Genesis revealed the new G70 model. Designed to compete in the premium mid-sized segment against the likes of Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class, the G70 is Genesis’ first truly new model, following in the footsteps of the premium large G80 (née Hyundai Genesis) and the premium limousine G90 (née Hyundai Equus).

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Look-a-like: Dacia Duster and…

This Look-a-like is going to be a bit different, as it is based on a suggestions from CSB readers. In the metaphorical crosshairs this week: Dacia Duster, a car whose second generation recently debuted ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, impressing both Bart and myself. 

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Look-a-like: VW T-Roc and…

The new VW T-Roc has brought a breath of fresh air to VW’s design, and unlike the most recent batch of Audis, or the new VW Arteon, it has done so without relying on an exaggerated grille. That said, while it all comes together very nicely, there are parts of the T-Roc’s design that immediately reminded me of cars that have come before it.

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Look-a-like: BMW Z4 Concept and… [w/ poll]

The new BMW Z4 Concept is a good, maybe even great-looking car: it has great proportions, some really nice and aggressive detailing, and is finished in a very eye-catching combination of sunset orange and brushed aluminum. But is it a great-looking BMW? Cover the grille, or simply merge the two kidneys into one single item, and many would struggle to ascribe the car to a particular brand – the Z4 blends a lot of cues, many seemingly from other carmakers, making the finished product seem a bit too un-BMW-like for my taste. And while the outside influences could be ascribed to many different sources, there is one concept in particular that the Z4 reminds me of…

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Look-a-like: Toyota C-HR and…

Let me come clean right from the beginning: I am a big fan of the Toyota C-HR, as it is the only car right now that seems to be carrying the avant garde torch in the subcompact SUV segment that was once kick-started by the equally adventurous-looking Nissan Juke. What’s more, the model’s looks are clearly not hampering it with consumers, who have taken to the model really rather well (European sales data, US sales data, US subcompact SUV segment comparison). However, despite this love, I always found it curious that this willfully different-looking car is, from the rear, very similar looking to another car that came before it…

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Look-a-like: VW Arteon and…

I have to admit I have a soft spot for the outgoing VW CC (née Passat CC) – it was a handsome car, especially once the facelift sharpened up its front design and rid of the weird oval graphics in the rear lights, and it seemed like a reasonable step up from the more humdrum Passat (in fact, the nickname the press gave it before it was launched, “Passat Plus”, captured its market placement pretty perfectly). What’s more, it sold pretty well, reaching around 30,000 units in its best years both in Europe and in the US. But now VW has grander ambitions for its indirect replacement, the Arteon, and wants the model to go after Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. To enable this the carmaker has allowed the Arteon to grow in size, and given it sharper styling which it hopes will imbue the model with a sense of classy sportiness. So far so good, it’s just a pit that in the process the Arteon ended up looking quite a bit like another decidedly non-premium model…

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Look-a-like: Fiat Argo interior and…

There are many ways in which Fiats have stood out over time: innovation, good looks, spaciousness, charm and value-for-money. You’ll notice that one of the things not on this list is interior design, with Fiat interiors more often than not being just a sea of gray plastic (notable exceptions include the 500 range, especially the original small 500, and cars like the mid-1990s Coupe and Barchetta). Given the lack of form in this respect it makes sense that Fiat would look elsewhere in the industry for inspiration for the interior of the newly-revealed Argo, and what better place to look than at the carmaker that is seen by many as leading the industry in terms of interior design (if not always quality).

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Look-a-like: VW Atlas and…

When the VW Atlas was finally revealed after what felt like the longest gestation period the main responses that could be heard were those of disappointment. “This is it?”, most people said, “it’s way too conservative”, said others. And then there was a sizable group of people who thought the Atlas was straight-up ugly, mainly because of the character line that runs down the side of the car. In fact, not only is the concave/convex line controversial, it’s also very reminiscent of the side-treatment another less-than-beautiful SUV received a while back…

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