Look-a-like: BMW X1 and…

There is a general consensus that the second-generation BMW X1 is a very good-looking car, mostly because (whisper it) the primarily FWD platform endows it with much nicer proportions than its predecessor, whose 3-series-derived RWD platform gave it an awkward long-nose, cab-backward stance that did not look good on a crossover. However, if there is one way in which the new model is not great is the detailing, which looks a bit fussy in places, making the whole car look cheaper than it ought to. One such example is the taillights, whose amorphous shape not only lacks distinctiveness, it actually bears more than a passing resemblance to a car less than half its price…

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Look-a-like: Ford Fusion/Mondeo and…

Normally when you think of Ford Fusion (or Mondeo, as it’s known in Europe) taking design inspiration from another car, your thoughts immediately go to the Aston Martin-esque front grille. And rightly so – Ford’s decision to unashamedly adopt a family grille whose shape is much like that of the British sports car maker has received a lot of press, especially given that Ford used to own Aston Martin. However, this is not the only case of the Blue Oval taking design inspiration from cars produced by a brand it used to own.

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Look-a-like: Mercedes-Benz GLS and…

04-2017-mercedes-benz-gls-fd-1

When the first-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class made its debut in 2006, many (rightly) viewed it as a super-sized version of the brand’s own ML-Class, designed to appeal to the US market hungry for large, 7-seat SUVs. But then as the second-generation model was facelifted in 2015, the company renamed it as the GLS, reflecting its new naming nomenclature, but also its desire for the model to be viewed as the “S-Class SUV”, and a genuine competitor to rivals such as Range Rover and even Bentley Bentayga. Now, the finer points on whether the GLS fulfills that brief have been debated elsewhere, but what always undermined the model’s luxury aspirations is the second-generation’s uncanny resemblance from the rear to an altogether less luxury model…… Continue Reading …

Look-a-like: New Kia Rio and… [w/ poll]

Just yesterday Kia released pictures of the new Rio, and it looks reassuringly familiar – those solid flanks, the handsome front, the slightly aggressive lights. However, unlike with so many new cars these days, this is not because the new Kia Rio looks much like the old one (think most VAG, BMW products). In fact, the new Rio looks surprisingly unlike its dynamic and uniquely-styled predecessor. Rather, it is reminiscent of another car…… Continue Reading …

Look-a-like: Subaru Legacy and…

Subaru LegacyThe current Subaru Legacy, which came out in 2014, is a big improvement over its frumpy predecessor – it’s sheetmetal is considerably sleeker, the details look like someone actually was paying attention to them, and the whole looks rather attractive as a result. That said, the car can hardly be accused of being the most originally styled on the market, and it’s clear that parts of its design where inspired by other cars. In fact, the whole rear of the car seems to have been taken wholesale from a luxury car launched a year earlier by another carmaker.

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Look-a-like: Renault Talisman and…

Renault Talisman is a very good-looking car, no two ways about it. It manages to look imposing and elegant (well, aside maybe from the running-mascara daylights) while at the same time retaining a clear family resemblance to the more swoopy Renault designs such as the Twingo or Clio thanks to the imposing diamond on its grille. However, there is one element of the car’s design that to me always looked too similar to one of its direct competitors, namely the front lights.… Continue Reading …

Look-a-like: Genesis New York Concept and…

Genesis New York Concept

When the deliciously aggressive-looking Genesis New York Concept made its debut I was really impressed. Having been spun off its parent Hyundai brand Genesis needed to make an emphatic statement of intent, and the New York Concept was just that. And while I could not escape the nagging feeling that Hyundai had been there before, a quick browse through their concept back-catalog yielded nothing. Maybe I was wrong?

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Look-a-like: Renault Kadjar and…

Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar is, by all means, fully deserves the sales success it has enjoyed thus far. It is well positioned within the market, offering a compelling, family-friendly package draped in an attractive skin that fully embraces the swoopy style adopted under Renault’s chief designer Laurens van den Acker. To me, it may actually be one of the best-looking cars in its segment, but whenever I look at it from its side I just can’t shake off how much it’s window line, with its up-kick midway through the rear door, reminds me of…

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Look-a-like: Honda CR-V and…

Honda CR-V

With the new CR-V around the corner it’s worth looking at the current model, and seeing how Honda cemented its standing as one of the best-sellers model in its class. The first two generations were pretty utilitarian cars, with looks to match their functionality, no more. Honda successfully injected some style into the third generation, but its the fourth, current generation that finally completed the leap from utilitarian to stylish family runabout. Part of the successful visual overhaul was the rear of the car, where the model’s trademark upright lamps evolved into a much more attractive shape, one that the customers instantly found alluring partly because they were already familiar with it.

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Look-a-like: Maserati Levante and…

Maserati Levante 2

Ever since the Maserati Levante made its debut I’ve felt that it was a good idea, badly executed. In fact, the whole design seems like a lot of nice design ideas (the grille, the slit-like headlights, the fastback profile, the rear haunches) that have been spread a bit thin over an awkward shape, taking away much of what made the Kubang concept that proceeded it great.

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