I understand that the body design of many cars today is the result of wind tunnel tests so they do tend to look all alike. Thus we end up with "GENERIC CAR" like NASCAR cars. And some manufactures want a car to drop out of that "Same As" mold. But that is no excuse to make something "PURE UGLY".
There was a joke among men that you should not be seen in a Tan Minivan. Not that the Minivan was that ugly but that it meant you were domesticated and controlled by your wife. There was nothing wrong with your wife owning a tan minivan it was just that you should not be seen in it by any of your macho buddies. It is an unwritten law that men must drive manly cars or trucks. Even if your car is not a high dollar sports car, you should have "Mag Wheels" and wide tires on it. Even on mild sedans to pretend it is "Bad". Even if you have to ride shotgun in your wife's tan minivan you have to slouch down so as to not be seen. But there is NO excuse to drive or be seen in "UGLY".
Today as I drive on the streets, I look at what is on the street today and it is not the photos of the cars I have listed so far. Most of those are either collector's car or show cars and very few are driven on the street today. Here is what you look at today. So I will express my opinion of their rating for the front, side and rear. I am rating the three views because some cars look good in one or more views but have an ugly view too.
Back in the 50's through the 70's you could see a car from a distance and quickly ID the car. However today all cars tend to look alike. I am sure that is partly due to the wind tunnel designs. So cars today have little character of their own. Only when you get up close can you even tell what brand it is. With that trend some years down the road they will all be exactly the same except of decals like the NASCAR race cars are today. I would not be surprised to see them all have their bodies made but one manufacture. Maybe it's the people causing it by not wanting to be different. Maybe eventually all the people will also look alike and have homes that are all alike and children that are all alike. Anyone who looks different will be isolated. Hmmm ? Kind of like it is today. Just imagine a world of "Cookie Cutter" people with "Cookie Cutter" children all living in "Cookie Cutter" houses and driving "Cookie Cutter" Cars. Maybe that is why the KIA soul is here. These people want something "Different". Even at the expense of being Pug Ugly. Look at these cars and ID them at a distance.
Ok, yes I tried to trick you. Only # 8 is a different brand and all the others are the same brand just different models. Opps ! wait a minute all 10 are different brand cars. Get my point ??? So to try to be individual, each has made a different grill, so they can be identified. In past years cars could be identified from a distance. Each has tried to have a "Signature" grill. But even that is not working well because some of the import cars are copying the grills.
Cadillac has tried a goofy looking pointed grill like something on the face of a Joker. But some of the Imports are copying that now. Even though it is ugly, they don't care because Cadillac used it and the import cars want to pretend to have an expensive car look even if it is ugly. BMW seems to be the only car that has been able to hang on to a "Signature" grill.
In the late 80's a car manufacture made a giant Stupid error. This car manufacture looked at Ford and Chevy and seen a look-a-like trend and copied them. That square box look of the late 80's. So they changed their unique body design, which was one of the most beautiful body designs in the world to "blend in" to what they thought the public wanted. Guess what ? No one bought their cars any more. Why ???
That car was Jaguar. They went to great lengths to design a new engine and drive train. But they didn't understand that their customers who had to pay 3 to 4 times as much as a Ford or Chevy cost at that time, didn't like having a car that looked just like any Ford or Chevy. When they had to pay that price for their car, they wanted every one to know what it was. And since the last Jag (series III XJ-6) was easily recognized and was beautiful from any view, they had to go back to the looks of the Series III XJ-6 design to stay in business. So "Trends" may work for the average car, it is not acceptable when you have to pay 3 times what an average car costs. This also applies to cars that are "Bad" (cars that fly) For example, Even Ford, Chevy and Chrysler knew that if they were to build a car that was so called "Bad", it best look "Bad" too. That is why the Ford Mustang looks different then any other Ford and the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Charger all are easily recognized from a distance. Most people who buy muscle cars want people to know it is a muscle car. Not that all regular looking cars are standard family cars. These cars are referred to as "Sleepers" which can be a nice looking family car or even a ratty looking street car that will go. The same goes for trucks. People who normally get a high performance truck want it to look "Bad" too.
All of this boils down to impressions and the looks of a car. There is no reason to want an "Ugly" car. Even if they try to use the VW Beetle as an example, that will not fly. When the VW first brought the Beetle into the US, many thought it was Ugly and some laughed at it. But it quickly became "Cute" and it was so economical to buy, drive and maintain the people flocked to it. The "Big" three said "Opps!" by the time they seen how it was accepted in the US it was too late, they were unable to stop it.
So they decided to counter it with their own version of an economy car. GM tried to copy it with an air cooled flat 6 cylinder designed just like the VW. The trouble was that they also copied everything that was wrong with the Beetle. The exposed pushrod tubes that leaked all the time and the cheep swing axle design to name two.
John DeLorian was an Engineer for GM at the time and when the test driver first drove the new GM version of the Beetle (Corvair) he rolled it over due to the swing axles. DeLorian told GM management that they couldn't produce the car like that, and needed to change the design of the rear suspension or it would kill and injure a lot of people. Management produced it as-is anyway and it did injure and kill a lot of people including relatives of management. But they still didn't care. But all of a sudden when Ralph Nader wrote a book about the dangers of the Corvair called "Unsafe at any Speed" and sales went into the dump. Then management called Delorian in on the carpet and asked what needed to be done to correct the car. The engineers went to work on it and corrected the rear suspension and greatly improved the bland box look of the Corvair and made a really nice looking and much safer car. But management dropped the ball again by keeping the name "Corvair" and the stigma was too well stuck on the car and no one believed GM that it was now safe. And the car soon died. It was a shame too because the car now looked good and was a lot safer to drive.
I had a first hand experience with one of the first Corvairs, when I had a Austin Healey 100-4 and I use to practice in an "S" turn near my brother-in-law's home. This "S" turn had no ditches and just flat grass fields on both sides so I could practice sliding these corners. I once took my brother-in-law for a ride and later he called me and said he bought a "Sports Car". And told me it was a new Corvair. He asked me to take him for a ride through the "S" turn driving his Corvair. So I went a little easy because I never played with one before. I normally use a method to get the rear wheels to break loose entering the turn by down shifting and slightly delaying the release of the clutch so the engine slows down and the release of the clutch then tries to bring the RPM up to the speed of entering the turn and that breaks the rear tires loose and then you step down on the throttle to keep the tires broke loose. This is not the fastest way around a turn but is fun to do and now it is a sport called "Drifting". I entered the corner and got the rear tires to break loose and got the car sliding and I then stepped down on the throttle to keep the rear sliding and it unloaded the front tires and they started sliding and I went right off the road into a field. This is called "Under Steer". I was lucky that the rear tires didn't grab traction as that it what I later learned caused the wheel to "Tuck under" and roll the Corvairs. I later learned from a friend who "Auto Crossed" an earlier Corvair that he had to put restrictors on the rear suspension so that they could not tuck under and to put a 100 lb bag of sand in the front trunk to keep the front tires grip on the pavement.
Ford didn't fair much better. They tried to build a Economy car with the Pinto which might have done OK except for a single bolt that stuck straight at the fuel tank and many rear end crashes resulted in a large fire. Ford could have corrected the problem after it was noted but that would have cost them $5. per car and they refused to make the change so the Pinto died too. They built another econo car called the Falcon and it had a strange front suspension. To keep costs down they decided to make the upper ball of the ball joint from a crushed piece of sheet metal and that might have worked if they didn't make the hole in the upper socket of the upper ball joint so large. As long as the weight of the car was on the suspension it stayed in place but if the car was to be raised up and the suspension then hung from the ball joints, they sometimes would just fall out. This in turn would make the wheel and each axle fall down and fall under the car. This became evident when young people would drive the car over a rail road hump and the front would get air born and the front wheels would fall down under the car and of course roll the car.
I experienced this first hand when I was a New Car service mechanic in a Ford dealership. An inspection sheet came with each new car to give the "New Car Service" mechanic a check list. One of the items on the list was to check the "Free Play" in the wheel bearings on the front. This is a standard check on all cars. So what you are suppose to do is to jack the front of the car off the floor and rotate the wheel to note it's free spinning and listen for any noise and then grab the tire at the top and bottom and try to wiggle the wheel to check free play. This amount of free play is different on different brands of cars. However when I wiggled the tire on this Falcon the wheel fell to the floor and I looked and noted the upper ball joint had fallen out of it's socket. At that time I was very familiar with many different brands of car ball joints and after close examination I seen that the upper ball was just a crushed piece of sheet metal and the upper socket was just two pieces of sheet metal too and the hole was very much too large and it had just fallen out.
It didn't take long before our back lot was full of Falcons hauled in that were damaged and rolled over. At least this time Ford quickly fixed the problem by installing the whole front end of the large Fords under the Falcon. This quick action saved the Falcon unlike their foot dragging killed the Pinto and GM dragging their feet until a book was written that killed the Corvair.
I know, this has nothing to do with "Ugly". But I guess there are different versions of "Ugly" when it comes to cars. But just like people there are cars that are Ugly outside but beautiful inside and others that are beautiful outside and Ugly inside. And that includes mechanically as well as the interior. Even when a front grill is UGLY other car companies still copy for some unknown reason. Look at these.
How great are design engineers at the car manufactures to all have the same basic design of a Clown face on there cars. Or is it how they view their customers? ha!