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5 Cars That Need a Redesign

Updated September 7, 2015

With each passing year, the automotive industry becomes more competitive. In order to remain up with the times and not go bankrupt rolling out new models each year, automakers inject new life into old models with full redesigns. Unfortunately, some automakers like to milk their models for all they’re worth and avoid redesigning them until there is nearly no interest in it any longer. Other times, automakers release a new car that is so ugly is needs a redo the following year.

This brings us to the latest list for our faithful readers, as we lay out the five cars that we feel are in most need of a redesign.

Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier

Just recently, the Frontier made our list of the best cars for under $20,000, but it certainly wasn’t for its looks. It made it because of its versatility as a pickup for the price of a compact sedan. With that said, I wouldn’t call the Frontier ugly. Instead, I would say it is dated, given it hasn’t seen any significant changes in more than a decade.

The silver lining to all of this is that Nissan is indeed redesigning the Frontier. Unfortunately, the official look of the next-gen Frontier remains unknown, but some experts believe it will mimic the recently unveiled NP300 Navara that lives overseas.

Unfortunate for Nissan, future endeavors do not keep us from adding the Frontier to the heap of vehicles in desperate need of a redesign.

Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage

I get it; the Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the cheapest new cars you can buy, and because of its hyper-low MSRP, you shouldn’t expect a beauty queen. However, you should be able to expect something that doesn’t look like it was ripped straight from the mid- to late-1990s. eriously, line a 1995 through 1999 Hyundai Accent up next to the Mirage and tell me that they aren’t strikingly similar.

Mitsubishi has long had a bad habit of being just a few years behind everyone else in terms of design, but the Mirage is ridiculously bad. When Mitsu executives signed off on its design, I am curious to see how many just pencil-whipped their names without even looking at it. I am willing to be a good portion of them did, as I don’t see how anyone in their right mind would approve it.

As I said before, with a base MSRP just south of $13,000 and a fuel economy rating of up to 44 mpg highway, I don’t think its looks really matter much in the buying process.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

On a scale of one through gouge my eyes out and toss them in acid, the i-MiEV hovers near the latter end. I hate to pick on Mitsubishi, but the i-MiEV looks as if a third grader designed it. I get the thought process behind being one of the first mass-produced EVs; you wanted it to look futuristic. However, it ended up looking like a golf cart bred with a Nissan Cube.

I do love the idea that Mitsubishi had the guts to roll out this inexpensive EV, but it needs to go back to the drawing board soon.

On top of being quite repulsive, the i-MiEV is now light years behind every other mass-produced EV thanks to its 62-mile range, 14.7-second crawl to highway speeds, and up to 22-hour charging time.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

I know I am setting myself up for a good lashing from Juke fans, but this thing is horrendously ugly. It kind of reminds me of an overgrown toad, thanks to its odd proportions and over-the-top headlights. Fortunately for Nissan, it released this silly looking rig early enough in the subcompact crossover boom that it gained a little traction before better-looking options arrived.

The Juke did undergo a light refresh in 2015 that improved it ever so slightly, but it wasn’t enough to overcome its looks that only a mother could love. With the Nissan Rogue and Murano recently receiving significant overhauls that put them in line with the rest of Nissan’s lineup, the Juke could be next in line to go under the knife. This is particularly true as the subcompact crossover realm becomes more mainstream.

Scion iA

Scion iA

Scion iA

Sure, it’s not even in dealers yet, but the Scion iA already desperately needs a redesign.

I have no issue at all with automakers collaborating to develop cars, as it helps keep costs low, but the iA is an example of how these deals can go south. The Mazda2 that the iA is based upon is one of the sharpest cars in its class and it fits Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” personality. The iA, on the other hand, stands out like a sore thumb.

The first problem is that Scion took what was likely the best feature of the Mazda2 – the nose – and ruined it with that weird warthog-like honker. What’s more, the iA lacks the personality that Scion is known for. There is nothing funky about the iA, it is simply a rebadged Mazda2 with a nose job that the late King of Pop would call a botch job.

Yes, the iA has some redeeming qualities, like its low price for the amount of features it comes standard with, its high fuel economy ratings, and its slick, Mazda-sourced six-speed manual transmission, but it needs a body that matches Scion’s quirky personality.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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