One disappointing sidelight in a generally inspiring Frankfurt motor show was the surprising number of new cars whose styling was anonymous, or disappointing, or not even up to the standard of their predecessors.
I can think of at least half a dozen. Most shocking to me was the Kia Sorento, for years the marque’s best-looking model, which has been replaced by something obviously more modern – and thoroughly anonymous. In the crisply-shaped outgoing model’s lifetime it often struck me that this was going to be a difficult car to replace (especially since it had sold strongly when the marque’s other potato-like creations did not) and now they’ve gone and proved it. I’m not saying the replacement isn’t better, just visually much less memorable.
I also feel Ford has let me down with the C-Max, now available in two body lengths. This may well be the source of the problem. The previous five-seater was a neatly chiselled shape. The new ones seem to carry Ford’s crisp Kinetic Design principles less well, and to have rather ungainly noses that threaten the rest of their proportions. I do wonder whether, had Ford’s designers been required to produce one coherent C-Max shape, that shape wouldn’t have been more memorable. (Don’t dismiss the car itself, by the way. Its interior is brilliant, and its seat-folding arrangements easily beat the bulk of the the opposition).