Saturday 13 August 2011

Road - Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder?

The Nissan Juke is like 'The Only Way is Essex'. Some folk will get it, the majority of us won't. TOWIE is one of those English cultural programme about the natives, something like our own version of  'The Scheme', but where the fake-tan is trowelled on and the accent is completely alien!

So whilst the Juke looks OK from the ear, not so bad from the side, it's when you get round the front that you wonder what happened. Did the designer run out of ideas, or was the wee hand on 5 and the big hand on 12 and he was on a promise?

Whatever, it made me wonder. We can't blame the designer for cars we don't like, because for every car that is designed, whether good, bad or ugly, someone above the design department has to approve it and tick it off for production. So the real reason we have cars which make it and cars which don't lies in the hands of those at the top. Don't blame the designers.

For instance, Chris Bangle came in for a lot of stick at BMW, but it wasn't him who said: "Go ahead and build the cars", it was somebody way above him. Again reactions were mixed, some folk loved his 'flame sufacing' designs other folk despised them. In fact it even caused some BMW fanatics to set up a website calling for his head.

Anyway, the Juke certainly ain't that bad, it's just quirky in an odd sort of way, but it does make you wonder. What goes through the mind of senior executives when presented with a set of designs to make them want to press the 'Start' button?

Perhaps behind every ugly car is a boozy lunch or a bad temper. In this case, the guy who signed it off must have been in a  frivolous mood - well it certainly made the neighbours smile every time they saw me going out to drive it. Butch car it is not, maybe I should have let the wean drive it.

Having said all that, it's a decent wee driver. With a 1.6 turbo petrol engine and 4WD it goes quite well, plus it's roomy and comfy inside. But for 20 grand? I'm not sure. Although if it does tickle your fancy, prices for the base 2WD models start at £14,000.

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