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Channeling Tim Gunn: How Stylin' is Your Ride?

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When you think of car design, you may not think immediately of Tim Gunn, but no one understands style better than the Bespectacled One. With cars as with fashion, looks are important. No one wants to drive an ugly car, no matter how much we love its hybrid engine or horsepower, just as no one wants to wear an ugly jacket, no matter what label it's sporting or how cruelty-free it may be. (Of course, standards of ugly may vary, as Bill Cosby's taste in sweaters shows.)

Anyway, Gunn is fond of saying that "style is about the way you hold yourself and move through the world", so we wanted to know: how are you moving? Proudly? Efficiently? Manly-ly? Here are three of our choices for high style rides. Share some of your own with us in the comments below:

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

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The 2010 Chevy Camaro -- Say what you will about the Camaro and the various reputations it's had over the years: the 2010 version gets top marks for styling. The Camaro's lines are sleek, its profile is sexy, and, most importantly, it screams "muscle car" without making drivers in the slow lane wonder if you're trying to compensate for something. (Not that you would be, but, well, you know.) And as generations of women who've owned them now know, Camaro owners get talked about--which is way more stylish than not being talked about. That's a 10 in our book.

2009 Ford Flex SE

2009 Ford Flex SE

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The 2009 Ford Flex -- The Flex isn't everyone's idea of cool, but style isn't necessarily about cool. Just as everyone has his own personal style in, say, t-shirts, everyone also has a particular car style, too. The Flex driver probably wouldn't be interested in the Camaro above; he/she's too practical for that. Then again, he/she's too hip to go for a minivan and too fearful of blending in to purchase a run-of-the-mill SUV. The Flex's boxy design may look like a cross between a Scion xB and that Oldsmobile station wagon our parents had back in the day, but there's something totally unique about it, too. With its blacked-out pillars, it looks kind of like a low-rider for soccer moms--and that's gotta be worth at least a 9, right?

2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman

2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman

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The 2009 MINI Cooper family -- MINIs probably wouldn't have much appeal for the drivers mentioned above. The cars are too nerdy for the Camaro set and too small for the Flex folks, but plenty of people have fallen in love with 'em for years. Like the Flex, the Cooper's pillars tend to be blacked out, leaving us to focus on the horizontals of the body and telltale white roof. That makes the Cooper look toy-like: low to the ground, short and squat (as if it needs to appear more like that). Added bonus: for the urbanite, its size makes parking a breeze. In all, that's another 10.

So how about you: what's a 10 in your book? Do you drive one? Or have you settled for something further down the scale? (Hey, most of us do.) Drop us a line or fire away in the comments section below.

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Comments (9)
  1. "Budget style"

    That Flex sure is a classy ride inside, but the real story is that you don't have to spring for the Limited to get a great interior. The pressed khaki and houndstooth cloth in the base model is even cooler than the top-end quilted leather seats, IMO.

  2. "ATTN"

    Just yesterday I was picking up a shower for a bathroom I am finishing in my house and was stopped 3 different times by folks in the lot to talk with me about my Magnum. They all asked about how fast it was, told me how good it looks, and asked if I "just love it".
    But none of them offered to help strap my shower stall to my roof rack, so the attention wasn't exactly helpful except maybe to my ego.

  3. "other stylin rides"

    2010 Mustang GT -- also PS: what's wrong with Cosby's sweater?

  4. "10?"

    Everyone 'settles' for the car the best fits the needs within a reasonable cost, of course it must 'look good' as well. Everyone is different and that is evident in the various cars that exist today. Some folks don't really care as long as it has 4 wheels and will haul everyone/everything they need. Some go through the specs with a fine tooth comb.
    I'm the guy that tries to find the car that meets all the needs within the budget. In 2003 I 'settled' on a Subaru Legacy Wagon. Enough room for the kids and their sports gear, dual sunroofs, AWD, alloy wheels, 4 wheel/4 channel disc brakes, 28MPG, and legendary Subaru durability. Now, would I have chose something else if the budget allowed, probably, do I regret my decision, no.
    What would I choose today? That 2010 Taurus SHO looks good!

  5. "Willys Jeep style"

    During fair weather months and the summer cruise-in season, I drive my re-powered 1960 Willys Jeep pickup truck. The combination of the iconic Jeep squareness, the retina-searing red paint, and shiny polished alloy rims always gets plenty of attention whether I'm going for a drive or parking at a cruise-in.

  6. "Classic Diva Style"

    Since you already have one of top new cars on my list, The Camaro (finally detroit put the muscle back in this muscle car), I have to go all classic on you with a 1972 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. Sculpted edgy lines, miles of steel and a removable top to boot. With air suspension and 500 CI V8 power, it doesn't get any better than parading through the Metro area in this land yacht. You might ask, have you done that? I confess! This elegant diva resides in my garage crowding the motorcycle and '01 Camaro into the other corner.

  7. "Blogger"

    Does not get any better than the 2003-04 SVT Cobra in my book, although I have not driven the GT500 yet. I owned a 2003 Cobra for three years and for me the raw power and acceleration were unmatched. I know people will say the new GT500 has more power and accelleration but are they affordable for Joe public, not really.

  8. "Bentley Continental GT"

    For pure style, nothing beats the current Continental GT, with the most beautiful back end known to automotive man. And the public responds to it: People know it's expensive, and they know it's fast ... but unlike a Porsche or an Escalade, there's no a$$hole factor. They just admire you for having it. Lots of thumbs-ups.

  9. "Forever Fresh"

    Some cars and some shapes get old fast, when they first come on the market they look irrestible but very soon they grow old, you see a bunch of them on the road and at traffic lights and very soon the freshness of the shape will vanish, they lose their appeal, they begin to look dated, there are very few cars in my opinion that age well, they still look good years after they are made, for me BMW 3 Series cars have always had this effect, they are so geometrical, so proportionate with perfect overhangs, very balanced, you always look back, I also like the new MB "C" Class with the sporty grill (not the traditional MB grill) and the new Pontiac G8 GT (perfect stance).

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