Tim GunnEnlarge Photo
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 SSEnlarge Photo
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 SEEnlarge Photo
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 ClubmanEnlarge Photo
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.