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Six Car Styling Cliches Of 2014

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2014 Jaguar XJR - First Drive - August 2013

2014 Jaguar XJR - First Drive - August 2013

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Automotive styling tastes can be more fickle than fashion; and it only takes a quick look at how cars are seen as a sort of extended fashion statement here in the U.S. to understand why.

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Most shoppers want a vehicle that fits in, yet one that stands out just the right amount as new and different. We want cues that are fresh, but vehicle styling can't add up to something that's too visually complex, aesthetically busy, or hackneyed. And to complicate matters, sometimes -- as evidenced by the lure of off-road-influenced cues in some family wagons, or the proliferation of big trunk spoilers a few years back in family sedans -- we do want to appear something we aren't.

All along, if you're sizing up new vehicle designs for yourself, you should be keeping in mind two terms: styling and design. While design is important, and concerns the proportions, the curves, and the functionality, it's the styling -- what's expressed in the fine details -- that can really turn on, or turn off, shoppers when they see a product in person.

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Functionality aside, read on to see six styling elements that run the risk of being overused in today's market:


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