Top Ten Ugliest SUV’s

December 9th, 2006 by William

I was just thinking about how horrible most SUV’s looked when it occurred to me to make a top ten list of the ugliest monsters on the road. This is actually much more challenging than it sounds. There really isn’t a whole lot that separate these SUV’s aesthetically except for grills and taillights, but I think my list represents a pretty sizeable chunk of the most horrible looking creations on four wheels. I should quickly mention that it is painfully hard to make an SUV that is not ugly. Personally I like SUVs that are more utilitarian and really haven’t been styled much at all. It is the SUV’s that are styled to look utilitarian but aren’t at all that really bug me.

1. Pontiac Aztec (2001-2005)pontiac_aztec.jpg
Designed by committee, need I say more!

2. Hummer H2 (2003-present)h2.jpg
Oh let me count the ways that I hate this “wish I was an H1 Hummer” Hummer. It is bulbous and offensive, and not nearly as capable as its older brother. Not to mention that you rarely see them doing anything that necessitates the use of four wheel drive.

3. Buick Rendezvous (2002-present)buick_rendezvous.jpg
This is really similar to the Aztek but horrible enough in its own right to make the list. Amazing that one parent company can produce two vehicles that are so distinctly ugly in different ways.

4. Chevy Avalanche (2002-2006)chevrolet-avalanche.jpg
I guess this is more of an SUT, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is horrible. It looks like a 5 year old got loose in daddy’s model car boxes and built his own creation.

5. Subaru B9 Tribeca (2005-present)2006subarub9tribeca.jpg
The grill alone makes me want to upchuck. I believe the designer previously worked for Alfa Romeo and just flipped the classic Alfa grill upside down. It will take more than that to make this Subaru even remotely attractive.

6. Lincoln MKX (2007)
I don’t know if it’s the tail light that stripes all the way across the back or the recessed front grill/headlight treatment complete with unibrow chrome on top, but something about this new Lincoln rubs me the wrong way.

7. Mercury Mountaineer (second and third gen. 2002-present)mercury-mountaineer.jpg
In its first generation the Mountaineer was simply a rebadged Ford Explorer, still not pretty but tolerable. Then Mercury decided to set the Mountaineer apart with some unique styling. Congratulations, this thing stands out like a pimple faced teenager at a super model convention.

8. Nissan Murano (2003-present)murano.jpg
I actually didn’t realize the hideousness of this vehicle until I was searching around Nissan’s website. This thing looks like it crashed into the forest where ugly sticks are harvested.

9. Dodge Nitro (2007)
I was going to put the Durango on my ugly SUV list, but then I saw the new Nitro. The motto for the Dodge Nitro is “Go Bold or Go Home”. See you guys at my house. I guess “bold” sells, but to me the gargantuan plastic flares look cheap and the tall roof line and narrow headlights give the Nitro horrible proportions. This is one horrendous looking ride.

10. Toyota FJ Cruiser (2007)fjcruiser.jpg
Last but not least is a vehicle that many people think looks great, not me. I must admit I like the original FJ 40 Land Cruisers. Much like my Jeep they were simple and functional vehicles, but I would never accuse one of being attractive, my Jeep either for that matter. The simple fact is I like these vehicles because they go places normal trucks can’t, and as a result the ugly look has grown on me. Now the FJ Cruiser looks like a bad plastic caricature of the old FJ40 and frankly I think it’s insulting to the old Toyota. I doubt that the new Cruiser is anywhere near as capable as the trusty old FJ’s.

Well that’s my list; I know many will disagree so let’s hear what you think.

-Bill Mertz

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11 Responses to “Top Ten Ugliest SUV’s”

  1. mofino Says:

    Great list. I agree with all listed here. While not all terrible ugly, none are appealing at all.

  2. Allison Says:

    I totally agree with you on all of the above. I use to (pre-accident, whoops) have a ford explorer sport, which is a cute suv in my opinion…and there’s a few other suvs that I like, but so many of them are ugggggggggggly!

  3. bc Says:

    so you don’t like SUVs that look like
    (1) station wagons
    (2) minivans
    (3) trucks

    And you want more SUVs that look like
    (1) jeeps

    I think I can agree. But be prepared for more ugliness. Since SUVs are (were?) so popular, it seems carmakers decided to fit them into any and every niche they could. It’s like the dot com boom, when anything with an e- or an i- in front of it made the big bucks.

    Let us all pray for the demise of the automobile.

  4. bc Says:

    oh, and the nitro is just butt.

  5. William Says:

    I don’t so much mind if they look like wagons, trucks or vans because all of those vehicles are purposeful shapes, but its when they try to make the SUV look rugged and useful but are really just overstyling the thing and not adding any function at all.

  6. Polly Says:

    I mostly agree with you that these are ugly, but I definitely agree with you that they are overdesigned. There could be a “Top 20″ list in that category!

  7. Excelero Says:

    I think most are alright looking….your just boring and have no sense of style…i’m assuming your an older person. all these SUV’s/crossovers look like they way they do b/c it sets them apart from all the plain/boring looking SUV’s. alot of ppl like change. if u don’t like these vehicles so much then why are u spending time to write about them?

  8. William Says:

    Well, I’m in my twenties (which it says in the column off to the right), and if you think MOST of these SUV’s are ok looking I would be terrified to see your personal wardrobe.

    I love change. I’m all for alternative fuels, new materials, and new designs that make cars better. But just because something is new, doesn’t mean it isn’t butt ugly. The Ford Edsel was new and unique at one time…
    Also these SUV’s aren’t ground breaking. Most of them look very similar to other SUV’s on the market. The main difference is an ugly front end or rear end treatment.

    Why do I spend so much time writing about them?
    Well honestly this didn’t take that long to write (evident by the level of writing I’m sure), but I write about them because that is my “boring” job; they pay me to write about the automotive world, good and bad, and get people to visit my site, and if I’m lucky leave a comment.
    Thanks for visiting.

    Now back to my boring life driving old sports cars, restoring them, test driving new sports cars and writing about them. BORING!!!

  9. boo Says:


  10. boo Says:

    Excelero must be using the ‘exciting’ way of writing “you’re”.

  11. Nathan Says:

    frankly, I could really do without the high density of SUVs on the road today. Granted they are convenient and I guess they make people feel safe (I’m currently driving one because it’s what I have access to while my other car is down). …. but none the less, these are DEF. some vehicles that should have never made it off the sketch pad.

    I have to agree fully with the Pontiac Aztec… perhaps one of the biggest flops in automotive history (tho don’t quote me on that as a fact :) ).

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About William

I am a twenty something car enthusiast. I spend most of my days working in a small restoration shop in Northern California that specializes in vintage Alfa Romeos. I also manage to do some freelance writing for a handful of automotive publications. When I'm not at the shop I can usually be found working on one of my own project cars, out driving on a good windy road or good jeep trail. Despite what my girlfriend says cars aren't what defines me, they are only what I do. When I have a chance I also love to go camping, play sports or generally do any type of outdoor activity. I don't take myself to seriously, so I hope you don't either.

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