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2022 Kia EV6: Why Doesn’t BMW Design Look Like This?

We’re sorry for beating up on BMW and its beaver tooth grilles. We do it out of love, and its heritage of fabulous sedans and coupes over the last few decades. But BMW’s reluctance to admit it needs to make some quick fixes for its ailing design directions keeps us writing. And complaining. Especially when we see what would be considered lesser vehicles that look so much better. Like the 2022 Kia EV6 sedan.

Hey BMW Design, let’s talk

2022 BMW i7 grille
2022 BMW i7 grille | Autobild

Hey BMW Design, let’s talk. BMW design has lost its mojo. Not only is the unfortunate beaver fang ginormous grille terrible but the iX SUV is abominable. It’s clunky and awkward, and just not good design. There is no “there” there. So what is BMW to do? 

When you look at Kia’s 2022 Stinger you can see more than a hint of BMW in the grille. But the rest of the body has a clean look that could be the next generation of BMW’s 5-Series or even its Gran Coupe. It’s that good. 

Meanwhile, BMW’s 7-Series and M3 have gone the other way with those depressing giant grilles. They’re depressing because BMW can and should do better. Instead, it seems to be doubling down on a bad design direction. 

BMW should look at the new Kia EV6 and combine it with a Stinger front

An orange Kia Stinger on display at a car event
A Kia Stinger vehicle is displayed during the New York International Auto Show | Getty

So for a better direction, it should look at the new Kia EV6 and then combine it with the Stinger front end. BMW would need to Bimmer up the details just a tad. But this gives them a good foundation to start bringing back a more sexy, desirable avenue than the dark alley it is now trudging down. 

The EV6 is Kia’s “Opposites United” design language. Kia’s design staff is moving beyond the “simplicity of the straight line.” It is wanting to move upmarket, and one way it sees that happening is with sophisticated style. It is not mired in endless tweaks of a design that has lasted BMW decades. 

Kia EV6
Kia reveals new design philosophy and full images of EV6

We commend BMW for trying to do something more compelling by taking a new look at the iconic kidney bean grilles. But their solutions suck. Now the design team needs to stretch out beyond exploring the grille and do something bold overall. Like Kia. Not like BMW seems to be headed. 

Nobody explained the design of the first Ford Mustang

Promotional studio shot of a 1964 Ford Mustang, 1964. This first series of the popular pony car is generally referred to as ‘1964 1/2 Mustangs,’ because they were not rolled out in October of 1963 with the rest of the new 1964 Ford cars | Getty

RELATED: 2021 BMW 4-Series Sporting ‘Beaver Fang’ Grille: Oh No!

BMW explains why you should like the iX
BMW explains why you should like the iX | BMW

Between the terrible execution of the grille and faceted wheel openings of the iX, we don’t see anything that looks compelling. When it needs to explain to consumers why it is supposed to look good to them it’s a bad sign. Nobody explained the design of the first Ford Mustang. It met with universal approval. And sales proved it.

BMW explains why you should like the iX
BMW explains why you should like the iX | BMW

If your design needs an explanation, it is just a bad design. That’s because design isn’t educated, it is a reaction. The designer is looking for a reaction by the observer that compels them to want it. If there has to be an education of what the designer has done you’ve lost before you start. 

BMW has been on the defensive as they try to shame, cajole, explain, and admonish critics about the beaver fang grilles. It has done nothing to move the dislike needle. We are offering a direction.