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
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
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.
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
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.
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.