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Ask any petrolhead of a certain age, and they’ll readily volunteer their thoughts: today’s new car market yields some of the ugliest cars ever. Well, that’s a silly and sweeping declaration. However, a few rides for sale today will make you question whether the designers were pulling a prank. Check out a few of the most offensively styled vehicles on the market, like the 2023 Subaru Solterra and BMW XM.

Some of the ugliest cars of 2023 might shine in their own right, but they’re difficult to gaze upon

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, granted. However, a cursory internet search will reveal that some cars are widely considered better-looking than others. These cars have some seriously controversial styling for 2023. 

  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Subaru Solterra
  • Toyota bZ4X
  • BMW XM
  • BMW i7 M70

Thankfully, Hyundai is refreshing the Sonata for 2024, but not before being one of the ugliest cars of 2023

That’s right; Hyundai is bestowing a much-needed refresh to the Sonata for the 2024 model year. However, before the Sonata gets its new tune, the 2023 Hyundai Sonata earns a spot on the list of the ugliest cars for the model year. 

With a set of light-into-hood lines akin to insect antennae, the eighth-generation Sonata isn’t the prettiest midsize sedan. The look is especially difficult to love when contrasted with one of the Sonata’s closest rivals, the recently facelifted Honda Accord. Still, the Sonata undercuts the Accord’s starting price, tops the 50-mpg mark in hybrid trims, and offers an industry-leading basic warranty.  

The Subaru Solterra is ‘challenging’ to look at, and it’s not alone

A 2023 Subaru Solterra drives through a wooded area.
2023 Subaru Solterra | Subaru

The 2023 Subaru Solterra charged into 2023 with a controversial look. The first thing onlookers will notice is the Solterra’s plastic-paneled fender lines, a presence that dominates the EV SUV’s front quarter panel and takes up sizable real estate above the rear wheels. Those gawky plastic panels aren’t too great a stylistic sin– until you reach the vehicle’s rear.

At the Subaru’s rear, more clashing geometry complements the fender panels. But not in a good way, mind you. What’s more, the Subaru is a twin; the awkwardly monikered Toyota bZ4X shares many of the same design features. On the other hand, the twins offer AWD and nearly 30 cubic feet of storage in a five-seater EV SUV. They’re certainly more practical than they are pretty.  

BMW’s polarizing style produced a monstrous luxury SUV

A 2023 BMW XM cruises down a desert road.
2023 BMW XM | BMW

BMW registers on this list twice, though many repulsed critics argue that BMW has some of the most challenging styling of any marque on the market. For instance, Car and Driver labeled the BMW XM as having “a face only a mother could love.”

It’s a shame, too. BMW’s propensity to build ballistically fast vehicles bleeds into the considerable SUV, with a sub-3.5-second sprint to 60 mph. That said, if you love how it looks, that’s outstanding. If you don’t, perhaps the opulent Bimmer SUV isn’t the ticket. After all, the only thing more prominent than the XM’s grille is its nearly $160,000 starting price. 

Many BMWs of yore were stunning, but not the i7 M70

A BMW i7, from the 7 Series that Auto Express considers one of the ugliest cars ever, drives down a coastal road.
2023 BMW i7 | BMW

Continuing the trend of BMW hate-it-or-love-it looks, the 2023 BMW i7 wears a polarizing aesthetic. Steve Fowler, the editor-in-chief at Auto Express UK, asserts that the 7 Series, upon which the i7 EV is based, is “possibly one of the ugliest cars I’ve ever seen.” While that may seem harsh, the squint-and-buck-toothed fascia is admittedly controversial.  

Of course, the luxe BMW sedan makes up for many of its head-scratching style choices with an opulent interior. Most notably, the i7 boasts a drop-down cinematic screen sure to entertain passengers for hours. And with a single-charge range of up to 318 miles, the i7 has the legs to go the distance.

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