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Why are some of the most expensive SUVs so unattractive?

Bob Rupani Updated: July 30, 2021, 10:30 AM IST

Let me begin with a disclaimer. I am aware that preference in looks and styling is a completely personal assessment, and can vary from person to person. And what I am expressing here is purely my personal opinion based on my own sense of aesthetics, and you are welcome to disagree. One more thing. Please let me clarify that I am only talking about the exterior looks here, and nothing else. Some of the SUVs mentioned like the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 all actually excel in many aspects and are brilliant performers.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Bentley Bentayga is one of the most ugly SUVs

Now that is out of the way, let me say I am utterly shocked and dismayed by the styling and design of some of the most expensive SUVs in the world. When the Bentayga was launched, it had many traditional Bentley fans squirming in discomfort. The obviously ostentatious styling and its brazen desire to attract attention was unbecoming of Bentley, and unacceptable to people like me. But it has worked in the favour of Bentley, with the Bentayga becoming one of its most popular and successful models.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Rolls-Royce Cullinan also loses out on looks

Another expensive SUV that has awfully bold styling, which ironically gives it exceptional road presence, is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Again the Cullinan has disappointed Rolls-Royce purists, but the people with the money have welcomed it with open arms.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The exterior styling of the Maybach GLS 600 is eye-catching, but not elegant

One more SUV that is expensive but unattractive, is the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. It was launched in our country last month in June, at a starting price of Rs 2.43 crore, which will obviously be more with options. Interestingly, at the time of the launch the company had already received 50 bookings for the Maybach GLS, completely selling out all its stock for 2021!

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Maybach GLS 600 tries too hard to be noticed

While the response to the Maybach GLS is overwhelming, especially in this unprecedented pandemic period, I just cannot fathom the reason for this?  What do its buyers see in it? As far as I am concerned, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is a gaudy and ugly SUV.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?This Maybach is covered in shiny and showy chrome

The bright chrome and flashy adornments are terribly overdone and quite tasteless. This overuse of shiny chrome in the front grille along with the loud lower air vents in the bumper, are actually an affront to the senses. It's almost like all these shiny bits have been put to razzle-dazzle onlookers and ensure the Maybach GLS does not go unnoticed. While the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 has little aesthetic appeal, it's certainly not as bad and brash as the Bentley Bentayga.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The F-Pace has very smart styling

So what does this mean? In my opinion the world now has way too many rich people, with no class and very poor taste. They are pretty pretentious and because of their desire to get noticed, they spend huge sums on cars with eye-catching, but tasteless and showy styling.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?And the Levante has the typical Italian good looks

Fascinatingly, the styling and design standards of companies like Bentley and Roll-Royce has largely fallen after they too succumbed to the lure of making SUVs, which since the last decade or so, are the rage all over the world.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?While the Urus SUV has both muscle and style

Some people suggest that SUVs due to their very nature and boxy shape and tall stance, are bound to be less aesthetically appealing than sedans, hatchbacks, etc. However I do not buy this argument. The Range Rover Evoque is a SUV and a very capable one at that. It's also tremendously good looking and its design and styling will surely be listed as iconic, in the chapters of automobile history.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Range Rover Evoque is one of the best looking SUVs ever

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Range Rover SV Coupe is an epitome of elegance

The Range Rover also exudes style, sportiness and grace, as do the Jaguar F-Pace, Maserati Levante, Lamborghini Urus and even the more humble, but stunningly styled Volvo XC40. And although they may not cost as much as the "Ugly Three", they aren't inexpensive either.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Seltos made by Kia shows even affordable SUVs can be smartly styled

Let's also not forget there are many affordable and good looking SUVs like the Kia Seltos, or the boxy but cute Suzuki Jimny, that many are so eagerly waiting to welcome into India.

Why are the most expensive SUVs – So unattractive?The Suzuki Jimny may be boxy, but its also cute

This illustrates that good looks and styling is not related to the price of a product, but has more to do with the target audience. In my opinion the makers of the most expensive SUVs in the world know that if their SUVs can standout and generate heaps of attention and eyeballs, there is no shortage of rich buyers with poor taste, and no class.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 4.1 Crore
Displacement
3996cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
550
Max Torque(Nm)
770
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 69.9 Lakhs
Displacement
1999cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
204
Max Torque(Nm)
430
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 9.95 Lakhs
Displacement
1497cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
115
Max Torque(Nm)
250
Mileage
20.8 Kmpl
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 3 Crore
Displacement
3996cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
650
Max Torque(Nm)
850
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 1.45 Crore
Displacement
3800cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
275
Max Torque(Nm)
730
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 39.9 Lakhs
Displacement
1969cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
190
Max Torque(Nm)
300
Mileage
-NA-
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