Stellar Chariot

By Arun Neelakandan

Beautiful Sedans

What follows is an incomplete and growing list of beautiful production sedans/saloons. I’ll be adding comments over time.

Note: I’ll only be considering exterior aesthetics.

Hyundai i45 (Sixth Generation, ~2009)

The sixth-generation released in 2009 is an astounding piece of work. The dramatic character/shoulder line that flanks the side profile and wraps around towards the taillights adds a feeling of movement and provides a three-dimensional quality to the vehicle. I’m usually not a fan of such tense lines (often it ‘pinches’ the flow of the car’s lines as your eye moves from the front-to-back and vice versa), but the i45 pulls it off with a sense of sophistication and elegance. The stretched back and extra third window gives it a sleeker, coupe-like character. Overall, the i45 possesses a solid road presence (especially when seen in the metal) combined with a design package that feels upmarket and stylish.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited -- 04-13-2011

2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited rear -- 02-13-2010

Lexus IS (2014)

The previous generation of IS, while being a wholesome design consisting of sharp edges and crisp motifs, were too plain. This generation accentuates the edges with more aggressive base line that follows onto the equally aggressive tail lights. The front fascia is also bolder and more divisive. The IS resembles origami folds and edges — which I think is a good thing, given its Japanese origins.

2014 Lexus IS250 F Sport Package 01

2014 Lexus IS250 F Sport Package 02

Holden VE Commodore 2006-2009 SS V

The gripes I had with VT, VX, VY and VZ series Commodores were the bulbousnousness, particularly with the rounded DayLight Opening (DLO) (i.e. windows), which made the design grotesque in appearance. This design nails the large, Commodore-esqueness from the previous generations, but with a defined crispness and cohesion. The DLO especially flows brilliantly with the car thanks to the curved shape with a flattened bottom that ties nicely with the beltline. Virtually every component gels really nicely with the other components. The side profile, tail lights and the subdued but notable wheel arches are especially well done. Interestingly, the wagon version is far more beautiful than the sedan (however, that’s for another blog post). The only criticism I could I provide is that the front bumper air intakes could’ve perhaps been more angular and aggressive. Altogether, a clean, well proportioned design.

2009-2010 Holden VE Commodore SS V sedan 01

2006-2009 Holden VE Commodore SS V sedan (2010-12-28)

Ford FG Falcon XR8

2008 Ford FG Falcon XR8

2008 Ford FG Falcon XR8 01

Alfa Romeo 159

Based on the widely acclaimed Alfa Romeo Brera, this is certainly a striking vehicle.

Alfa 159 grey

Alfa 159 - Flickr - David Villarreal Fernández (7)

Aston Martin Rapide S

Aston Martin Rapide S - White/Silver Front Aston Martin Rapide S - Side Profile - Magma Red Aston Martin Rapide S - Rear Three Quarters - Magma Red

Kia Optima (Circa 2012)

Like the Hyundai i45, this feels like an upmarket car. A solid example of the ‘Tiger Nose’ design approach Peter Schreyer (designer at Kia) has pushed forward.

Kia Optima circa 2012 - Rear Kia Optima circa 2012 - Front

Volvo S60 (Second Generation, Circa 2012)

Paris - Mondial de l'automobile 2010 - Volvo S60 - 003

Volvo S60 R-Design (II, Facelift) – Heckansicht, 26. Dezember 2013, Düsseldorf

Mitsubishi 380

2007-2008 Mitsubishi 380 (DB III) VR-X sedan 01

2006-2007 Mitsubishi 380 (DB II) SX sedan 03

Jaguar XF-R (Circa 2012)

Jaguar XF-R Front Jaguar XF-R Rear

Mercedes-Benz CLS Class (Circa 2008)

Initially I found the CLS to be malformed, but after seeing it in the metal, I quickly changed my mind. It is a gorgeous set of wheels.

Mercedes CLS Facelift front

Mercedes CLS Facelift rear

Mazda 6 (Third Generation; GJ series; Circa 2013)

Initially, I wasn’t hugely impressed. It was too large and the way the lines finished towards the rear was a bit unconvincing. However, having seen it many times in the flesh and on the screen, it has grown on me. This is is an outstanding design.

2012 Mazda 6 unveiled in Paris (8049081405)

2013 Mazda6 2.0 saloon in Cyberjaya, Malaysia (01)

2013 Mazda6 2.0 saloon in Cyberjaya, Malaysia (02)

2012 Mazda 6 unveiled in Paris (8049078307)

Tesla Model S (Circa 2013)

I’m not sure whether it’s a hatchback or sedan, but it certainly is sublime.

Tesla Model S Rear Black Tesla Model S Front Black Tesla Model S Side Profile Black Tesla Model S Side Profile Red

Tesla Model S Signature

Gibraltar G1 Tesla Motors Model S

Model S driving