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.
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.
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.
Ford FG Falcon XR8
Alfa Romeo 159
Based on the widely acclaimed Alfa Romeo Brera, this is certainly a striking vehicle.
Aston Martin Rapide S
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.
Volvo S60 (Second Generation, Circa 2012)
Jaguar XF-R (Circa 2012)
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.
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.
Tesla Model S (Circa 2013)
I’m not sure whether it’s a hatchback or sedan, but it certainly is sublime.