We're at the point in auto design history where aerodynamic and safety considerations have become essentially commoditized, with the result that it doesn't really cost more to make an attractive vehicle than an ugly one. Which makes it all the more baffling that while Land Rover, Audi et al continue to refine the elegant lines of their urban tanks, the Japanese makers are going in the direction of the increasingly bulbous and awkward, as evidenced by the Infiniti and Lexus nature bruisers shown here. The pseudo-luxury Acura MDX fares a little better—the worst thing about it isn't the design, but rather the fact that it's built by a gang of perpetually s**t-faced Leafs fans (is there any other kind?) in Alliston, Ontario. So far it's escaped with just a big ugly grille. But it's probably just a matter of time.

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