Poll says Volvo offers the UK's best-looking car range

Volvo has the best-designed cars on the road right now, according to a new poll of British motorists by Carbuyer

A Carbuyer poll has named Volvo as having the best-looking range of cars on sale in the UK, beating off stiff competition in what was a very close race – and the full poll results speak volumes about what buyers love and hate about the way cars look.

With over 1,000 votes cast, Volvo took the top spot, narrowly beating Land Rover. However, its victory could easily have been more slight; not only could participants place a positive vote for a favourite brand, but could downvote others, and this made for interesting reading in the overall results.

While Volvo and Land Rover received roughly twice as many positive votes as negative, fourth-placed Mercedes saw an almost exact split for and against. Fifth-placed Audi saw more downvotes than positive votes, and this was true of many other manufacturers – including so-called ‘premium’ brands.

The lower reaches of the results table are particularly revealing – MINI finished last overall, with roughly three times as many downvotes as positives. Could this mean that buyers are tiring of the brand's retro-led style? Perhaps design touches such as Union Jack tail lights are that little bit too divisive?

Designing a car is inherently difficult because it’s so tough to please everybody, and naturally not all designs prove popular. Toyota, for instance, which has introduced a very angular, knife-edge style to models such as the Toyota C-HR crossover and Toyota Prius hybrid, languishes in 13th place, with twice as many downvotes as upvotes.

By contrast, Mazda, which employs a more traditional front grille and curvaceous form across much of its range, sits pretty in third place with almost 50% more upvotes than downvotes. Skoda's mid-table finish was perhaps expected of a brand that doesn't tend to court design controversy, while Kia's finish in 8th place is an impressive result for a brand which is typically better known for value than style.

Mazda's third-place finish, Volvo's overall win and MINI's unenviable last-place finish suggests that there was more to the voting than simple brand favoritism. BMW, whose cars are usually regarded as desirable, finished in 15th place. This seems a surprising result, given that its range includes models like the M4 Coupe, and such futuristic designs as the electrified BMW i3 and BMW i8.

With UK car sales figures yet to satisfy industry targets for 2018, an appealing product range is the most important thing a manufacturer can offer.

Here are the Carbuyer 2018 car design poll results in full:

Final standingManufacturer
1Volvo
2Land Rover
3Mazda
4Mercedes
5Audi
6Peugeot
7SEAT
8Kia
9Skoda
10Renault
11Ford
12Nissan
13Toyota
14Honda
15BMW
16Volkswagen
17Vauxhall
18Citroen
19Hyundai
20MINI

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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