A myriad of choices kept us scratching our heads this year. The Toyota Yaris was a contender, but we had picked a Toyota last year (the Darth-Vader-ugly 4Runner) and didn’t want a manufacturer repeat. The so-ugly-it’s-almost-cute BMW i3 was in the running too but it reminded us of a miniature English bulldog. Have you seen one of those? The “cute” offsets the ugly. The Chevrolet Spark was similarly ugly (but without the cute). Then there was the Google self-driving Waymo car—not just ugly to look at, but an ugly idea, but if it can’t be driven is it really a car? Then there was the pair of German TPVs: “trans-purpose vehicles”, the Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe and the BMW X6. These two can’t decide what they are. Are they sedans? Are they coupes? Are they SUVs? Nobody seems to know, least of all Mercedes Benz or BMW.
Unfortunately these were all merely “plain-ugly”, and we were looking for “down-right repulsive”. Back in 2011, when Nissan introduced the Juke, we recognized it as just that. But in a moment of weakness we gave it a pass, allowing Nissan some time to see the error of their designing ways. Now here we are five years later, and the Juke is as ugly as ever, with no styling improvements. And with its obvious resemblance to one of the ugliest critters in the animal kingdom, the bufo marinus giant cane toad, it leaped to the top of our list this year. So, we are pleased to award the 2016 Car and Diner Ugly Car of the Year Award to the Nissan Juke.
Bruce Hunt, Doug Davidson