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Eye for detail: The least attractive cars on the road revealed

Is the Tesla Model 3 the ugliest car on the road?

Visitors inspect a Tesla model 3 car on display at the International Motor Show held in Munich, southern Germany, on September 4, 2023
Visitors inspect a Tesla model 3 car on display at the International Motor Show held in Munich, southern Germany, on September 4, 2023 - Copyright AFP Tobias SCHWARZ
Visitors inspect a Tesla model 3 car on display at the International Motor Show held in Munich, southern Germany, on September 4, 2023 - Copyright AFP Tobias SCHWARZ

A previous Digital Journal article identified the types of cars currently in production that we apparently find to be the most attractive. Utilising eye tracking software, the outcome was that the Hyundai i20 to be the most attractive car. Whether AI can really assess aesthetics is debatable. However, such assessments serve no harm and they may resonate with consumer preferences.

The study was run by Vanarama and the company used an AI eye tracking tool to analyse 200 images of 100 cars (front and back) to get a percentage ranking of nine parts of cars including headlights, doors and taillights.

The survey also sought to find the cars we find least attractive. The outcome of this, based on an assessment of:

  • Headlights      
  • Grille  
  • Wheels           
  • Doors 
  • Mirrors           
  • Windscreen    
  • Taillights        
  • Boot   
  • Exhaust/Bumper

Was:

#CarTotal score
1Tesla Model 393.5
2Jeep Wrangler96.2
3Skoda Karoq101.3
4BMW 1 Series104.2
5Tesla Model Y106.1
6Hyundai Tucson109.3
7KIA Sorento110.1
8Nissan X-Trail111.1
9BMW 5 Series111.5
10Peugeot 208114.9

The least aesthetically pleasing overall was determined to be the Tesla Model 3, receiving a score of 93.5 percent. In contrast, the Hyundai i20 earned a score of 186.4%.

The eye tracking software positioned the Model 3 as the least appealing vehicle primarily due to its lacklustre grille rating at 9.2 percent, along with its subpar boot and rear window space, which scored only 9.3 percent.

Notably, the highest rating for the Model 3 stemmed from its wheels, achieving a score of 29.4 percent.

Following closely behind is the Jeep Wrangler, with an overall score of 96.2 percent. The Wrangler received an exceptionally low attractiveness score of a mere 0.3 percent for its windscreen area, marking one of the lowest scores across all aspects tested.

Next was the Skoda Karoq, registering an attractiveness score of 101.3 percent. While the eye tracking awarded relatively average scores to the Karoq’s back-end features, such as the taillights (20.7 percent) and boot/rear window (15.8 percent), the front-end components, including the windscreen, mirrors, and doors, only managed to secure a combined score of 18 percent.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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