Which is most stylish?

Three very different designs, and we pick the best

A chunky crossover, conservative hatch or upmarket MPV – what kind of family car do you want to be seen in? Each of our trio scores well when it comes to image and styling, but they take very different design approaches. 
Tonka Toy looks are clearly a big part of the Yeti’s success – the rugged shape is perfectly proportioned and there’s a ‘cope with anything life throws at it’ solidity to the car’s design. The black plastic side skirts and lower bumper sections enhance the rugged image, while the roof rails and raised ride height provide a 4x4-inspired look. Colour-coded door handles and mirrors give an extra touch of class. 
GreenLine badges front and rear distinguish the front-wheel-drive eco model. And while the stick-on logos on the front wings look a little cheap and can be peeled off with ease, this fails to detract from the Yeti’s strong kerb appeal.
While the Skoda badge cannot match its VW cousin for premium appeal, it’s not as far behind as you’d expect. With its line-up of class-leading cars and excellent aftersales care, the brand continues to go from strength to strength. 
After 30 years of careful evolution, it’s no surprise to find that the classy Golf has the strongest image of our trio. It trails the chunky Yeti for visual impact, but still has the most car park kudos.
With its swept-back lights and well proportioned shape, the VW remains one of the best-looking cars in the compact hatchback class – even though the shape can trace its roots back to 2004.
The styling is further improved on our Match by the addition of subtle chrome trim for the radiator grille, plus 15-inch alloy wheels wrapped in energy-saving low-rolling-resistance rubber.
Meanwhile, the C-MAX has a tough task to beat its rivals in the design stakes. The need for a spacious cabin invariably leaves people carriers looking a little square, although that’s something the blue oval has managed to minimise here.
By taking its cues from the new Focus, the Ford looks more like a large hatchback than a boxy people carrier. The sharply styled front end provides a dynamic face, while rounded wheelarches and a bold shoulder line ensure a taut profile. Overall, the smaller five-seat C-MAX is a far more attractive car than its awkward-looking Grand-badged stablemate.
Adding to the appeal of the range-topping Titanium model tested here are intricate 15-spoke 17-inch wheels, chrome-effect window surrounds, plus gloss black treatment for the grille and foglamp trim. However, there’s still no getting away from its utilitarian people carrier roots – so ultimately, the Ford has to give best to the other cars here in the style stakes.

Most Popular

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES

The Genesis G80 looks to make an impact in the executive saloon class as we pitch it against the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus ES
18 Sep 2021
'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021