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Top 10 best cars for exterior styling

Driver Power asked UK new car buyers what they thought about their cars' exterior. Here are the top ten highest rated.

  • Covering: Overall exterior styling, the quality of the paint finish and the materials used
  • Winner: Kia Sorento Mk4
  • Score: 97.20%

Last year’s winner in the exterior category was the Kia XCeed crossover, and in 2022 the Kia Rio Mk4 also slipped into the top 10 at eighth. This year, the Korean brand has surpassed that effort by taking all three places on the podium, with the Sorento Mk4 in the top spot, the XCeed second and the Ceed Mk3 hatch ranking third. The Rio Mk4, meanwhile, drops back to 23rd in the rundown.

Doing well in the exterior category isn’t just about the styling. Owners must also rate the quality of the exterior finish and materials, and the Kia trio performs superbly on both counts. The Sorento – which finishes second overall in this year’s survey – comes in fourth for exterior styling, but first for quality and finish. 

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The XCeed takes second overall for styling and 10th for quality and finish, while the Ceed ranks eighth for style and seventh for quality and finish. Those category positions here are reversed in the full survey, where the Ceed takes 10th position to the XCeed’s 12th.

Your view

“Kia is getting better and better, and this one is a real stunner. The quality is up there with Land Rover and BMW now.”

Exterior top 10

ModelClassOverall PositionOverall ScoreCategory Score
1. Kia Sorento Mk4Mid to Large SUV2nd92.44%97.20%
2. Kia XCeedSmall SUV12th91.19%96.65%
3. Kia Ceed Mk3Compact Family Car45th89.21%93.10%
4. MINI hatch Mk3Supermini24th90.64%96.04%
5. Mazda CX-5 Mk2Mid to Large SUV9th91.36%96.00%
6. Lexus RX Mk4Premium Mid to Large SUV3rd92.15%95.84%
7. Volkswagen T-CrossSmall SUV21st90.72%95.73%
8. Audi Q3 Mk2Premium Small SUV27th90.36%95.58%
9. Citroen C4 Mk3Compact Family Car1st93.39%95.13%
10. Subaru Outback Mk6Mid to Large SUV5th91.73%95.11%
Driver Power car ownership

Now tell us about your car in the Driver Power survey...

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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