The top ten 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, quality of the exterior finish and materials
  • Winner: Mazda CX-5
  • Score: 95.65%

To achieve a good score in the exterior category of the Driver Power survey, a car has to not only look appealing on the outside, but also have the build quality and finish to back this up; style over substance won’t do the job.

Last year, the Mazda 6 won this class, but while a Mazda once again takes the prize in 2021, it’s the CX-5 that tops the table. This shows the huge popularity SUVs are enjoying, with their styling winning the hearts of many buyers, alongside their practicality and other talents.

Mazda enjoys a sleek, attractive design language known as Kodo, and the CX-5 clearly benefits from this. Owners feel it compares well alongside other SUVs of a similar class and size.

The brand also has a strong reputation for build quality, an area where the CX-5 exterior is judged favourably. You told us your cars don’t have prominent panel gaps, and that the fit and finish are top notch. This, combined with the design, gave the CX-5 an edge over a broad church of other close competitors in this category

Your view

“The exterior fit and finish on my CX-5 are perfect in my eyes. There are no excessive panel gaps and I’ve not noticed any imperfections or questionable materials.”

Exterior top 10

Model

Class

Overall Position

Overall Score

Category Score

Mazda CX-5

Mid-Size SUV

3

91.65%

95.65%

Lexus NX

Premium Mid-Size SUV

13

90.15%

95.32%

Toyota C-HR

Mid-Size SUV

4

91.07%

95.09%

Kia Rio

Supermini

2

92.16%

94.91%

Peugeot 2008

Small SUV

12

90.23%

94.88%

Kia Ceed

Compact Family Car

17

89.67%

94.81%

Hyundai Kona

Small SUV

1

92.35%

94.61%

Skoda Kodiaq

Large SUV

6

90.92%

94.17%

SEAT Ateca

Mid-Size SUV

10

90.40%

94.10%

Volvo XC40

Premium Small SUV

8

90.60%

94.01%

Click here to tell us about your car in the Driver Power survey...

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