When I saw this commercial for the Kia Soul with the adorbs hip hop hamsters, I realized the Soul looks an awful lot like a mix between my new car, the Scion XD, and the Scion XB, which is an awful like the new Nissan Cube, an odd-looking, economical box on wheels that is reminiscent of those higher-end boxes, the tank-like Hummer and early Land Rovers, both initially meant for hunting lions or terrorists, or terrorist lions, depending on your point of view.
Meanwhile, the boxiest of classic boxy cars, the Volvo, has gone sleek and oval on us, taking cues from the super high-end BMW 6 Series and, of course, the Maserati (which, economy be damned- Maseratis are everywhere in Uptown Dallas!)
So what is it with the oval vs. the box: the box suddenly representing all that is young and hip and the oval equaling money and sophistication? I think it might be the old skool style bringing back the boxy revival--remember the Volvos of the 80s, the Hart to Hart Mercedes that was the matchbox of of my dreams or BMW’s 80’s box-- they all still makes me croon for the days of Sixteen Candles and the Brat Pack and I went and bought a Scion, maybe for that reason. (Paging Dr. Freud!)
But I guess if you’re spending $80,000 and up on a car, luxury isn’t about capturing kitsch, irony, or youth culture. (Note: youth culture, not youth. $80K will probably get you a young girlfriend, though.) The appeal of the oval is more about capturing the speed of the compact design of Porsche. Or maybe it’s nostalgia for those molded steel curves of the Studebaker.
I wouldn’t know. I bought a car that could be mistaken for the hip hop hamster car. And that is just fine with me.
It's hip to be square.