In vehicles as with people, it’s what’s beneath the skin that really counts — but that doesn’t stop shoppers from preferring the most attractive new cars. They’re the ones with standout styling for owners who want to stand out from the crowd themselves. Of course, the best choices, like those listed on the following pages, are the vehicles that combine good looks with other great selling points, whether that means top technologies, advanced powertrains, strong safety ratings, or all of the above. That’s what we’ve got here, and these picks also are available across a surprisingly wide span of MSRPs. Autobytel experts then put an emphasis on “new,” so that all of these most attractive cars showcase significant upgrades over the past model year.
10 Most Attractive New Cars
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
The world’s best-selling roadster hasn’t always been the best-looking entry in the segment, but Mazda stylists definitely hit the mark with the next-gen Miata. The soft-top version debuted for 2016 with the brand’s “Kodo — Soul of Motion” design language, and the car’s curvy exterior, aggressive front fascia, and slash-like LED headlights all earned praise from the critics. Now, in the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, that appearance has been fine-tuned yet again: The “RF” refers to the car’s “retractable fastback” configuration, in which the car’s hard top provides a more refined cabin during closed-roof conditions; but it then retracts, and hides beneath the RF’s sleek fastback hardware, for a fresh take on open-air excitement. There’s plenty of that available, too, since attractive cars don’t come much more fun to drive.
Photo Credit: Lincoln
2017 Lincoln Continental
Just like past generations, the latest Lincoln flagship — the reborn 2017 Lincoln Continental — will immediately take its place among the most attractive new cars in the country. Perhaps most noticeable is a new signature grille and intricate LED headlamp treatments, but that’s partly because at first glance, you may not notice details like the car’s door handles, which are smoothly integrated into its beltline accents, or the way the exterior mirrors are mounted on small, wing-like extensions instead of traditional mirror pedestals. The ultra-luxurious cabin is just as impressive, especially when upgraded with one of Lincoln’s Black Label interior themes. Each displays specific real wood types, leathers and other premium materials for a further touch of custom exclusivity.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is a prime example of the form-follows-function approach to design. As engineers worked to develop a lighter, leaner Camaro with improved aerodynamics, designers created an exterior shape would reflect those goals. In the end, the Camaro’s clean, taut styling makes it among the most attractive new cars for enthusiasts, who additionally benefit from a massive performance upgrade. But that actually wasn’t the end. Chevy also wanted to appeal to owners who like to personalize their rides, and for that, the next-gen Camaro launched with multiple striping and wheel packages, along with five color themes for the interior and 10 exterior colors. In the mix: Eye-catching shades from Blue Velvet Metallic to Red Hot to Silver Ice Metallic.
Photo Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
2017 Jaguar XE
The Big Cat brand has introduced a run of attractive new cars in recent years, and that continues with the 2017 Jaguar XE. Created to compete against the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the XE leverages a sculpted, modern look that still pays homage to classics like the E-Type — which inspired the horizontal-line-through-a-circle motif of the XE’s rear lights, for instance. For more contemporary Jaguar styling cues, the car also furnishes “J-Blade” daytime running lights and satin-chrome side vents, while the cabin is highlighted by the Jaguar Drive Control interface that rises to greet the owner at the start of every drive. At the same time, all occupants can sink into supple, rich leather seating for maximum comfort.
Photo Credit: Honda
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback
Honda’s compact sedan and coupe models are certainly good looking new cars in their own right. And they should be, as the brand’s designers made sure that sporty, future-focused style was a significant part of the lineup’s award-winning charm. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback, however, may be even more striking. It naturally shares the same bold body sculpting and aggressive front fascia as its 2- and 4-door variants, for an expected family resemblance. The rear of the car seamlessly flows into the rest of the design with details like dual rear spoilers, one mounted near the roof and one that bridges the Civic Hatchback’s expressive taillamp packaging. A chrome-tipped dual exhaust and large mesh-look rear vent accents help provide an athletic finishing touch.
Photo Credit: Hyundai
2017 Hyundai Elantra
Compact cars have faced stiff headwinds in the 2016 marketplace, with an increasing number of customers taking advantage of relatively low fuel prices to feed their appetites for big trucks and crossovers. That hasn’t stopped automakers from launching attractive new cars for the segment, though. Indeed, vehicles like the redesigned 2017 Hyundai Elantra serve up the sort of small-car sophistication that would car the eyes at any size class. The front of the car, in particular, has a more premium look with a strong grille presence and an array of LED exterior lighting that includes vertically oriented daytime running lamps, taillamps, mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, and approach lights that illuminate from the door handles. Also, the freshened-up interior has more passenger volume than the compacts from Audi or BMW.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
2016 Infiniti Q60
Boasting long, low and wide proportions, as well as an available 400 horsepower turbocharged V6, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 extends its maker’s reputation for delivering attractive new cars in the premium sports coupe segment. Thus, according to Alfonso Albaisa, the Q60 “carries an elegance that contrasts and gives tonality to its powerful character, expressed through flexed muscles and tension suggested in the sculpture.” Albaisa knows what he’s talking about, too: He happens to be Infiniti’s executive design director. The hard data behind that Q60’s appearance also supports the car’s hi-po positioning. After sweating the details in the wind tunnel, engineers were able to reduce drag for this slippery sports car to 0.28; that compares to a standard Dodge Viper at 0.37, for context.
Photo Credit: Volvo
2017 Volvo S90
The attractive new cars from Volvo rely on leading-edge Scandinavian design principles that can be a marvel to behold: Consider the Thor’s-Hammer LED signature lighting that supplies a high-voltage style cue for the 2017 Volvo S90. Bisecting the headlights and framing an elegant front grille, those front LEDs also sweep the eye back to the car’s smooth flanks and drawn-in body-side sheet metal. The brand’s wheel department has some nice alloy units as well, including 20-inch 8-spoke wheels with a silver diamond-cut finish and a set of 21-inchers with a 10-spoke “Turbine” design. Inside, occupants get the full lux treatment, complete with Nappa leather, natural wood trim, and the high-tech, nearly button-free Sensus control interface with an oversized touchscreen.
Photo Credit: Alfa Romeo
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia
The rise of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has allowed U.S. drivers to experience a growing range of attractive new cars with Italian styling, and for the new model year, that includes the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia. This midsize premium sport sedan offers distinctive Alfa design elements, such as the small triangular front grille, along with LED lights and other high-tech touches. The muscular exterior also is configured with the short overhangs of a sports car, plus the Giulia has the performance to match those proportions. During testing, the 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio set a new record for fastest lap by a production sedan at Germany’s Nürgburgring racetrack. The cabin is nothing less than bellissima, courtesy of “ultra-premium” materials like leather, Alcantra and carbon fiber.
Photo Credit: Audi
2017 Audi A4
The 2017 Audi A4 is another of those subtly attractive new cars from the four-rings brand that manages to radiate premium elegance without having to go over the top. Now on sale, the 2017 model marks the start of a new generation for Audi’s compact premium sport sedan, and its appearance was meant to be sportier than ever. The higher, more prominent full-length shoulder line and correspondingly shorter side window height work together in that regard, with Audi designers also further expanding the brand’s leadership position for LED lighting. Not only does the A4 debut the first full LED headlights offered by the nameplate, it also features dynamic turn signal indicators that look like a line of light being drawn when activated.