THE NEW BMW 5 SERIES   View Specs on this Vehicle

BMWs have almost always been good looking cars. Competent, modestly muscular, clean. It's design always said "well-engineered." But the most recent BMWs seemed to have fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

A case in point is the new 5 Series. The 5 Series was always a nice looking car. At least it's owners (and there were plenty of them) thought so. Sure, it could be made a little bigger to give some more rear seat room and trunk room. It could be updated a bit, made a little more modern. But someone went nuts on it. And now it looks like a Pontiac. Even Pontiac doesn't want its cars to look like Pontiacs anymore!

What's with the angry head lights and tail lights? Do they expect 24 year olds to spend $45,000 on a car and choose this one?

Here's what BMW did wrong, in our humble opinion. Look at Honda. Every time they redesign the Accord, they make it more of what their customers want. Their customers want more leg room? They give them more leg room. Customers want more comfortable seats? They give them more comfortable seats. This way, they keep over-satisfying their existing customers and those customers, by word of mouth, bring in new customers.

Instead of giving existing 5-Series customers more of what they wanted in the new 5-series, (like more rear seat room, an updated interior), they gave them a bunch of stuff they never asked for, like an aggressive, angry exterior, and a moronic interior control system called iDrive.

I mean, we could be wrong, and it'll be interesting to see if this sells in big numbers.

THE HUMMER H2   View Specs on this Vehicle

The Hummer H2 simply represents the worst parts of our national personality, in one, ugly, gas-guzzling hunk of metal. It's brutish, arrogant, huge, ostentatious, selfish, and wasteful. Oh, and did we mention ugly?

This is a vehicle a guy buys (and it's almost all guys) to compensate for something else. It's such a sad statement that says "I have very little self worth." Why else would a poser drop $50,000 big ones to pretend he's in the army? I mean, something is missing from his life, don't you think?

So rather than rude gestures or angry rhetoric, we recommend sympathy. When you see a guy drive by in a Hummer, shake your head, furrow your brow, and say "you poor, poor man."