The Olympic Games Round 3: Styling

The next round in the Olympic Games is the styling portion. Style considerations include entertainment and technology options, exterior designs and interior styling. Automakers are consistently working on enhancing stylistic designs from the outside to developing comfort and safety feature heavy highlights on the inside. We spend a lot of time in our vehicles, so why not do it in style?  Check out our medal winners in each category below.

Mid-size Cars

Mid-Size Medal Winners: Styling

Gold-MedalGold: Ford Fusion

Efficient design and spacious comfort take the Ford Fusion to the top of our Midsize list. With a refresh coming for the 2017 models, the Fusion continues to rock an athletic and bold exterior styling. Additional packages offer black wheels, rear spoiler and more. Inside, the dash offers a strong hub for the central controls, with a good space balance between the front and back seat. The tech is ever changing, as Ford continues to develop safety and convenience technologies.

Silver-MedalSilver: Chevrolet Malibu

Working to differentiate itself from its sibling the Impala, the Malibu is lighter than years past due to more high-strength steel. With the dual grill in the front and narrow taillights, the Malibu is finding its balance.  The interior is simple, yet appealing, and is praised for its quiet and refined cabin. Packages could include products like MyLink, OnStar, Wi-Fi, wireless charging pad for small electronics, and more.

Bronze-MedalBronze: Hyundai Sonata

Definitely a Hyundai, many of the styling points on the Sonata come from the family. Outside the vehicle looks smoother than in the past, and the drive is said to be as well. Inside textures help to liven up a simple yet comfortable cabin. With upgraded packages, the technology opportunities expand from day to day bonus upgrades, paddle shifters, Blue Link services and more.

Nissan Altima – Refreshed in 2016, the Altima just misses the cut by trending more traditional.
Toyota Camry – Praised for its comfort, the Camry’s ranks low for a dull interior style. Good news for 2017, new technologies are on the horizon.
Honda Accord – Falls short due to a low key infotainment interface.

Half-ton Trucks

Truck Medal Winners: Styling

Gold-MedalGold: GMC Sierra 

With a bold exterior, the Sierra is dominant on the road. The refined interior is simple, with controls in multiple key areas. Clean, bold and stylish, The GMC takes the gold in this segment. The IntelliLink Infotainment system is one of our favorites, and we love the style options when looking at the Denali model.

Silver-MedalSilver: Ram 1500

Strong on style, the Ram has different grill designs and badges for each trim level. A big rig from the outside the interior offers plush and high-quality finishes. Large screens and concise controls clean up the display for the driver. The easy to use UConnect system offers a large screen and great layouts.  Mobile apps to lock or start the wheels are a great bonus, as well as, Wi-Fi compatibility.

Bronze-MedalBronze: Ford F-150

A lean machine in terms of weight, the Ford F-150 looks bold from the outside. Internally, this Ford offers great ride quality.  The Sync 3 and trailer-backup technology give the 150 the boost it needed to land on the medal stand.

Chevrolet Silverado – Pro: Rugged Style. Con: Formal Interior.  Just missed a medal.
Toyota Tundra – Beefy yet awkward styling, doesn’t compete with the medal winners this time around. 

Mid-size SUVs

SUV Medal Winners: Styling

Gold-MedalGold: Ford Explorer

Comfortable, spacious and refined describe the current Explorer.  Staying true to its SUV roots, the unique grill, sharp corners, and tall body hold a sophisticated style.  Inside the Explorer is comfortable with a whisper-quiet interior.  A bevy of features at each trim package offer even more technology and comfort.

Silver-MedalSilver: Honda Pilot

No longer boxy, the Pilot offers a more rounded, smooth style outside. Inside you will find comfortable seats, third-row passenger space, and great cargo space.  With technology stylings at different trims including a panoramic roof and large touchscreen, the Pilot has taken a giant stylistic leap forward.

Bronze-MedalBronze: Kia Sorento

Redesigned and reengineered for 2016, the Sorento has evolved.  Roomier and refined, a new body structure, interior 3rd row seating option, and the UVO eServices are definitely something to contend with.

Toyota Highlander
  A tough competitor. Nice interior, plenty of space, and an abundance of bonus features.
Dodge Durango – An amazing interior, not enough to ‘wow’ us from the exterior to make the cut.
Chevrolet Traverse – Compares too much to a minivan for a style competition.
Jeep Grand Cherokee – Luxury and utility in one, but it misses the mark with bland exterior style.

As the real Olympics come to a close, check back to see who comes out on top in the All-Around competition later this week.

Missed our Safety and Performance Rounds? Check them out here.