Friday, June 18, 2010

2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is better

2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Not too long ago, there was a time when all of the vehicles in an automaker's portfolio weren't required to wear the same uniform. Each model could be its own unique expression of the brand's strengths without being forced to schedule an appointment with the corporate plastic surgeon. Granted, some marques lost a bit of identity with scads of mismatched children running around the lot, but the world's automotive variety pack was considerably more interesting. If you didn't like the face on one product, but wanted to stick with the brand, there were a plethora of options to choose from.

That's not the case anymore. We live in a world of increasingly unified automotive design, and while that's resulted in a few products missing the mark in a big way (we're looking at you, Acura), just as many manufacturers have created some real winners by spreading the corporate face among its progeny. Dodge's decision to share the Ram grille across its line was one of the best moves the company has made in recent history, and Ford and Chevrolet have similarly benefited from strong familial design cues.

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