Is the Smart ForTwo the most beautiful car in the world? Why it’s been named the 'George Clooney of cars'

Ancient mathematical principal used to rank cars’ attractiveness, gets it wrong

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 4:01 pm
The Smart ForTwo cabrio, the most attractive car of the last decade, according to some sums (Photo: Smart)

The stubby Smart ForTwo cabriolet has been named the most beautiful car of the last 10 years in a hilariously misguided new list that uses an ancient mathematics principal to assess cars’ appearance. 

Against all common sense, the gawky city car has been named the “George Clooney of the car world” by researchers who used the “golden ratio” to measure the beauty of more than 600 cars launched in the last decade.

The ragtop ForTwo ranked just ahead of the equally boxy Volkswagen Up and the soul-crushingly dull Vauxhall Mokka X in the terrible table of automotive attractiveness while the striking Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari 488 languished in 445th and 557th places respectively. 

The golden ratio is an algebraic rule that has been used by artists and designers for thousands of years to compare the dimensions of objects and images and understand what makes things pleasing to the eye. 

Following a formula

The research, by carwow, identified the common points of a car’s ‘face’; for example, the headlights, wing mirrors, grille and bumper, and computed the most significant 50 ratios between these points, then ranked them by their conformity to the golden ratio.

According to the science, the Smart ForTwo’s 98.83 per cent conformity makes it the best looking car made since 2010, proving there’s more to creating beauty than doing some sums. Other cars in the top five include the admittedly striking looking 2019 Toyota Corolla and the 2013 Nissan Micra, possibly the ugliest ever iteration of Nissan’s supermini.

The research looked at how closely the "face" of different cars conformed to the golden ratio (Photo: Carwow/Smart)

The 10 most beautiful cars of the 2010s

  1. Smart ForTwo Cabrio 2016 - 98.83% conformity
  2. Volkswagen Up 2011 - 98.62%
  3. Vauxhall Mokka X 2016 - 98.57%
  4. Toyota Corolla 2019 - 98.56%
  5. Nissan Micra 2013-’17 - 98.55%
  6. Suzuki Swift Sport 2018 - 98.45%
  7. Volkswagen Tiguan 2016 - 98.45%
  8. SEAT Leon 2013 - 98.44%
  9. Volkswagen Up GTI 2018 - 98.43%
  10. SsangYong Tivoli XLV 2016 - 98.43%

At the opposite end of the league of looks, the 2013-18 Ford Fiesta ST scored a lowly 34.31 per cent, somehow making it the ugliest car of a decade that also produced the Bentley Bentaya, Nissan Juke and pre-facelift Suzuki S-Cross

The last-generation Ford Fiesta ST is, apparently, the decade's worst looking car (Photo: Carwow/Ford)

Others models that didn’t measure up include the 2019 Mercedes GLC 63 AMG Coupe and the 2015 Audi A1 Sportback as well as three more Fords in a damning indictment of the Blue Oval's family face. 

Just to reinforce that science doesn't have an answer for everything, the formula also placed the frog-faced Nissan e-NV200 van ahead of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and the BMW X2 300 places higher than the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.

The 10 least beautiful cars of the 2010s

  1. Ford Fiesta ST 2012-’17 – 34.31%
  2. Mercedes GLC 63 AMG Coupe 2019 – 35.25%
  3. Audi A1 Sportback 2015-’17 – 35.48%
  4. Audi RS7 Sportback 2015 - 35.54%
  5. Ford Kuga Vignale 2016 - 36.44%
  6. Ford B-Max 2013 – 36.89%
  7. Audi S3 Saloon 2015 – 37.08%
  8. BMW 3 Series Touring 2015-’19 – 38.12%
  9. Ford KA+ 2016 – 41.79%
  10. Land Rover Range Rover 2017 – 42.07%

Mat Watson from carwow said: “For thousands of years, the golden ratio has been linked to beauty and design, with artists like Salvador Dali using it, and George Clooney being named the most beautiful man alive because of how well his looks fit the ratio.

"Obviously the golden ratio doesn’t tell you everything about the beauty of a car, like the sound it makes when you rev the engine, the finish of the interior or that ‘new car smell’, but it is interesting to see how closely car manufacturers stick to these dimensions and apply it to the ‘faces’ of some of the most popular cars available today.

 “The first thought when you mention a Smart car probably isn’t dashing good looks, but when you think about the precision that has gone into every element of its design to create a car so small, but so effective, it actually makes a lot of sense.”

The 557th most beautiful car of the last 10 years, apparently (Photo: Ferrari)