It seems to me that auto makers on every continent are making cars that may be fuel efficient, may be fun drive and may be safe but all look alike. Why pay 60 Gs for a BMW dumpling when you can get the Hyundai knock off for 25? Most manufacturers have a show pony, Nissan has the Cube, (stop giggling it's at least different) Toyota has their cool Scion line and Ford has it's Mustang, but for the most part it's a yawning festival.
I'm not talking Maserati, Lotus or Ferrari, just cars you really see on the street. When I see a new Dodge Challenger or a Ford Mustang I feel like the American muscle car is still alive and well. When I see someone driving a Mazda RX-8 or a Volvo C30 or even a Mini I'm happy to see people choosing a speedy, speedy looking car with fun handling. The Scion XD and the Honda Element work for someone looking outside the minivan or SUV. Even the new Camaro is kind of cool.
Epic fail time. Some manufacturers TRY do something different and fail but deserve honorable mention- Chrysler's PT Cruiser, Nissan's Cube, the Dodge Charger and the Prius. Thanks for trying.
By the way, the Smart Car is the new punchbuggy. We say "Blue Smartpunch no punchbacks" I''m winning so far.