Aerodynamics and square shapes do not get along. A flat surface does not cut through the air with great efficiency. In the great quest for improved efficiency, it’s a simple principle that influences the design of nearly every plane, train, and automobile. Smooth, wind-sculpted surfaces are the name of the game today, minimizing drag and maximizing performance. However, people still love the boxy square-shaped Jeep Wrangler or the Mercedes G-Class.
The Appeal and Practicality of Boxy Cars
Why are boxy cars so appealing? It is often regarded as the ideal fusion of design and function. Compared to their sleeker counterparts, boxy cars frequently provide a significant amount more interior and cargo space.
Their interior design frequently resembles a room more than a standard automobile cabin, providing a spacious, airy environment. They are especially well-suited for lengthy journeys or outdoor activities because of the smart use of space, which allows for inventive storage solutions.
Taller passengers can ride thanks to the higher roofline, and more luggage can fit in the back thanks to the more vertical rear. These cars also have outstanding visibility thanks to their huge, square windows, which is a key safety benefit.
Boxy automobiles also have an eccentric, nonconformist character. They frequently have strong, striking designs that are easily recognizable. Drivers who see their automobiles as an extension of their distinctive personality find resonance in this distinctive appeal that goes beyond simple looks.
Boxy cars are often surprising with their off-road prowess in the performance world. Their styling, which is reminiscent of classic sport utility vehicles, is more than just a matter of taste; it frequently denotes sturdiness and all-terrain ability. Off-road ability is a characteristic of cars like the Jeep Wrangler and the Mercedes G-Wagen that is directly tied to their boxy form.
For some drivers, the aesthetics of square cars are more appealing than their practical benefits. Some of the best square vehicles available for purchase are listed below.
1. 2023 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
This SUV’s design dates back to the 1970s and is a relic that is rarely modified. From 1979 to 1992, the first generation G-Wagen was produced. Then, a brand-new model that resembled the previous SUV almost exactly took its place. The production of this second-generation G-Class would continue until 2018.
Yes, there have been two iterations of the G-Class in close to 30 years. This SUV can cross water up to 27.5 inches deep and has a 9.5-inch ground clearance. The most recent iteration still has the distinctive slab-side appearance, albeit with a little more rounded front end.
Two V8 engines are available for it: one with 416 horsepower and the other with the AMG’s fire-breathing 577 horsepower. The G-Class has never lost its ability to go off-road, much like its boxy appearance. Despite the six-figure price tag, few people are likely to suffer through a dangerous section of the path.
2. 2023 Toyota 4Runner
If you prefer off-roading, the Toyota 4Runner is a rectangular midsize SUV with a lot to offer. Multiple skid plates and a two-speed transfer case are standard on all models with available four-wheel drive. This SUV has up to 9.6 inches of ground clearance, allowing you to easily navigate over obstacles like rocks and downed tree branches.
Unfortunately, those off-road abilities come with trade-offs. On rough pavement, the ride is unsteady, and the fuel efficiency is bad. The 4Runner has five conventional seats and can accommodate seven passengers with an additional third row. A 270-horsepower V6 is found in every model.
3. 2023 Jeep Wrangler
One of the best vehicles for off-roading is the Jeep Wrangler. This small SUV combines traditional square design elements with a ravenous hunger for mud and dirt. Its standard four-wheel drive system aids in keeping a grip on slick roads, and a maximum ground clearance of 12.9 inches is available. Upgrades include things like all-terrain tires and shielding rock rails.
This Jeep has a two-door body style that seats four people, and there is a four-door version that seats five people. When the back seats are folded down, the load space in four-door variants increases to 72.4 cubic feet, ranking among the finest in the compact SUV market. Up to 470 horsepower is offered from five different powerplant configurations.
4. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder, another fifth-generation model on this list, uses the same Nissan D platform as the previous generation. Up to eight passengers may fit inside the boxy body of this midsize crossover (seven with the optional second-row captain’s chairs), which has a commanding appearance thanks to the larger V-motion grille and higher fascia.
The second and third rows of seats may be folded to increase the rear cargo area from 16.6 to 80.5 cubic feet. This is one benefit of the square styling. A 3.5-liter V6 engine with 284 horsepower is available in up to nine model levels, paired with an automatic gearbox with nine speeds to replace Nissan’s continuously variable transmission (Xtronic) and an Intelligent 4×4 drivetrain.
5. 2023 Land Rover Defender
The Defender embodies the off-road prowess and luxury that define the Land Rover brand in a sleek, boxy design. With standard features like four-wheel drive, hill descent control, and automatic wade detecting, it’s one of the brand’s most capable off-road vehicles. A Terrain Response system with modes for driving on grass, gravel, snow, mud, and sand is also standard equipment on all versions.
The Defender corners with grace and has a comfortable ride quality on paved surfaces. There are variants with two doors and four doors that seat five persons each. Between 296 and 518 horsepower are produced.
6. 2023 Chrysler 300
The Chrysler 300 is a strong, square-shaped vehicle. Five passengers may fit comfortably in this sedan’s cabin, which has great head- and legroom in the front seats and roomy back seats for adults. The interior of this automobile, though, hasn’t been updated by Chrysler for more than a decade.
The 292-horsepower V6 in base models provides more than enough power for daily driving. There are two Hemi V8 engines available with 363 and 485 hp. The fastest engine in the lineup allows this Chrysler to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.
7. 2023 Hyundai Venue
The Venue is a subcompact SUV that offers great value and a joyfully square design. It has appealing standard features and a starting price under $20,000. An 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are on the list. Additionally, you receive common driving aids like front collision warning, lane-keep assist, and driver attention monitoring.
The Venue excels at traversing the tight spaces of city streets thanks to its small footprint. This SUV has five comfortable seats inside its cabin. Although subcompact SUVs’ cargo space is on the smaller side of the spectrum, there is still enough room to fit daily necessities. A four-cylinder engine with 121 horsepower powers each model.
8. 2023 Jeep Gladiator
The Jeep Gladiator may have a cutesy toy-like appearance, but it has the tough capabilities you’d expect from a truck. This small pickup truck has a 5-foot bed that can hold up to 1,710 pounds of payload and can tow up to 7,700 pounds. Additionally, it is designed to thrive off-road with up to 11 inches of ground clearance and common skid plates.
Five passengers can be accommodated in the vehicle, which has four doors and one of the roomiest back seats in its class. An optional turbodiesel V6 produces 260 horsepower, and a gas V6 produces 285 horsepower.
9. 2023 Ford Bronco
The Bronco features an off-road-friendly attitude and sharp design characteristics. With up to 13.1 inches of ground clearance, it is a perfect choice for steep ravines and routes that are littered with rocks. The traction control system can be adjusted in all models’ standard G.O.A.T (Goes Over Any Terrain) modes to operate better in sand, rocks, and mud.
There are three engines available, ranging in horsepower from 300 to 418. A four-door model can accommodate five passengers, while a two-door body style accommodates four. When the back seats are folded, four-door models provide 77.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
10. 2023 Ford Bronco Sport
The Ford Bronco Sport is an attractive small SUV. It has a cabin with five seats that has a high roofline and plenty of headroom. The SUV’s square design offers its cargo hold a wide, boxy shape that easily accommodates heavier objects, even if the luggage area is average.
With standard 4WD and driving modes that make it simpler to maneuver through challenging terrain, this Ford is a talented off-roader. A 250-horsepower four-cylinder engine is optional for individuals who want an upgrade over the base model’s 181-horsepower three-cylinder.
11. 2023 Kia Soul
The Kia Soul, which was developed in the new millennium, comes off as particularly eccentric due to its boxy proportions. The subcompact hatchback has grown somewhat over the course of three generations while still maintaining an eye on its youthful target market. At the time of the Soul’s introduction, Kia made it clear that the American market was its primary focus.
The Soul has a reputation for being one of the roomiest in its class because, like many other vehicles with an upright design, it offers cabin space all the way back to the rear seats. That translates to up to 39.5 inches of headroom, 411 inches of legroom, and 55.5 inches of shoulder room.
With the back seats folding, the cargo space can increase to 62.1 cubic feet from the conventional 24.2 cubic feet. A 2.0L gasoline engine with 147 hp on demand powers the Soul’s front wheels, while the EV model cranks out 201 hp.
12. 2023 Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride, a three-row midsize crossover that is also an impressive vehicle from South Korea, also happens to be the brand’s largest model for North America, where it was specially designed. This square SUV has four trim levels, seating for seven or eight passengers, and a user-friendly array of onboard technology.
Kia is selling the sporty-looking X-Line and X-Pro trim levels in addition to the base model’s urbane appearance. These models include higher ground clearance, more towing capacity, and more onboard technology.
These are supplemented by up to 40.9 inches of headroom up front and 40.2 inches of headroom back there, with a maximum of 42.4 inches of legroom. The Telluride provides 21 cubic feet of standard cargo capacity with all seven occupants in place, increasing to 87 cubic feet with both rows of seats in the back folded.
There is only one 3.8L direct-injection gasoline V6 engine available, and an eight-speed automatic transmission transfers its 291 horsepower to either the front wheels or all four.
These cars stand out not only for their boxy appearance but also for their ingenious use of available space, a broad range of features, and intriguing design history. They defy accepted design conventions and provide a welcome alternative for people who want to show their uniqueness while driving.