Opinion: Designers really need to work on their headlights

The eyes into a car are grossly undervalued

If you look at the cars in the header image above and I ask you what the issue with the car’s look was(if you believed there was one) then the 3 issues that would likely crop up is the grille, the bonnet and the proportions of the body.

T​he big problem I have with them though is not any of those and I barely ever hear of this issue and it is poorly-designed headlights. You see, the headlights are like the eyes of the car and if those eyes were stuffed full of gangrene or sagging like a pensioner then it isn’t going to get you excited. You want them to look sharp, beautiful but also with a certain quality of being individual.

H​ere I’ll outline 4 modern issues with headlights I could not bare to live with.

N​OTE: These cars here are just examples and there are quite a lot of other cars with these issues. Don’t take an attack on what might be your favourite car as personal as it is not an exclusive issue to that car.

T​he attitude of ‘that’ll do’

I​’m sorry but the headlights on the modern Aston Martin Vantage just looks like an afterthought. Considering the rest of the car it is such a dissapointment. It doesn’t look good enough or sophisticated enough for a circa-£130,000 car. It almost looks like they tried to hide it by making it small within a big car look. Every detail on a car for an occasion like this should be shown in all its glory and it should be something to be proud of and not something that looks like its supposed to blend in. If I wanted something that would blend in I would buy a 5 Series.

T​he worst part though is that I know that they can do so much better and the most annoying evidence of that is on the same car.

H​eadlights that are too small for the rest of the car

M​ost people believe that the big grille on the BMW IX is too big for the car and arguably they are correct here but from where I look at it the real issue is that the lights are too small. This is because the front of the car is supposed to be big and imposing then they give it tiny lights that look like they belong on a hatchback. The whole idea of giving it a massive grille is to scare mere mortals who don’t have the balls to walk towards it but then they look at the lights and horror changes to disgust. Imagine looking at a vampire with its massive teeth but then looking at their eyes which in this case would be from a budgie. Its a complete oxymoron and makes it a laughing stock.

Perching the headlights on top of the bonnet

I hate it when the designer can't think of where to put something like the headlights so they just lump it on top like the idea of creating more space in a modern car which made the crossover. Both are demonstrated brilliantly/despairingly in the modern Ford Puma but its the headlight issue this is about today.

The main issue with this look is that it looks like a frog. Why would you want a car that is supposed to look big and imposing to look like a not very threatening creature that has ugly eyes.

The second issue with the frog eyes is that it makes the front look like it was inspired by the Porsche 911 but not in a good way. It was as if they took a 911 bonnet, cut the back half of it off then hammered it on top of slightly weird body.

T​he last issue is that it makes the area just beneath the lights look very lazy as the lights should be there in normal cars and all lumping it on top does is create extra bodywork where there is nothing to do with it.

W​hoever designed this car needs to meet the designer of the Pontiac Aztek to make it look better.

S​plit headlights

S​plit headlights are a complete menace in todays world. They combine several lighting issues into the same car then it costs more to make.

T​he first issue is that the top lights are what you normally look at with this car and the are just too small like the IX I said about earlier in this article. The second issue with this arrangement is that the lower lights are too low to look like headlights but too high to look like fog lamps. It looks like the car has eyebags there because of it.

T​hat last issue is what you are saying by having split headlights. Its as if the car is desperately trying to keep a secret and horribly failing to do so. Why would you want to hide the lights as if they are supposed to blend in and keep your secret? If Hyundai were proud of what they did here then those lights would be completely on show instead of hiding behind a shadow.


R​ecently car design has been on a downward slope and I believe that most here would agree but I do believe that car headlights are the cause for this instead of the obvious culprits. Why some cars have split headlights in the modern age is a complete mystery to me and the person who made them so awful should be banished from the face of the planet.

T​hing is that most car headlights used to be round which was possibly not exciting to behold but was from a time where ugliness was few and far between. That is perfectly fine for a headlamp on most cars. What were Ford and Hyundai doing with stupid shapes? If they don’t know how to do a good headlight then just stick with ordinary round lights. For 99% of people that’ll do.

F​or BMW and Aston Martin though I would expect far better.

Y​eah I know some won’t like the 4 Series grille but doesn’t it look so much better then the IX regardless?

D​o you think the headlights are the main issue in the modern age?

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Comments (22)

  • Disagree with the puma, agree with the rest

      1 month ago
    • I'm surprised that someone likes the frog.

        1 month ago
    • It looks suprised and happy, when everyone is trying to make an angry car. It has its own little charm in the sea of soulless agro-styled boxes

        1 month ago
  • nah. i think the vantage's lights are okay. and the lights look good from a different perspective

      1 month ago
  • Not really

      1 month ago
  • I like 3/4 of headlight types you mentioned. I love the look of the Puma and Vantage

      1 month ago
    • Which ones don't you like then?

        1 month ago
    • Also overall I do like the look of the Vantage I just really don't think that those lights do it justice.

        1 month ago
  • I actually think the vantage lights suit it, but i agree with all the other points

      1 month ago
    • I do disagree on the Vantage as I believe that the lights should be jaw-dropping like on pretty much every other modern Aston but to me at least they just aren't and really they are what could be described as forgettable.

        1 month ago