Business 2.0 had an article about the Nissan Murano in the last issue. It’s kind of interesting, because magazines like this don’t usually do car reviews. The particularly interesting part is how they came up with the design:
Nissan spent five years and shuffled through dozens of iterations to achieve the look of the vehicle, knowing full well that some people would instantly hate it (e.g., Mrs. Foil), while others would quickly like it (e.g., me). Such aesthetic tightrope walking is scientific these days: Nissan tweaked the design until it arrived at a point where opinion diverged neatly into thirds. That is, a third of the people who saw it hated it, a third loved it, and the final third could possibly warm in their ardor at some future date.
With so many bizarre looking cars out there these days, this sounds like it could be a pretty common practice. You have to admit, those cars are fairly memorable. If you happen to fall into the 1/3 that likes the appearance, it probably beats looking like everyone else driving around in a Saturn or something.