It's easy to confuse the terms 'design' and 'style,' but Jim Hall attempts to explain the difference between the two in his latest Design Handbook video column for Autoline. Before relating the terms to cars, Hall first uses other, non-automotive-related examples to prove his point, such as a well-designed glass versus a well-styled glass. Both do their job well as a result of good designs, he claims, but one stands out more because it also was styled.

When he relates his lesson to cars, he uses the 2013 Honda Accord and the new Chevrolet Impala as examples, but you'll have to watch the video below to find out which car he thinks is merely designed and which one has been styled.

We've also included a gallery of the Honda and a gallery of the Chevrolet so you can decide for yourself which one of these vehicles has been designed, and which one has been styled.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      Dynamho
      • 1 Year Ago
      I always thought design targets function and styling targets form.
      avanti
      • 1 Year Ago
      A very nice explanation of the difference between the two related disciplines. And when both good design and impressive and cohesive styling are bound together, you have truly exceptional vehicles.
      btulliani
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ah, Falling water need I say more!
      Ben Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was hoping he was going to go into what looks like "style" is actually a functional design thats done for a reason. Things as aero rocker panels, maybe even vents, complex stamping, wings etc... Style can be subjective, something simple can have style. Actual design is a little deeper.
      carlotta
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Impala does looked like a deformed Accord, w/ a tiny greenhouse and unnecessarily grafted on budges. But a good effort for GM.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Tone
        • 1 Year Ago
        You don\'t have to apologize for your opinion. I, for one, would rather be seen driving around in a \'14 Impala than the Accord. Just a sweet looking ride in my opinion...especially in black.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      When Asians aren't copying the styling of other cars, they're designing faulty recall-queen cars.
      Matt Quinn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Amazing how Honda Accords will continue to look good and run even better for years, and the impala won't even sell. Time keeps repeatedly proving that the accord sticks to simple clean timeless design. Function>form any day
        MAX
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt Quinn
        Consumer Reports recently rated the Impala the best sedan they ever tested. Better than any Honda. Just saying. http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/2014-chevrolet-impala-rockets-to-top-of-ratings-in-consumer-reports-test.html
          carlotta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MAX
          Actually, the Accord was rated the best midsize. In a couple years the Impala will loose its luster.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MAX
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MAX
          [blocked]
        Fen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt Quinn
        Lowest common denominator. Honda Accord is less likely to offend anyone due to its design so sells more. Does that mean function beats form? no, volvo for example are going from strength to strength as they style all their cars and bring them into the modern era away from pure function. Do you really want to be a lowest common denominator type of person though?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Fen
          [blocked]
          carlotta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Fen
          Volvo is a dead brand.
      Kelly Hatcher
      • 1 Year Ago
      The accord has better styling.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      Styling gets dated fast .... Just think of the Sonata.
        MAX
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        Sonata still looks better than any Acura. The Accord is just blah. Looks like a used car as it rolls off the assembly line
          carlotta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MAX
          Sonata is a bargain basement rental car. The Accord tops the class.
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        The Sonata has an ugly front end and looks great from the back. That's how it started, that's how it still is.
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      You have to master the design before you start with styling. Thats probably why the new Accord looks so solid to me.
      churchmotor
      • 1 Year Ago
      Swap the paint on those two and he would have a different conclusion. Other than the J.LO hips on the Impala, I see no "styling".
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