calling it butt-ugly is being nice. That thing is down right puke producing. it reminds me of the box on wheels. yuck!! why the hell is Honda putting the CRV engine in a vehicle and charging less for it. I doubt honda can pull this one off.
Speaking as a designer, I think it's a major success. The upper half of the vehicle, in particular, is brilliant, with the arched and complex roofline against the straight window edges and the consistent truncated corners on the windows. The door handle thing is great. The car-friendly bumper height (a la the Saturn VUE) is a good idea and well executed.
This comes from the same general design aesthetic as the Smart Car and the new Mini Cooper. Maybe it isn't something I would personally buy, but it's excellent. The only obvious "misses" I can see are the somewhat heavy-looking back end and the cheap-looking dashboard. (I guess the latter is expected from a car starting at $16,000)
I can't believe they're going to sell this in the US, though. Americans aren't going to "get" it. It has Europe (and particular Scandinavia) written all over it.