Why Is BMW ruining their iconic Twin Kidney Grille?

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian) /

The iconic grille shape of the BMW is slowly starting to look like every other car’s grille.

BMW has one of the most well-known and legendary grille shapes of all time. You could simply draw the twin-kidney grille on a piece of paper and anyone who knows anything about cars will say that it’s a BMW grille.

The shape is simple, iconic, and has been around for a long, long time. Look back through the BMW models of the last several decades. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same—the twin-kidney grille.

Now for some reason, BMW decided it wants to change things up. Why would the company ruin one of the best, and most well-known things about the brand? What are they hoping to achieve by morphing the grille shape into something that’s just plain ugly?

Grilles Are Getting Big and Stupid-Looking

Look around the automotive industry at all the new cars, crossovers, and trucks, and you’ll notice one standout feature most of them have. Big freaking grilles. Trucks are the worst offenders with grilles that look like they want to swallow you whole.

Cars, SUVs, and crossovers aren’t far behind. Most cars have a huge, gaping maw that makes the car look hungry. Pair that with the overly aggressive headlights on most models and you have a car that just looks pissed off and like its straight up screaming at you.

BMW, for the most part, has been a conscientious objector to this trend, opting instead to stick with its heritage and its iconic twin-kidney grille. That has recently seemed to change.

BMW’s Buck-Toothed Grin

The new vehicles BMW started releasing are losing the wonderful shape of their twin-kidney grille for a more singular overall shape. It started with the BMW X7. When pictures were first released of the SUV, I thought it was a joke.

(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images) /

The X7 looks like an obese Silver Surfer sat his fat buns on the front of the SUV and smashed the grille into a big, silver buck-toothed grin. I thought for sure BMW would fix this abomination with its new cars and go back to an attractive but subtle version of its grille design.

I was wrong. The new BMW 7-Series has the same, dumb-looking silver buttcheek-inspired grille as the X7 only it’s smaller in size. It’s not smaller as in, “It looks good.” It’s smaller because the car is smaller so it couldn’t be as physically big as the X7’s grille.

While some people were up in arms about the X7’s ugly grille, I’ve heard far less from the press about the 7-series ugly face. I think everyone has just accepted that BMW will continue to morph the twin-kidney shape until it doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a shame.

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With all that said, I’m not saying BMW’s cars are bad cars. They make some of the most wonderful-to-drive machines on earth. It would be a pleasure to own one. But every time I went to the garage I’d have to leave the lights off to keep from seeing the big blinged out booty on the front of my car.