What's The Best Car Badge?

A make, a model, or even a trim level -- as long as it's written on the car, it's fair game.

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Photo: Toyota

For many automakers, printing the make, model, and trim on the back of a car is an afterthought. They grab some silver letters, slap a couple words (or some alphanumeric gibberish) on the trunk lid, and call it a day — simple, right? But some automakers go further, designing badges that actually manage to stand out among the pack. What’s your favorite?

Today, we’re talking badges, and what makes one worthy of greatness. Is it the shape? The placement? Does the badge just read something so absurd, so out there, that it deserves a spot at the top for text alone? Now’s your chance to plead your case, and convince the jury (me) of your convictions.

Image for article titled What's The Best Car Badge?
Photo: dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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A solid contender for the title of Best Badge would be the Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon. Sure, it blurs the lines between badge and decal a bit, but we’re only talking the small text on the hatch that denotes the model and trim — for these purposes, it counts. Mostly because that text reads Star Wagon Turbo-D, an incredible sequence of words that sounds more like the name of a Stand than a car. It rules.

But, the Star Wagon badge is still just text. To find something truly deserving of the Best Badge title, we have to look over to Toyota — and the new Supra. Yes, the current Supra badge is just a rework of the old nineties wordmark, but it’s a masterclass in updating an iconic design. It’s cleaner, more symmetrical, and more appealing to the eye, but still recognizable as that classic Supra design.

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My pick for the best automotive badge goes to the A90 Supra, but what’s yours? Leave your suggestions in the comments, and we’ll collect our favorites tomorrow.