QOTD: Automotive Face Lifts Gone Wrong?

qotd automotive face lifts gone wrong

Face lifts are a tricky balancing act when it comes to automobiles. A well-done lift can enhance looks while bringing youth or perhaps modernity to what was previously dated. But taken too far, results can end up cartoony, or even grotesque. We got a small dose of this particular topic recently on a Question of the Day post that covered bad Nineties sports car design from America. Specifically, we took a look at how Ford altered the appearance of the Mercury Cougar four times over its last few years as a personal luxury coupe. Today, we are all about face lifts and how they can go wrong.

The better examples will blend into your memory as something that was notable and yet also forgettable; that’s how mild redesigns are supposed to be. There’s a face lift that stands out to yours truly in a bad way:

It was a modification on the third generation Range Rover. When the new L322 Range Rover succeeded the P38 for the 2003 model year in North America, it brought with it good looks of slab-sided modernity, and a size more befitting its price and competition when compared to its smaller predecessor. But Range Rover has always been known for long product cycles, so numerous adjustments were made over the years. The first couple in 2005 and 2007 were subtle enough, but in 2010 things got radical. Here’s the result:

Gills on the sides increased in size, headlamps sprouted LED growths, the grille adopted a Gillette look, and everything became a bit too detailed (fiddly, in British English). Things got worse from there via more adjustments and additional trims, until the brand new model was introduced in 2013. What are your selections for facelift ruination in the automotive sector?

[Images: Land Rover]

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  • Ebtx66 Ebtx66 on Nov 01, 2019

    I’m not a big fan of the 5th generation Civic Type R over the previous generation but my vote for absolute worse was the 3rd generation Taurus. That thing was hideous.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Nov 06, 2019

    Would it be fair to have a question of the day regarding twins badged separately? I often find that I have a strong preference for one over the other. For example the original Vibe looks better than the original Matrix, but the facelifted Matrix looks better than the facelifted Vibe. The thrust of the question wouldn't necessarily have to be about facelift, but about which looks better. Cavalier/Sunfire Matrix/Vibe Prism/Corolla Nova/Corolla

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 06, 2019

      (Corey - minor point - if there is another facelift article we might want to define terms - facelift and major model are two different things... many understand but perhaps not all.)

  • Sgeffe From everything I’ve heard, this stuff was circling the drain before 2020, and the WuFlu was the fatal hit to the jugular!As has been noted, what will all of the purveyors of canapés, shrimp cocktail, and rent-a-bartenders ever do?And can someone please explain why the only place I can put a paragraph break in this commenting system is in the top comment, and not a reply? I think that’s why the comments on here are way down! (At least on an iPhone.)
  • Sckid213 Now would be a good time for a REAL NAME for a new Acura model. This would be like if Caddy named the Lyriq "Allante." Why bring back bad memories.
  • ToolGuy Have you seen Honda's latest business plan? Neither has Honda.
  • Jbawden My wife has a model 3 performance, its plenty fast, and while looks are subjective, I think it's nice looking. But, I stand solidly behind my comment that these are soulless appliances. Unprecedented performance cannot overcome what was lost when we remove ICE motivation. For the record I think BEV are great, I've owned one for almost 2 years, but let's stop drinking the unicorn kool-aid and pretending BEV are just as engaging as what they are replacing.
  • Dwford The first all new Dodge in 8-10 years and it's a quick rebadge of an Alfa Romeo. And the people at Stellantis are mad at US??? They aren't serious about restoring Dodge or Chrysler.