QOTD: Automotive Facelifts Done Right?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd automotive facelifts done right

In last Wednesday’s Question of the Day post, we discussed vehicles ruined by the facelifts foisted upon them by their manufacturers. This week we will flip the question around and consider the most successful examples of automotive nip/tucks; the ones subtle enough to look great, yet noticeable enough to catch a second glance.

One facelift in particular has always stood out to yours truly as a good example of how to do vehicular revision properly. Have a look:

This is, of course, the original Ford Flex, a model which met its end this year. What started out in 2010 as a new wagon-type crossover replacement for the outgoing Taurus X was modernized in 2013. New headlamps and a new grill accompanied restyled bumpers and new dark trim and wheel options. Changes took place on the inside too, with a new dashboard and steering wheel. As it aged, the Flex matured into a better-looking vehicle. It certainly stood in stark contrast to its Lincoln brother, the utterly horrible-looking MKT.

The Flex is a great example of how you can alter a car’s design without spending too many development dollars, resulting in a vehicle that’s better looking and more modern than the outgoing version. Let’s hear your selections for those automotive facelifts done right.

[Images: Ford]

Join the conversation
2 of 54 comments
  • Jagboi Jagboi on Nov 07, 2019

    Jaguar XJS. I thought the 93-96 cars looked much more modern and cleaner, yet the changes were relatively cheap and minor - bumpers and taillights. The interior was revised too, nicer gauges and seats.

  • Eng_alvarado90 Eng_alvarado90 on Nov 07, 2019

    Previous gen Explorer. The 2011 generation had a very soft and busy front end and no cohesiveness with the tailights, while the 2016 refresh brought a more SUV-like handsome front end and matched better with the profile and back. Also the 2017 Escape refresh was a nice one. As a former owner of a 2008 I was so pissed when I saw that tall Focus unveiled as a 2013 Escape. Both the front and and tailights where hideous but corrected in 2017

  • Chris P Bacon It would be really nice if car sites like TTAC helped people find way to avoid these prices. It seems like stories like these just say "suck it up and pay the markup". No. In many cases, you don't have to. I just ordered a Wrangler 4xe and got Chrysler Affiliates price. That 1% under invoice. I know this is the price I got because I sat at the computer in the dealer's showroom and build the Jeep. i got Chrysler Affiliate pricing through my employer. Your employer doesn't offer it? Join treadlightly.org. For $100 membership, guess what? You get Chrysler Affiliate pricing! Want a Ford, but think you can't get X-Plan? Think again! Join EAA.org. X-Plan is included with their membership. A dealer in my area is offering Costco members a $1500 incentive. I'm guessing that has something to do with Costco's car buying service, so there must be some value to be found in that program.Will all dealers honor these discount plans? No. Then that's not the dealer you want to work with anyway. Find another place to shop. It would be nice if TTAC (or any car site) did a little leg work to show readers how to actually save on a car purchase.
  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.