Snapshot – Facelifts are meant to make old cars look newer. They are meant to make older cars more exciting and attract buyers. Then there are good and bad facelifts. Good facelifts can transform the looks of cars and make them look fresh for years. Bad facelifts will just make cars look bad, eroding goodwill that these cars had earlier garnered. In the Indian car industry, there are more bad facelifts than good facelifts. Today, we’ll take a look at five such facelifted cars that look worse than their originals.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10
The older Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 had character. The low slung, 780 kilogram car also was one pocket rocket, with the 1 liter K-Series petrol engine making 67 Bhp-90 Nm. The kink on its headlamp differentiated the larger engined car from the 800cc Alto and the longer bonnet added to the sense of speed.
In comparison, the facelifted Alto K10 is a taller car and it is this height that makes the car lose its sporty appeal. The front and rear of the car now make it look more like the Alto 800, which itself is a bad design to begin with. In the process, the Alto K10 has lost its appeal even though Maruti has added features and equipment to the car.
The older Nissan Micra looked like a baby Porsche, what with some even likening the car to a low slung Cayenne. The lines of the older Micra were curvy yet clean. Women loved it while men didn’t exactly run away from the design citing its feminity. The older Micra was cute, in a nice way.
Nissan’s designers decided to make the car look more aggressive and in the process botched up the front of the car. While a mesh grille would have been very nice, the splattering of chrome and the grille borrowed from Nissan’s global design language only makes the once-cute car appear confused. The rear end is the saving grace though.
Maruti Suzuki Dzire
The Maruti Suzuki Dzire is another car that used to look plain disproportionate. This was expected as the first generation car was a Swift with a boot attached. The second generation model looked slightly better even as the ugly boot integration remained.
With the facelift, Maruti Suzuki’s designers have managed to make the car look even uglier. The front is overdone with a new grille design. While Maruti’s engine designers did manage to bump up fuel efficiency to record levels, the design department delivered yet another fail as far as looks go. It’s selling by the lorry load nevertheless.
A decade ago, the Toyota Innova started out as one of the freshest looking MPVs in the Indian car market. Every facelift has made the MPV look worse than its previous iteration. While it must be said that the previous iteration of the Innova wasn’t a looker in the first place, the latest model pushes it to even greater depths.
The Innova can now scare little kids, with its snout like front grille. While the design could have looked good on a Lancer EVO or even an SUV, it looks plain silly on the Innova, which is a people mover that has to please all and offend none. Clearly, this MPV doesn’t sell on the strength of its design.
The Toyota Etios was plain jane and wasn’t winning any beauty contests. Clearly, Toyota underestimated Indian car buyers’ sentiments to go with a boring design for the first iteration of the budget sedan. However, boring didn’t cross over into ugly territory.
That’s what the facelifted Etios has managed to achieve – ugliness in good measure. Chrome can be classy when used strategically. When chrome is overused, it just makes a car look plain bad. This is the problem that now ails the Etios’ design, which sees a chromed, badly done front end. The wing mirrors look weird too.