Ugly originals and their beautiful facelifts: Cars and SUVs

Ugly originals and their beautiful facelifts: Cars and SUVs

Following the Beautiful originals and their ugly facelifts story, we try to look the other way round this time. Here are a couple of cars and SUVs that looked terrible before but were soon replaced by much better-looking facelifts/generation updates.

Starting with the oldest of the lot,

Hyundai Elantra


Hyundai has, over the period, learnt the art of making good-looking cars. And they haven’t just stopped there, they’ve become so good that if you look at the company’s current line-up, there’s no bad-looking car to talk of.


The original Elantra might still have a bit of old world charm, but it was not beautiful by any means. The new one — the one’s on sale at the moment — wasn’t just a huge improvement in design, it also added the premium looks the previous one totally lacked. And not just that, the new one is going to be even better!

Hyundai i10


The Santro was to be replaced by the i10, and the i10 was by the Grand i10. So while the tall-boy design was eventually converted into something that looked more car-like, it wasn’t until the Grand i10 that Hyundai got it right.


The Grand i10 looks better than anything Hyundai has offered in the segment. Not only about proportions, the design is more fluid — fitting to the Fluidic design philosophy.

Hyundai Verna


The Verna sort of created a revolution with a powerful diesel engine, in a package that worked well for most buyers. The problem was that, unlike the Verna and the Accent before that, the short-lived Verna Transform was sort of disappointment.


But not a disappointment that the much better looking Verna RB couldn’t overcome. The new generation version not only made the industry stop and take notice, it also ensured the sales were strong. And wasn’t it a looker! In fact the current car is based on the same platform and still looks great.

Mahindra Xylo


When Mahindra first made waves by entering the MUV segment with the Xylo, not a lot of design critics appreciated the overall design. While the vehicle was made for a purpose — to transport people in comfort, that is — it could have looked more, how do we put it, more acceptable, maybe.

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The Walrus grille was nothing but a disappointment, and the overall design was nothing but uninspiring. The facelift that followed didn’t just address that, it ensured that the Xylo looked better and maybe not such an eyesore that it originally was.

Tata Hexa


The Tata Aria came to the market at a wrong time. Not only was its presence overshadowed by those of the better-looking SUVs, but also because the market’s expectations (in terms of design) had increased. So when it failed to deliver, neither the widened model range nor the added features could save it.


The Hexa, on the other hand, looks better than the Aria — maybe how the Aria should have looked right from day one. It also has the ruggedness added to it in right proportions — something Aria totally lacked.