Extraordinary car face lifts and refreshes that changed the game!

Car facelifts can be things of beauty. Just when your favourite car is beginning to look a little outdated, those artsy folk in the design department come out with something that’s fresh and modern, but still true to the design concept of the original car. These model updates can be seen in many popular cars. Whether you own a Mercedes E Class or a Peugeot 108, most car models you see on the road go through some sort of change before the model is completely redesigned for the next generation.

On the other hand, facelifts can be a pain. As consumers, we never receive any kind of warning for when they’re coming and they can make your current car look aged and ‘last-generation’, making you wish you waited that little bit longer so that you could have just bought the new updated model that makes everything before it look ancient.

We’re going to share with you some of our favourite facelifts that really stood out for all the right reasons.

Fiat Multipla

Fiat Multipla Motor-Vision

Possibly the most important entry on our list, the iconically ugly Multipla. In 1998, Fiat showed the world that they were different and had unique and brave ideas for what a car could be. Then, in 2004, Fiat showed the world that they had seen the errors of their ways and gave us a milder, less offensive-looking car.

The facelifted Multipla rid of the “psychotic cartoon duck” look (as The Telegraph had described it) by removing the unnecessary pair of eyes that are located at the top of the bonnet and the double lip set up. The jelly-shaped rear lights were also swapped out for more conventional, squarish lights.

Fiat Multipla Rear
Wait until you see the front…

In a way, it’s quite sad that Fiat was so ashamed with what they had created that they redesigned it to blend in with every other car on the road. The original Multipla was like nothing else and successfully captured the attention of the motoring world with its distinct looks and unique style. However, cars are made to be sold and driven, not to be displayed in art galleries.

Fiat Multipla Face Lift

As much as we admire the Multipla for being so different, we’re glad that it was swiftly refreshed and reshaped into a design that didn’t hurt to look at so much. Thank you, Fiat, for making the world a little less ugly.

Mercedes E Class

Meredes E Class pre face lift

The W212 Mercedes E Class has gone through one of the most extreme facelifts we’ve ever seen, transforming the ageing design which was lagging behind in terms of modern car design and propelling it to the very front of the race. The refresh truly confused all of us, leaving us all wondering ‘is this a new model?’. For some odd reason, this complete frontal redesign couldn’t wait for the next model, it had to be in the current generation.

Meredes E Class Face Lift Motor-Vision
After facelift

The W212 model of E Class was produced from 2009 to 2016 and the refresh took place in 2013. The grille changed, the lights changed, the badge changed, basically, the whole front of the car changed. There can’t be many facelifts that were as extreme as this one. Well, for a car, at least.

It’s reported that around €1 billion was spent on this spectacular mid-generation facelift and we think that was money well spent! Although it must have been infuriating for customers who had just bought an E-Class, it would have been even more rewarding for those who were yet to.

Meredes E Class Face Lift Motor-Vision

As you can see, the headlights were upgraded to single unit LED lights which look very modern, the grille has completely changed and in the middle of it, there’s a giant Merc badge. Overall, the whole shape and design of the face was been revamped. Not only was the styling drastically changed but new engines, suspension options and tech were added as well. In summary, this facelift was pretty crazy.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta UK Motor-Vision

The Fiesta is one of the most popular cars in the UK. It’s perfect as a first car, it’s perfect as an economical hatchback and it’s even pretty perfect as a hot hatch in ST guise. We were graced with the sixth generation of Fiesta in 2008 and that generation of Fiesta was only replaced by the new generation recently, in 2017. Halfway through the life of the sixth-gen Fiesta, Ford gave the little hatchback the facelift treatment.

This facelift completely transformed the front of the car by adding a huge, somewhat flashy-looking grille that was a little reminiscent to Aston Martin’s grille design. This new facelifted design is known as the Mk 7.5 Fiesta and was the first Ford to use the ‘trapezoidal’ grille that is now also used in the Focus and the Mustang. For this reason, the Mk 7.5 facelift is very important, not only for improving the look of the Fiesta but also for setting the tone for the design of other Ford vehicles and is still being used today.

Ford Fiesta Motor-Vision
Ford Fiesta Motor-Vision

Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Gallardo

The Gallardo was a well-respected, well-loved supercar, but it didn’t take long for it to start looking a little outdated. That’s why Lamborghini gave it the facelift treatment halfway through its lifecycle. First revealed at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the refreshed design featured a new front bumper which was less squarish and more angular, a side air intake by the front wheels and smaller, sleeker rear lights.

Lamborghini Gallardo Lights

It’s quite peculiar just how effective turning squares into triangles is when it comes to car design. The facelifted Lamborghini Gallardo would still look modern today if it was sat next to today’s newest supercars. We definitely can’t say the same for the pre-facelift Gallardo.

The facelift also brought a new, uneven firing 5.2 L V10 engine that produced 552 hp and featured Lamborghini’s direct fuel injection system. The performance was greater and the pollution and fuel consumption was less.

Gallardo Edizione Technica
Gallardo Edizione Technica

In 2012, the facelifted model was improved upon once more with the Gallardo Edizione Technica, which looked even more spectacular! They featured, yet again, a new front bumper design which was even more triangular than the last and also had larger air intakes and a redesigned rear as well. Overall, the Gallardo seems to have aged like a fine Italian wine over the course of its life.

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF before facelift
Jaguar XF before facelift

The first generation XF (2007-2015) was big, bold and rather good looking and in 2011, the large luxury saloon got a little boost in appearance, technology and under the bonnet.

Both the front grille and headlights were modernised. The round ‘bugeye’ lights were smoothed out to become sleeker and sharper, and the grille was made to be more square. This transformed the look of the front by trading circles with squares. It made a great difference. These cosmetic changes were said to be a close representation of the Jaguar C-XF concept car, which was a very beautiful concept car indeed (see below).

C-XF concept car
Jaguar XF after 2011 facelift

Not only did the car get a prettier face, the refresh/facelift also brought some interior trim enhancements and adaptive cruise control, which is perfect for the business people this car is great for. A new engine and transmission was also introduced, which was a four-cylinder 187 bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, which is combined with a new eight-speed automatic transmission which featured start-stop technology. A fantastic improvement for a fantastic car.

Let us know which facelifts you consider to be the very best!

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