RAC Cars News


Cars Under The Knife: Nip And Tuck

By raccars Published

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There comes a time in every car's life when it starts to look a bit tired next to newer models. To retain freshness and healthy sales between generations, manufacturers apply a few tweaks - some of which are more effective than others. Cher could learn a thing or two from these car makers, who have learned the art of subtle, appropriate cosmetic refreshments.

BMW 1 Series

The original 1 Series divided critics with its looks upon release, and has often been unfavourably compared to the 2 Series. Not yet ready for the expense of an all new model, BMW listened to its consumers and has updated the 1 Series at the front and back, to great effect. Some subtle work has resulted in a much better looking front and back end.

Peugeot RCZ

The RCZ was never ugly but represented salad cream to the Audi TT's mayonnaise. A carefully applied nose job has made the RCZ coherent with the rest of the Peugeot line up and added some much needed elegance. It now looks like a far more expensive car than it actually is.

Skoda Felicia

A Skoda Favorit in a designer dress, the Felicia is the result of VW's input and the first model to receive attention after the German firm's takeover of Skoda. It's more modern and conservative looking but, arguably, lacks personality compared to the old Favorit.

Alfa Romeo 166

In all honesty, looks have never been Alfa Romeo's problem. The Italian brand is famous, justly or otherwise, for producing jaw droppingly beautiful cars that break down... The 166 had very little wrong with it but a facelift in 2003 turned it from simply good looking into supermodel levels of gorgeousness.

Volvo XC60

A lesson in the art of subtlety, to the untrained eye the pre and post facelift models look pretty much the same. However, line the two up together and the refreshed XC60 looks remarkably sleeker and more handsome.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Similar work was carried out on the already good looking fourth generation Grand Cherokee. For 2014, changes included new headlights, tail lights and a new grille. Nothing dramatic but the finished effect was sharper and smarter.

Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai caused such a splash on release that to tamper with it risked causing outrage. However, Nissan has been very clever with its crossover. Not only did a 2010 facelift meet with approval all round, but when the time came for an all new, second generation model, the Japanese firm very carefully took the conservative approach and kept all that was good about the original car.

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