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Cars are given a facelift every so often, but are they really an improvement? Let's find out if you should buy a facelift or a pre-facelift version of that car.
Category: Car Buying Advice
If you have ever shopped around for a car, you must have come across the term 'facelift'. No we aren't talking about some cosmetic surgery for you to look younger, but it is a similar idea, just applied to cars.
An entirely new car takes many years of development before they are released to the market. As such, a generation of cars typically lasts around half a decade before the next is introduced. Hence facelifts are often introduced along the way to keep a car model fresh and updated.
So, what does a facelift include?
Before we dive into what facelifts exactly are, you need to know the terminology used by manufacturers. Usually, facelifted cars are advertised as 'new', while 'all new' usually refers to an actual new model. Facelifts are often also referred to as a minor model update, a refresh, or in BMW's terms, a Life Cycle Impulse.
Facelifts are usually based on the same platform as before with most of the major components, such as the greenhouse area and the car's unibody structure left undisturbed. Parts that are updated on facelifts varies from car to car. But common changes include the head and taillights as well as bumpers - parts that are easily replaceable.
Facelifts often include minor to major changes to the interior of the car. Afterall, that is a part of the car that directly affects the occupants. Usually trim pieces get a different finish or shade of colour. However, one change that can result in a vastly different experience is an upgrade of the infotainment system - such as when the C-Class got the new MBUX.
Drivetrain tweaks are yet another change to be expected with facelifts. Engines may get a slight bump in power or tweaked for better fuel consumption, and in some cases entirely new engine or transmission choices are even introduced to the lineup.