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14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/24/2015 Karla Sanchez

A simple nip and tuck can make all the difference in improving a car's appearance, but when it comes to a full vehicle overhaul, designers sometimes get carried away and do too much. Next-gen cars are supposed to be better than their predecessors in all aspects, but the vehicles below just don't look as attractive as they did in their previous generations.

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Honda Civic

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers Even after so many refreshes, "emergency" and otherwise, the current Civic sedan just doesn't look nearly as sporty as it did before the 2012 model year. The slab-sided rear end was replaced by a more bulbous one, and the "boomerang" taillights gave way to ones that resembled the lights on the 2011 Accord Coupe. Many called the 2012 Civic's exterior design boring, and although the current Civic keeps the same overall shape, certain blacked-out elements and extra chrome bits make it look better than the 2012 model -- but not when compared to the previous generation.

Audi Q7

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers The new Q7 boasts a ton of new technology and a more lightweight body, but the design itself isn't anything to get excited over. Next to its predecessor, the Q7's design looks bland because it now has a trapezoidal grille with thick surrounds and horizontal slats instead of vertical ones. It also sports a more chiseled appearance that isn't easy on the eyes, and the new profile is more wagon-like than the old Q7's traditional SUV look.

Nissan Titan

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers Bigger is not always better. Take for example the recently revealed 2016 Titan's front grille, which almost seems offensive because it's right in your face with the humongous 8-inch wide Nissan badge front and center. The headlights are frighteningly large, and the back isn't much better, either, with obnoxious "Titan" badging slapped on the tailgate. Even though the 2016 Titan is much bolder, the previous-gen truck made more of an impression.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers The wide-eyed and smiley Miata that enthusiasts have loved for so many years just isn't the same after the 2016 model year. A little bit of the roadster's charm has been lost because its big smile now looks like more of a smirk, and the rear end looks odd with round taillights that give it a doe-eyed look. Making its rear look even weirder are the sheetmetal folds in the rear bumper that resemble whiskers. Why are we craving catfish all of a sudden?

Cadillac Escalade

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers There's a lot going on with the 2015 Escalade. The large SUV gets even more bling with a massive front grille with horizontal slats and slim LED headlights that sweep back atop the fenders. As if that weren't enough, designers also put L-shaped foglights similar to those on the new CTS below the headlights, making the front end look entirely too busy. The new Caddy also takes the route of the CTS wagon with enormous vertical taillights framing the rear window, but they just don't work as well on the boxy SUV as they do on the wagon.

Ford Edge

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers The Edge also jumped on the large hexagonal-grille bandwagon with its new design, which makes it appear more generic compared to its predecessor. Even though the Escape is lighter because of a generous amount of ultra-high-strength steel, it doesn't look like it shed any weight. It just looks swollen.

Hyundai Sonata

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers Hyundai admitted that its future designs would be "less extroverted," so it's no surprise the new 2015 Sonata isn't as eye-catching as the model it replaces. Elements on the front end are smaller, including the hexagonal grille and the taillights. The pre-refresh Sonata's deep crease that ran from the middle of the front door and upward toward the rear taillight gave it an attractive appearance, but it's been toned down, making the new Sonata much less interesting to look at.

Mini Hardtop

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers The Mini is not so mini after the 2014 model year. The little go-kart car packed on the pounds and gained a set of extra doors for rear passengers, growing 4.5 inches longer (add 0.8 inch for the S model), 1.7 inches wider, and 0.3 inch taller. All of that translates to a bloated Mini that doesn't look as cutesy as it used to.

Ford Mustang

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers What happened to all the muscle? The new ponycar just doesn't look as hard since its boxy lines were smoothed out. The front end of the Mustang resembles an anteater. It curves downward, and even though the fastback profile is a nod to the 1969 Mustang, it sticks out too far and looks like an underbite.

Chevrolet Cruze

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers The refreshed Cruze proudly wears the new Chevrolet sedan corporate grille, which has been pulled from the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Although it looks good on those two, it just doesn't do the same for the smaller compact because the new grille ages the car.

Smart ForTwo

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers If you thought the Smart ForTwo couldn't get any uglier, you were wrong. Designers tried to toughen up its appearance, but the end result just looks silly. The 2016 model looks bug-eyed with larger, rounder headlights that appear more prominent thanks to a newly designed front hood that's much boxier. (Admittedly, pedestrian safety standards may drive some of this.) The revised front grille is also too gaudy for a city car with chrome and a larger Smart logo located right in the center.

Volvo XC60

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers It's OK for a vehicle to look like a wagon if it is a wagon (like the V60), but if it's an SUV, things start to get a little awkward. That's the case with the XC60, which traded its commanding SUV stance for a more wagon-like one with an elongated body and lower profile. The front fascia also looks dull in comparison to its predecessor's because it's been toned down with a smaller grille.

Toyota 4Runner

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers The 2014 4Runner looks more rugged, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's more attractive. The SUV looks meaner with furrowed headlights and a massive grille that's split into two parts, and the deep cuts that frame the lower part of the grille resemble jowls on a bulldog. It's not ugly, but the subtle styling on the older 4Runner is less likely to scare passersby.

Ram 1500 Laramie Limited

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers Chrome overload. That's the best way to describe the new 1500 Laramie Limited, which shed its Dodge crosshairs for the Ram nameplate stamped across a massive chrome grille that has one too many slats. The design is polarizing to say the least, and there's a 20-inch Ram stamp across the tailgate that's way too big for comfort.

14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers© Provided by MotorTrend 14 Cars that Looked Better Before Their Makeovers
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