Facelift (automotive)

An automotive facelift (also known as mid-generational refresh, minor model change or minor model update, life cycle impulse) comprises changes to a car, truck or bus's styling during its production run – including, to highly variable degree, new sheetmetal, interior design elements or mechanical changes[2] – allowing a carmaker to freshen a model without complete redesign.

Volkswagen Golf 2013-2017 with its 2018 facelift
"Mid-cycle facelifts for cars are usually just cosmetic: a little nip here, a little tuck there, new lights and maybe a couple of different trim pieces to maintain interest in an aging vehicle for an extra couple of years before a full redesign."

Laurance Yap, Editor, Canadian Driver[1]

A facelift retains the basic styling and platform of the car,[3] with aesthetic alterations, e.g., changes to the front fascia (grille, headlights), taillights, bumpers, instrument panel and center console, and various body or interior trim accessories. Mechanical changes may or may not occur concurrently with the facelift (e.g., changes to the engine, suspension or transmission).

A facelift may include a change to the vehicle's name; such was the case when Ford renamed their Five Hundred model to be their Ford Taurus in 2008. The facelifts of the Citroën DS3, DS4 and DS5 even changed the brand under which these models were marketed from Citroën to DS.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Review: Audi A4". Canadian Driver, August 31, 2005, Laurance Yap.
  2. ^ "Definition: Facelift". About.com, Aaron Gold.
  3. ^ "2010 Ford Fusion Review". Edmunds.com.