Deciding the right car has always been a task for many. It is easier for few, especially for those who have already decided upon a particular car, irrespective of its age and existence in the market. But for the rest who have no designated dream car and usually prefer to go for the latest in the market, the process is not as simple as it looks.
To begin with, most of the newcomers, particularly from Maruti Suzuki’s stable attract a long waiting period. To name a few — the hot selling Baleno and the Vitara Brezza. The waiting period of these cars usually rises to six-eight months. And if you plan to sell your current car to buy a new one, the resale value of your car might deteriorate further by the time you even come to terms with the waiting period. Just for your reference, the Ford EcoSport’s waiting period initially rose to over a year for a few of its variants.
Can’t wait for this long? What is the alternative? You can go for the facelifted version of a newcomer's rival. Not all cars in a particular segment have similar model cycles, which is usually five years. For example, Maruti Suzuki's debutant sub-4m SUV came in March 2016, while Ford India’s number cruncher — the EcoSport was launched in 2013, almost three years before the Suzuki. Soon, we’ll have the mid-life update of the EcoSport and it will possibly have everything along with a fresh new face that the current version lacks in comparison to the Brezza. The same is applicable to others as well. The next-gen Verna is coming next year and Honda will launch the facelifted City to fend off the Hyundai. Notably, the next-gen Verna might will attract a big waiting period initially, while the equally competent updated City might be readily available.
In terms of design, sometimes a facelift brings a world of difference in the aesthetics of a vehicle. If you look at the older Toyota Camry and the facelifted Camry, the new face has altered the car’s character completely. The latter looks flamboyant and sportier compared to the former. Similar is the case with the discontinued Ford Fiesta, the new Aston Martin-esque grille in the facelifted version made it look as if it had gone through a generation change. Fiat did the same thing with the current Punto EVO.
Several times facelifts have also rectified prime setbacks in a particular model’s sales. Mid-cycle update or a facelift, as the name indicates, usually comes in between two-three years after the model first went on sale. Manufacturers listen to the complaints and suggestions from the existing owners and follow the direction where the vehicle’s peers are heading, then make suitable amendments in the facelift. Take the updated Honda Amaze for example, the previous Amaze had a very utilitarian dashboard which also lacked several key features. However, post the arrival of the Figo Aspire, the Hyundai Xcent and others, Honda completely re-imaged the 2016 Amaze’s dashboard and added new features as well. Moreover, subtle design changes along with its same potent mechanicals made the updated Amaze a competing product in the segment.
On the flipside, facelifts occasionally make the vehicle look less enticing than its older avatar. Taking the mid-life update of the Verna into account. To many, the Fluidic Verna looked way better than the new Verna 4S. And the latter failed to excite the sales chart again unlike the previous one, despite having almost everything its arch rival and segment leader — the Honda City has to offer.
All in all, buying a facelifted model in the wake of a newer hot selling model is not a bad idea. What you get in the package are almost similar features and proven mechanicals. If you go through the user reviews, you can also get to know the problems that you might face in that vehicle, as it has been in the market for past few years. Else book the hot-selling one and wait endlessly till it gets delivered!