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Old 14th July 2012, 13:45   #1
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Default Was the older model better?

We live in a time where the average shelf-life of a model of a particular is much, much shorted than it used to be. Even during a 5-7 year lifespan, cars are given facelifts at least once (sometimes twice) to try and keep them fresh and sustain demand till the new model comes out.

But here's the thing - are newer models necessarily better than the models they replaced? There's no guarantee that the new car will be better than the model it replaces. Sometimes I wonder if it's the bean-counters or marketers that dictate new car launches rather than the engineering division.

With new legislation, cars are becoming bigger and heavier and less involving to drive. The new F30 BMW 3-series is the same length as the old E39 5-series. Legislation for safety, economy and emissions also force compromises - weight goes up, and we lose that feeling of involvement and sheer seat-of-your-pants fun.
I'm hard pressed today to find a car that gives me the same seat-of-your-pants rush that I got driving a friends 15-year old E30 M3. And I've driven the current E63 AMG!

So... can any of you name a (fairly) recent car that was worse (or no better) than the model it replaced? Extra points if you pick something from the Indian Automotive scene.
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Old 14th July 2012, 14:04   #2
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

Well looks are always subjective, some people prefer the old i10 front face than the current one.

Apart from looks there are few things which are better in old model than in new model. Consider example of WagonR - the new one is better in all aspects but the 3 cylinder engine lacks low end torque and vibrations are more than compared to old engine.

But in maximum cases new gen models are better than old gen.

The new facelift models are nothing but an attempt to rectify the mistakes made in old models. Like poor gearshift of old wagonr is rectified in current model.

It is not that the current facelift models are ultimate/perfect. Every five years cars are replaced with newer technology.

Last edited by bluevolt : 14th July 2012 at 14:06.
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Old 14th July 2012, 14:15   #3
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

Good topic.
The case of 1st and 2nd generation city comes to my mind.
1st Gen was fantastic and 2nd gen was completely botched up.

There was a thread I recently read, where a fellow TBHPian listed the corners cut in the current Alto as compared to a Alto 5-6 years back.
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Old 14th July 2012, 14:21   #4
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

Aesthetically speaking. I have never been an i20 fan. But I think there was no need of a facelift. The older European stance still looks chic compared to the new Japanese nose. Of course, over the time style grows on you. But the time it takes to grow is the time when you curse it the most.

Others car would include brand Zen being destroyed by re-badging it as Estilo. Then the Toyota Altis. It still looks odd from certain angles whereas the previous model was understated and looked elegant. Same goes for Palio in my books. The Stile, IMHO, looked a bit boxy and disproportionate compared to original Palio of 2001-2003. Even though the current Accord looks too good for a luxo-barge, it doesn't have the same oomph or sportiness as of the one it replaced (the one with L.E.D tail-lamps is my fav.). The Honda Civic of coming years is going to be another disaster. Wait for it.

Of international/luxury cars in India, I didn't like the F10 5er when it was first released. I always preferred E60 over it. Now though as I see our roads clogged with the F10s, I have to say that it's one of the best looking premium saloon in business.

And I am not including the newer Xylos, Sumos, Innovas, Boleros, Taveras et al. I don't know whether I ever liked looking at them in the first place. So, don't care. ;-)

Last edited by Shivank : 14th July 2012 at 14:22.
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Old 14th July 2012, 14:22   #5
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

following examples come to my mind:

Type 1/2 Honda City was better than the one followed it (Dolphin Shaped Honda City - NHC). Current Gen Honda City is better or at least equally good as Type 1/2.

Original Zen was much better than the Zen Estilo that followed it.

1999/2000/2001/2002 Lancer was better than the facelifted Lancer that followed it, partly because of (poor) quality of parts used in recent generation.

2001/2002 Palio was better built than the one followed it, again because of quality of parts.

somewhat holds true for Alto 800 too.
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Old 14th July 2012, 14:44   #6
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Consider example of WagonR - the new one is better in all aspects but the 3 cylinder engine lacks low end torque and vibrations are more than compared to old engine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Good topic.
The case of 1st and 2nd generation city comes to my mind.
1st Gen was fantastic and 2nd gen was completely botched up.
There was a thread I recently read, where a fellow TBHPian listed the corners cut in the current Alto as compared to a Alto 5-6 years back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivank View Post
The older i20 European stance still looks chic compared to the new Japanese nose. Others car would include brand Zen being destroyed by re-badging it as Estilo. Then the Toyota Altis. It still looks odd from certain angles whereas the previous model was understated and looked elegant. Same goes for Palio in my books. The Stile, IMHO, looked a bit boxy and disproportionate compared to original Palio of 2001-2003. Even though the current Accord looks too good for a luxo-barge, it doesn't have the same oomph or sportiness as of the one it replaced (the one with L.E.D tail-lamps is my fav.). The Honda Civic of coming years is going to be another disaster. Wait for it.
Of international/luxury cars in India, I didn't like the F10 5er when it was first released. I always preferred E60 over it. Now though as I see our roads clogged with the F10s, I have to say that it's one of the best looking premium saloon in business.
Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
following examples come to my mind:

Type 1/2 Honda City was better than the one followed it (Dolphin Shaped Honda City - NHC).
riginal Zen was much better than the Zen Estilo that followed it.
1999/2000/2001/2002 Lancer was better than the facelifted Lancer that followed it, partly because of (poor) quality of parts used in recent generation.
2001/2002 Palio was better built than the one followed it, again because of quality of parts.
somewhat holds true for Alto 800 too.
Agree with all posts so far.

There's a general feeling that some of these cars were worse than their predecessors.
  1. Zen Estilo (compared to the original Zen in it's MPFI guise)
  2. The gen-2 Honda City (the 'dolphin' shape): almost universally rated as much worse than the previous model if you were a petrolhead)
  3. The Palio Stile: Reduced performance, reduced presence, reduced quality.
Anything else? How about the Ikon? Newer 'facelifted' Ikons looked god-awful compared to the Ikon 1.6 Nxt that was available in the mid-2000s.
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Old 14th July 2012, 16:07   #7
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

I preferred the older Passat, when compared to the newer. The suspension on the new one is softer.
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Old 14th July 2012, 17:43   #8
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

Old Honda City was better than New Honda City (Gen 2).

Old Hyundai verna was much better than Verna Tranform. (I am not talking about the Fluidic)

Older Swift (facelifted one with clear lens tail light) was better than the current Swift.

5 series (E60 was better)

Endeavour

Swift Dzire

Skoda Laura

Last edited by noopster : 24th July 2012 at 13:40. Reason: Please avoid using acronyms for cars. Thanks!
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Old 14th July 2012, 18:49   #9
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

1. The new Jetta has space but the old one was better on handling, interiors, quality and equipment
2. The 1.2L K-series from Maruti might be good on refinement and FE but its no match to the old1.3L twin cam unit when it comes to performance
3. The BMW F10 is not as good as the E60 or atleast its not as driver focused
4. Pre 2005 Indica's were much better than the current ones
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Old 14th July 2012, 19:07   #10
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

I am talking only in terms of looks:
Almost all the Zen facelifts were poor compared to the original one.
Hyundai Verna was better than Transform.
The current Honda City with its bling chrome makes pre-facelift look far decent.
Pre-facelift Swift is also having far better looking back than current one.
I also prefer the original Scorpio tail light set up than the current one.
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Old 14th July 2012, 20:26   #11
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

The old Jetta and Passat were both better to drive than their current counterparts. Looks are subjective (although nearly everyone agrees about the looks on the OHC v/s NHC), but there is a step down here.

The old Superb was a better car, though with barely any features, than the new one. They're in fact based on completely different platforms, and the new one has a smaller engine than the old one.

Who here remembers the Zen Classic. Oh god. Although that was probably just a case of a bad variant.

I also find the new fortuner to be less macho looking than the old one.

The 5 series from the 90s is still looks classy (E39) than the one just before the current version (E60?) Although the current one (F) is superior.

But the clear winner in this is the old 3 series. The 3 series around the year 2004 (E46), particularly the 335, was much prettier than any of the newer ones.
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Old 14th July 2012, 21:03   #12
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

Agree with the ZEN Estilo mishaps..
Also Agree with the Honda City Dolphin model. But I have to say that the Dolphin City though not as much fun to drive was a Lot more user friendly and Spacious than the Previous one.( I had the Dolphin one)
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Old 15th July 2012, 02:48   #13
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

In addition to the ones mentioned by others, I feel the W211 E Class is better than the W212. I didn't find the W212 as comfortable, nor did the interiors feel as nice in terms of quality of leather, and design.
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Old 15th July 2012, 04:25   #14
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

What comes to my mind is the Alto K10. Even though it has not really replaced anything and is just a new model by itself, the old VX or VXi with a 4 cylinder 1.1 engine (which sold for a very short while) was so much better at least in terms of driveability. The excellent low end torque was its USP.

However, where the K10 really scores is possibly refinement levels, NVH and FE.
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Old 15th July 2012, 08:16   #15
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Default Re: Was the older model better?

As already mentioned in an earlier post the older Skoda Laura was much better in the looks department. The present one has lost the "masculine" touch.

However in terms of gizmos probably the present one is better.
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