The problem with creating a hit car is you have to follow it up with an even better new version or risk becoming the Flock of Seagulls of automobile design. These ten reader-chosen cars were sad redesigns of previous generations.

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10.) Honda Civic

Suggested By: MarkB

Why It Made Us Sad: In 2012, the Civic continues to grow up. The process is unfortunate, but inevitable. What's really a bummer though is its new resemblance to its larger Honda stablemate, the Accord Crosstour. I guess it's all about corporate synergy and done in the name of presenting a unified face to the public, but making the quick, tossable Civic Si look like the Cross-monstrosity is just not fair.


9.) BMW 7-Series

Suggested By: Jagvar

Why It Made Us Sad: The introduction of the Bangle Butt E65 in 2001 heralded a new design direction for BMW. Unfortunately, this new direction was met with disgust and criticism from all sides. The two-level rear of the car was incredibly polarizing, especially after the restrained elegance of the previous generation 7-Series, the E38. The look eventually continued across the entire BMW line, and the public got used to it, but for a few months in the early 2000's, it was a very uncomfortable time for BMW's styling department.


8.) Nissan Sentra

Suggested By: rotaryfreakjoe

Why It Made Us Sad: The 2000-2006 Sentra was no beauty contest winner, but at least it was proportioned like a real car. When the Sentra got redesigned for 2007, it just got uglier. Too-tall sides combined with too-small wheels made the car look too tall and narrow, like it was about to topple over. Its nearly nonexistent trunklid makes it look chopped off and unfinished. And in SE-R trim, it may have been more powerful, but it just didn't perform. Nissan really lost the thread here.


Photo credit: Dave Pinter, flickr

7.) Toyota Celica

Suggested By: lok502

Why It Made Us Sad: Toyota just had to go and kill off a good thing once again. The sixth generation car was larger than the fifth, but it still looked fast, and had those cool quad-headlights. In All-Trac guise the car produced 239 horsepower and had improved suspension systems, an aluminum hood, and a beefier turbocharger. The seventh generation car had none of these things. It had gone from a World Rally Championship stormer to a big, ugly, poser's car. Its rakish styling and big wing hid the fact that the guts had been taken out of what was previously a pretty quick car.


Photo credit: NA.dir, flickr

6.) Scion xB

Suggested By: maintmgt

Why It Made Us Sad: The original xB was a statement car. It was, quite literally, a toaster on wheels, and was unapologetic about its boxy shape. The restyled xB, launched in 2007 did away completely with the pervious car's boxiness in favor of a more rounded, organic-looking theme. The car got bigger and lost the one thing that made it completely unique.


Photo credit: Stradablog, flickr

5.) Acura TL

Suggested By: Jeb_Hoge

Why It Made Us Sad:The third generation Acura TL, produced from 2004 to 2008 is an inoffensively styled luxury sedan. It's a little racy - its squinty eyes give it some sporty pretensions. Then, suddenly, in 2009, the TL grew a beak. Why Acura decided that its new corporate front end should include a beak is beyond us. It doesn't look that bad on Acura's bigger cars, where it has more room to spread out, but on the TL it was smooshed outward. It's an unfortunate look for a car that really was pretty ok to begin with.


Photo credit: Gapgeek, flickr

4.) Ford Taurus SHO

Suggested By: ChiefPontiaxe

Why It Made Us Sad: The SHO went from a little Yamaha-powered rocketship to a big, bloated, automatic transmission-only behemoth. While the older, early 90's SHO was a great little car, the new one is just a disappointment, in size, styling and performance.


Photo credit: Dave Pinter, flickr

3.) Mitsubishi Eclipse

Suggested By: Stapleface

Why It Made Us Sad: For its third iteration, Mitsubishi took their successful performance-based Eclipse and softened it. They made the suspension more compliant, the engines less responsive, and changed the styling of the car to appeal to people who previously did not care about the Eclipse. It went from a respectable car to start upgrading and tuning to kind of a joke in a very short amount of time.


Photo credit: J-Dub1188, flickr

2.) Lotus Elise

Suggested By: clank-o-tron

Why It Made Us Sad: Where do I start? We're scared for the Lotus company. We're scared for the future Elise. We wish the current one could just go on being made forever. This new, heavier, uglier car does not bode well for enthusiasts who enjoyed its featherweight predecessor. To be fair, we haven't driven it, so maybe a mild-hybrid and heavier Elise will be great! But we doubt it.


The addition of a rapper to the Lotus product development team roster probably isn't good news either, but he's a new model and not a redesign, so he gets a pass here.

1.) Mustang II

Suggested By: Stapleface

Why It Made Us Sad: Granted, in the years following the original Mustang's launch, it had grown in size and weight and wasn't really the same car it had been in 1964. Redesigning any car to be smaller and lighter is a good thing, so it would seem as though Ford's pride and joy would only benefit from a freshening-up. The Mustang II sold a ton of cars, but they were not fast. They did not take corners well. They were cheaply built. The Mustang II was a big sales success for Ford, but kind of a failure for everyone else.


Photo credit: Jack_Snell, flickr