Here Are 18 Cars That Were Massively Improved by a Redesign

Older isn't always better.

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Tom Salt

The goal of redesigning a car is to make something better than what came before. That's fairly obvious. But in some cases, a simple generation-to-generation change can take an already decent car and make it truly great. Here are some of your favorites.

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Porsche
Porsche 911 (997)

People never warmed up to the idea of a 911 without round headlights, which is one of the main reasons the 996 is the least-popular generation of Porsche's flagship. The 997 changed that with a fascia more appropriately designed to the 911 nameplate. on eBay right now.

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BMW
BMW M3 (E46)

The E36-generation BMW M3 was heavily neutered for the US market. Europe's version had way more power, which made us feel like we never got the real M3. The E46 fixed that. With a quick-revving straight-six and over 330 horsepower, it's one of the best M cars ever made. , and under $30,000.

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Porsche
Porsche Panamera

The first-gen Panamera drove great, but in terms of looks, it left a lot to be desired. It was shaped strangely, and looked downright awkward at some angles. The new one improved on its style massively, so now it's not so bad to look at. has just 50 miles on the odometer.

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Jeep
Jeep Wrangler (JL)

The last-gen Wrangler was far from bad, but this newest one is still a huge step up. With aluminum body panels, more engine options, and a totally re-worked suspension, it's worlds more impressive on and off the road. is on eBay right now.

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YouTubeThe Smoking Tire
Rolls-Royce Phantom

The 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom was the company's first step into the modern era. Thanks to new BMW ownership, it got a new design, new tech, and a whole lot more luxury. is listed on eBay for just $91,950.

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Mazda
Mazda3

Next to the old Mazda3, the new one is a masterpiece. The looks are much improved, and the luxurious interior is lightyears ahead. It's also a lot better to drive. Now all we need is for Mazda to make a Mazdaspeed version. right now with low mileage.

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Toyota SW20 MR2 Second generation
Toyota
Toyota MR2 (SW20)

The first-generation MR2 was a small, purpose built sporting machine that didn't cater much to people who wanted a livable everyday car. Toyota changed that for the second-gen SW20, giving it a larger interior, more amenities, and a retuned suspension. is up for bidding right now, equipped with a five-speed manual and a targa roof.

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Chevrolet
Chevrolet Corvette (C7)

The last-gen C6 Corvette was fantastic to drive, but left much to be desired in the fit and finish department. The C7's interior is miles ahead of the C6 in terms of refinement and comfort, and doesn't feel dated right out of the box. Plus, it's even better to drive. you can own for yourself.

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<p>The NC-generation Mazda Miata was far from a bad car. It was actually incredibly fun. But the new <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/car-technology/a25857/testing-the-2016-mazda-miata-less-is-more-quantified/">ND-generation Miata</a> somehow makes the NC look like a mistake. This could be the most fun new car on the market. The NC is still a great car, but the ND is a great Miata.</p>
Mazda
Mazda Miata (ND)

The NC-generation Mazda Miata was far from a bad car. It was actually incredibly fun. But the new ND-generation Miata somehow makes the NC look like a mistake. This could be the most fun new car on the market. The NC is still a great car, but the ND is a great Miata. with low mileage for about $10,000 off MSRP.

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<p>The previous generation CTS was too big to be a small sedan and too small to be a midsize sedan. It lived in a weird purgatory. The <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/road-tests/reviews/a6797/2014-cadillac-cts-performance/">newest CTS</a> cured that ailment with its growth into the midsize category, new engines, and a gorgeous design. We did lose the coupe and wagon (along with the manual gearbox in the V), but the CTS is able to make up for those losses pretty easily.</p>
Cadillac CTS

The previous generation CTS was too big to be a small sedan and too small to be a midsize sedan. It lived in a weird purgatory. The newest CTS cured that ailment with its growth into the midsize category, new engines, and a gorgeous design. We did lose the coupe and wagon (along with the manual gearbox in the V), but the CTS is able to make up for those losses pretty easily. listed on eBay right now for under $50,000.

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<p>When the fifth-generation Camaro was released, everyone rejoiced. Chevy's pony car was back! And we were willing to ignore just how heavy and tank-like it was in order to drive one.<a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/a27066/2016-chevrolet-camaro-ss-first-drive/">The Camaro's redesign</a> moves to a smaller, lighter platform, looks great, and is a hoot to drive. This is a winner.</p>
Chevrolet Camaro

When the fifth-generation Camaro was released, everyone rejoiced. Chevy's pony car was back! And we were willing to ignore just how heavy and tank-like it was in order to drive one.The Camaro's redesign moves to a smaller, lighter platform, looks great, and is a hoot to drive. This is a winner. is painted in a stunning blue color, and can be yours today.

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<p>The <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/videos/a15870/comparison-test-mercedes-benz-c63-amg/">C63 AMG</a> was the replacement for the <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a9447/mercedes-benz-c32-amg/">C32 AMG</a>. The C32 wasn't a bad car, but there's something to be said for replacing a small supercharged six with a honking naturally aspirated V8. We'll take the V8 any day.</p>
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

The C63 AMG replaced the C55 AMG. Both had naturally aspirated V8s, but the 6.2 liter in the C63 was a wild engine, one of the all-time greats. for just $23,900.

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<p>The Fox body came after the disappointment known as the Mustang II. While it wasn't great when it first came out, the Fox was around for nearly 15 years and just <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/videos/a5053/racing-videos-svo-mustang-racing-at-virginia-international-raceway/">got better and better</a> during that time. Look for these to become a future classic.</p>
Fox Body Mustang

The Fox body came after the disappointment known as the Mustang II. While it wasn't great when it first came out, the Fox was around for nearly 15 years and just got better and better during that time. Look for these to become a future classic. listed on eBay for under $15,000.

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<p>The <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/road-tests/reviews/a16925/2012-mclaren-mp4-12c-1/">McLaren MP4-12C</a> was a great car for McLaren Automotive's first effort, but it felt like it was only at home on the track and wasn't as much fun on the street. McLaren took that to heart and updated the 12C to become <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a3490/2015-mclaren-650s/">the brilliant 650S</a>.</p>
McLaren 650S

The McLaren MP4-12C was a great car for McLaren Automotive's first effort, but it felt like it was only at home on the track and wasn't as much fun on the street. McLaren took that to heart and updated the 12C to become the brilliant 650S. looks to be in great condition, and you can own it today.

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<p>The fourth generation of the GTI was the culmination of years of growth and addition to the GTI. It was heavy and just not the tossable hatch we came to know and love when it was released. Enter the MK V GTI. It ditched the VR6 for a 2.0 liter turbo four and got back to the GTI's fun loving roots. Without this car, <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a4322/first-drive-2015-volkswagen-gti-review/">the current GTI</a> might be a fat, awful thing.</p>
VW GTI (Mk. V)

The fourth generation of the GTI was the culmination of years of growth and addition to the GTI. It was heavy and just not the tossable hatch we came to know and love when it was released. Enter the MK V GTI. It ditched the VR6 for a 2.0 liter turbo four and got back to the GTI's fun loving roots. Without this car, the current GTI might be a fat, awful thing.

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<p>Honda lost the plot with the 2012 Civic. It felt cheap, it didn't drive great, and it was a rare mis-step from compact car kings. Thankfully, Honda realized the mistake and the new, 2016 Civic is all sorts of great, either in <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/a26899/2016-honda-civic-first-drive/">sedan</a> or <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/news/a28255/eight-things-we-learned-about-the-honda-civic-coupe/">coupe</a> form.</p>
Honda Civic

Honda lost the plot with the 2012 Civic. It felt cheap, it didn't drive great, and it was a rare mis-step from compact car kings. Thankfully, Honda realized the mistake and the new, 2016 Civic is all sorts of great, either in sedan or coupe form. is listed for sale on eBay right now.

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<p>The E60 5-series had two things against it. First were the looks that would scare children. Second was the iDrive unit that was nearly impossible to use. BMW fixed both issues for the F10 5er, which is a gorgeous car with a fantastic infortainment experience. Winner.</p>
BMW 5-Series (F10)

The E60 5-series had two things against it. First were the looks that would scare children. Second was the iDrive unit that was nearly impossible to use. BMW fixed both issues for the F10 5er, which is a gorgeous car with a fantastic infortainment experience. Winner. has a true six-speed manual transmission, and you can own it.

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<p>The last A4 was a fine car. But it wasn't a great car. <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/reviews/a27422/the-first-drive-2017-audi-a4-the-savior/">This new A4</a> though, is a return to form right when Audi needs it. It's fun, it's luxurious, and it can take the fight right to the BMW 3-series. That's what it has to do.</p>
Audi A4

The last A4 was a fine car. But it wasn't a great car. This new A4 though, is a return to form right when Audi needs it. It's fun, it's luxurious, and it can take the fight right to the BMW 3-series. That's what it has to do. with the rare stick-shift option, for sale right now on eBay.

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