EK Looks: Pre-facelift or Facelift?

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As the amount of JDM admirers continue to grow and thrive in the world of Honda enthusiasts, each developed and gripped onto a vehicle of personal preference. Among the many, there exist the Integra Idolisers; the Jazz Jokers, the Prelude Preachers, the S2000 Seekers, and ultimately the NSX Nutters. However none of the aforementioned groups are as big, or as widely developed as the Civic Cruisers. Why? The reason is simply because Honda implanted the Civic generations with so many variants, literally almost enough to suit anyone’s taste and satisfaction. Different trims, multiple engines, endless colours, easy to modify, and simple to repair. The Honda Civic was engineered to be a cult in itself.

Perhaps one of the most popular Civic generations of today, is Honda’s 6th generation Civic. As if it wasn’t already hard enough for buyers to decide which EK to go with, Honda decided to add another obstacle to the track. In late 2000, they rolled out the facelift version of the, already extremely successful, 6th gen which was available since 1996. From then on, the battle between the looks of the pre-facelift versus the post ensued. At the beginning conversations regarding which was prettier slowly cultivated, passionate discussions soon aroused, and here we are in 2013 with debates flying left, right and centre. To an untrained eye, it is rather hard to distinguish between the two 6th gen shapes, but upon closer examination there are noticeable, yet subtle differences.  As we at VTEC Daily are neutralists (pre-facelift FTW), we have volunteered to help you identify the core differences between the pre-facelift and its facelift counter-part, so you can decide which team you want to be on.

Let’s start with the front – the grill. The grill embedded on the pre-facelift is not as wide when compared to its brother, but rather more stream line and more narrow. The facelift‘s grill is slightly larger and covers more area, it makes the car seem a bit more friendly as it gives off the illusion of a bigger smile. It overall better curves across the general front section of the car, allowing for the H badge to stand out in the middle, but yet not so much to distract attention away from your aftermarket front bumper.

That is if you decide to modify the front bumper of course. If you stick with the stock front bumpers, both cars also contrast in this area. On the pre-facelift, just below the cars headlights, two black plastic bumper strips curve around the corners of the bumper. However, on the facelift, there are no bumper strips at all. Given the situation that a pre-facelift owner would like smoothed down front bumpers, eBay have a few great deals or you could always DIY. For those of you who dislike bumper strips and would like to stay genuine Honda, the facelift would be the wiser decision, the bumper sits flush and therefore again offers a friendlier, tidier look to the car – after all, tidier and fresher looks are what all facelifts on any cars are designed to offer, and nothing offers this better on the 6th gen than the facelift’s headlights.

Headlights are the doorway into a car’s soul. They can be designed to look aggressive, sleek, hidden or bold. The styling on the pre-facelift’s headlights are larger than its brother, they cut the corners of the bonnet more. The housing was designed to expose as much light as possible, ultimately looking making the look of the headlights much more clear. The facelifts head lights are slicker, and they are again narrow, offering more of the aggressive modern look when aligned on either side of its narrow grill. For those who want to swap the headlights from both models, the option is there for you to take. But having said that, it does costs a fair amount to have the job done, fenders, the bonnet, the front bumper and the grill would all have to be changed.

As we work around the side and the back of the car, there are a couple more subtle differences. The indicators on the pre-facelift are amber and the post, clear. If you own a pre-facelift and have to desire to swap the rear lights for the ones if clear indicators, consider this: the market price of a pair of facelift rear lights sell for around £60. That’s £60 to change the colours of your rear indicators. We’ll let you decide from here.

So overall we’ve identified and described to you the key differences, in terms of external design, between the pre-facelift and facelift 6th generation Civics. Most are small differences and there are options out there for owners to mix and match parts, however sometimes the costs may not justify the reason, and it may be best just to stick with one. We hope we’ve played our part in answering any queries you may have on this topic. If not, feel free to comment below and we will try our best to address it for you. VTEC OUT!