Best Car Platform

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Unlike the Volkswagen Group’s many marques, and thus differing pricing strategies, price savings for similarly equipped cars across the 3 brands aren’t all that significant, though the Renault Clio (hatchback), Nissan Sylphy (saloon), Nissan Qashqai (SUV) and Renault Scenic (MPV) are all solid options for their respective classes!

If older and less capable platforms can be likened to an illness (which it probably is, as inefficiency is a very un-German trait!), then the MQB must be its cure-all, a panacea, if you are so inclined to call it. It replaces 2 of Volkswagen’s previous generation, but still very much capable and versatile platforms, the PQ25 and PQ35/46. They have been used to build anything from superminis to sports cars, as well as from MPVs to commercial vehicles.

Car platforms afford automakers the luxury of offering consumers a wider selection of cars for lower overall R&D costs. This is a best-case scenario for both the consumer and the manufacturer, as the end-user gets a larger selection of vehicles to choose from that are often more generously equipped, but at a more affordable pricepoint as the R&D savings are then passed on to the customers. All auto makers have some kind of platform, and the degree to which said platform is utilised varies widely industry-wide. In this article, we’re taking a look at 5 of the most widely used car platforms in recent years! 

5. Mitsubishi GS and Renault-Nissan C platform (18 cars) 

In joint 5th place, is Mitsubishi’s GS and Renault-Nissan’s C platform. The former, also known as Project Global, was a joint venture between Mitsubishi and DaimlerChrysler. Both automakers have applied variations of the architecture across the entire Mitsubishi and Chrysler/Dodge portfolio, though we have to argue that the GS platform has got to be the most capable platform overall in this list, spawning class-leading cars in their respective segments despite the shared ancestry. The Mitsubishi Evolution 10, Jeep Compass, and even a pseudo-luxury cabriolet in the form of the Chrysler Sebring, all share similar roots. 

As for the latter, Renault-Nissan’s C platform is more vanilla and pedestrian as compared to the GS. The C is used to underpin mainly Renault-Nissan group SUVs and MPVs, and even a minivan in the form of the Renault Kangoo.

4. Renault-Nissan CMF (21 cars)

The CMF, or Common Module Family, is the alliance’s direct competitor to the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform. You can find some variant of this across all 3 marques (Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi) in the alliance. It has provided the spine for a wide range of vehicles, ranging from hatchbacks to large saloons, and from people carriers to SUVs of varying sizes.

Unlike the Volkswagen Group’s many marques, and thus differing pricing strategies, price savings for similarly equipped cars across the 3 brands aren’t all that significant, though the Renault Clio (hatchback), Nissan Sylphy (saloon), Nissan Qashqai (SUV) and Renault Scenic (MPV) are all solid options for their respective classes!

3. PSA PF2 Platform (23 cars)

The PSA group has phased out their PF2 platform, but the move only came recently enough that there are many fairly-new examples of cars that use said platform as the backbone for their construction still on our roads. It has been applied across 23 different models of the Peugeot and Citroen portfolio at its peak. Mainly used to underpin hatchbacks, it has seen use in some SUV models as well.

Some examples of PF2-based cars include the sporty-looking Peugeot RCZ, all variants of the last-generation Citroen C4, and even the PSA Group’s last generation minivans! 

2. Volkswagen Group PQ35 (25 cars)

The versatility of the PQ35, especially in the context of the VW Group, is undeniable, especially compared to its predecessors. This trait allows the Volkswagen-Audi Group engineers to use it across more models and classes of vehicles. A derivative of it, the PQ46, has been used on Volkswagen Group’s larger and more premium saloons, that includes the likes of the Skoda Superb, Volkswagen’s own Passat and associated variants, as well as their larger MPVs.

The PQ35 platform has proven its mettle; used across 18 different models, it has spawned cars such as Volkswagen Caddy Van/MPV, and up to hotter, sportier cars that include the Audi TT and Volkswagen EOS. Combined, the PQ35 and PQ46 have provided the basis for 25 different models, though if you’re shopping for the best value from this platform, do consider a Skoda Octavia if you’re looking at a practical family car, an Audi TT if you’re looking to do some spirited driving, and the Caddy MPV, if you’re looking for maximum practicality in a package that wears a German badge but with the smallest price tag! 

1. Volkswagen Group MQB (38 cars)

If older and less capable platforms can be likened to an illness (which it probably is, as inefficiency is a very un-German trait!), then the MQB must be its cure-all, a panacea, if you are so inclined to call it. It replaces 2 of Volkswagen’s previous generation, but still very much capable and versatile platforms, the PQ25 and PQ35/46. They have been used to build anything from superminis to sports cars, as well as from MPVs to commercial vehicles.

As expected, the MQB has been, and will continue to be, used to underpin the same classes and models of cars from their extensive portfolio as its predecessors, so if you’re looking for German engineering but without the attached pricetag, the lowest barrier of entry will present itself as cars from the SEAT and Skoda range. As they’re less prestigious brands as compared to their German stablemates, they cost less to buy, but brand will be the only thing you sacrifice should you entertain this option, as the cars are still German engineered! Win-win in our books! 

Generally, platform sharing has undeservedly earned itself a bad reputation. It really isn’t its fault though, as early attempts are simply just a badge-engineering exercise (single car but with different branding) and can prove to be a rather poor effort indeed. However, these days, it means manufacturers can get really creative, mixing and matching components across the platform to create seemingly compromise-free new cars. If you’re looking at some of the cars mentioned in this article, but would like to save some cash by opting to by nearly-new examples instead, do consider checking out our extensive used car classifieds! With thousands of cars to choose from, and with fresh listings daily, there’s definitely something for everyone!

Hyundai Verna and Hyundai Creta

Hyundai Verna 2020

Unusual but yes, despite being of a different segment both the cars share the same platform. Hyundai Verna has been a part of the Indian market for a long time and this is one of the cars that wrote Hyundai’s success in India. Moving on to Creta, The SUV was launched back in 2015 and has been the top-selling vehicle of this Korean carmaker. Sharing the platform with multiple cars, helps the company to keep the costs down.

Hyundai Creta

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Maruti Suzuki Swift

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

When we get into the details of the underpinning, it is always surprising. Another one that might surprise you is that, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Maruti Suzuki Swift. One is a long MPV and the other car is a small cute little hatch. Then how do they both share the same platform, you may ask? Well, sharing the underpinnings means sharing a similar or same basic structure. Later it is tweaked a little to suit the desired vehicle’s needs.

Maruti Suzuki Swift

Ford Figo and Ford Freestyle

Ford Figo

Okay, this one is a no brainer, on the outside as well as on the inside. It is so prominent that both cars have the same underpinnings. This doesn’t mean both cars offer the same driving dynamics. When it comes to the experience behind the wheel, both have a night and day difference. Where Ford Freestyle is softly sprung, Figo is a little stiff inspiring more confidence in prolonged corners. On the contrary, Freestyle sits a little higher on the ground allowing the vehicle to tacked rough and a bad stretch of roads easily.

Ford Freestyle | Front Profile

Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger

Nissan Magnite

The latest car on the list too is the same platform as the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger. They are the external panels that are different from each other. Moreover, not just the platform, both the compact SUV share the same engine and transmissions.  Furthermore, the difference arises when we step on the inside. Both the cars are way different from each other. When it comes to features, it is the Nissan Magnite that comes on top. For detailed knowledge refer here.

Renault Kiger

Renault Duster and Renault Capture

Renault Duster Turbo

Scouting these cars from the outside, they both are not at all similar but still, they share the same platform. Moving on, Renault Duster was one of the top-rated SUVs back when it was launched. The driving dynamics and ride quality were the top reason for Duster selling in huge numbers.

Next, the company thought of delivering another vehicle into the Indian market, comes the Renault Capture. Also, both the cars handle and drive differently. Being a rugged vehicle, Duster absorbs the potholes and rough roads better. On the other hand, the Renault Capture did manage to do long highway runs better than the Duster.

Renault Capture

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and

2020 Honda Jazz Variant Wise Features Leaked

It’s very common to see compact sedans based on their hatchback counterparts. One of the duos to do the same in India are the Honda Jazz and Honda Amaze. And undoubtedly both the cars share the same platform. The current generation is of both the cars a little different from each other from the outside.

But when it comes to the interior, both are very similar. Honda Jazz and Amaze both share the same engine and also have similar gearbox options. Nevertheless, both the cars are a little expensive when compared with their rivals.

Honda Amaze

Toyota Glanza and Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Toyota Glanza and Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Some carmakers share the platform. And when car manufacturers share the same power and drivetrain, it is also acceptable. But then comes the companies that just slap on a different badge and it’s a new car for them.

The perfect example of this situation is the Toyota Glanza and Maruti Suzuki Baleno. Now, if the complete car is the same, the underpinnings will obviously be the same. But still, both of them are different cars and a part of this list.

Volkswagen Vento and Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo

Giving another example of a hatchback being converted into a sedan is the Volkswagen Vento. To begin with, Volkswagen Polo first came to the Indian shores, later the company decided to elongate it a little further. That said, from the front to the interior to the body till C-pillar both the cars are the same. Even the machine under the hood, i.e the engine is similar between the two.

VW Vento TSI

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Skoda Kushaq Production

The SUVs that we still are awaiting very eagerly are the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun. And yes both of the vehicles share the same platform. Both the cars come under an initiative of the Volkswagen 2.0 where both the companies will manufacturer vehicles here in India for India. We can expect Skoda to launch their new SUV Kushaq somewhere in the upcoming months. Including the platform, both the cars also share the engine and transmission.

VW Taigun

and Land Rover

Tata Harrier

A couple of interesting cars that have the same platform are the Tata Harrier and Land Rover Discovery Sport. A couple of years back Tata launched its new SUV that used a similar platform as the premium SUV Discovery Sport. No doubt both of the cars look alike in terms of body structure. On the other hand, having a robust chassis, Tata Harrier handles really well. Also, it can swallow deep and really deep potholes.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

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