Platform-sharing is a fact of life in the automotive industry, as it allows car companies to spread out the costs of developing new vehicles across a wide number of brands. In some cases, the similarities between a particular car or truck and its platform-mate are obvious, but other times it's not so easy to connect the dots that link siblings together. We've done some digging to put together a list of new vehicles that share more than just a family resemblance and attempted to list the most important differences between each model.
Let's take a closer look at 10 automobiles and the details of their platform-sharing designs.
The 2012 Dodge Durango is a seven-passenger crossover that rides on a unibody platform that surprisingly doesn't make use of a front-wheel drive layout but rather a rear-wheel drive setup that comes with the option of either a low-range four-wheel drive system or full-time all-wheel drive. In base trim, the Dodge Durango is motivated by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that generates 290 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque, while a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that churns out 360 ponies and 390 lb-ft of torque is also available. A five-speed automatic transmission handles the gear-shifting duties for the V-6 while the eight-cylinder crossover is matched with a six-speed auto.
02. 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee rides on the same platform as the Durango, and while engine choices are the same there are some key differences under the chassis when it comes to off-road capability. Like the Dodge, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can be had with all-wheel drive (Quadra-Trac I), but it also offers the Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive system that features Selec-Terrain, which allows drivers to dial-in specific settings for traversing sand, snow, gravel and other types of surfaces. The Grand Cherokee additionally makes available the option of the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system, (which is targeted at hardcore off-roading that requires the use of limited-slip differentials), as well as the option of the Quadra-Lift adjustable ride-height air suspension system.
Another key difference between the Jeep and the Dodge has to do with the size of the passenger compartment. The Grand Cherokee is restricted to five passengers, and its 69 cubic feet of total cargo space is significantly lower than the 84.5 cubic feet offered by the Durango.
03. 2012 Ford Taurus
The 2012 Ford Taurus is a full-size sedan that represents the apex of the Blue Oval's family car lineup. A spacious interior and aggressive styling highlight the Ford Taurus' appeal, and the vehicle is available with the choice between two V-6 engines. The base 3.5-liter unit delivers 263 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque, while the sporty SHO model's twin-turbo edition of the same motor provides 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, sent to all four wheels through a standard all-wheel drive system (optional with the entry-level motor). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with either mill.
04. 2012 Lincoln MKS
The 2012 Lincoln MKS is for all intents and purposes a Taurus with different sheet metal. That being said, there are a few mechanical differences that are worth mentioning. The first is the Lincoln MKS' 3.7-liter V-6 that replaces the Taurus' base motor and offers up 273 horses and 270 lb-ft of torque - a nominal improvement over the Ford sedan. Another change has to do with the twin-turbo V-6 found in the EcoBoost model. All-wheel drive remains standard with this engine, but horsepower drops to 355 and the Lincoln features none of the Taurus SHO's additional high performance features (such as larger brakes).
05. 2012 Dodge Avenger
The 2012 Dodge Avenger is a mid-size family sedan that spices things up thanks to the availability of the R/T trim level, which stiffens the vehicle's suspension system and includes sporty accents inside and out. The Dodge Avenger starts out with a 173 horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder motor that is also good for 166 lb-ft of torque, and while the base model is outfitted with a four-speed auto tranny all other editions of the car graduate to a six-speed gearbox. This includes versions of the Avenger which are ordered with the available 3.6-liter V-6, an engine that is rated at 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
06. 2012 Chrysler 200
The 2012 Chrysler 200 sedan does not differ mechanically from its Avenger twin, with the exception of the lack of an equivalent sport trim like the R/T edition. Where the Chrysler 200 stands apart has to do with features availability, as the mid-size car has been positioned as an upscale model that is intended to appeal to drivers looking for better than average comfort and convenience equipment. From a dynamics perspective, the 200 also offers softer suspension tuning in comparison to the Avenger in order to better absorb broken pavement and coddle its occupants, and the vehicle's styling does not draw from the same angular, chunky palette.
07. 2012 Volkswagen GTI
The 2012 Volkswagen GTI is the high performance edition of the brand's popular VW Golf hatchback. The front-wheel drive Volkswagen GTI is motivated by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, and the vehicle's hatchback design allows it to offer a respectable 46 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seat is folded forward. Top tier editions of the GTI can be outfitted with items such as a sunroof, a navigation system, and HID headlights.
08. 2012 Audi TT
The 2012 Audi TT coupe is based off of the same platform as the significantly more affordable Golf and GTI models from Volkswagen. The Audi TT adds a number of wrinkles to its VW chassis in order to differentiate itself, including the availability of a roadster body style as well as 2+2 seating in the coupe. Combined with a dramatically-sloping roofline, the latter eats considerably into the vehicle's total available cargo space, which drops to 24 cubic feet. Interior amenities and styling are definitely a cut above its Volkswagen cousins, however, which helps to make up for the reduced practicality of the design.
Under the hood, the TT also comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but this time it is tuned to generate 211 horsepower and a hefty 258 lb-ft of torque. The TT loses the option of a six-speed manual - it's dual-clutch-only - but it does benefit from standard all-wheel drive.
09. 2012 Infiniti G Sedan
The 2012 Infiniti G sedan is a performance-oriented premium automobile that competes hard against BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The Infiniti G sedan seats five and rides on a rear-wheel drive chassis that also comes with the option of all-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter V-6 that is good for 218 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque represents the base motor, while more robust acceleration is available in the form of the four-door automobile's 328 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 (that also delivers 270 lb-ft of torque). Transmission choices for the G sedan include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic.
10. 2012 Infiniti FX
The 2012 Infiniti FX is a mid-size crossover that yes, actually shares its platform with the seemingly smaller Infiniti G sedan. Designed to offer more driving thrills than practicality, the Infiniti FX seats five and provides up to 62 cubic feet of total cargo space. Like the G sedan, the FX is rear-wheel drive with the availability of an all-wheel drive system that is biased to offer torque delivery that favors the back wheels in order to preserve its above-average handling and performance. The Infiniti FX starts out with a 303 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that is also good for 262 lb-ft of torque, while the FX50 model installs a 5.0-liter V-8 that generates 390 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard with both power plants.