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Old 09-29-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Exclamation Twinned Vehicles: Same Cars, Different Brands

INTERESTING.... Some I knew Some I Didnt..NEVER THE XLR AND VETTE were twins.

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/auto...NsawN0d2lubmVk


So what are "twinned vehicles," and how will knowing about them help you choose the right car?

Twinned vehicles are basically the same under the skin, but are sold under different brand names and marketed as unique vehicles. Manufacturers see this as a way of killing two birds with one stone: expanding their reach in various market segments while avoiding the higher costs of engineering a new vehicle. This practice is also referred to as "badge engineering," since an automaker can create the illusion of an "all-new" model simply by changing the badges, the grille and other superficial styling details.

Twinned vehicles are built on the same chassis and share most of their under-hood and interior components, but often have different sheet metal, amenities and interior design. This idea extends as well to "triplet" and "quadruplet" vehicles, as in the case of the Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook/ Chevrolet Traverse quads.

Note that twinned vehicles are different from vehicles that only share platforms. Vehicles that share platforms can straddle vehicle types and sizes, such as the Ford Fusion sedan and the Ford Edge SUV, whereas twinned vehicles cannot. There are far more vehicles that share platforms (Ford and Mazda vehicles, for example) than are twins.

Not Like It Used To Be
Because it has so many brands under one corporate parent, General Motors is the classic example of a company that found efficiencies by issuing virtual carbon copies of its cars across numerous brands. At one point in its history, GM even had sextuplets. But in today's world of customization and target marketing, the company is tailoring its vehicles to appeal to different customers.

"In recent times we've placed much more focus on the type of customer for a particular brand, to what type of features and styling appeals to a Buick Enclave customer versus that of our new Chevrolet Traverse," says GM spokesman Jim Burke. "While it's true that the vehicles share common chassis and powertrain attributes, really the customer doesn't see or touch these 'black metal' attributes. We've really worked to differentiate and distinguish the models from the standpoint of exterior and interior design."

So, for example, the Traverse's sheet metal is mostly unique, sharing only its roof and liftgate with its siblings. Its dual-cockpit design — the way the dashboard arches up from the center stack on both sides — is unique to Chevrolet and harkens back to Corvettes of 50 years ago. The instrumentation and door pads are also unique to the Traverse.

But design isn't the only feature that distinguishes the quads. According to Burke, customers are also attuned to the driving characteristics a particular brand is known for. So Chevy customers expect tighter steering and suspension, whereas Buick customers expect a softer, more luxurious ride.

It also held true in the past that twinned vehicles could be distinguished by the packaging of standard features and options: An item buried in an options package on one twin might be standard equipment on the other twin. That's far less true today than just a few years ago, but it's still worth reading those features and options lists carefully. In the case of the GM quads, whether a rearview camera, memory seats, Bluetooth or power rear liftgate is available as either standard or optional depends on which of the quads — and which of the trim levels — you choose.

More important may be the differences that exist in warranty coverage. This happens largely because vehicle twins exist today not only across brands within a company, but across different companies that share their engineering. A Pontiac Vibe, for example, is backed by GM's three-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty; whereas its twin, the Toyota Matrix, has five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain coverage. Even bigger warranty discrepancies can exist if one twin is from a luxury brand and another is not, such as the Lexus ES 350 and the Toyota Camry.

One last thing to consider when comparing twins is resale value; mechanically identical cars can still have differences when you try to sell them. For example, as of this writing, the GMC Yukon Denali depreciates $31,643 in five years. Its twin, the Cadillac Escalade, depreciates by almost $10,000 more. While this kind of discrepancy isn't common, it's a good idea to use our True Cost to OwnSM (TCO) tool to compare the full five-year costs of owning the vehicles you're comparing.


So How Does This Help Me?
Many people don't realize the strong similarity between cars of different brands. Knowing which vehicles are twins allows you to see through the marketing spin. More importantly, it gives you flexibility and bargaining leverage at the dealership (in terms of equipment, trim level and color). For example, if you like the seating capacity and general performance of the GMC Acadia but the dealer isn't giving you a good price, you can suggest that you'd be just as happy with the Outlook at the Saturn dealership a few miles away. It's a pretty sure bet he'll work harder to keep you at his dealership instead.

Below is a list of all the twin/triplet/quadruplet vehicles offered as of September 1, 2008. Some, like the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Pontiac G5, are close to identical; many others are more like fraternal twins. When car shopping, remember to compare not only whole vehicles, but specific trim levels and standard features as well. You can easily compare up to five vehicles at once by using our Vehicle Comparison tool.

------------------------------------------------------------

Twinned Vehicles

Cars
Chevrolet Corvette/Cadillac XLR

Chevrolet Cobalt/Pontiac G5

Chevrolet Malibu/Saturn Aura/Pontiac G6

Dodge Avenger/Chrysler Sebring

Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300

Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable/

Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan/

Mercury Grand Marquis/Ford Crown Victoria
*(fleet only for Crown Vic)

Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky

Toyota Camry/Lexus ES350

Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe

Hyundai Accent/Kia Rio

Tesla Roadster
*(Tesla Roadster- heavily based off of Elise)
.....................

SUVs
Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/ GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook

Chevrolet Equinox/ Pontiac Torrent

Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon/Cadillac Escalade/Hummer H2

Chevrolet TrailBlazer/Saab 9-7x/GMC Envoy

Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen

Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln MKS Ford Explorer/ Mercury Mountaineer

Lincoln MKZ Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner/Mazda Tribute (includes Hybrids)

Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX

Hyundai Tucson/Kia Sportage

Jeep Compass/Jeep Patriot

Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe

Jeep Liberty/Dodge Nitro

Hyundai Accent/Kia Rio

Nissan Armada/Infiniti QX56

Toyota Land Cruiser/Lexus LX570

Toyota 4Runner/Lexus GX470


Trucks
Chevrolet Avalanche/Cadillac Escalade EXT

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra

Dodge Dakota/Mitsubishi Raider

Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:14 PM   #2
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This is very informative.

On a critical note, the Saturn Ion is heavily based off of the Cobalt, so it is arguably a fraternal twin due to its different appearance.
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:17 PM   #3
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cadillac cimmeron
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:12 PM   #4
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This is very informative.

On a critical note, the Saturn Ion is heavily based off of the Cobalt, so it is arguably a fraternal twin due to its different appearance.
Ion no longer made... Replaced by the Astra..
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
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Yeah, GM is very infamous for its platform sharing. Although all auto companies do it. While it does help spread out costs, saves money and offers more choices to the consumer, GM started getting too addicted to it throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's and with some vehicles like the Lambda minivans... There literally wasn't any difference between the vehicles besides the brands that were on them. GM has gotten away from this however and I look at their current Lambda vehicles, the Outlook, Enclave, Acadia & Traverse. They are all on the same platform, yet they all look distinct and unlike one another. That's what GM needs to keep doing.

I know the rumors have all pretty much been shot down and it looks like there will not be a Pontiac Firebird variant of the Camaro, but it makes you wonder what would happen if one came out?
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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I don't have a problem with fraternal twins, it's the identical ones that drive me nuts!
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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How are the toyota matrix and the pontiac vibe on the same platform. They are made by two completely different companies.
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:30 PM   #8
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What about the 80s K-car: New Yorker/Reliant/ebaron... Now that's a whole lotta' car on the same platform, LOL!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_K_platform
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:37 PM   #9
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How are the toyota matrix and the pontiac vibe on the same platform. They are made by two completely different companies.
Yeah So Is FORD AND MAZDA.. BUT GUESS WHO BUILDS MAZDA's TRUCKS...Hell Its The Same truck With Different Int. Badges..
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #10
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Yeah So Is FORD AND MAZDA.. BUT GUESS WHO BUILDS MAZDA's TRUCKS...Hell Its The Same truck With Different Int. Badges..
actually the Ford/Mazda one makes since because Ford owns Mazda but the Chevy/Toyota is just wierd
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:12 PM   #11
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actually the Ford/Mazda one makes since because Ford owns Mazda but the Chevy/Toyota is just wierd
Hmm,Ok... That I Didnt Know.. Must Have Missed The Memo.. Thanks for The info..

Maybe Its A Join Venture. Like The Old.. EAGLE TALON/MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE/PLMOUTH LASER.. ALL THE SAME CAR Different PArent Companies.. Now I know EAGLE and PLYMOUTH were part of Dodge Chrysler..BUT whats The MITSUBISHI connection.. Other BEING MADE IN THE SAME PLANT..
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:52 AM   #12
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Google NUMMI.

or

NUMMI

Been around for years. Remember those Chevrolet Nova's of the 80's? Built at NUMMI

Nova


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Last edited by MLL67RSSS; 09-30-2008 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:06 AM   #13
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Ion no longer made... Replaced by the Astra..
I was just pointing out that it is a recent car based on a car that is still in production. Since it is no longer made, we can call it a fraternal twin that died.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:07 AM   #14
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Google NUMMI.

or

NUMMI

Been around for years. Remember those Chevrolet Nova's of the 80's? Built at NUMMI

Nova


Mike L.
Beat me to it...

Yeah, the Toyota Matrix & Pontiac Vibe, and Corolla are all built off the same platform believe it or not. That 1.8L i-VVT 4cyl that's in the Vibe is actually a Toyota sourced engine. Yeah. NUMMI is a joint project between Toyota & GM. You'd be surprised how many of the big automotive rivals have ventures together actually. This helps both companies in the end too.

Although I think NUMMI, while it was a good idea in the beginning, If i'm correct I believe the NUMMI line workers are unionized, & Toyota really does most of the management and overseeing of the plant, GM has little actual involvement in it, their quality has slipped a little, and I've heard a lot of bad news come out of some of the products being built at NUMMI, and I hear Toyota and GM are considering closing it actually...
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