Rebadged Cars That You Didn't Realize Were Twins
Whether you call it platform sharing, badge engineering or joint development, North American car buyers see their fair share of automotive siblings on the road today. Most of these cars hail from sister brands; such as Ford and Lincoln, or Honda and Acura, but it’s the ones that come from cross-town rivals that tend to get our attention. Here are a few late models with differences that are only skin deep. Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris (2015-)
The current Yaris has seen a drop-off in sales over the past few years, but not enough to warrant lopping off the tiny hatchback. Instead, Toyota made a deal with Mazda to rebadge up to 50,000 new 2015 Mazda 2 hatchbacks as Yaris models. It’s a win-win for both brands. Toyota reduces its engineering and production costs and gains Mazda’s high-efficiency Skyactiv engines. Mazda simply gains business.
PHOTOS: Take a look at our Toyota Yaris gallery
Ford Fiesta and Mazda 2 (2011-2014)
The Fiesta and Mazda 2 will split ways at the end of 2014 to make room for the new models. While the partnership between the two companies goes back decades, the current models were born in 2011 on Ford and Mazda’s joint B-car platform. At the time of development, Ford owned an 11 percent share in Mazda – now it’s down to just 3.5 percent.
PHOTOS: Check out pics of the Ford Fiesta
VW Routan and Chrysler Town & Country (2008-2012)
Volkswagen partnered with Chrysler to rebadge versions of its Town & Country model as the Routan for the North American market. VW didn’t have a minivan stateside and coincidentally, Chrysler builds lots of them. However, the Routan never caught on and it was dropped from the lineup in 2012 after just four years on sale.
PHOTOS: See pics of the classic 1948 Town & Country
Saab 9-2X and Subaru Impreza (2005-2006)
Saab was in a bit of a bind in its last years. General Motors was running out of ways to keep production costs down, so it told Subaru to rebadge the Impreza and sell it as the 9-2X (GM owned 20 percent of parent company Fuji Heavy Industries). But in typical Saab fashion, the Swedes made a few safety additions to the Impreza, including Saab’s own seats, thicker sound- and fire-proofing, lighter rear suspension, and the obvious design changes.
PHOTOS: Check out our gallery for the Subaru Impreza WRX STI