New car, but old platform : Does it really matter?

Some current generation cars are using platforms that have actually been around for a while. My question to you is : does it really matter if the car is otherwise competent?

In most cases, the company wants to keep costs low and hence, doesn’t use or develop a new platform. In some cases, the old platform is actually competent enough to be used in new cars as well. Then, there are a few models whose platforms are actually better than their successors’. That said, one must keep in mind that a newer platform will generally be more advanced when it comes to safety, although there are many ways to ensure that an old platform is safe too (example = Polo & Etios). The newer platforms are generally lighter, which translates to better handling, braking and fuel efficiency. But this lightness could be at the expense of that feeling of solidity.

End of the day, we go by the manufacturer’s word. There are ways they can lie about “all new” cars and we wouldn’t have any way of knowing whether it’s an old or new platform under the skin.

Here’s a look at some cars that are still using old platforms.

Toyota Innova Crysta

The Innova Crysta appears to be using the same platform as its predecessor, albeit heavily reworked. The silhouette, positioning of the pillars, boot space (even with seats folded) etc. are all the same. See how similar the lines are.

Nissan Kicks

The Kicks used the same platform as the Renault Captur that was sold in India. This was the same platform that is under the old Duster!! And it doesn’t end there. This architecture was originally a Dacia platform that underpinned the old Logan. It is decades old.

Skoda Rapid

If ever there was an example of an aged platform still being competent, this is it. The Rapid uses Volkswagen’s PQ25 platform which was introduced in 2008. This platform is a reworked version of the company’s PQ24 platform, which was first used in [B]1999[/B]. Despite being based on such an old platform, the Rapid is among the safest cars in its segment, the most solid and has the best ride & handling package.

Volkswagen Jetta

As mentioned earlier, some old platforms are actually better than those that underpin the next generation cars. Here’s a look at one.

The Volkswagen Jetta is based on the old PQ35 platform. We much prefer its feel & drive over the newer MQB-based Octavia. The Jetta has superior ride & handling, and feels noticeably more solid. Just like the Rapid mentioned earlier, the old Jetta still outdoes its modern competitors when it comes to high speed composure.

BMW 5-Series

We see this in the luxury segments too. GTO is convinced that the G30 is based on the F10’s platform. Just like the Innova example above, take a look at the pillars, silhouette, placement of the doors and profile – they are 99% identical. Sit in both the cars back to back and you’ll be astonished at how everything is located at the “same” place.

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