Platform sharing is a funny thing. Platform sharing, defined as when two largely similar vehicles share the same platform under different brand names, can be a cheap and quick way for a brand to add a new model to the lineup. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes it’s a miss and sometimes it’s just a joke. One of the most interesting cases of platform sharing that’s happening in the car industry now is the one between the FIAT 500X and the Jeep Renegade.
This is the first time you’ve thought about the FIAT 500X in a while, isn’t it? By contrast, you probably saw a couple dozen Jeep Renegades in traffic today. Despite its Jeepy, distinctly American aesthetic, the Renegade is built in Italy alongside the 500X — and they’re pretty much the same car underneath.
Although they’re mechanically identical, the sales numbers for these two subcompact crossovers are very different. In 2017, Jeep sold 103,434 units of the Renegade in the U.S. Not bad. In the same timeframe in the same place, FIAT sold 7,665 units of the 500X. There was only one month in 2017 when Jeep sold fewer Renegade units than FIAT sold 500X units in the whole year.
Why such a huge difference between two cars that are the same with very similar pricing? It’s partially because there are a lot more Jeep dealers than FIAT dealers in the U.S. and partially because Jeep is just a more desirable brand.
As a result of the market making a clear decision on which one it likes more, these two cute utes are depreciating very differently on the used market. Jeeps, especially the Wrangler, tend to hold their value pretty well, and the Renegade is no different. If you shop around for used Renegade models on Autotrader, you’ll find that the prices aren’t that different from new ones.
If you browse used examples of the FIAT 500X, it’s a different story. Used models are much cheaper than new ones, and a 500X is quite a bit cheaper than a similarly equipped Renegade of the same year with similar miles. It’s amazing how different the used prices are on two SUVs that are so similar.
So if you want a Jeep Renegade, if you don’t want to buy new and if you don’t mind the cute Euro look of its FIAT equivalent, then consider a 500X. The hard part is finding one, since FIAT sells so few of them. If you do find one, you can pick up a pretty nice little crossover for around the $15,000 mark. Sometimes platform sharing can be a very ugly thing — but in cases like this, it can also be a blessing for used car buyers who aren’t too picky.