The Truth About Cars » Chevrolet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 28 Feb 2015 18:00:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Chevrolet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/chevrolet/ General Motors Cutting Production To Relieve Inventory Glut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008274 Facing growing dealer inventories, General Motors is cutting back production at two of its plants to adjust supply and demand. Automotive News reports Orion Assembly in Detroit and the Flex line at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Canada will be idled in March and April, respectively, each plant to idle for four days. Orion is […]

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Facing growing dealer inventories, General Motors is cutting back production at two of its plants to adjust supply and demand.

Automotive News reports Orion Assembly in Detroit and the Flex line at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Canada will be idled in March and April, respectively, each plant to idle for four days. Orion is responsible for the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano, while the Flex line handles the Chevrolet Camaro and Impala, Buick Regal, and Cadillac XTS.

The reduction in production comes amid consumer demand for trucks and crossovers over said vehicles, of which the Sonic and Regal hold the highest inventory levels at 216 and 213 days as of February 1, 2015. The Sonic’s inventory level is the highest since the subcompact’s August 2011 debut, while the Regal jumped to its level from just 96 days back on January 1.

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Autoleaks: Sixth-Gen Chevrolet Camaro Side-Panel Die Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/autoleaks-sixth-gen-chevrolet-camaro-side-panel-die-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/autoleaks-sixth-gen-chevrolet-camaro-side-panel-die-revealed/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003658 The side-panel die for the sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro was revealed via a leak Tuesday, providing the best view thus far of the car’s evolving style. Appearing on Camaro6.com, the die has the roofline entering a more tapered angle than on the current model, with the rear quarter window gaining more distance between itself and the […]

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The side-panel die for the sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro was revealed via a leak Tuesday, providing the best view thus far of the car’s evolving style.

Appearing on Camaro6.com, the die has the roofline entering a more tapered angle than on the current model, with the rear quarter window gaining more distance between itself and the fender line. The greenhouse remains cozy with the doorline, as well.

Meanwhile, AutoGuide says General Motors hasn’t set a date for when the new Camaro will debut, with speculation pointing toward the 2015 New York Auto Show now that Detroit and Chicago have come and gone without an appearance.

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Chicago 2015: Refreshed 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-refreshed-2016-chevrolet-equinox-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-refreshed-2016-chevrolet-equinox-revealed/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 18:17:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=998234 Before arriving in showrooms this spring, the refreshed 2016 Chevrolet Equinox paid a visit to the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The crossover gains not only revised styling and a fresh set of wheels for the occasion, but also a larger touchscreen to better navigate its 4G LTE WiFi system, a standard rear-view camera for all […]

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Before arriving in showrooms this spring, the refreshed 2016 Chevrolet Equinox paid a visit to the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

The crossover gains not only revised styling and a fresh set of wheels for the occasion, but also a larger touchscreen to better navigate its 4G LTE WiFi system, a standard rear-view camera for all trims, and improved cloth upholstery. Power remains unchanged, derived from the base 2.4-liter four or 3.6-liter V6.

A bigger change for this year’s model is the elimination of the 1LT and 2LT trim levels, leaving just four from which to choose: L — which is now the new base model — LS, LT and LTZ. All trims gain projector beam headlights, LT and LTZ add daytime running lights with chrome accents, and LTZ brings new fog lamps to the party.

No pricing was announced as of this writing, though it may likely begin around $25,395 with delivery, the starting price for the outgoing base LS trim.

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Chicago 2015: Chevrolet Silverado Shows Off Custom Trim http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-chevrolet-silverado-shows-off-custom-trim/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-chevrolet-silverado-shows-off-custom-trim/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 17:49:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=998210 Just like it did in Detroit, General Motors showed off a new trim package for the Chevrolet Silverado at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The Silverado Custom trim package — targeted at customers who want a fancier pickup without spending their life savings to do so — throws chrome all over the Silverado LS, including […]

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Just like it did in Detroit, General Motors showed off a new trim package for the Chevrolet Silverado at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

The Silverado Custom trim package — targeted at customers who want a fancier pickup without spending their life savings to do so — throws chrome all over the Silverado LS, including the bumpers, door handles and mirror caps. Body-color top cap and 20-inch aluminum wheels make up the rest of the exterior enhancements.

Inside, front occupants will be greeted by a 40/20/40-split front seat and access to the truck’s 4G LTE WiFi hotspot. Cruise control, power locks and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel complete the picture within.

The Custom trim will be offered with either 4.3-liter V6 or 5.3-liter V8 engines, with a well-equipped V8 model expected to start at $33,820.

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2015 Chevrolet Trax: Reviewed! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/2015-chevrolet-trax-reviewed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/2015-chevrolet-trax-reviewed/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=996354   The plan was simple. Fly into New York City at some ungodly hour, a time when only drunks and degenerates are still awake. Drive to Massachusetts. The wedding, my buddy Jay’s, with whom I grew up in Boy Scouts, started that evening. Drive back to New York. Fly back to LA at 9pm. Land […]

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The plan was simple. Fly into New York City at some ungodly hour, a time when only drunks and degenerates are still awake. Drive to Massachusetts. The wedding, my buddy Jay’s, with whom I grew up in Boy Scouts, started that evening. Drive back to New York. Fly back to LA at 9pm. Land at some ungodly terrible hour, thereby earning my jet-set stripes: from the Best Coast to the Beast Coast, sneering at flyover country the entire way. How trendy!


People were freaking out about the impending blizzard that I was flying into: twenty feet of snow, roads clogged with snowdrifts, cars abandoned in the street, New Yorkers huddled around barrels for warmth. Cats and dogs living together, you know. But it was not to be. By the time our flight landed, the mercury had risen to a positively balmy 35 degrees—any impending doom snow had conveniently turned itself to rain. The sort of thing East Coasters just shrug off underneath our Burlington Coat Factory peacoats. It was 5am. The world was aglow in amber, and the air was crisp yet warm, and I was landing with probably two hours of sleep—but there was to be no sleep til Brooklyn, so I climbed into the bright orange Trax LTZ AWD and set off.

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The Trax is a quiet little thing, for the most part. The engine doesn’t speak unless spoken to, and its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-banger musters 138 slightly frazzled horses. But there’s precious little sound deadening from below. And in the waning hours before the snowplows, every invisible chunk of ice explodes in the wheelwells like a landmine, ka-pinging across the cabin…

There’s an expansive view out of the windshield, coupled with an absurdly upright seating position where your legs will form perfect 90-degree angles, just the way your Catholic schoolteachers intended. But the headlights, for some reason, are painfully dim. And small side mirrors are strangely shaped, and 18-wheelers to disappear in the Trax’s blind spots—somewhere out there is one such truck, headed to Massachusetts, who helped remake Duel within the span of an on-ramp.

The Trax’s steering is full of feedback, building resistance evenly, a pleasant surprise. So too is the ride, nicely controlled and cushy. You can shift your own gears, but you wouldn’t want to. The Hydra-Matic 6T40 automatic moves slowly through six gears, via a dorky button on the side of the shifter: all the power and control, in your thumb! GM loves that, for some reason, in the Trax’s only transmission. Rowing your own is so passé.

For smartphone obsessives, there is one USB port tucked away in the upper glovebox. There’s no good place to put your phone where you can see it. This is a problem, because Chevy’s MyLink runs navigation from a smartphone app. It’s called BringGo. And it costs 99 cents, which might not seem much, but still smacks of nitpicky hidden fees: “I already paid for the car, now I gotta pay for this?

This press photo of the Chevy Trax shows all of the fun places where you can misplace spare change, iPhone cables, and half-empty tubes of ChapStick.

This press photo of the Chevy Trax shows all of the fun places where you can misplace spare change, iPhone cables, and half-empty tubes of ChapStick.

The lack of phone visibility is a strike against the supposedly car-hating #millennials to whom GM must grovel. The rest of the interior is straightforward, yet strangely forced: no armrest, sure, but two weird cubbyholes on either side of the center vents, which look like vents themselves, but are instead destined to store loose change and loose rectangles of Trident gum and not much else. Sonic-ish motorcycle-aping gauges make a welcome appearance. The steering wheel is wrapped in smooth leather, but the seats are faux leather, grippy cloth evidently too plebian for eager-to-impress, moneyed types buying Chevrolet’s cheapest CUV. The Bose sound system, however, is bitchin’—sharp and punchy, especially for 90s hip-hop.

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By 8am I was in Carroll Gardens, getting a coffee and a #saturdaymorningbagelrun sandwich with whitefish and smoked salmon, which shall all go on the record, Your Honor. (It was an “everything” bagel. No more questions.) For this urban-hopping business, the Trax is quite good. It’s easy to park and has a great turning radius, both boons to the snowed-in New Yorker who has a full 24-hour weekend solely reserved for standing in line to get brunch—the two-hour wait for the still-hungover Manhattan- or Brooklynite, compounded into various Bennies and unlimited mimosas, an epicurean wonder that lasts until 2pm and a good three meals.

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A photo posted by Jeff (@jeffjablansky) on

I didn’t have time for this. I still had three good hours of driving, in shaky weather, to get through. So around 10am I jumped back into the Trax and headed up I-95 through Connecticut, where the snow was still falling. But the storm gathered a second wind by Massachusetts, and the fresh powder was racing the snowplows on the freeways—and, truth be told, the Trax doesn’t inspire very much confidence when the snow starts falling…

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The front wheels tug at every little bit of slush, following like an excited bloodhound, and the steering wheel pulls accordingly. The AWD system is fairly rudimentary, sending half the torque to the rear wheels only when needed. (At $1,500, it’s Chevrolet’s cheapest AWD option.) LTZ also adds heated seats. So even if one were to buy a Trax as a winter beater, as I suspect an adolescent New Englander will in ten years to deliver pizzas to used-car lots, one minor detail prevents it from being weather-ready: the wipers don’t flip up. I readily noticed this when pulling into a parking lot of Harrington Farm, in the foothills of Wa-Wa-Wachusett Mountain, packed full of Subarus with their blades turned skyward like anti-aircraft guns. How more New England does that get?

Alright dogg let's get MARRIED! Let's get married to a LADY!

Alright dogg let’s get MARRIED! Let’s get married to a LADY!

“We ah gathahed heah today,” said the officiant, “heaht to heaht, foah the union of Jess and Jay—” Jay, it must be noted, had become an Eagle Scout with me, who once owned a Pontiac GTO and a Subaru Legacy Spec B, in that order. I’m never going to own anything front-wheel drive, he swore over margaritas the week before. That to me sounded like a good goal to have—to have and to hold, in sickness and in health.

The cutting of the ice cream cake. Because ice cream cake is awesome.

Ice cream cake is awesome.

The next day, I drove back to New York. I filled up on the way back and found 24 miles per gallon, most of which was bounding down freeways. (The AWD Trax is rated at 24/31 mpg, city/highway.) That’s what happens, I suppose, when Connecticut drivers will curb-stomp you below 75mph while the AWD system adds 400 pounds to a car resembling a squishy shoebox.

That Sunday night, I flew on a redeye to Los Angeles. (“JFK->LAX: #TodaysOffice,” and all that.) The next day, the real blizzard hit.

Before I left, I eyeballed the sticker on my LTZ, AWD Trax: $27,995.

Twenty-eight thousand Tricky Dick Fun Buxx for a plasticky, uncharismatic Sonic that resembles a children’s toy and deserves to be $5,000 cheaper, at most—that’s what it comes down to. That’s what you get for over $300 per month. It just so happens that immediately after my time with the Trax, two other young, #hip, #activelifestyle #millennials spent time with it. Jablansky drove a red one. Patrick George of Jalopnik drove an orange one. The exact same one as me, down to the window sticker, but Texas-plated. “You can do better,” George noted, before concluding: ” I’m sure the Trax will sell in respectable numbers, possibly even great ones. But I can’t say it’s a great choice to make.”

Jablansky spoke in similar terms. “Gutless,” he said, “and way overpriced. The Trax is dumpy, like a summer camp girlfriend: she’s durable but kind of flimsy. But Becca didn’t have AWD.”

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We all know the refrain, from our mouths to God’s ears: “there are no bad cars anymore.” No, there are no bad cars: twenty, thirty years ago, the only people brave enough to drive a Korean-built car through a snowstorm would be serial killers, presumably on the way to their next victims. But believe me, there is plenty of mediocrity, sheer and yawning mediocrity, and plenty of mediocre cars that leave no impression in its users, nothing particularly negative and certainly nothing positive. Mediocrity is the enemy of the car enthusiast, but it is also the bane of the daily driver. It is insidious to spend the second most amount of money anyone will shell out in a lifetime, on a car that doesn’t do anything particularly well.

Competent but never confidence inspiring, the Trax reflects the notion that sometimes, mediocrity is more expensive than you ever expected.

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Autoleaks: 2016 Chevrolet Spark Seen Before New York 2015 Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-spark-seen-new-york-2015-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-spark-seen-new-york-2015-debut/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=995330 Can’t wait until New York to see the 2016 Chevrolet Spark? These leaked photos should do. AutoGuide reports the new Spark, set to bow at the 2015 New York Auto Show in early April, will get its looks from the Cruze, and feature the brand’s signature face. The compact will be underpinned by the same […]

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Can’t wait until New York to see the 2016 Chevrolet Spark? These leaked photos should do.

AutoGuide reports the new Spark, set to bow at the 2015 New York Auto Show in early April, will get its looks from the Cruze, and feature the brand’s signature face. The compact will be underpinned by the same platform the Opel Karl will wear when it hits the ramp at Geneva next month.

Aside from the above, the Spark will remain similar to the outgoing model as far as dimensions go, and will retain the former’s C-pillar-integrated rear-door handles. More details are likely to come closer to showtime.

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Grandma Review: Chevrolet Sonic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/grandma-review-chevrolet-sonic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/grandma-review-chevrolet-sonic/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 15:50:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=995066 I haven’t owned an American car since 1992, but it’s been over 35 years since I’ve even driven a Chevrolet. In 1979, my husband bought himself a Caprice, with the biggest V8 engine available. Usually, we owned Chryslers, Dodges and once, a green V8 Mustang, like the one Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt. There was also a Mercury […]

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I haven’t owned an American car since 1992, but it’s been over 35 years since I’ve even driven a ChevroletIn 1979, my husband bought himself a Caprice, with the biggest V8 engine available. Usually, we owned Chryslers, Dodges and once, a green V8 Mustang, like the one Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt. There was also a Mercury Sable and a Ford Escort – a compact car that was probably smaller than the Chevrolet Sonic I rented in Florida.

When I booked the car, the rental agent told me that I’d be able to get a Honda Civic, but I ended up with this little black Sonic. I remember Derek went to drive the Sonic when it first came out, and he had good things to say about it. I don’t know if I liked it as much as he did.

I definitely like the hatchback style like my Honda Fit. It’s easier to see out of, though the Sonic felt nice and nimble and easy to park. The engine was a little quieter and a little smoother too, but didn’t feel as responsive as the Fit. I also like the way the Honda sits a little higher up.

The trunk space in the Sonic also couldn’t fit both my friend’s walker and the bundle buggy I use to carry my groceries, but it’s not really a fair comparison. The Sonic is a sedan, and can’t be expected to hold as much as a hatchback.

Two things I didn’t like: there’s no release for the fuel filler. You just press the door and it opens. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s very confusing for someone like me. It was also strange using a knob to turn the headlights on and off. It would have been easier if the rental company included the owner’s manual.

After driving the Sonic for a month, I never really warmed up to it. It’s a sharp looking car, and a lot better than what I expected from an American car, but I don’t think I’d want one over my Honda. So far, I have felt that way about both rental cars. Maybe if Derek lets me drive a Jaguar F-Type, I’ll feel differently (hint hint, Derek).

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General Motors Undercuts Competition With Lower Starting Prices http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-undercuts-competition-lower-starting-prices/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-undercuts-competition-lower-starting-prices/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=992402 Looking for a new Cruze, LaCrosse or Terrain? You might have a bit more money left thanks to some undercutting by General Motors. CarsDirect reports GM has dropped the base MSRP on a handful of models by as much as $2,750. As a result, some of those models are lower in price than their competitors. […]

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Looking for a new Cruze, LaCrosse or Terrain? You might have a bit more money left thanks to some undercutting by General Motors.

CarsDirect reports GM has dropped the base MSRP on a handful of models by as much as $2,750. As a result, some of those models are lower in price than their competitors. The aforementioned GMC Terrain gained the greatest undercut, falling $4,030 under the Ford Edge with the crossover’s new base of $24,070.

However, to be able to undercut the competition without removing key features, GM has sliced dealer margins on the cheapest trims, such as the Terrain SL, Buick LaCrosse 1SV, and the newly introduced Chevrolet Cruze L. Profit margins on such vehicles being as thin as they are already — the difference between MSRP and invoice on the Cruze LS is $600, but only $81 on the L — the economy models may see or are seeing now incentive inclusions.

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Carlypso: PHEVs To Reach 1 Percent Market Share In Q1 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/carlypso-phevs-reach-1-percent-market-share-q1-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/carlypso-phevs-reach-1-percent-market-share-q1-2015/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988434 By the end of Q1 2015, PHEVs are expected to take 1 percent of the overall U.S. domestic market despite fuel prices continuing their downward spiral. Online used-car resell agent Carlypso reports that while just over 50 percent of U.S. new-car sales are focused on light-duty pickups, falling fuel prices haven’t done much to boost […]

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By the end of Q1 2015, PHEVs are expected to take 1 percent of the overall U.S. domestic market despite fuel prices continuing their downward spiral.

Online used-car resell agent Carlypso reports that while just over 50 percent of U.S. new-car sales are focused on light-duty pickups, falling fuel prices haven’t done much to boost sales during the January 2013 – December 2014 period from whence the report collected its data, based on a sample of 16.3 million units.

The report also looked at over 28 million car sales in the same period, finding that PHEVs and EVs like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 made up 217,217 — or 0.86 percent — of said sales. In December 2014 alone, the Leaf, Volt, i3 and Tesla Model S collectively made up over 70 percent of U.S. PHEV/EV sales, despite the average price at the pump hitting $2.43/gallon that month; the current average is $2.05/gallon, down $1.23 from a year ago.

Carlypso co-founder Nicholas Hinrichsen says the findings show that consumers aren’t changing their behavior with the pump, opting to buy whatever they want as far as features and branding are concerned. He added that a vehicle’s value and demand isn’t going to change with the oil market either, advising consumers to let investors worry about how much West Texas Intermediate will go for per barrel.

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Review: 2015 Chevrolet Spark LT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/review-2015-chevrolet-spark-lt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/review-2015-chevrolet-spark-lt/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:09:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985554 How the mighty have fallen. I don’t mean General Motors, which once literally made the earth tremble from its world-war-winning industrial prowess but which has now effectively given up on the idea of engineering a small car in the United States. Nor do I mean Gibson Guitar, operator of the Beale Street Custom Shop pictured […]

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How the mighty have fallen. I don’t mean General Motors, which once literally made the earth tremble from its world-war-winning industrial prowess but which has now effectively given up on the idea of engineering a small car in the United States. Nor do I mean Gibson Guitar, operator of the Beale Street Custom Shop pictured above, which has struggled to effectively counter an exceptionally negative media and web-forum general opinion of its heavily-revised 2015 lineup.

I just mean me, myself, and I, that sort of thing.

MemphisToLA 009

Experienced TTAC readers will remember this photo location from another of your humble author’s long-distance road tests, namely Fleetwood Talisman Part Two. It goes without saying that the Talisman, a Detroit-engineered behemoth from the Cretaceous Era of GM full-sizers, was at home on the American highway, and I found that it made the trip from Nashville to Memphis with diffident ease. I remember the trip fondly, not least because I never drove that stretch of road again.

As fate would have it, however, last week I found myself once again making plans to drive from Nashville to Memphis via Franklin, TN. I’d managed to get an interview for an upcoming R&T feature scheduled for the morning after the closure of the Detroit Auto Show. Just getting from Allen Park, MI to home then to the Columbus airport in time required no small amount of luck, not least because I spent over an hour doing some guitar shopping at a pawnshop on 8 Mile before heading south. When I landed at BNA, however, I knew my luck had run out. My naive decision to select “Manager’s Choice” on my Hertz rental reservation form meant that the manager of the Nashville Airport Hertz could make the “choice” to screw me over by giving me a Chevy Spark for a 450-mile highway roadtrip.

My first impression of the Spark was: it looks like a toad that’s in the process of being vertically squished by transparent Lexan panels. My second impression was more positive: it’s possible for, ahem, full-sized people to actually fit in the thing comfortably. Like the one-class-up Honda Fit and like pretty much every other car globally in the sub-sub-compact segment, the Spark creates space by having the passengers sit upright. That’s how you get this much space in something that isn’t much wider or taller than a 1979 Civic. The seating position combines with the relatively low door glass to create a surprisingly CUV-like perspective on the world. The FR-S or Miata driver next to you seems to be sitting a foot lower than you are, and the Camry driver’s at a lesser but not entirely nonexistent disadvantage.

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As a result of the unusual proportions, the Spark drives very differently from a traditional subcompact. You’re sitting very close to the front wheels without even the suggestion of a bonnet ahead, and the paper-thin doors have virtually no tumblehome whatsoever. The net effect is a sensation of being in a driving simulator, since there’s obviously not much car around you. For most of the developed world, the “supermini” and its box-on-wheels proportioning is old news, but here in the United States the Spark is still new enough to, uh, shock.

With a few exceptions, a Spark with its rear seats up should be able to hold everything you’re allowed to carry onto an airliner. The cargo area is wide and tall but not deep. The passenger space in those rear seats is fine for smaller people or shorter distances, though I cannot “sit behind myself” with any comfort. One minor bit of admirable packaging is the cupholder molded into what would be the center rear seat of a wider automobile.

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The “motorcycle” instrument cluster is cheap-looking enough to be at home in any Nineties Suzuki bike, but the LCD screen packs a remarkable amount of information that includes what in a Spark is a very important piece of information: distance to empty. The fuel tank is just 9.2 gallons, making fillups frequent.

Those fillups will be more frequent than you’d expect if your Spark-enabled travel plans include a freeway. I-40 between Nashville and Memphis is reasonably hilly and speeds of 80-85mph are common. It’s fair to say that with just 84 horsepower to push approximately 2300 pounds, the Spark doesn’t shine here. However, the new-for-last-year CVT helps quite a bit. Acceleration to freeway speeds is safely adequate, with a quarter-mile in the eighteen-second range. The little Chevrolet’s aerodynamic profile doesn’t help here, though there is surprisingly little wind noise at speed given the barn-door shape of the thing. Nor is fuel economy particularly spectacular in real-world usage; I obtained a rough 33mpg overall on a trip that was eighty percent freeway driving.

Compared to the Aveo I drove five years ago, the Spark might well have been an S-Class in its highway demeanor even though it’s from the size class below. I didn’t push the needle above 85mph but it seemed like there was a little bit of power left even at that speed. Around town, the CVT enables a surprising amount of low-end shove. It’s possible to compete with some pickups trucks and four-cylinder economy cars from stoplight to stoplight, although something like a modern Ecoboost Fiesta will whip the Spark six ways to Sunday in that situation.

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LT Sparks get this snazzy radio-and-Bluetooth media center that most emphatically does not have a CD player. If you’re coming to this from an Audi S8 or a Burmester-equipped Porsche, you’ll be horrified by the sound quality, but if you’ve been driving an old Pontiac around you’ll be thrilled. Given that Spark customers are more likely doing the latter, this is fine. With that said, the system isn’t really loud enough to cover up the wind and road noise, particularly above 70mph. Used as a speakerphone, the sound system is better at speaking than listening. I found myself switching to my handset more often during drives than I would in, say, a Camry.

I can’t believe that we’ve gotten all the way to the end of this review without mentioning handling. It’s okay. There you go. A Fiesta or Mazda2 is far better to drive than this Spark will ever be, for the same reason the Spark whips them on interior space: packaging. With a center of gravity this high, on 155/55R15 wheels, there’s just too much potential tipover for pushing the limit to ever seem like a good idea. Encouraged by a fellow racer around a long on-ramp in Memphis, I experimented with trail-braking and lift-throttle oversteer.

Kids, just don’t do it.

The ECS intervenes early and often in the Spark. That’s for a good reason: keeping the roof off the ground. I’d be slightly worried about any genuine evasive maneuvers at freeway speeds, honestly. It’s best to drive the Spark the way you’d drive a Jeep Wrangler: with plenty of room around you at all times. The brakes,

If you don’t care about handling or power, the Spark delivers something much closer to a “real car” experience than the more conventional entries in the class. While I haven’t driven this car back to back with a Mirage, it’s my belief that the Spark is simply superior as a real-world operational proposition. There’s more room, a better driving position, and enough NVH control to make it livable.

Price as tested was $15,920. You can’t get this much equipment — the Spark includes power locks and cruise control in this trim — for this much money anywhere else. While I’d personally rather have a Hyundai Accent with less equipment, or even the mythical slightly-used-Civic-going-for-75-percent-of-original-MSRP that the Internet recommends to all car shoppers without ten million dollars saved for early retirement, the Spark is more than fit for purpose. Even if that purpose includes occasional freeway driving. It’s no Cadillac, to be sure, but neither is it a Chevette.

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NAIAS 2015: Chevrolet, GMC Add Paint & Chrome Packages To Silverado, Canyon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-chevrolet-gmc-add-paint-chrome-packages-silverado-canyon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-chevrolet-gmc-add-paint-chrome-packages-silverado-canyon/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 20:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=981817 Nissan, Ford, Toyota and Ram, even Hyundai, brought a lot to the truck party at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. So, what did General Motors contribute to the buffet? Paint and chrome packages for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Canyon. AutoGuide reports Chevrolet is offering a “Custom Sport” package for the 2016 Silverado LT and […]

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Nissan, Ford, Toyota and Ram, even Hyundai, brought a lot to the truck party at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. So, what did General Motors contribute to the buffet?

Paint and chrome packages for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Canyon.

AutoGuide reports Chevrolet is offering a “Custom Sport” package for the 2016 Silverado LT and LTZ. Said trim consists of body color-matching bumpers and chrome-accented grille/surround. Chrome door handles, mirror caps, side molding and 20-inch wheels complete the package, expected to retail between $1,950 and $2,950.

GMC, meanwhile, introduced the “Nightfall” package for Canyon SLE crew-cab buyers, which throws black paint all over the body. Polished exhaust tips, 18-inch wheels, automatic climate control, and remote start make up the rest of the offering. No price was mentioned at this time.

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NAIAS 2015: Chevrolet Bolt EV Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-chevrolet-bolt-ev-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-chevrolet-bolt-ev-debuts/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=977977 For those saddened that the second-gen Chevrolet Volt looks more like a regular car than it did in its first incarnation, the Bolt EV is the next best thing in quirky green vehicle looks [Live photos now available – CA]. The $30,000 EV crossover concept boasts a range of 200 miles, though no specific powertrain […]

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For those saddened that the second-gen Chevrolet Volt looks more like a regular car than it did in its first incarnation, the Bolt EV is the next best thing in quirky green vehicle looks [Live photos now available – CA].

The $30,000 EV crossover concept boasts a range of 200 miles, though no specific powertrain was mentioned during the unveiling. DC fast-charging is supported.

Meanwhile, drivers can select from a range of modes based on their situation, whether its the long slog to the office park, or a weekend on the backroads. The modes adjust ride height, accelerator pedal mapping and suspension.

The design itself eliminates front and rear overhangs, which in turn makes for a spacious environment inside. Aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh knock the Bolt EV’s weight down to ensure its 200-mile range is achievable, with aero aids also contributing to the concept’s range.

The Bolt EV also has a smartphone app, dubbed Bolt EV Connect. Functions include the use of your smartphone as a key fob, ride-sharing management, and automatic park-and-retrieval, which allows the Bolt EV to park itself, then return to the driver autonomously.

Date of arrival for a production version of the Bolt EV may be as early as 2017, a year after the similarly priced Tesla Model 3 is expected to hit showrooms.

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NAIAS 2015: A Clearer View For The 2016 Chevrolet Volt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-clearer-view-2016-chevrolet-volt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-clearer-view-2016-chevrolet-volt/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 06:15:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=977329 Fuzzy photos from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show are one thing, official photos of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt are definitely another [Live photos now available – CA]. The second-gen five-passenger PHEV gets its motivation from a 1.5-liter DOHC I4 paired up with two electric motors that are 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter […]

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Fuzzy photos from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show are one thing, official photos of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt are definitely another [Live photos now available – CA].

The second-gen five-passenger PHEV gets its motivation from a 1.5-liter DOHC I4 paired up with two electric motors that are 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter than the first-gen’s single motor unit. Electrical power comes from a new 18.4 kWh battery pack composed of 192 cells — 96 less than the previous pack — with weight reduced by 21 pounds. Zero to 30 is achieved in 2.6 seconds, while nought to 60 arrives in 8.4 seconds.

Charging can now be set to exclusively occur at home via GPS, where owners can arrange 120V charging levels (either eight amps or 12), have charging occur immediately or at another time, and set a departure time for every day of the week. The settings only need to be entered once, and the Volt will default to those settings upon arrival at the home garage, which should take 13 hours at 12 amps; 240V charging reduces the time to 4.5 hours.

Range is 50 miles on electric-only driving, 420 miles when the 1.5-liter is in play. Fuel economy is 41 mpg, jumping to 102 mpg-e with the electric motors.

Other features include: Chevrolet MyLink; rearview camera; increased use of high-strength steel throughout the body; on-demand energy rengeneration; illuminated charging port; and a redesigned portable 120V cord.

The 2016 Volt is set to arrive in showrooms during H2 2015.

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Owner-Built Engine Program For Corvette Z06 Returns http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/owner-built-engine-program-corvette-z06-returns/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/owner-built-engine-program-corvette-z06-returns/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973569 Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time. Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling […]

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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06

Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time.

Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling Green Assembly’s Performance Build Center, where the build will occur — allows owners to spend an entire day building the Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 under supervision by a PBC engine assembly tech. A personalized plaque on the engine and photographs of the day complete the package.

That said, the engine won’t necessarily be placed in the owner’s Z06 right away. Corvette product manager Harlan Charles says the owner-built engines will take its place in line with the rest of the engines, flowing into “the scheduling process for vehicle assembly, which depends on a number of logistical variables.”

Those who don’t mind the wait and want to spend more time in Bowling Green, Ky. can also check-off option R8C, which allows owners to pick up their completed Z06 at the National Corvette Museum across the street from Bowling Green Assembly.

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Benson: Ram ProMaster City Portfolio Could Expand Via Demand http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/benson-ram-promaster-city-portfolio-expand-via-demand/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/benson-ram-promaster-city-portfolio-expand-via-demand/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969937 Right now, one can pick up a new Ram ProMaster City for catering tacos and installing cable down Flower Shop Lane. If that’s not enough, however, Ram might soon have a few more tricks up its sleeve. According to Edmunds, Ram commercial truck operations chief Joe Benson says consumer demand could increase the current ProMaster […]

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2015 Ram ProMaster City 01

Right now, one can pick up a new Ram ProMaster City for catering tacos and installing cable down Flower Shop Lane. If that’s not enough, however, Ram might soon have a few more tricks up its sleeve.

According to Edmunds, Ram commercial truck operations chief Joe Benson says consumer demand could increase the current ProMaster City portfolio beyond the two-passenger commercial panel van and five-passenger people carrier. Possibilities include diesel power, shorter wheelbases, seven-passenger models, a taller panel van, and a pickup variant with drop-down sides for easy cargo-box access.

Regarding the overall picture for Flower Shop Lane, Benson believes combined U.S. sales could climb to 100,000 by 2016, compared to the predicted 50,000 units sold in 2014. The increased demand is likely to come from Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari owners looking to replace their aging units with those from not only Ram, but Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan.

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GM Files For ‘Crossvolt’ Name For Possible Volt-Based CUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/gm-files-crossvolt-name-possible-volt-based-cuv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/gm-files-crossvolt-name-possible-volt-based-cuv/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 11:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969225 Over four years ago, Chevrolet introduced a Volt-based crossover concept that hinted at the style the brand would have crossed someday, had not the resources been diverted to the Cadillac ELR. That day might now be sooner than never. Fox News reports General Motors made a new filing for the trademark Crossvolt in August of […]

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Over four years ago, Chevrolet introduced a Volt-based crossover concept that hinted at the style the brand would have crossed someday, had not the resources been diverted to the Cadillac ELR.

That day might now be sooner than never.

Fox News reports General Motors made a new filing for the trademark Crossvolt in August of this year, abandoning a previous filing made in 2011 that the current application — published for opposition just before Christmas — duplicates.

As for the Volt-based crossover that could end up wearing the nameplate, a mule based on the Orlando was spotted last year among a handful of Volts undergoing testing, a hint that a second model based on the upcoming Volt set to bow at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is in the works.

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Capsule Comparison: 2015 Dodge Charger SRT 392 Vs. 2014 Chevrolet SS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/capsule-comparison-2015-dodge-charger-srt-392-vs-2014-chevrolet-ss-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/capsule-comparison-2015-dodge-charger-srt-392-vs-2014-chevrolet-ss-2/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:16:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=964130 (Please accept my apologies for this long-ago-promised and painfully overdue comparison. -DK) With the demise of the Chrysler 300 SRT, Americans are limited to two choices for a domestic sports sedan. And neither of them are built in America. The Chevrolet SS, as we all know, is built in Port Elizabeth, Australia. Based on the […]

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(Please accept my apologies for this long-ago-promised and painfully overdue comparison. -DK)

With the demise of the Chrysler 300 SRT, Americans are limited to two choices for a domestic sports sedan. And neither of them are built in America.

The Chevrolet SS, as we all know, is built in Port Elizabeth, Australia. Based on the Holden VE Commodore, the SS gets the best of what Holden has to offer: a rear-drive Zeta platform, an LS3 V8 engine and styling that many find to be far too restrained and understated – to me, that’s a big part of the appeal.

When Bark M drove this car a year ago (to help kick off our Reader Ride Review program), he was diplomatically lukewarm about the car, praising the small-block V8 and the 7/10ths handling prowess, while criticizing the car’s balky gearbox and Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tires. I was dumbstruck. As a big fan of the Pontiac G8 (and Australian rear-drive sedans), I wanted to believe that Bark’s impressions of the SS were colored by the fact that he drives a Boss 302 on a daily basis. It turns out he was right.

While GM nominally describes the SS as a limited production sports sedan, it’s easy to understand why sales of this car are in the toilet, marketing support or no marketing support. The G8 was a brilliant last stand from a dying brand when it was introduced in 2009. Driving the SS today just shows how the competition has moved on.

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Yes, the interior with the big MyLink touch screen and the heads-up display is a vast improvement over the old G8. There’s lots of space for passengers both fore and aft. Flimsy paddles aside, everything is high quality, pleasing to the touch and sufficiently upscale – if you can ignore the bright red “SS” emblems stitched into the seats. The trunk is made for an Australian family, which is to say, it’s huge.

I wanted to like this car so, so badly, but the driving experience fell utterly flat. Yes, you get big thrust and a nice small-block soundtrack from the LS3 (finally a proper LS, unlike the 6.0 mill in the old G8). A naturally aspirated V8 is fast becoming an endangered species, and this is one of the best. But the transmission can’t keep pace.

Nor could the rest of the car, for that matter. On the winding backroads around Summit Point Raceway, the SS just didn’t feel that special. At a hair under 4000 lbs, it’s lighter than the Charger SRT, but you’d never know it. The SS isn’t as buttoned-down in turns as the Charger, while the uncommunicative steering doesn’t flatter the car’s size or heft. In the brilliant shade of metallic black, the SS seemed to be the closest thing available to an old moonshiner’s hot-rod. It also drove like one too.

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If you want the top-performing American sports sedan, you’ll have to opt for the Charger SRT 392, which is actually built in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. It’s not as elegant as the SS, though I bet that many people will prefer its more aggressive looks. The new for 2015 restyling tones down some of the overly-aggro snout on the outgoing car, but there’s no mistaking it for the V6 SXT you’ll find on the Avis lot.

At nearly 4400 lbs and just under 200 inches long, the Charger is, as they’d say in the Antipodes, “a big fucker”. The lighter SS makes do with less power  – 6.2L and 415 horsepower versus the Charger’s 6.4L and 485 horsepower -, but the seemingly minor differences are deceptive on paper. Sort of like how there is but a mere millimeter difference between a 9mm and a 10mm handgun cartridge, but one is used by police forces while the other can stop a grizzly dead in its tracks.

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The SRT V8 is not as refined or as smooth as the storied LS3, but the extra output, combined with the utterly brilliant 8-speed automatic means that the Charger 392 has the Chevrolet beat hands down for aural drama and straight line performance. The soundtrack is a masterpiece of pyrotechnic sounds that mimics the AMG 6.2L V8s NASCAR-esque notes, and the engine is as strong between 60 and 100 mph as it is from a dig. If that weren’t enough, the 2015 SRT adds the Hellcat’s massive Brembo brakes (15.4 inch rotors up front, 13.8 inches in the back) and a whole suite of adjustable driving modes for the suspension, throttle, gearbox and traction control. There’s also an updated interior with better materials and the excellent UConnect/Alpine stereo system – I concur with Baruth when he says it might be the best mainstream audio system in the business.

With the SS getting a 6-speed manual and an updated suspension for 2015, a rematch is only fair. But driving the two cars back to back opened my eyes to the possibility that, aside from CAFE and a shrinking market for full-size cars, there’s a reason we’ve never gotten the Commodore as a mainstream Chevrolet product: it’s just not good enough to compete. Right now, FCA has the full-size rear-drive mainstream sedan segment all to itself, and its sales are still strong, even after all these years. For an Americanized-Commodore to steal sales away from the LX cars – and the Taurus, and Avalon and Azera and the Impala- it would have to be extraordinarily compelling. Right now, I can’t say that about the SS, no matter how much I like the idea of it.

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Detroit 2015: Next-Gen Chevy Volt To Gain Corvette Styling Cues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/detroit-2015-next-gen-chevy-volt-gain-corvette-styling-cues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/detroit-2015-next-gen-chevy-volt-gain-corvette-styling-cues/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=963834 Can you see a C7-era Chevrolet Corvette in that new Volt’s face? There’s a reason for that. Autoblog reports the second-gen PHEV will be taking some styling cues from the Corvette Stingray, including the latter’s taut hood lines and hexagonal tail lamps, as part of a new design strategy to link Chevrolet’s next-gen models — […]

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Can you see a C7-era Chevrolet Corvette in that new Volt’s face? There’s a reason for that.

Autoblog reports the second-gen PHEV will be taking some styling cues from the Corvette Stingray, including the latter’s taut hood lines and hexagonal tail lamps, as part of a new design strategy to link Chevrolet’s next-gen models — including the Cruze and Malibu — to the seventh-generation Corvette.

Returning to the Volt, the PHEV will also sport the regenerative-braking system currently generating power for the Cadillac ELR. The system allows the driver to adjust the amount of energy recovered as the situation calls for it.

Other expected changes for the new Volt include a 1.5-liter four-pot, longer electric-only range, more power — thanks to the addition of a second electric motor — and a larger battery.

The PHEV — sans dancing hipsters — will roll down the ramp January 12, 2015 during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

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GM Replacing Keys In 2014-15 Trucks, SUVs Due To Ignition Issues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/gm-replacing-keys-2014-15-trucks-suvs-due-ignition-issues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/gm-replacing-keys-2014-15-trucks-suvs-due-ignition-issues/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=956898 Own a new Chevrolet or GMC truck? You might be getting a new set of keys. Automotive News reports owners of 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, as well as 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs without keyless start will need to come in to have […]

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab Z71

Own a new Chevrolet or GMC truck? You might be getting a new set of keys.

Automotive News reports owners of 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, as well as 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs without keyless start will need to come in to have the keys replaced. Per the bulletin issued by General Motors:

Some customers may comment that if the tilt steering column is in the full-up position and the shift lever is moved between gears, the shift lever contacts the head of the ignition key. Some contact force may rotate the ignition key and shut the engine off. When this condition occurs, the brake pedal was applied.

The keys are already available, as the automaker made the fix in February of this year. The bulletin requires dealers to issue the new key to customers who bought their vehicles prior to the change, and complain of the issue as noted.

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NHTSA: GM Has Enough Parts To Repair All Affected By February 2014 Ignition Recall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nhtsa-gm-enough-parts-repair-affected-february-2014-ignition-recall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nhtsa-gm-enough-parts-repair-affected-february-2014-ignition-recall/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 12:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955009 Do you or yours happen to own one of the models affected by the February 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall? The automaker finally has a replacement ready at your convenience. AutoGuide reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted a notice stating GM has all of the parts needed to repair every one of […]

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Do you or yours happen to own one of the models affected by the February 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall? The automaker finally has a replacement ready at your convenience.

AutoGuide reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted a notice stating GM has all of the parts needed to repair every one of the 2.66 million vehicles covered by the recall, and is urging owners to bring their vehicles in as soon as possible. GM added that it will help owners schedule repairs after work and on weekends, with the procedure to take 90 minutes.

Presently, approximately 1 million units still need to come in, with the automaker proclaiming 60 percent of all vehicles under the original recall have been fixed. The vehicles in question are the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, and 2007-2011 Saturn Sky.

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2015 Chevrolet SS Now Available With Six-Speed Manual http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/2015-chevrolet-ss-now-available-six-speed-manual/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/2015-chevrolet-ss-now-available-six-speed-manual/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=951913 Wanted a Chevrolet SS, but wanted to row your own? Your ship has arrived. AutoGuide reports the 2015 SS can be had with either a six-speed auto or, new for this year, a six-speed manual. Either option won’t add onto the $46,740 base price, with the only costly options being the $900 sunroof and the […]

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Wanted a Chevrolet SS, but wanted to row your own? Your ship has arrived.

AutoGuide reports the 2015 SS can be had with either a six-speed auto or, new for this year, a six-speed manual. Either option won’t add onto the $46,740 base price, with the only costly options being the $900 sunroof and the $500 full-size spare. Leather seating and Chevrolet’s MyLink system are standard.

Out back, the manual comes with a 3.70 gear ratio, more aggressive than the 3.27 paired with the auto. Power to the back comes from a 6.2-liter V8 delivering the same figure for horsepower and torque: 415.

Annual production of the SS is limited to 2,500, a run that will likely cease when Holden closes its last Australian factory in 2017.

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GM Discloses More Fatalities, Faces Questions Amid Email Revelation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-discloses-fatalities-faces-questions-amid-email-revelation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-discloses-fatalities-faces-questions-amid-email-revelation/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944553 General Motors disclosed more deaths linked to the February 2014 ignition switch recall in its quarterly report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but more headaches await the automaker as the spotlight focuses on CEO Mary Barra’s actual role in the recall in the first place. According to Automotive News, GM reported 47 deaths […]

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General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan

General Motors disclosed more deaths linked to the February 2014 ignition switch recall in its quarterly report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but more headaches await the automaker as the spotlight focuses on CEO Mary Barra’s actual role in the recall in the first place.

According to Automotive News, GM reported 47 deaths and 614 injuries linked to the ignition switch at the center of the recall. The breakdown this quarter is as follows:

  • Chevrolet Cobalt: 302 injuries, 26 deaths
  • Chevrolet HHR: 122 injuries, five deaths
  • Saturn Ion: 56 injuries, seven deaths

The overall total linked to the ignition issue thus far comes to 975 crashes, 1,101 injuries and 69 deaths, most occurring within the past several years.

As for the recall, the recently revealed email exchange between GM and supplier Delphi in December 2013 over a parts order of 500,000 switches — two months prior to the recall action — further showed the communication breakdown that has kept the automaker and those affected by its actions in the spotlight for most of this year. The emails weren’t a part of the Valukas report, and would have remained unknown to all but the attorneys fighting the automaker in class-action cases if a judge ruled in favor of keeping the documents confidential.

Regarding where Barra was, she and other senior GM brass all maintain that they didn’t know about the seriousness at-hand until the end of January. Barra had been the company’s executive vice president of product development, purchasing and supply chain prior to becoming CEO January 15. Further, the exchange was between mid-level employees — specifically a contract employee named Sarah Missentzis — and the supplier, suggesting that Barra still wasn’t told about the problem due to where she was in the chain of command.

That said, the automaker still had a responsibility to alert consumers to, at minimum, unload their keyrings to prevent the slipping issues affecting the switches, according to attorney Robert Hilliard, the attorney who fought to have the emails go public:

Part of the recall was to tell customers to take weight off the key chain. Why delay telling customers that?

For its part, GM said the emails were “further confirmation” that its reporting system “needed reform,” an issue that the automaker has gone to great pains to correct, per representative Alan Adler.

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GM To Lay Off 510 Employees In Two Separate Actions http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-lay-510-employees-two-separate-actions/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-lay-510-employees-two-separate-actions/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944513 A total of 510 employees will be laid-off beginning in January, the result of two separate actions linked to production and inventory concerns. According to Automotive News, the majority — 350 employees — come from the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Mich., where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are assembled. The cut comes […]

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2015 Cadillac ATSs at Lansing Grand River Assembly

A total of 510 employees will be laid-off beginning in January, the result of two separate actions linked to production and inventory concerns.

According to Automotive News, the majority — 350 employees — come from the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Mich., where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are assembled. The cut comes from the loss of a second shift at the plant, a planned cut in production as part of Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen’s promise to make his brand more exclusive, and to allow excess inventory to be sold off.

A second shift is expected to return when GM begins production of the next-gen Chevrolet Camaro — based upon the same platform underpinning the two Cadillacs — between the end of 2015 and the start of 2016. In the meantime, GM plans to relocate some of the 350 to one of its two nearby plants.

Closer to Detroit, Detroit Free Press says the remaining 160 employees at Lake Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Mich. will have their positions permanently phased-out starting in January. The plant is slowing down production of the Buick Verano and Chevrolet Sonic to meet projected sales. Representative Chris Bonelli says the process will conclude by the end of 2015, but the number of workers ultimately laid-off “could be reduced by planned retirements and general attrition.”

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Man U’s Finest Ignore Chevy’s Offering For Their Own Rides http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/man-us-finest-ignore-chevys-offering-rides/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/man-us-finest-ignore-chevys-offering-rides/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=940913 Chevrolet may be sponsoring football club Manchester United (while also pulling out of the European market), but it doesn’t mean the footballers are interested in what their sponsors are selling. The Daily Mail (yes, I know – CA) reports the 15 Chevrolets delivered to the club back in April — including Camaros and Corvette Stingrays […]

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Chevrolet may be sponsoring football club Manchester United (while also pulling out of the European market), but it doesn’t mean the footballers are interested in what their sponsors are selling.

The Daily Mail (yes, I know – CA) reports the 15 Chevrolets delivered to the club back in April — including Camaros and Corvette Stingrays — haven’t been driven in anger or on the high street by any of the players on the team. A source stated the cars, when not sleeping in the Carrington Training Centre’s parking lot, were only driven by the training ground staff.

Instead, the team roll up in more European fare: Man U captain Wayne Rooney waves the Union Jack proudly in his “Overfinch” Range Rover, midfielder Marouane Fellani opts for the Teutonic precision of his Mercedes SUV, and striker Robin van Persie pulls up for practice in a Porsche 911. Only team manager Louis van Gaal drives a Chevy — a Captiva, to be exact — but that belongs to him.

Though a Chevrolet representative stated the players were under no obligation to drive any of the 15 vehicles delivered — the rep called the provision a “voluntary drive programme” — the move isn’t likely sitting well with the brand, who paid £350 million ($560 million USD) in 2012 to sponsor the team over seven years.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt Won’t Need Premium To Move http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/2016-chevrolet-volt-wont-need-premium-move/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/2016-chevrolet-volt-wont-need-premium-move/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=938105 When customers arrive to pick up the 2016 Chevrolet Volt late next year, they won’t need to spend money on premium when it eventually comes time to fill the tank. AutoblogGreen reports the 1.5-liter engine taking the place of the outgoing 1.4-liter unit will be more than happy with regular gasoline. Volt chief engineer Andrew […]

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When customers arrive to pick up the 2016 Chevrolet Volt late next year, they won’t need to spend money on premium when it eventually comes time to fill the tank.

AutoblogGreen reports the 1.5-liter engine taking the place of the outgoing 1.4-liter unit will be more than happy with regular gasoline. Volt chief engineer Andrew Farah explained the move was on the suggestion from consumers who didn’t want to pay more for gas than they thought necessary:

The ability to use regular unleaded was based directly on customer feedback. Since the range extender is an all-new engine, it was optimized to use regular unleaded at the outset. Using regular fuel will not have effect on vehicle acceleration or other performance factors.

The new engine is a part of a new global family of engines — ranging in size from 1 to 1.5 liters — and is quieter and more powerful than the mill extending the range of the current Volt.

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