By on August 31, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Suburban interior column shifter - Image: ChevroletSetting aside the glorious wonders of the manual, DIY shifter, is it not becoming increasingly clear that the automatic transmission shifter reached its zenith with the traditional column shifter?

One thing is certain: the column shifter is quickly fading away. The electronic controls behind many shifters are more often linked to unnecessarily complicated shifters than a simple, intuitive, steering column-mounted unit. There are pushbutton affairs on the center stack in Lincolns, rising and falling console-mounted pushbutton arrangements in Hondas and Acuras, rotary dials in everything from the Ford Fusion and Ram 1500 to the Jaguar XJ, monostable shifters with no detents in vehicles of every sort, and a horizontally opposed array of buttons and switches in a GMC Terrain that GMC felt necessary to explain for three hours.

We’re not sure these alternative shifters have shoved society along the path toward enlightenment.

But when Ford’s North American product communications manager, Mike Levine, tweeted a picture of a 2018 Ford F-150 with a 10-speed automatic and a column shifter — merging the past and future — we naturally wondered whether column shifters deserve more involvement in the present. (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2017

chevrolet-suburban-2005

There wasn’t anything particularly bizarre happening within the automotive realm last week, so our Freaky Friday posting was absent from its usual rotation. However, while our writing staff was finishing its day, two car thieves threw a Hail Mary of weirdness down the field for a touchdown.

A beige Chevrolet Suburban owned by a contractor working for Daniel & Sons Funeral Home was transporting a corpse when witnesses claim 28-year-old Tanya Albrecht stole it from a convenience store parking lot in Bryan, Texas. The SUV had been left unattended with the keys in the ignition, presumably because the owner assumed nobody would want to steal a car with a dead body in the back.  (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST

Unlike the new crop of sport-oriented crossovers bound from Europe, full-size, body-on-frame American SUVs usually fail to elicit much excitement among enthusiasts. General Motors hopes to change that.

Starting this fall, the General will begin handing over keys to a new variant of its venerable Tahoe and Suburban — one that promises to get junior soccer teams to the practice field with newfound vigor. While the RST (Rally Sport Truck) trim brings a host of performance upgrades, it also gives Tahoe buyers an opportunity to kick that 5.3-liter V8 to the curb. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2017

Premier Badge on 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Now after all these years, and no matter what damage it does to the B&B’s conception of me as a redneck reactionary from Bumpkin, Ohio, the story can finally be told: I was a full thirteen and a half years old when I first set foot in an honest-to-nine-pound-baby-Jesus pickup truck. Not the front seat of said all-American conveyance, mind you. The bed of a pickup truck.

The scenario was this: At the time, my high school was about 50-percent residents of a new tournament golf course and about 50-percent residents of the farms that didn’t get absorbed into said course. My pal Brent was dating a hillbilly girl from across the tracks. She had a stunning friend. I suggested a double date. The friend agreed, presumably driven by the kind of self-destructive farm-bound boredom that makes rural kids steal tractors, torture animals, and ingest crystal meth.

One of the girls’ fathers agreed to drive us to the local theater. He showed up at my friend’s house behind the wheel of a light-blue Dodge Ram 150 2WD Regular Cab, festooned in country fashion with a bubble-windowed cap in a fetching combination of gloss white and dull rust. There were silhouettes moving behind those bubble windows. I turned to run; I’d heard a plot summary of Deliverance from my father. But my friend grabbed my shoulder and dragged me to where the overalls-wearing father was dropping the tailgate to reveal not a pack of snarling hounds or a toothless rapist but our dates for the evening, prettily perched on a pair of carpeted boxes covering the wheelwells. “Get in,” Farmer Dad growled.

“I … don’t think I can,” I replied.

(Read More…)

By on October 14, 2016

2016 State Fair of Texas, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

It’s a stereotype more threadbare than a pair of old chaps, but just like 72-ounce steaks, Stetson hats, and the God-given right to poke bullet holes in road signs, it’s no exaggeration: Texas likes its trucks.

Pickups account for roughly a quarter of the state’s new-vehicle sales, counting for a remarkable 20 percent of the nation’s truck market. Plying the state’s ever-expanding highway network, gearheads like us can’t help but notice rows upon rows of pickup trucks, parked as they are on both stagnant Dallas freeways and dealer lots.

It’s no wonder then that pickup truck manufacturers market these trucks specifically to Texans.

(Read More…)

By on August 17, 2016

Chevy Suburban profile

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

A couple of weeks ago, Tim spelled it out for us: Americans finally bought more SUVs than cars.

Now, a good many of these weren’t real SUVs: Rouges, RAVs, and RDXs are pathetic shadows of the segment’s forebears. The Suburban, however, has been unabashedly truck based since 1935. The current model is powered by a 355-horsepower V8 engine fuelled by ground up Priuses and oiled with the tears of David Attenborough. Cargo space is measured in acres instead of square feet.

(Read More…)

By on December 16, 2015

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

If you see this Cadillac a-rockin’, you should submit a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That, and depressed 2016 sales outlooks, the Federal Reserve rate hike, a Chinese electric vehicle Warrior and CarMax, after the jump.

(Read More…)

By on July 21, 2014

IMG_3227_8_9_tonemapped

My Czech employer sent me to cover the 70th D-Day Anniversary celebrations in Normandy. And since I had to take three more guys with me, as well as massive pile of camera equipment, we decided I need a big vehicle. And the biggest thing we could find was my boss’ 2010 Suburban Z71. Which is obviously an excellent choice for rural roads in France. Here’s how it went.

(Read More…)

By on September 12, 2013

IMG_6432

Any minute now, GM will be taking the wraps off the 2015 GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Suburban. For now, we’ve got some press shots to keep you held over. The big news so far appears to be GMC’s pushing of the Denali model as an upscale alternative to the normal Yukon and Suburban trims. Denalis get a nicer interior as well as a 6.2L V8 making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The other models get the standard 5.3L version. More info to follow.

IMG_6456

By on August 6, 2013

Chevrolet_Tahoe_Hybrid_O'Malley_--_01-12-2010

TTAC has learned that General Motors will unveil their next generation full-size SUVs at the Texas State Fair, which starts September 27th in Dallas.

The next-generation Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban as well as the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL will be unveiled there, according to a TTAC source. The next-generation Cadillac Escalade will be revealed at an unspecified later date.

 

 

By on June 25, 2012

The Arlington, Texas plant that builds full size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade will get a third shift, adding 800 jobs.

(Read More…)

By on May 15, 2010

[Note: This CC is an unused leftover from last week]

This old Suburban, like the old house behind it, has escaped the jaws of the wrecker and is still hard at work. It’s got a yard of topsoil in the back, as its owner gets ready to do a bit of landscaping around this old house he recently moved to this location. Will forty year-old Escalades be hauling top soil? (Read More…)

By on May 7, 2010

The Suburban long ago achieved iconic status. It may the most American vehicle ever; in what other country would so many folks drive a vehicle so much larger than necessary? Yes, that’s the uglier side of the Suburban, like my former neighbor who terrorized the neighborhood with her driving antics while babbling unceasingly on her cell phone on the way to her Botox injection appointments. The other side has its roots as a practical hauler of eight or more; a sturdy hybrid of pickup truck and station wagon. The Suburban most perfectly reflects America’s two faces. And which is this one? (Read More…)

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