By on October 20, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

The sport package, long associated with entry-level vehicles boasting questionable rear spoilers and not much else, remains a puzzling fixture in the automotive landscape.

For low-end imports — rebadged or otherwise — this package historically meant a swoopy graphic plastered along the bodyside, supposedly meant to alert bystanders to the vehicle’s blistering, paint-peeling speed. For others, it simply meant nicer wheels and a spoiler. Ideally a large one, so those same bystanders could ponder the downforce needed to keep a midsize, front-wheel-drive sedan’s tail planted. Rarely was there an addition of a single extra horsepower, and most lucid people knew this.

Chevrolet is keeping this tradition alive, resurrecting the sport package for its 2017 Malibu. However, while the current generation Malibu bowed to positive press, several changes coming for 2017 contain hidden downsides. (Read More…)

By on October 18, 2016

Mary Barra with Chevrolet Cruze, Image: GM

General Motors CEO Mary Barra was under consideration to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Barra’s name, along with the names of 39 other candidates for the vice presidency, were found in a hacked email released today by WikiLeaks. (Read More…)

By on October 18, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax

General Motors has a hit on its hands with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, but the Renaissance Center braintrust seems to feel the automaker’s growing slice of the segment’s rising market share should grow faster, and sooner.

According to uncovered documents, GM appears ready to diversify its midsize pickup offerings for those who feel a full-size pickup is just too much, but still want piles of choice. (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2016

The 2017 Cruze Hatch offers the design, engineering and technolo

General Motors is surprisingly boastful when it speaks of the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, especially its newfound role as a warm Linus blanket offered to disenfranchised Volkswagen owners.

We’ve been told there’ll be manual transmissions galore, and lets-just-pretend-it’s-a-wagon hatchback variants, too. Now, GM claims a sporty RS version is in the works, which it believes will have VW owners scrambling to trade in their peace signs for bow ties.

Will buyers be kind to the new (and legal) “Whisper Diesel” or is this just an oily pipe dream? (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2016

Ford 1.0L Ecoboost. Photo courtesy Ford.

If you think engine displacements have become a little too European over here, you’d hate to see the motorcycle-worthy powerplants motivating econoboxes on the other side of the pond.

Paired with the magic of modern technology, inline threes and parallel twins can now make enough grunt to move respectably sized vehicles. However, those days could soon be over, all thanks to ambitious regulators and the downsized engines’ tendency to spew man-sized amounts of pollution.

And if you think this isn’t America’s problem, think again. (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2016

2018 Buick Expansion full-size SUV rendering, Image: © 2016 Matt Posky/The Truth About Cars

11.3 percent of the new vehicles sold by General Motors in the United States in September 2016 were full-size, body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs.

The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL combined for 28,172 total sales in September 2016, a 45-percent year-over-year increase worth nearly 9,000 more sales.

September marked the second consecutive month — and just the tenth month in the last five years — that GM produced more than one out of every ten of its U.S. sales with full-size SUVs. Not since November 2011 has GM produced such a hefty portion of its sales with large SUVs.

So why can’t Buick have one? (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT

Updated with comment from GM.

General Motors is adding a new 1LS base trim to the already on-sale 2017 Chevrolet Camaro to ensure more direct comparisons with the less expensive and more popular Ford Mustang.

The Chevrolet Camaro, powered by a huge incentive increase, narrowly outsold the Mustang in the United States this September. Prior to last month, the Mustang had been in the top spot since 2015, when Ford put an end to five consecutive years of Camaro sales leadership. Ford’s pony car has outsold the Camaro by a vast 32,723-unit margin through the first nine months of 2016. (Read More…)

By on October 12, 2016

2017 Cadillac XT5

As its lineup of traditional luxury sedans struggles, sales of Cadillac’s 2017 XT5 show why automakers everywhere are scrambling to field as many crossovers as their budgets allow.

The XT5’s popularity and the level sales performance of the redesigned GMC Acadia prompted General Motors to add a third shift at its Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant. For Cadillac, it’s a ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds. (Read More…)

By on October 11, 2016

2013 Cadillac XTS CUE Cadillac User Experience

“The first-generation CUE didn’t even meet our own expectations.”
Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac President — Motor Trend Interview — October 10, 2016

What was Cadillac’s boss trying to say? It all depends on where you put the emphasis. (Read More…)

By on October 6, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE

For just the second time in 205 months, the Ram P/U range outsold the Chevrolet Silverado in the United States in September 2016.

It’s a victory wiped away by including GM’s other full-size pickup truck, the GMC Sierra, not to mention both Ram and Silverado are fighting for second place. The Ford F-Series is America’s top-selling truck line, outselling the Ram by 20,000 units and the GM twins by nearly 4,400 sales.

September was nevertheless the icing on the cake for a three-quarter period in which Ram’s pickups finished 27,549 sales ahead of their record-setting pace last year.

But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles placed a lot of extra cash on the hood to put so much icing on the cake.  (Read More…)

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