By on November 27, 2018

Of course you are, and that will be your mission for today.

Monday’s jarring news of GM plant closures and sedan scrapping came as a shock, despite it being a move many of us anticipated (feared?) for some time. GM went and pulled a Ford. Naturally, the Twitterati took to social media to blame (or gloat) that the closures and discontinuations were 100 percent the fault of the politician they hate the most, while others, harboring bad feelings about that GM car they owned two decades ago, blamed the move on the shittiness of the 1995 Pontiac Grand Am and Chevrolet Cavalier.

Maybe make a car that’s not so awful and bad and stupid, they tweeted, ignoring the prevailing light truck-focused attitude of American consumers and the legions of buyers lining up for the Silverado, Sierra, Equinox, Terrain, Yukon, Tahoe, Suburban, Escalade, XT5, Acadia, Enclave, Encore, Trax, Colorado, Canyon, and Traverse. Maybe stop being such a bloated maker of dinosaur cars, they added, ignoring the fact that, with this plan, GM is effectively attempting to do exactly that.

What would we do without such commentary?

As this writer harbors his own degree of fondness for the Chevrolet Cruze, one of the vehicles now slated for the chopping block, yesterday brought much sadness (and vomiting, but that’s an unrelated matter). It’s looking increasingly likely that my recent purchase of a stick-shift 2018 Cruze will be the final time I get behind the wheel of a mass-market, manual-transmission sedan. A domestic one, certainly.

What came before the 2018 Cruze? Three other GM sedans, each with a stick. There’s something to be said for comfortable, high-MPG vehicles with incentives galore and not much in the way of value retention.

The Cruze isn’t alone in weathering Mary Barra’s cost-cutting wrath. Joining it on death row are the Impala and Volt (arguably the best happy-medium green vehicle on sale today, albeit one devoid of marketing), the failure-to-launch CT6 and livery darling XTS, and the invisible LaCrosse, which has front seat room like you can’t imagine and a reputation as a retiree’s final vehicle. How long will it be before GM, like Ford, pares down its product offerings to include only sports cars and trucks? I give it three years at the most.

Okay, B&B, you’ve been selected to play the role of savior. One of the aforementioned models can be spared from the product guillotine at your request. Which Chevy, Buick, or Caddy gets the reprieve, and why?

[Image: General Motors]

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138 Comments on “QOTD: Are You Willing to Save a Sedan?...”


  • avatar
    gtem

    The 2nd gen Cruze seems like a regression from the 1st gen in every possible way except acceleration and MPG (non trivial factors, granted). But that 1st gen felt like something more solid and mature than the rest of the class, a function of its road hugging weight. It also looked quite nice, especially from the rear. The new one just looks like something else Korean.

    If nothing else, I look forward to seeing the 2nd gen Cruzes on dirt ovals in 15 years like the Cavaliers that currently predominate. I just wonder if the mini-turbo mills will last that long.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I had to look ot up, but the new Cruze is supposed to mimic the frumpy Malibu, it ends up looking like a Hyundai or something (nevermind the Cruzes Korean rootes).

      If anything kills sedans its this low slung sporty junk, its the Pontiac-ification of everything.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed – I had a Cruze as a rental this summer and I was singularly unimpressed.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      It isn’t your imagination. I have owned both generations of Cruze. Gave my son our 2013 and bought a 2017 a few months ago. The new one is a huge step backwards and as soon as I return from my overseas assignment, will be selling it. It spent the first six weeks of ownership in the shop for electrical problems and just before I left, had the pistons all replaced (the car has 30k on it). I’d say something about one being built in the US and the other being built in Mexico…but bottom line, the car is utter junk. And now that it is a dead car rolling, I can imagine what little resale I had in it will tank even further.

      • 0 avatar
        Robotdawn

        See, I’ve had both generations of Cruze too, and my feelings couldn’t be more different than yours. Sure the first generation was GM Solid, but GM Solid got them bankrupt and an afterthought in sedans.
        The new Cruze is basically a Corolla or Civic with a bow tie on it. And why not? That appears to be what people want. Maybe not us die hard GM guys, but there evidently isn’t enough of us to still around.

  • avatar
    Detroit33

    XTS V-Sport Platinum

    Why? 1: V-Sport, 2: Platinum, 3: I actually like the styling of the XTS and with livery sales at least there is some baseline sales volume.

  • avatar

    I just bought a GTI, replacing a Fiesta ST, which in turn replaced a Mazda 3. If the domestic makers refuse to build the cars we love, there are other choices. That said, two more makers took themselves off my potential buying lists, as Audi and BMW will no longer sell manual transmission versions in the USA.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    If VW and Mazda are clever, they will keep manual trannies (unlike BMW and Audi, who are being arrogant and lazy)

    As for the Cruze, I agree, 1st gen was a better driving manual trans car. 2nd gen gear spacing was so wide, it took the fun out.

    BUT, it still was a manual. RIP

    • 0 avatar

      I just wish the actual quality of GM was as good as Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      I love manuals and all the cars I’ve ever had have been manuals. But In a world with traffic jam assist technology that can inch the car along in traffic, I can’t imagine getting a manual again.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      That’s because they dropped the close(er) ratio LT manual transmission in favor of the 4/5/6-overdrive Eco transmission across the board for the 2gen Cruzes. I have both an LT and Eco 1gen and the LT transmission is definitely better suited to the powerband.

      That Eco fuel mileage, tho….

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      The current Cruze’s manual transmission is quite literally the WORST I’ve ever driven. Sloppy shifter, tall gearing, blech. Made me wonder why they even bothered.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Since GM hires and fires per the GE school of management, the result will be the same – total failure. GM management has delusional fantasies about the future of electric cars. GM had only one car guy at executive level, a long time ago, and that was Bob Lutz. Bean counters can only count beans.

    GM cars and trucks are often initially designed quite well, in spite of GM executive level blood suckers, before the cost reduction teams turn them into second class vehicles. Which sedan to save? Not one, it is too late to save any of them. GM should have learned to give people more than they expect for the money they pay, such as providing nicer interiors. No, it is too late for GM management, they have set GM on a path to total failure. Mary Barra, the Jeffrey Robert Immelt of the automotive industry.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      To be fair Lutz was a major driver of the outsourcing of components to China, and says so much in his book. He also drove to eliminate various engineering standards at GM (like being able to drive over 4 inch debris in the road without damage) for the sake of styling. He’s also a big fan of chromed plastic-everything because he thinks it makes cars look more expensive. He’s the ultimate boomer.

      Prime example, he proudly takes credit for this “refresh” on teh Vue:

      ’05 Pre-Lutz, recognizably Saturn, kind of interesting and cohesive:
      https://goo.gl/images/dggTRd

      ’07 post-Lutz: plasti-chrome all the things:
      https://goo.gl/images/KJCvSy

      Way to go Bob!

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Agree. Just because Lutz was ‘supposedly’ a ‘car guy’ doesn’t mean that he had good taste or made wise decisions.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          No, but he arguably did improve the product overall at every company he worked for. BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and GM. American interiors particularly; low-hanging fruit they may have been.

          Had some misses, sure. That refresh was one. Not making the GTO more distinctive as a Pontiac was another, even if it was a good idea.

      • 0 avatar
        geo

        Most Lutz initiatives were badly-needed. Many GM engineering standards were outdated and ridiculous, such as the need to tuck the wheels under the car, guaranteeing a wimpy stance, to keep rocks from flying up and damaging paint.

        Engineers covered a Chrysler LHS(?) with dozens of sticky notes detailing why GM standards would not allow a car that beautiful to be designed. GM styling pre-Lutz was headed in a terrible direction and was getting worse. He salvaged what he could and made necessary changes, but he was well-past his prime and made some poor choices that, as you say, a baby-boomer would choose (eg. nostalgia-mobiles, 70s faux-wealthy styling themes).

        He did like his chrome bits and I agree the previous Saturn is more cohesive and minimalist in the right way. But he did cancel a 7-seater version that he said looked like a camper body grafted on.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I agree that on balance, in terms of how projects/cars in general were designed and who called the shots, sounds like Lutz righted a very bloated bureaucratic structure that had turned into checking off boxes on cost control “did you leverage an existing sunroof design?” rather than actually making vehicles that people wanted. The ’08-’12 Malibu and the solidity of things like the first gen Cruze is all Lutz. But his insistence on chrome = fancy and cost-cutting through outsourcing to China to be major hang-ups. When I think of Lutz I think of those old timers that buy a base Chevy truck and then hit autozone/summit hard with every single chrome accessory (mudflaps, fender trim, etc) and think it looks rad. Chasing fender gaps on BOF trucks is silly IMO, I liked the old GMT800 trucks for having old school functional bumpers and tires with sidewall even in upper trims. But I suppose the market likes big useless rims.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “But I suppose the market likes big useless rims”

            I don’t think the market was consulted, certain things are kind of foisted on it. Did anyone actually say, I’d like my car with four doors to have useless back seat room?

          • 0 avatar
            Pete Zaitcev

            You know, actually… yes! I can explain. I don’t care about the back seat room, because my MIL is dead and my kids are grown up, so whatever. People that get to ride in the back are low priorities. But rear doors are really good to access the junk I that I throw in the back. Ironically, I mostly had 2-door vehicles, and managed to get acquainted with quirks of that layout. Many of those have serious issues with accessing the rear seats. JK Wrangler was the worst: its seats do not even remember the position when you flop them forward for access.

        • 0 avatar
          Rick T.

          I’m not nearly the car guy most everybody here is, but even I know that Bob Lutz is in no way a Baby Boomer. He’s almost old enough to be in the Greatest Generation.

          Plenty to blame us for already without hanging him around our necks!

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Haha fair enough, I think my generation throws around “boomer” as a generic term of derision for any older person.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        I guess “boomer” since Lutz was born well outside the years for the boomer cohort. IIRC Lutz is more of a silent generation guy which might explain the chrome.

        J Mays would probably be a better fit for the Boomer generation if your talking design language.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    The car that makes sense to save is the Volt, They spent a fortune making it, it gives them something different, it is green and most important it seems to be a good car which is way under the radar, I do not see to many here in metro NY at all. Gas will go up one of these days and at that time smaller cars will sell better. Yes GM has the Bolt and most folks want a CUV that is a fact/ fashion on the day Maybe they do not make to much money on each one or lose money, GM can handle that it is printing money with it’s trucks. The cruze can be imported from where ever it will be made if demand picks up, it is very tough to make a small cheapish car w union labor for anyone in the US. I would like the Lacrosse to be saved but it does not make a ton of sense unless Buick just becomes the only player left with a large car and takes all the market share, I could see buying one bc the are well built but I would more than likely buy a CPO because of the deprecation they take so that does not help GM. So the only one I can make a case for is the Volt. I can not really blame GM for doing this, we the public have spoken and we do not want a ton of cars, but as hard as it is to believe the one car GM has under marketed is the Volt. It does not kill brand equity like a 50% deprecated caddy XTS or Buick. The cruze will still be able to be purchased and the first generation was a good car from the ones I have rented, the Impala is a good car, I guess you could make a case for it being the last big car standing vs the Buick to take what ever market share there is left. The Volt is a car I would fight to save because it makes the most sense going forward.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Actually, the Volt probably makes the least sense to save. Battery-electric vehicles are advancing at such a quick pace that there’s little room for a middle-ground hybrid with that sort of range. GM can instead just release more outright electric vehicles. Alternatively, GM can package its plug-in-hybrid Voltec powertrain into other vehicles as a fuel-efficient option—perhaps with less-cramped accommodations—negating the use for a dedicated model with that technology.

      On top of that, GM anticipates that it will reach the production threshold for the full EV tax credit by the end of the year or early next year. Without an extension from the current presidential administration, the diminishing tax credit values will cause these BEVs to be less appealing to consumers, and I bet plug-in hybrids will be hit hardest.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If this were the case then Toyota is poorly positioned… but I don’t believe this is the case.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Toyota has built a case for itself on gas-electric hybrid variants of most of its cars. That’s very different from having a single dedicated plug-in hybrid and just one conventional hybrid (Malibu Hybrid), which is what GM has. Conventional hybrids have never used tax credits, and they command a modest premium versus their gasoline-only counterparts. Toyota should be unaffected by that state of affairs.

          Even the one Toyota plug-in hybrid, the Prius Prime, shares most of its sheetmetal and structure with the volume Prius. Toyota is also nowhere near the 200,000-unit threshold for the full tax credit, either, so buyers of plug-in Priuses will continue to get the entirety of their $4,502 maximum credit.

      • 0 avatar
        jh26036

        I agree that the Volt technology should be used in other models, perhaps the word “Volt” itself becomes a trim level in things models like an Equinox or Traverse.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      LaCrosse v6 is up to 37% off on cars dot com. So based on your suggested 50% depreciation and the difference in for sale price it is more like 13%?

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Volt is a badly over-complicated design, even for a hybrid. It is expensive to make, but cannot be made too expensive, else people will just buy Insights and Priuses. It pretty much belongs to the same bin where the “two-mode” truck hybrid went.

  • avatar
    John R

    With the Impala gone can we bring the SS back??…Pretty please?

    You can call it the Caprice even! And maybe offer a V6 for those who’s budget can’t manage V8 muscle.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Prime time to bring the Chevelle back, coupe, convertible and sedan. Same engines as the Camaro line from 300hp turbo 4 to 650hp ZL1 power. A Charger and Challenger competitor rolled into one. The hardest part will be which year to follow for the design, they have many to choose from.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I guess if GM is going to go out of business, it might as well go out with a bang.

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          Sporty Accord,
          I hardly see GM going out of business , even Honda is facing reality that sedans do not move the goods like it used to, even you user name is having a bad year ( vs past Accords) , GM will be fine, sedans lovers will not esp if they want a domestic sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            My point was making a bunch of RWD V8 cars to placate people on the internet with no intent of buying them is not a good business strategy.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I don’t know. It seems like “enthusiast” cars are the only thing that are going to survive the CUV Revolution.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Sporty, most of the cars getting dropped are FWD with a six or four cylinder and they dropped the SS some time ago.

            Modo, too bad they didn’t make a Chevelle based on the CTS-V.

    • 0 avatar
      MrAnnoyingDude

      Even Australians stopped buying that stuff.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    Yes, a Dodge Charger Scat Pack! But my FWD 4cyl and V6 sedan days are over, as they are for most people.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I’m legitimately disappointed about the loss of the CT6-V. Yes I know they are still building them for a few months, but the chance to grab one for a fire sale price is probably gone.

    I know it’s unpopular around here, but I actually think the CT6 is a pretty good car. Comfortable, attractive, and good to drive. Overpriced for what you get engine wise though, which is why I was excited for the 4.2TT.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      This would be my answer – given GM’s habit of killing a product just as they get it right, the V8 CT6 can probably safely be assumed to follow that habit.

      On a separate note, I’m also curious to see what they have planned for that engine – they can’t have developed it just for one low-production vehicle, especially not one on the chopping block.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        They have stated it’s a Cadillac exclusive engine. If Cadillac gets a version of the mid-engine Corvette I would think it would end up there. Maybe an X6 type vehicle? I suppose if there actually ends up being a CTS/ATS replacement it could be in the V-version of those. Maybe Escalade as an option? Don’t know if they would rate it for towing like they do with the 6.2L; on the other hand, how many people regularly tow with their Escalade?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The CT6-V is still on.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Sedan? I’m more of a coupe kind of guy – thank goodness for the Mustang, Challenger, and the various imports you can still get in 2-door form. I just hope it lasts.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      Though I would buy another new B-Body (stop laughing!) in a heartbeat. One of the few things that GM knew how to make in the 70-90s, a big RWD full-sized car. Yeah yeah, I know the LT1 had the dreaded Optispark but really, I had no issues with my ’94 Roadmaster.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        My Dear Ol’ Dad has a 1996 Caprice with about 125,000 miles on it and the small V8. I don’t see him parting with it until he draws his last breath. But as his son I’d pounce on that like a lion on a gazelle.

  • avatar
    arach

    XTS.

    Its a wonderful car, with limited competition, that performs really well, and owns a market niche, and its really profitable.

    every other car on the cut list is outclassed by its competition.

    The XTS, you have to add 25% to its price tag to outclass it, because its in a class of its own.

    And while enthusiasts don’t “love it”- lets face it, its a “real cadillac”. above average performance out of a couch. Tons of trunk space, luxurious and comfortable… its what cadillac should be, as opposed to the budget BMW knockoff its become.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    IMO, there’s no reason for small sedans to exist. Anything a small sedan can do, a similarly sized hatch/wagon can do better. I’d bet that most people shopping small sedans are on budgets and need some additional practicality and versatility. Not only that, but the smaller the vehicle, they more ridiculous they look in sedan form.

    Jetta/Corolla/Civic/Sentra/Cruze/Fiesta/2/iA/3/Versa/Fiesta/Focus/Dart/Elantra/Forte… None of them should exist in sedan form.

    You can start to make a case for sedans in the mid- and full-sized segments where you want to separate them from their smaller, less expensive brethren so as to create a more “premium” feel. People buying $50k+ sedans probably don’t want to be lumped in with people who can only afford $20k vehicles.

    Of course, the climate of fear we now marinade in 24/7 (hooray for cable news!) leaves us wondering if we shouldn’t have something that can handle 24″ of snow, ford every river, and resist gunfire for 24 hours straight. So, we buy CUVs and SUVs (regardless of the fact that they are only marginally more capable on the CUV end, are ridiculously expensive for what you actually do with them on the SUV end, and are universally driven by people who don’t know how to handle those conditions across the spectrum).

    I say the CT6 only make it, you know, desirable. Make it a successor to the Fisker Karma. Plug-in electric with a modest electric generator to feed electric motors and charge the battery on the go. Make it look like the Escala.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Volt seems like the obvious choice, though as I understand it’s riding on the old T battery platform. They need to move it to a flat battery floor platform. Really, they need to consolidate all the car stuff to a modular platform like MQB. It’s a shame they killed the Cruze as I think that would be the perfect size for an EV sedan.

    I think all the people dumping on the current lineup for being crap are out of line. GM’s mainstream offerings are as competitive as they’ve ever been. It’s not like Ford with the Powershift fiasco. GM’s cars are just weighed down by GM’s crap brand equity. A Cruze is every bit as good as a Corolla. Malibu is not far from the Camry. But people are willing to pay more for the Toyota name.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      As far as Toyota has regressed, I’d argue there’s still a real gap in terms of even short term reliability between something like the current Cruze and current Corolla. I know we have at least one rather unhappy 2nd gen Cruze owner on here with a lemon of a car. I think the gap has basically disappeared in terms of things like material quality and fit/finish, but as far as problems-per-100 cars, that kind of thing, Toyota still has a real edge that consumers correctly perceive. That’s my take anyways. That’s not to say Toyota is perfect, one doesn’t have to look back that far to see their non-trivial slip-ups (frame rust, cracking dashes, oil burning on ’08-’10 2.4ls).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “A Cruze is every bit as good as a Corolla. Malibu is not far from the Camry.”

      Both the Toyota products as assembled using a superior method, and I would argue despite cost cutting materials quality are higher in the Toyota products. New buy I wouldn’t touch either GM product, used the GM product has a slight price advantage due to poor resale.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Actually, I disagree on the Volt – bottom line is that it’s a plug in hybrid, and as far as I can tell, that particular segment isn’t booming. As full-on electrics get better, I can’t see the current trend reversing. I think GM’s better off redirecting research resources from this tech to full-electrics.

      Plug-in hybrid tech feels like a tech that had its’ day to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yet more and more automakers are adding plug in hybrids to their line ups, and many of them have more plug in hybrids than EVs.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “As full-on electrics get better”

        This is the assumption I am waiting to see play out. Personally, I’m very skeptical.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, the main problem with electrics has always been range, and that’s getting better all the time. That probably makes the whole plug-in hybrid idea more and more obsolete.

          Besides, does anyone make one that actually sells? I don’t think so.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            This is a perception issue, not an actual problem. Most new car buyers live in households with access to more than 1 car and only drive ~35 miles a day; well within the range of all but the absolute worst used EVs on the market. Manufacturers have to shake this unwarranted range stigma.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The hybrid market is in collapse – Prius sales have been in sharp decline for years now. You can argue for Toyota that the bizarre design of the Prius doesn’t help. 15 years ago people were saying that Prius should be its own marque like Scion, with a full line up of hybrids. Toyota didn’t move to the marque, but they did offer the V, the C, a plug-in, and the traditional Prius with other concepts kicked around. We know how that played out.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Prius is hardly indicative of the hybrid market. It’s getting cannibalized internally by the much better Camry Hybrid and more versatile RAV4 Hybrid. Plus plenty of hybrids have come to be over the last decade, giving people more options.

          The Prius’ issue is that for the extra 10% or so fuel economy it has over everyone else, it’s such a worse car. Not even counting the looks. It’s slow and unrefined. A Camry Hybrid or Honda Insight are much more compelling options and demonstrate hybrids don’t have to sacrifice much for efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Toyota sedans are failing as well. Especially if you deduct rental fleet sales, they’re really in the tank.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    Honestly, I’m not saving any of them. And I own a ’14 Impala. It’s been the worst of 6 GM products I’ve ever owned and it might end up being the last. They up-scaled it way too much and it’s simply cost-prohibitive to fix all the low quality luxury electronic components that keep failing on it. I thought I was buying a Chevy like the previous gen Impala, but what I got was a less comfortable Cadillac.

    My buddy has a 1st Gen Cruze though and, as others have mentioned above, it’s a great car.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      ” cost-prohibitive to fix all the low quality luxury electronic components that keep failing on it”

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Chinesium. Thank Lutz.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      The “chabuduo” of the low quality luxury electronic components is not seen as a negative by GM’s primary sales target audience (where, by the way, these components are primarily sourced). Most likely such failures are an expected occurrence, a part of daily life there in general as it were.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That’s what you said yesterday. What specifically has gone wrong with yours?

      I’m not discounting your experience, either; I’m specifically asking because my father is looking to retire his aged 2010 Chrysler 300 for another full-size sedan and I’ve been recommending the Impala, LaCrosse and XTS.

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        In the less than 2 years I’ve had it:

        The center infotainment screen died, which the dealer wants to charge me $1100 to replace even though they can’t actually diagnose it as the problem. GM has no procedure or bench testing capability. I bought a working and compatible recycled center stack and swapped it in myself to prove that the center stack wasn’t the problem. My conclusion, based on other failure symptoms, is that a portion of the HMI module has failed, which is quoted as another $900 to fix even though it takes about 2 minutes to swap it out. But the dealer wont “test” my conclusion by ordering a new HMI first. Their process is: replace the center stack, then replace the HMI, then start replacing cables. They want to wring me dry.

        Then, last week, my parking assist system started malfunctioning. It gave me some error about the front camera and one of the mirror collision indicators decided it was going to remain permanently in the “on” setting. It would have drained my battery so I pulled the fuse. Who knows how much the dealer is going to want to fix THAT issue.

        The taillights leak water into the trunk because the seals are a terrible design, so you’ll have to replace those every couple years.

        I also noticed when I had the dash apart when I was working on the center console that there is condensation/rust inside the dash on the drivers side from moisture getting in somewhere.

        Oh, the rear windshield exploded for no reason one day. That was cool.

        I’ve also already had to replace both rear wheel bearings even though the car has only ~50k on it…

        I don’t know if this is “normal” for new cars, but I can’t say I’ve ever owned a vehicle that had this much stuff wrong with it that wasn’t also over 10 years old.

        Maybe Chevy fixed all their problems on the 15+ Impalas, but I don’t know if I’d recommend taking the chance. It’s probably time for dad to move on from full-size sedans. I’ve long advocated for them, but I think they are probably done for. The big 3 aren’t going to give them any love anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Dear lord. That sounds as bad as my 2011 X5 was.

          • 0 avatar
            d4rksabre

            It makes me so sad. I love how the car LOOKS. It’s a great looking car. But my god is it disappointing. I wanted to tell people to buy them, to shout the praises of the big American Chevy from the mountain. “Remember the Caprice?”, I would say. But this is no Caprice.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            The E70 X5 is the nightmare that keeps on giving. It’s a real piece of sh** .

        • 0 avatar
          ThirdOwner

          >I’ve also already had to replace both rear wheel bearings even though the car has only ~50k on it…

          Subaru Outback says “Hello”.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I don’t think the ones on Subarus failed quite so quickly, they are more in the 100k mile range. This is like late-90s Hyundai wheel bearing lifespan.

          • 0 avatar
            ThirdOwner

            @gtem Search the Subaru Outback forum (subaru outback dot org) – constant complaints about early bearing failures on the current gen. As early as 30K mi.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m glad my family purchased the extended warranty after hearing this.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @Thirdowner

            Yeesh!

            Seems like a downward spiral in metallurgy for Subaru! Seems like with every generation the wheel bearing lifespan is decreasing.

          • 0 avatar
            ThirdOwner

            This makes me think that maybe they tried some mileage-enhancing manufacturing spec change in their bearings, and it backfired in the form of the early failures?

            Safer (heavier) cars under MPG race conditions = something’s gotta give.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            My ex-boyfriend’s twin brother had a bought-new Malibu, I think it was a ’14. It also had many issues, including failing wheel bearings well before 50k.

            My parent’s 2012 Taurus has 120k on it, its needed a set of tires, a washer fluid pump and a blendor motor for the passenger side (both it and the washer pump were cheap to buy and easy to replace). That’s it. It still drives as tight and crisp as it did when it had 2,000 miles. Doesn’t use a drop of any fluid.

            I’m not saying all Fords are the greatest cars on the road, but aside from the PowerSh¡t trans in the Focus and Fiesta, they’re pretty reliable from what I’ve seen with my family and friends who have them (brother has a newer Fusion, dad has an EcoBoost F-150 4×4, etc).

        • 0 avatar
          Lightspeed

          Holy crap! That’s a lot of grief. This is why my 18-year old, daily-driven Lexus continues to amaze me, it just keeps going without issues. I have replaced more front suspension parts than I’d like, but arguably, those are things you know will wear. Other than that nothing nothing quits. Now, I don’t believe Lexus builds cars as well as before, and they too are jam-packed with tech that’s going to go south one day. So, my next ‘new’ car will likely be am ’05 LS.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Wow, those are some real problems for a 4-year old Impala. Yuk. I don’t really trust GM, but those even surprise me.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    It’s kinda frustrating to see so few people realizing that the makers are responding to the market, not the other way around. We’re not victims of their offerings; we simply didn’t buy enough manual-trans sedans to make it worthwhile to produce them.

    Trends ebb and flow, and the demand for engaging, sporty cars is low. Our fault, not theirs.

    What would I like to see? A V or R-type of something extremely useful. A modern crossover/Element-like box can be made to go irresponsibly fast on a twisty back road these days, while still being able to carry people/stuff Monday through Friday.

    If you want more speed than that, get something older as a toy.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea, the responses are almost as comical as they are frustrating.

      *GM stops selling hum drum mainstream sedans due to low demand*

      “YA KNOW WHAT GM SHOULD MAKE INSTEAD???? ENTHUSIAST FOCUSED SEDANS THAT WILL COST MORE TO MAKE THAT EVEN LESS PEOPLE WILL BUY!!!! THAT’LL TURN THINGS AROUND, BECAUSE IM AN INTERNET AUTO EXEC!”

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        Agreed. It’s hilarious. Like going to a mopar site and seeing everyone claim that FCA must make 3 sizes of Chrysler cars and make coupe, sedan and wagon versions of each.

        GM cars may be better than ever, but they are still objectively inferior to Toyota and Honda, and have zero brand equity. GM is now shrinking itself to greatness, a strategy that rarely works.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Not sure they are objectively inferior to Honda. Honda has been on a decline for quite a while (which is too bad, as they were my favorite Japanese brand). It just takes time for the reputation to catch up.

    • 0 avatar
      ThirdOwner

      >It’s kinda frustrating to see so few people realizing that the makers are responding to the market, not the other way around.

      I see it as a two-way street. A three way street actually, with the banks’ easy credit aiding and abetting consumers’ dumb automotive purchasing decisions.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    My vote would be for the XTS to be saved. Although the CT6 is a beautiful sedan and the new V8 had promise, I still believe the XTS stayed true to what old Caddies great.

    A new, updated version could’ve had the potential to be even better without being burdened with the original Cue system.

    The Volt was another great contender, but interior space is a big compromise on that car. If GM makes a better packaged Volt, maybe in some SUV type for (see Kia Niro), I think they will have more success.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    In retrospect, if Oshawa which consistently for an extended period has ranked among the top manufacturing facilities for quality and efficiency is not safe, then what impact do the workers have in saving their own jobs? It appears unless they are willing to work for 2nd or 3rd world wages, they have zero control over their futures.

    GM workers are largely being punished for the incompetence of their corporate managers/executives.

    I would dearly like to purchase an Impala assembled in Oshawa. A great highway cruiser for my daily commute. Used ones in Canada are still surprisingly expensive. But then I recently saw a new Malibu advertised at a price of over $35k Canadian.

    As others have noted the day of the sedan, except perhaps in ‘limo’ service is over. It ascended after WWII, was briefly challenged by wagons, and by pony cars when the boomers first were able to afford a new car, but has now been supplanted by a more utilitarian vehicle in the form of the CUV which is nothing but a higher and often larger version of a hatchback, or a shorter, higher wagon.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    There are ways this could have played out better but GM as usual didn’t follow those paths. Every one of these models could have been sold at reasonable cost and then quietly phased out, now they’ve created a fire sale and will lose out. A death watch is premature but the long term future does not bode well IMO.

  • avatar
    RSF

    If they have to save one of them, I’d say Cruze, and cut the Malibu. Hopefully GM can re-style it to make it more attractive. I’ve never liked the current Malibu, Cruze, Volt styling. The Cruze gives GM an entry level vehicle and would seem a good choice for some sort of electrification. Maybe take the Bolt powertrain and put it in a more conventional car like the Cruze.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    QOTD: Who benefits most from these recent actions?

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      That’s easy, GM shareholders/executives in the short term, and Chinese auto workers in the long term as more and more production is shipped there. Everyone else drew a short straw.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I argue Asian marques benefit more from increased market share in the short term.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Who benefits most from these recent actions?”

          THE CHARGER SHALL LIVE ON FOR TIME ETERNAL!

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          I do wonder though how many of the remaining customers for these models would rather stick with a sedan even if it means changing brands, vs. sticking with GM even if it means changing vehicle form factor. I might bet on the latter being higher, because who except a GM loyalist or a fleet buyer is lining up for an Impala, XTS, or Cruze at this point? The loyalist will buy an Blazer or an XT5, and the fleet buyer will just switch to a Malibu.

          If Toyota and Honda (maybe more likely Kia and Nissan) start increasing sedan production though, I’ll be happy to be wrong on this one.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I do predict increased Camry and Avalon sales in late 2019 and into 2020 based on the death of Ford/GM sedans.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Because only domestic sedan sales are falling.

          They might benefit by rental companies taking even more of their sedans, but they already sell in a higher percentage to rental fleets than GM products (or Ford products for that matter).

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Chevrolet currently sells sedans in the A (Spark), B (Sonic), C (Cruze), midsize (Malibu) and fullsize (Impala) categories. That’s way too many. I can see why they’re defenestrating. They only need two, and it seems the Malibu and either the Sonic or Spark are going to survive. The Cruze splits the Malilbu and Sonic sizes a little too finely, and the Sonic comes with a more usable hatchback form besides just being functionally a shrunken Cruze. Anything bigger and there are SUVs that meet the need, even (especially?) for the older set.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    GM just needs to be electrocuted and put out of its misery.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Our 2013 Malibus been an okay car, but the current frumpy smaller engined models dont really interest me (I dont want a turbo 1 litre in my DD).

    I say drop em all, any GM sedan Id want to save is already out of production, replaced with some weird angry car with no headroom and no ground clearance.

    The Grand Prix and Aztek are both quite well alive these days, in spirit. The latter sells at an absurd rate, the formers working to kill sedans.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    SAVE A SEDAN?

    I’d consider saving an Impala, XTS, Lacrosse, Taurus SHO…

    Give me a comfy highway cruiser any day.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    As it is today….none of them.

    The biggest competitor to the Volt is the Bolt, and the Bolt is the future. The Volt has served its purpose and the technology lessons could live on in other models in the future.

    The XTS was kept alive to support the livery crowd and is based on the Epsilon II platform.

    The Impala, although excellent, is also soldiering on the Epsilon II platform.

    The LaCrosse is on the updated P2XX/E2XX platform and has different engines, transmissions, and AWD systems than the Impala (no AWD) and the XTS (no serious, look it up, they are not the same).

    If you could pull the Impala, XTS to P2XX/ESXX, you could save them…but the XTS is a fleet queen (good fleet at least), and the Impala and LaCrosse are in a dead segment.

    The CT-6 I suspect will be cherished in a decade, but again, sales are non-existent and Cadillac can sell all the Escalades they want – the end. Thy future is SUV.

    The leaves the Cruze. Yet somehow the Sonic lives on and when you start to tick the option boxes on the Cruze, you’re suddenly into Malibu territory. I’ve only driven one Cruze. A 1,250 mile 48 hour death drive from one of Michigan to the other and back in a moderately equipped LT. I found it to be a good econobox with one annoying flaw – my knee kept laying on the knob for the temperature on the climate control. An issue I understand that was addressed in an interior refresh. It got crazy good mileage, nice ride, and was surprisingly quiet inside.

    So my answer is to hang my head and go, none of them. It makes sense.

    No where near retirement nor to the last car of my life, and I have to say I’m loving my 2017 LaCrosse Premium AWD I picked up on bargain basement this summer.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    If a writer in the future publishes a business-analysis book explaining GM’s protracted decay, Chapter 1 should begin with Roger Smith and the W-body.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      W-body, tight back seat for the size, benchmarked to sedans that were a generation in the rearview by the time it was issued, launching the coupes before the sedans as the coupe market was falling as hard as the sedan market is now, quality levels that made the A-body look like a better proposition, planned production capacity that was likely twice what was needed, billions of dollars in cost overrun…

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “…while others, harboring bad feelings about that GM car they owned two decades ago”….

    I love this statement. Hint: If I handed over my hard earned money for your product and it was a POS, then I have no need to go back to you when there are better, more compelling products available. If you had bought back my POS Firebird Turbo, then it might be a consideration. But the fact that it spend 7 of the 12 months I owned it (brand new) back at the dealer to sort engine issues out only taught me 1) you’re incompetent; and 2) you don’t care. Time for me to move on. I hate abusive relationships.

    Yes, I can carry a grudge for 35+ years. Ask me how I feel about Exxon gas….

    Soon enough I’ll be gone though….

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I completely understand. I have avoided Verizon for 18 years for the same reason and recently decided to give them another chance. Big mistake. Same selfish, arrogant company it was in 2000.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “Which Chevy, Buick, or Caddy gets the reprieve, and why?”

    None.

    GM made the right call; they all deserve to die.

    (The only interesting sedan GM has made lately is the SS, and they were frankly right to kill it, too, economically speaking.)

  • avatar
    Eliyahu

    I do like the Impala and the Volt. But considering that cash is limited, I don’t want to make the costly wrong decision when it comes to a major purchase.

    My son-in-law recently purchased a low mileage 2017 Volt for a reasonable price. Some of the charging features, like being able to use the heater to warm up the car while on the charger, didn’t work. The dealer, who had a Volt trained specialist, took 3 weeks to find and fix the problem. They replaced several major electronic modules before figuring out that some of the electrical connectors in the engine bay had been painted over during production causing the problem. The dealer was nice-they had a free loaner, and the warranty was extended. But as soon as that was fixed, an A/C line failed. That was promptly fixed. Not exactly confidence inspiring. He does love the car when it works.

    My last purchase, a gas powered 2014 Accord Sedan, needed only a battery in the first two years. Before buying, I thought about a Volt and talked to a dealer. I thought maybe leasing would be good, as the technology keeping improving. The sales guy said basically you don’t want to lease anything GM, as the residuals are too low.

    Ok then, maybe I should just buy a Toyota or Honda. I think the biggest problem is a lack of long term focus on building the company for GM, Chrysler, and Ford. This probably goes back 50 years, at least.

  • avatar
    George B

    The GM sedan I’d save would be the Chevrolet Cruze. It’s sold in other markets around the world so the development budget can be spread over more units than just the US and Canada. Build it in Mexico instead of Lordstown to better position it for international sales. I’d put a little effort into making the US Cruze a little more fun and desirable. It’s probably possible for the Cruze to share development costs and parts with compact CUV.

    I have nostalgia for large GM sedans and would love to save the Impala/Lacrosse/XTS, but I don’t see the large sedan volume to justify further development.

  • avatar
    Eliyahu

    On a general note, one major reason that cars are being discontinued is a lack higher gasoline taxes. Low taxes and low interest rates have resulted in larger vehicles having a much larger market share than they would have otherwise. Of course, maybe these vehicles are needed given the status of highway maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I’d say the major reason for sedan’s death is women. Women perceive safety as sitting higher moreso than men. Women are deciding the family vehicle choices more than ever before and as a result, we have CUV/SUVs taking over.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The Equinox gets 28 MPG combined, the Impala gets 22 combined. How would more expensive gas benefit the sedan?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Well, 28 vs 22 would be comparing a FWD 1.5T ‘Nox against a V6 Impala.
        The 4-cylinder Impala is rated 25, still less than the CUV but not as bad.
        The Malibu uses the same 1.5T engine as the ‘Nox but is rated 32.

        There is still (generally) a fuel economy advantage when comparing a car to a CUV, however it’s small enough that I think we’d have to get into sustained $6+ per gal. prices for it to make a material difference to shoppers.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    There is a shift globally to utility vehicles but also CAFE laws/fines makes sedans more expensive and therefore less desirable.

    The new Honda CR-V hybrid is now available in Europe and gets about 44 MPG for not much more money than the gas one.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I’m not sure what I’d save but I’m just glad that my new CTS was built in May ’18 and not any time after yesterday.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      Maybe GM and Ford will go the way of Sears Roebuck. Might both be good take over targets. Sell them off when they are worth something and take the cash and invest it some where else. Get rid of the unprofitable parts and sell the rest off when they are still worth something.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Why would that only apply to GM and Ford? Are Toyota, Nissan and Honda not becoming dependent on light truck sales while their sedans falter? No, this MUST be just the stupid American companies that can’t build a decent car. That’s it.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I’m currently saving 3 MT sedans. What else do you want from me, Steph?

  • avatar
    brn

    Cruze is a good little car for it’s size. The market for this car exists, but the buyers don’t go to GM (for the wrong reasons). It needs to be saved and better marketed to it’s correct audience.

    The Bolt never got the credit it deserved. I’d like to say it should be saved, but it’s time to look at the Volt.

    Non-Chinese Buicks. Buick understands it’s customer base and makes cars for them that no one else does (except maybe Lexus).

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I’d save the CT6, the rest of the rentals and the out-tech’ed greenie can go.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t think it is that the US based companies can build a good car as much as that there are so many sedans competing in a market that has changed and few buyers want them. I do see the market for new vehicles contracting in the next few years. I also am concerned that once a company starts to sell off its assets and pull out of markets that it is becoming a less viable company and cannot survive long term. I agree that GM needed to do some trimming and maybe even shrink a little but if this becomes GM’s long term strategy then I would be concerned about their long term viability. This possibly could be to get the stock price up and become a target for a buyout. If that is the case then it is better not to wait too long.

  • avatar
    geo

    I blame Ted.

  • avatar
    cft925

    As a business official for GM, I would save the LaCrosse. GM sells quite a few of them, It looks great inside and out, and is a perfect car for oldsters.

    As an auto enthusiast I would save the CT6, another awesome car with some killer powertrains and RWD. Given the reliability woes of GM cars, especially Cadillacs, I personally would still rather buy an Audi A6 or A8 at the end of the day.


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