We return to the saga of GM’s High Technology engine today, after taking a diesel detour in our last entry. Concurrent in the High Technology engine’s timeline, the Oldsmobile diesel’s failure was quick, but certainly not painless. It put the majority of American consumers off the idea of a passenger car equipped with a diesel engine. And by the time GM pulled the diesel from its various brand lineups, there was a strategy change over in HT4100 land: Not calling the engine HT anymore.
In today’s edition of Abandoned History, we return once more to the late Seventies engines of General Motors. After the disaster which was the V8-6-4 and the subsequent release of the quite flawed HT4100 V8, we take a sidestep today into diesel. Time for a turn with the cost-cut cast iron Oldsmobile oil burner that accompanied the troubled gasoline engines at GM dealerships across the country.
Before we get to this list of “best luxury cars”, I feel like you might be wondering about that headline. Why $90,060? I chose that number because the ceiling for my “ best cheap cars” post was based on half the average selling price of a new car (more or less), and arbitrarily decided to keep going with that theme and set the floor for this list at approximately twice the current average.
As for the list, itself, I’ll try to answer it the same way you’d probably answer your rich friends if they asked you for help picking a new car: With a question of my own.
No, it’s not anything as pedestrian as, “What do you plan on using it for?” That kind of stuff is for the poors. For the rich people, the real question is: Who are you trying to impress with it?
The GMC Yukon formula is familiar. Big and comfortable with a powerful engine getting things motivated. It’s a winning formula, too – the Yukon is quite popular, as you know.
Underneath, the formula remains the same. Stylistically, though, chances were taken. And that roll of the dice doesn’t pay off quite as well.
GMC had the sense not to mess with the powertrain, but the attempt to keep the styling current is a bit of a messy miss in this application.
Why are we switching to electric cars? I mean, I’m not talking about the need to “do better” when it comes to Mother Earth and the baby kangaroos — even Randy Newman wouldn’t bomb the baby kangaroos — but are EVs and billions spent to lower prices and build chargers for the things really going to make the world better if people just look at them as a way to have their cakes and eat them, too? To put it another way, are you really reducing your carbon footprint behind the wheel of a 9,046 lb. GMC Hummer pickup?
That’s right, kids. The upcoming all-electric Hummer will tip the scales at more than 4.5 tons — and that’s “just” the pickup. The SUV will probably weigh more since it’ll be hauling around more glass, seats, and carpets than the pickup. Despite having enough mass to generate its own gravity, the GMC-badged truck can rocket to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, and effectively crush its way through untouched, virgin wilderness in a manner worthy of its heritage as an Army man cosplay favorite (Punisher window sticker not included).
It’s almost enough to make me throw my hands up and say, “Why bother!?” And that, dear B&B, led me to ask myself the question: What would I drive if I just didn’t give a f***?
You finally did it, didn’t you? You beautiful disaster, you did it! You spent nearly $30,000 US American dollars on thirty-seven-year-old Toyota Corolla because of a comic book, and you aren’t even mad about it. Hell, you paid a little extra for the “authentic” Fujiwara Tofu Shop decals on the doors. You. Kick. Rear. And now, after you didn’t think it could be possible to feel better about your automotive purchase, I’m going to make you feel better about your automotive purchase – because you can now buy factory-fresh parts for your Corolla AE86, straight from Toyota.
That’s right kids, through its captive motorsport brand, Gazoo Racing, Toyota is reproducing spare parts for the Corolla Levin Sprinter Trueno “AE86” as part of the GR Heritage Parts Project. The project reproduces new original parts that have been discontinued and sells them as genuine parts with a standard new part warranty, “ in order to support customers who wish to continue driving older vehicles that are full of memories and that they truly love.”
All kidding aside, you have to admit that the concept of a Heritage Parts program is great, even if the Initial D AE86 isn’t exactly your cuppa – but it sort of begs the question, what other new-age classics might be worthy of a heritage program? I’m glad you asked!
Today’s Rare Ride coverage was prompted when your author saw an unusual pickup truck on the roads of Cincinnati. The truck in question was a black Sierra Denali from the early 2000s, with a telltale feature on its rear fenders: little lights on either side. Let’s talk Quadrasteer.
On Wednesday, General Motors announced plans to launch a version of Super Cruise on the 2022 GMC Sierra Denali modified to work with trailers. The hands-free driver assistance system (GM can’t call it “autonomous” because it technically isn’t) will stop being exclusive to Cadillac products and branch out into premium offerings from GMC and Chevrolet’s Bolt EV.
While unavailable until late in 2021, the next round of vehicles to be equipped with Super Cruise is supposed to see continued improvements to the system that allow for greater coverage. When the system originally launched on the Cadillac CT6 sedan, it was only eligible for use on specific divided highways for safety reasons. The greater emphasis on avoiding accidents was appreciated but it made the system seem more like a flashy gimmick than something any serious person would use on the regular. But GM has taken great strides to make sure that didn’t remain the case — hence the new trailer capabilities and ever-widening operating area.
You likely know that lead times in the automotive industry are long when it comes to developing new or significantly redesigned models.
You also likely know that one of the reasons for the long lead times is that automakers spend a lot of time testing prototypes, putting untold numbers of miles on test mules on public roads, at dedicated proving grounds, and in harsh weather environments.
Yet, the newly introduced GMC Hummer EV is just beginning to undergo testing.
So, you liked that new GMC Hummer EV you saw last night, either on these pages or during the World Series. You want one, and you’ve got the scratch to plunk down over $110K and the patience to wait for the first builds a year from now.
Well, if you’re planning to reserve a Hummer EV Edition 1, if you snoozed, you lost.
Tonight’s a big night for baseball fans — it marks game one of the World Series. This particular WS is one many thought might not happen. GMC is taking advantage of the spotlight on the sport to take the wraps off of the new Hummer EV tonight.
Except an online ad has spilled the beans.
While General Motors still plans on debuting its all-electric Hummer on October 20th in a live-stream event catering to industry watchers and EV super fans, it will also be dipping into its marketing budget to give those watching the first game of Major League Baseball’s World Series a glimpse of the beast.
Two weeks from now, the automaker will pull the trigger on a synchronous media extravaganza guaranteed to place the electric behemoth in front of as many eyes as possible. In addition to the official debut and Fox’ baseball slot, GM has also purchased time during NBC’s The Voice — which is estimated to draw in around 9 million viewers when it returns for its 19th season.
The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon gain arguably overdue refreshes for 2021, ensuring continued consumer traction amid boosted competition from rivals. The midsize pickup segment has grown, and not just in volume.
Joining the GM duo and perennially popular Toyota Tacoma last year was the Ford Ranger; meanwhile, Nissan’s long-awaited Frontier revamp lands for ’21.
Word is that the Canyon, which sees a new AT4 trim for the new model year, will don extra goodies by year’s end. Good news for a truck that’s increasingly playing second fiddle to its bowtie-wearing sibling.
A vehicle guaranteed to cause the least possible amount of harm to the planet and its finite resources, hands down, offered up something of a sneak peak on Wednesday.
Make that “vehicles,” plural. The GMC Hummer EV, a beast of an electric pickup due to roll out of General Motors’ repurposed Detroit-Hamtramck plant late next year, will have a sibling: An SUV, as it’s a body style worthy of the reborn Hummer name’s heritage and also the thing Americans WANT.
And check out that spa-sized frunk.
GMC’s an interesting brand. Free of cars from the outset (Sprint/Cabalero notwithstanding), General Motors’ truck brand seems well positioned to turn America’s unquenchable thirst for trucks and utility vehicles into big, big bucks.
For the most part, it has, yet glaring shafts of white space remain in the brand’s lineup. Time for a little rearranging?
Wandering the 2020 Chicago Auto Show floor on the second media day, I entertained myself by playing with trucks.
More specifically, I tinkered with the trick tailgates found on GMC and Ram models, plus the in-bed cooler offered by Honda’s Ridgeline. Also springing to mind is the available roll-up tonneau cover offered by Jeep’s Gladiator, as well as that old stalwart, the RamBox.
It should surprise absolutely no one that after the recent reveal of the new Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, there wasn’t long to wait before we glimpsed an updated version of the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.
The actual surprises come in how General Motors’ truck brand intends to differentiate itself from Chevrolet while addressing criticism from journalists and the public alike on how to make a better full-size SUV.
Heavy-duty truck buyers tow things often. So do many light-duty truck buyers. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to be be asked, shortly after stepping off an airplane, to get behind the wheel of an HD truck towing something like 13,000 pounds of RV.
This, despite having trailering experience that hovered near zero. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve trailered. I did it years ago in Maryland on another GMC event, and last year in the same region (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) with the light-duty Chevrolet Silverado, but until last week, that was about it.
GMC would tell you that the combination of its trucks’ capability and some high-tech doodads make trailering easy, even for the novice. GMC would be correct on that count, but there’s more to the story when it comes to this year’s crop of trucks.
We were turned loose in a variety of GMC Sierra trucks over the course of two days – and not all had a mobile home’s worth of weight behind them. Still, towing and hauling were a bit part of this particular junket; even when we weren’t towing, we were driving trucks with beds full of logs. We also did a bit of light off-roading.
GMC has long made a fuss about its Denali sub-brand, which is meant to signify the most luxurious trim available for any given GMC model. GMCs, of course, are supposed to be more upscale versions of Chevrolet trucks and SUVs, even without Denali badging.
Enter a new sub-brand – AT4. First available as an off-road-oriented trim on the Sierra full-size pickup, and intended to become available on all GMC models within the next two years, AT4 is a trim that aims to emphasize off-road ability – or at least look the part.
While the Sierra’s AT4 trim offers mechanical changes that serve to improve the truck’s off-road prowess, the Acadia version is more about off-road looks, all-terrain tires and standard all-wheel drive notwithstanding. GMC knows the Acadia is a suburban shuttle, not a bad-ass off-roader, and has adjusted the AT4 treatment for this vehicle as such.
Adventurous types looking for off-road fun from their local GM dealer already have the option of choosing the brawny Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and its butchier Bison variant, which leaves GM’s truck-only GMC brand as something as a spectator. GMC hasn’t gone whole-hog into the off-road midsizer niche, though it does offer its Canyon pickup in All Terrain trim. Cutaway front fenders are most definitely not included.
The same dynamic may exist after 2020, but the All Terrain will be gone, replaced with an AT4 trim that hopefully goes the extra mile in terms of off-the-beaten-track capability.
Can you kill a ghost? While Hollywood and some Catholic priests say yes, in the automotive realm the process of ridding oneself of a spectre usually involves a new sheet on the drawing board, not a ceremonial ritual.
As you may have already heard, a ghost long rumored to haunt Detroit’s future product stable has reportedly disappeared into the ether from which it came. It never had much of a form, its name carried a question mark, and no one officially admitted to its existence. It only had a clear rival: the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and upcoming Ford Bronco.
If you were waiting for a special-order new GMC Sierra or Jeep Gladiator to show up at a West Coast dealership, you might have to wait a little longer. Unfortunately there was a train derailment in Lincoln County, Nevada, yesterday, and some of the victims were brand-new pickups.
Today’s RV is smaller than either of those, but it can also fit into normal parking spaces. It’s the 1991 Provan Tiger GT.
Today’s truck trio includes three very expensive rigs that aren’t likely be used for hauling duties or any other truck-type responsibilities. And that’s a good thing, because they’re loaded up on equipment and leather, and covered in nice metallic paint. Which nice truck gets used as kindling? Let’s find out.
You hear it time and time again on the internet. “There are no bad cars today.” It’s proclaimed by those who lived through the Malaise Era and have personally experienced the build quality and reliability of an new Renault Le Car or Chevy Monza. And while things are most definitely better than they were, nothing’s perfect. Bring out your critical fingertips.
Someone at General Motors has been studying the company history books again. Fresh news earlier this year taught us the company is bringing back the storied Blazer nameplate, appending it to a FWD-based crossover in a move that disappointed some fans but will surely delight GM beancounters as they’ll probably sell every one they can make to a crossover-thirsty public, the majority of whom care not one whit about the old body-on-frame machine.
A trademark application uncovered by a GM Inside News forum poster suggests GM could be poised to bring back another well-known badge. This time, it is GMC’s turn to plumb their collective memory for a popular name. The lead image above gives you all the clues you need as to which one it may be.
If you need to get somewhere off the beaten path just that much more quickly than The Other Guy – or maybe you simply want to one-up your neighbor and their new Sierra AT4 – GMC has an answer for you.
Despite being only about three seconds old, The General is already throwing a new package at the 2019 Sierra. Meant to layer on top of the off-road focused AT4 trim, this new option adds even more horses to the hand-of-god 6.2-liter V8.
And, for once, buyers actually save money by selecting the option package. Speed normally costs money – but not this time.
By a wide margin, the most important automotive-related news this week has been General Motors’ impending closure of five manufacturing facilities across North America. Accompanying the closures are losses of thousands of jobs and the discontinuation of six passenger car models over the next year or so.
Who’s to blame here?
Back in August 2016, General Motors recalled 367,808 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers for potentially faulty windshield wipers. At the time, certain 2013 models were identified as having linkages that could rust and separate, leaving drivers with a fistful of nothing when they hit the wiper stalk.
Like all good things – poutine, back bacon, and Donald Sutherland – attention towards the issue originated in Canada. Apparently, an employee reported the problem in December 2015 and, after recalling these crossovers in the Great White North, GM did the same for some American units, as well.
Now, the U.S. gubmint is investigating the possibility that GM didn’t recall enough Equinox and Terrains for this particular issue. At stake? Over 1.7 million units spanning seven model years.
Production of crew cab and double cab variants of GM’s full-size 2019 pickups is already underway, but the automaker won’t fully turn off the taps on the older-generation models until after the middle of next year.
GM provided a run-down of its pickup production plans Wednesday, assuring those who aren’t fans of the new Silverado’s styling that there’ll be a toned-down alternative available for some time.
The EPA hasn’t officially rated the 3.0-liter inline-six diesel bound for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, nor has the automaker released power specs for this Flint-built light truck engine.
Thankfully, someone took photos of GM Canada’s dealer site and flung them to the internet.
General Motors joined the vast majority of its automotive colleagues in having a crappy sales month in September, posting an 11.1 percent year-over-year volume loss. The issues facing OEMs last month were many. As interest rates rise and the market cools, automakers looking to capture more for their coffers are trending towards reduced fleet sales and lowered incentive spending. Hurricanes also played something of a role.
At GM, which graces us with sales figures just four times a year, what was likely a poor showing in September dragged down the third quarter as well as year-to-date sales, with volume since the start of the year now down 1.2 percent. That doesn’t mean several GM models didn’t have good quarters, or haven’t had good 2018s. Some 18 models can boast of YTD sales gains.
Of those 18, however, just four are passenger cars, and one member of the group already has one and a half feet in the grave.
Acadia. Denali. Two National Parks that connote wilderness adventure. Acadia — the easternmost National Park — covers much of an island off the coast of Maine. Denali, named after the eponymous mountain that was occasionally named for the best President to come from Ohio in the twentieth century — is a park larger than the state of New Hampshire. The names make you think of wide open spaces, which should be a desirable trait in a family-sized crossover.
Not even a month ago, Associate Editor Steph Willems professed his love for the 2018 edition of the Acadia Denali. And while Steph and I are of similar mind on certain features on this three-row crossover, he and I have diverging uses for such a vehicle. For many, I’m sure, the 2019 GMC Acadia Denali is ideal. Due to some space issues, however, it isn’t the perfect family hauler for me. It comes up a bit short.
We started our ranking challenge for every generation of Chevrolet Suburban in last week’s QOTD. That post covered the first through sixth generations, which range from truck with wagon body format to nearly a modern Suburban. Some struggled with the first challenge installment, citing a lack of knowledge and experience with old trucks dating back to the 1930s (you youths!).
Today we’ll rank Suburban generations seven through eleven; undoubtedly these will be much more familiar to many of you.
We’ve done a couple of ranking challenges before, starting first with the Accord, then the Corvette, and following up a few months later with the Mustang. Today we rank a nameplate which has been in production longer than any of those — in fact, it’s the longest-running in America.
It’s the Suburban.
General Motors’ truck division decided to release its revamped 2019 Sierra 1500 line in dribs and drabs, starting at the high end. That goes for both vehicle arrival dates as well as information.
While we’re pretty familiar with the top-of-the-line Denali by now, GMC is slowly pulling away the curtain, with the upper-middle-range SLT being the latest to come (literally) online.
If Chevrolet’s Silverado is truly like a rock, the upper trims of GMC’s Sierra line are semi-precious gemstones, continuously growing in hardness and value. We’ve sampled Chevy’s new-for-2019 half-ton already, but last week was GMC’s chance to turn its glitzy 2019s loose — while keeping the lesser trims’ intriguing 2.7-liter four-cylinder, as well as the late-availability 3.0-liter diesel inline-six, out of reach of journalists’ paws.
Yes, the range-topping Denali earned top billing during this Newfoundland jaunt, but General Motors’ truck division seems to be growing into its self-declared status of premium truck provider. There’s a new flavor of Sierra 1500 for 2019, and it’s neither spartan nor cheap: AT4 — the off-roader for people who like nice things.
Travel back in time and tell someone that luxury pickup trucks will one day become the auto industry’s biggest money makers. They’ll laugh, but you’ll have the last one.
As the Denali sub-brand grows in importance for parent General Motors, the luxo treatment applied to GMC trucks and SUVs has never been in more danger from rival automakers in Dearborn and Auburn Hills. Keeping Denali healthy and growing means walking a thin line. Still, there’s those who fear the sub-brand isn’t realizing its true potential.
A Jeep Wrangler fighter it ain’t, but that doesn’t mean General Motors’ truck division can’t go smaller and still have buyers lining up at its door.
Spy shots taken in Arizona show not one, but three small camouflaged crossovers undergoing tests, and the horizontal chrome slats filling the grille should tip you off that there’s a future GMC vehicle under those wrappings. A small or subcompact model has long been in consideration for the brand, and one look at Buick would tell GMC brass why it’s a good idea to have an Encore-like model of its own.
However, GMC buyers would not be pleased if their new vehicle looked like a Chevrolet Trax or Encore.
Not long ago, an auto journo logged on to Twitter with a confession. Having just spent time testing a common-as-crabgrass crossover, this journo discovered, much to his horror (or at least confusion), that the experience didn’t leave him hating the world, himself, or the auto industry. It just left him rattled.
Rattled, because the crossover didn’t rub him the wrong way. There was no disappointment, rough edges, or lingering bitterness with this unnamed vehicle. It did what he wanted, drove the way he wanted, and generally made his life better. He could imagine a future with this vehicle. Like the stereotypical college freshman experiencing strange new feelings, self-doubt crept into his consciousness, challenging perceptions of his own identity.
It wasn’t dissimilar from my own experience, and I’m not talking about that unexpected come-on in the karaoke club last February. No, this very same realization washed over me behind the wheel of a popular three-row crossover — an Acadia, but not this one.
The Genesis premium brand is a good idea cursed with unfortunate timing. Hyundai’s luxury arm launched just as U.S. passenger car sales gunned the throttles and pushed forward on the yoke.
Despite the glowing reviews, up-front value, and attractive looks enjoyed by both the G80 midsize sedan and G90 full-sizer, the American buying public has never been more averse to the thought of a sedan purchase. A two-sedan lineup in this environment? That’s collar-tugging stuff.
As the Genesis brand approaches its second birthday, U.S. sales have now slipped into three-digit territory for the first time in its brief history. And what’s that on the horizon? Oh, it’s another sedan.
Generally when we write about sticker prices for the upcoming model year, it’s to document a price hike – sometimes minor, sometimes major. Rarely does a manufacturer cut prices, especially in a hot segment.
However, it appears that’s exactly what The General is doing across three of its brands. A few machines take a haircut and give up some standard equipment, while others will simply have a Monroney bearing a smaller number next year.
There are several truths in this world: death, taxes, and the profitability of pickup trucks. General Motors has shown us several iterations of its 2019 half-tons since they dropped one from the sky at Texas Motor Speedway in December, despite the trucks not being scheduled to be found on dealer lots until this fall.
Now, GMC is rolling out another trim of its Sierra cash machine, the Elevation. Think of it as a color-keyed whip that can be opted with an “off-road lite” package. One thing’s for sure: fans of the brand will be spoilt for choice when the new truck appears in showrooms.
And, oh yeah, it’ll come standard with a 310 horsepower inline-four. Will truck buyers embrace a machine with half the traditional cylinder count?
TTAC recently spent some time out in rural Utah, where GMC was keen to show off the 2018 Sierra Denali’s capabilities in both towing and everyday driving. Does the soon-to-be-replaced luxury pickup have what it takes to get the job done?
That depends on the options boxes, and which ones have been checked.
The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal,” which is news to me, since I most definitely am not equal to Fernando Alonso in terms of driving skill, for example, although I am pretty adept at lounging in a camping chair.
One item that is most definitely not created equal is the Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain twins. A running change being implemented on the production lines means some of the GM trucklets are safer than others.
The current generation of General Motors’ full-sized SUVs has become the dominant force in the segment. The six nameplates offered up by GM own seventy-five percent of America’s full-sized, body-on-frame, truck-based SUV market. The GMC Yukon and GMC Yukon XL are a big part of that dominance. Their high average transaction prices and robust sales have helped build General Motors’ fastest growing brand into a sales powerhouse.
The Yukon has always been a luxurious, yet restrained, step above the Tahoe and Suburban, and the 2015 model boosted the upscale feel with the addition of better materials like real wood. A more powerful engine further differentiated the model from its Chevy sibling. Unfortunately, the 420 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 was only available on the Denali-trimmed Yukons.
That is, until the 2019 GMC Yukon hits dealer lots. But there’s a catch.
No, there’s no Denali Light model in the works, but there will be a new choice for buyers seeking a low-end GMC Yukon or Yukon XL. General Motors’ truck-only division apparently has a mid-year addition planned for the body-on-frame SUV that effectively creates a one-up-from-base trim.
To bastardize an old Dodge slogan — if you can handle less content at a lower MSRP, you could be Yukon material.
Outside of my hometown of Chicago, New York City remains one of my favorite metropolises. I don’t know why – Manhattan is overstuffed with cars and people, garbage is put out on the sidewalks, hotel rooms are no oasis from street noise, and most goods and services are way too expensive.
Perhaps New York has a unique sort of charm that compensates for all its flaws, some sort of charisma that continues to exist despite the continuing transformation of Manhattan into a living Disney city for the wealthy.
I mean, in what other city would I be brazenly approached by a young man trying to sell me cocaine as I walked back to my hotel after some late-night pizza (partake, I did not. Drugs aren’t my thing. Pizza was good, though) while almost within sight of the most famous urban intersection in the world – one that was undoubtedly crowded to the gills even at that hour? In what other city would I have a surreal on-street argument with a fellow pedestrian over an innocent, touristy picture I took of a street sign? There’s this “only in New York” feeling, a sense that certain things happen to you that just wouldn’t elsewhere.
It’s the kind of place where you can swear bloody murder because the F train didn’t show, but find value in the 40-minute walk across lower Manhattan you undertake instead, all because you don’t feel like doing the logical thing and hailing a cab. SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown all look much better from on foot.
GMC has determined there’s gold in them thar trails, witnessing Ram hoovering up dollars from off-roaders and wannabe off-roaders with the Rebel variation of its 1500 pickup.
The tri-lettered half of The General’s truck duo latched onto the off-road life in the previous Sierra with a trim called All Terrain. It’s back and beefed up on the revamped 2019 model but, taking a page from the Cadillac Book of Alphanumerics, it is now called the AT4.
We’ve been on a Nineties streak lately, and our last four editions of Buy/Drive/Burn have all taken place within the decade. Well, ready your baggy beige suit and adjust its extensive shoulder pad region, because today we talk 1992. Specifically, Gtem suggested three luxury SUVs which were very popular with middle-class families across the country.
Ford, Oldsmobile, and [s]AMC[/s] Jeep — which makes it to your garage?