AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
This week on AutoGuide Now, we’re driving some high-class GM crossovers, blasting off in a 550-hp Mercedes and covering all the latest reveals over in Geneva. See what we’re up to and chime in on Twitter or in the comments section below.
Like Mariah Carey’s ancestry, modern crossover vehicles have unusual roots. The award-winning American singer’s family tree is more varied than the flora of a rainforest understory. Her unique blend of nationalities includes African, Venezuelan and Irish. That’s more ingredients than Belorussian variety sausage. Who’s hungry for some lean, finely textured opossum?
20. BMW 7-Series
In the market and shopping for a used car? Consumer Reports has released a list of 20 used vehicles to stay away from as they have a reputation for causing trouble. Listed is a top 20 list of used cars from 2003 to 2012 model year to avoid in alphabetical order. These vehicles had multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability, according to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey.
The BMW 7-Series may be the German automaker’s luxury flagship, but used models aren’t without their issues. From 2001-2008, the 7-Series featured the good ‘ol “Bangle Butt” and sported some highly controversial styling. Early production of that generation was overwhelmed with issues even causing BMW to purchase back some of the vehicles back in 2002-2003. BMW of North America even extended its warranty on all 2002-2003 model year 7-Series vehicles to six years/100,000 miles from the original four years/50,000 miles.
According to Consumer Reports, the BMW 7-Series ranked “worse” in the categories of Engine Major, Engine Minor, Transmission Major, Transmission Minor, Body Hardware, and Audio System.
GMC unveiled their 2013 Acadia crossover at the Chicago Auto Show last Tuesday, but they didn’t mention during the presentation that they sourced parts for their refreshed model from unusable Saturn Outlooks.
GMC spokesperson Joe LaMuraglia confirmed the suspicion after Car and Driver wrote a blog post speculating the company may have cut costs by doing that.
It might seem offensive to some that GM would call the CUV new while using old parts, but at least they’re reusing what would otherwise be garbage.
We generally feel that the 2013 model year looks better than what it will replace, but just in case you’re curious here’s what they recycled: the rear liftgate and rear side glass both came from the Outlook, which was probably what tipped the Car and Driver boys off in the first place. The rear spoiler and rear quarter panel are also re-used parts.
Perhaps the funniest part of this whole story is how Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing touted the new wraparound glass rear as a highlight in their refresh.
GALLERY: 2013 GMC Acadia
[Source: Car and Driver]
The fancier version designed for more luxury-oriented customers gets a host of upgrades meant to set it apart from the standard model.
“When designing the new Acadia, we considered the contemporary shapes and materials GMC buyers expect from many products they buy,” said Dave Lyon, executive director of design for the Acadia. “The Denali’s attention to detail is the ultimate demonstration of that.”
In a side interview, he said they chose to make the Denali’s interior look “a little warmer, to soften the feeling.” He also mentioned that the steering wheel’s wood inserts are made of real wood, where the standard model gets “real aluminum, but fake wood. Most people just want it to look good. We had trouble getting the aluminium to match the real wood [in the standard model],” he said.
Aside from nice visual touches, the Denali comes with standard blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert systems, which are options in the cheaper model.
The exterior is rethought as well, including a shining chrome grille, 20-inch machined wheels and a chrome exhaust. Customers also get lower, redesigned front and rear fascias. The wrap-around rear window, which is new to both models, gives the Denali an especially luxurious look with tinted windows wrapping around the back and accenting the wheels.
Both the Denali and standard models will be available at dealerships late this year, though pricing details haven’t been announced yet.
GALLERY: 2013 GMC Acadia Denali
Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the Acadia Denali and Acadia below:
The 2013 model will feature the same 3.6-liter V6 engine making 288 horsepower, though Tony Disalle, vice president of GMC marketing said the new Acadia will benefit from a new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission that will improve efficiency and driveability.
The standard Acadia gets a new exterior design featuring LED lighting and standard projector beam headlamps or optional HIDs. Plus, it’s hard to miss the more flat-fronted grille and boxier fender flares, style elements borrowed from the popular Traverse.
Inside the Acadia gets new seats, plus a standard color touch radio, Bluetooth and a backup camera. Optional goodies include GM’s Intellilink system; a version of the MyLink telematics interface found on Chevy products.
There are also new standard safety features, including an industry-first front-center airbag that deploys during a side-impact crash to keep font seat occupants safe from one another during impact.
The Acadia Denali model comes standard with blind spot detection and cross traffic alert systems, both of which can be added to the standard model.
Aside from standard safety features, the Denali model features GMC’s “three dimensional polished grille”, which glistens with chrome. The interior gets a few extra touches as well, with richer-looking wood trim around the shifter than the standard model.
The Denali also gets larger, 20-inch machined wheels to deliver a more luxurious appearance, as well as dual chrome exhaust pipes. See our pictures of the 2013 Acadia below.
GALLERY: 2013 GMC Acadia
Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the Acadia and Acadia Denali below:
The 2012 Detroit Auto Show has just began, but it’s never too early to start talking about the next major American auto show, the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. GMC confirmed that the new 2013 Acadia will debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month, giving their truck division something new to get excited about.
For the most part when GM first debuted their three-row crossovers back in late 2006, they were revolutionary and made strides in changing the market. But now that we’re in 2012, a refresh is desperately needed on many of their models in order to compete with other automakers, and it appears that the Acadia will spearhead the next-generation of GM’s crossovers.
The Acadia shares GM’s Lambda front-drive, three-row crossover platform with Buick‘s Enclave, Chevrolet‘s Traverse and the now defunct Saturn Outlook. Not much has been announced on the new Acadia, but speculation has us believe that it’ll incorporate an updated version of the Lambda platform and could see GM’s 3.6L V6 under the hood with around 315-hp.
The infotainment department will surely get a refresh with all of the current generation toys including GMC’s IntelliLink audio and navigation system.
You’ve probably heard of Costco members getting incentives to buy new vehicles at dealers on your local radio. However, one automaker; General Motors is taking things a step further, teaming up with the wholesale giant to sell select Chevy/GMC pickups and SUVs through a number of authorized retailers for a no haggle “preferred price.”
In addition, eligible buyers will also receive a $500 Costco Cash Card for further savings on the price of a new truck. As part of the program, GM will display vehicles at Costco outlets across the country, which according to a company spokesman for the General; Jim Cain, enables the automaker to “reach people in a unique setting outside of a dealership.”
The “preferred” price actually varies from vehicle to vehicle, though according to Cain, will be similar to incentives offered to employees of GM suppliers, who currently receive discounts on new cars and trucks.
Eligible vehicles in the Costco program include the 2011/2012 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe and Surburan as well as the Traverse, plus their GMC equivalents, Sierra; Yukon, Yukon XL and Acadia.
In order to participate, Costco members have to register online with the Costco Auto Program or call a special phone number. They must also complete surveys and redemption forms after purchasing a vehicle in order to receive the $500 Cash Card.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hitting the market back in 2007, the GMC, Buick and Chevy large crossover trio have continued with strong sales despite almost zero updates. That will change for the 2013 model year, with changes planned for all three of the Lambda machines, although you might not notice the changes at first glance.
Rather than update the appearance of the Traverse, Acadia and Enclave, GM will instead change the only key area that is drawing complaints – the interior. In addition to what is expected to be a serious redesign with improved materials, housed in a more modern center stack will be GM’s new infotainment system. Called MyLink for Chevrolet or Intellilink for Buick-GMC, look for a large LCD touch screen to control everything from Bluetooth to audio, as well as OnStar integration.
The next-generation Lambda vehicles aren’t expected until 2016, with Cadillac reportedly gaining a version, while the GMC Acadia will be dropped.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has bestowed their Top Safety Pick to the 2011 Honda Odyssey as well as the GM crossovers, which includes the Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse and GM Acadia.
The three GM vehicles all share the Lambda platform. The GMC Acadia was the guinea pig that ran the gamut of tests, and since the other two are built on the same platform, Buick and Chevrolet can also tout the award in their ad campaigns.
The Odyssey is only the second minivan to win the IIHS’s top award, next to the Toyota Sienna, and it did so by demonstrating great results during the new roof strength tests that were added to the criteria recently.
The GMC Acadia’s roof took four times its weight during testing, and the Odyssey five; the IIHS requires merely 1.5 times the roof’s own weight to pass.
Remember the Saturn Outlook? Well, soon you’ll be able to say the same about the GMC Acadia.
Both based on GM’s Lambda platform, the Acadia will join the history book soon as GM has reportedly axed the mid-size crossover to avoid too much product duplication. Offering too many versions of essentially the same thing is part of the reason GM got into its former financial mess and it’s looking to avoid any such issues in the future. And with Buick and GMC sharing dealership space, the product overlap was more than obvious, and shoppers overwhelmingly chose Acadia’s sister, the Buick Enclave, which just last year hit record sales for the luxury crossover despite having been on sale for four years already.
The Acadia is likely to soldier on for a few more years with the next generation model not due out until 2015. At that time, GM will deliver a new Chevy Traverse, as well as a new Buick Enclave. Cadillac has also been rumored to get a version, something which still might happen.
The trim can prevent the seats from folding flat after they were moved upright, and the seat belt buckle release can also inadvertently be pressed, resulting in the belts coming undone.
Starting August 31st, GM will either fix the trim piece, replace the seat belt buckle or make whatever modifications are necessary to ensure that the vehicle is safe. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-630-2438, Buick at 866-608-8080, GMC at 866-996-9463, Saturn at 800-972-8876 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s hot line at 888-327-4236.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
Cadillac‘s SRX crossover will get a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 to replace the current 3.0L naturally aspirated V6 and the 2.8L twin-turbo V6 currently offered in the vehicle.
The new V6, codenamed LF3, is also set to appear in the redesigned GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS. Also planned is a two-mode plug-in hybrid SRX, similar to the stillborn Saturn Vue hybrid.
[Source: GM Inside News]
It may cost more money to purchase and fill up, but SUVs , trucks and mini-vans are cheaper to insure. This information is coming from a recent government report that based its findings on the fact that some vehicles cost less to fix, and therefore reflects how much it will cost to insure.
Based on losses of insured vehicles for the model years 2007 to 2009, work van Ford E350 Econoline tops the list as the cheapest vehicle to insure. It’s followed by the Mercury Mariner, a small SUV, and the Chevrolet Traverse.
Due to the fact that so many of the company’s vehicles made the list, Ford has no issues about tooting its own horn. “Vehicle affordability continues to be the most important purchase consideration for car and truck buyers, rivaled only by fuel economy,” said Frederiek Toney, a Ford vice president. “We design our vehicles to be easier and more affordable to repair because we know this saves our customers money in insurance premiums and repair costs over the long term.”
The only car to make the list is the Smart ForTwo microcar. The basic idea behind the list is that some vehicles are cheaper to fix if you crash them, and that difference is reflected in their insurance So that Econoline van is 61% cheaper to insure than the average vehicle. The Mariner is 59% cheaper to insure. Traverse is 57%.
Other cheap vehicles to insure, and their percentage they are cheaper than average:
Ford E350 Econoline: 61%
Mercury Mariner: 59%
Chevrolet Traverse: 57%
Ford Escape: 50%
Jeep Wrangler: 53%
Smart ForTwo convertible: 52%
GMC Acadia: 47%
Saturn Outlook: 46%
Ram 1500: 45%
Ford F-150 Supercab: 44%
Kia Sorento: 44%
Dodge Grand Caravan: 40%
Ford F-250: 40%
[Source: Kicking Tires]