General Motors trucks equipped with the company’s new 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 are officially rated to return up to 21 mpg on the highway.
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Could the devastating “Great Recession” finally be fading in the rear-view mirror? GM’s August sales performance seems to indicate yes.
GM has something new to boast about: its line of half-ton trucks is the first to garner a five-star safety rating under government rules revised for the 2011 model year.
Trucks are big profit generators for automakers. The half-ton and heavy-duty pickup segments are probably the most fiercely competitive categories in the industry. Brands fight tooth and nail for every sale they can make. To move the metal they’re willing to leverage any and every competitive advantage no matter how small. Not surprisingly this winner-take-all mentality is delaying common-sense reform that benefits truck buyers.
Once upon a time trucks were built for work. They had manual door locks, crank windows and AM radios, if they had any sound system at all. Leather seats, air conditioning and voice-activated distractions were out of the question. Like a framing hammer, pickups were simple and effective.
For decades they were purpose-made for hard-working men (and women), the kind of folks that make Paul Bunyan look like a dragqueen. But somewhere along the line these roughneck vehicles became cool with the subdivision set. People living in suburbia started to buy them en masse. With sales increasing so did the clarion call for more comfort.
Today it’s easy to push a simple truck’s window sticker well into luxury-car territory… and beyond. Sure, these vehicles can still handle a 14-hour day on the jobsite and are even more capable than their forebears, but more often than not they’re loaded with costly options that appeal to style-conscious shoppers rather than blue-collar workers. Here’s a list of 10 pricey pickups tailor-made for urban cowboys. The MSRPs are listed without incentives, so actual pricing may vary.
January may be the middle of winter but GM was able to rebuke the cold weather with red-hot sales. The company delivered nearly 195,000 units in the U.S., a 16 percent increase compared to the same month last year.
Time topples regimes, ends companies and kills men. A lot can happen in a century, yet that much has passed since the first GMC truck debuted in New York.
In light of that, the automaker decided to debut a commemorative package that includes the Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra trucks and SUVs. Bearing commemorative exterior badges, these special edition vehicles will debut next week at the New York Auto Show.
Of course, nothing is changed mechanically for any of them, but a few premium interior features and an ebony and light tan interior add to aesthetic appeal.
Still, the vehicles themselves aren’t even radically different from a luxury perspective. The Heritage Edition package is an option for SLT trim Yukons ($1,970) and Sierras ($2,645).
For that money you get embroidered floor matts, headrests and 20-inch chrome wheels, though those cost extra on the pickup truck. Other items include a rear view camera for the Yukon and 10-way leather memory seats for the Sierra.
GALLERY: GMC Heritage Edition package
Scheduled to hit dealer lots next year as a 2014 model year is GM’s newly redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, but it appears that those two trucks will just be the tip of the iceberg. Now it’s a possibility that GM may be considering extensively redesigning all of their upcoming pickups.
It’s believed that the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will not only offer better fuel economy, but a new chassis is also expected with the exterior and interior of the pickups entirely changed. In addition, improved aerodynamics will go along with engine improvements, a lightened load and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Such an overhaul is no surprise as GM has been investing heavily into new technology to improve fuel economy. And with the success of the Ford F-150 EcoBoost, GM knows what they can get away with in the pickup market.
Next year we should be seeing the redesigned 1500 pickups but it’s expected that revamped 2500 and 3500 variants will make an appearance a year later. Expect a ton of engineering improvements to occur across all of GM’s pickups in the next few years.
[Source: Automotive News]
GM is recalling 10,000 trucks and SUVs that have been impacted by two safety issues worldwide. The majority of the recalls are for the 2011 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (9,215 combined) that could roll away when shifted into park due to a faulty part manufactured in China. The recall will be officially issued out on July 19th, and GM will install new automatic transmission adjustment clips. This recall impacts 6,700 vehicles sold in the United States.
Fortunately this recall (and the other one) doesn’t involve any crashes. The Colorado and Canyon recall was discovered when a vehicle failed to start while at a GM assembly plant. The other recall is being issued out to 891 SUVs and trucks for steering problems. 739 of the vehicles impacted are in the United States. Those impacted will have their intermediate steering shaft bolts properly tightened to ensure no loss of steering can occur. Those letters will be sent out on July 13th.
The 891 SUVs and trucks affected by that recall include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Sierra all from the 2011 model year.
Silverado, Tahoe, Sierra and Yukon now offered in more efficient Xtra Fuel Economy packages
In a move to keep up with the high price of fuel, as well as deal with environmental concerns, GM has developed new XFE-models of some of its most popular trucks. The Xtra Fuel Economy (XFE) package will be offered on the 2009 Silverado, Tahoe, Sierra and Yukon trucks.
The significant alterations to the trucks, in terms of their mechanical makeup, weight and aerodynamics result in an EPA-estimated five percent increase in highway fuel economy and a more than seven percent increase in city fuel economy.
The trucks now achieve a 15/21 (city/highway) rating compared to the 14/20 rating for non-XFE models.
Importantly, the XFE models do not get a reduction in power. The XFE package is available on 2WD models equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8 with the six-speed transmission. On Silverado and Sierra models, the six-speed transmission gets a high-capacity cooling package to deliver a 7,000 lb towing capacity – up from the standard model’s 6,600-lb towing capacity. All XFE models come quipped with a fuel-saving 3.08 rear axle.
Other factors for the improved fuel-economy include lightweight wheels with low rolling resistance tires, lighter suspension components and improved aerodynamics.
A full list of all the unique XFE features is listed after the jump: