Showing posts with label gm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gm. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Chevrolet Cruze test drive


 The all new Cruze is a really nice looking car in the flesh.

I was a little underwhelmed when I first sat in one at the Auto show. I thought it was just OK.
But this top of the line Premier model I had for a week was much nicer.
And much more upscale looking.

The design isn't breaking any grounds (lots of people see a lot of the previous Civic in it), but it is pleasant from any angle.


 Inside, what they call "Jet black/Kalahari" combo looks great.
And there isn't too much of that fake metal trim that most car have. It's mostly a piano black finish.
(Which looks nice but is also a magnet for finger prints...)

The only details I didn't like was the small metal trim bits left. They are just way too shiny, still.
Most car makers now are using a more satin finish which gives the cabin a more upscale look.
I know it's a detail...

Overall the new interior looks great. Everything seems very well made and solid.
Everything is where it is supposed to be.
AND, this is the first GM car I've had in a long time where CarPlay worked flawlessly with my iPhone.


The 6 speaker stereo sounds good. But not great. ( I guess that's what the extra cost Bose system is for)

 The back seat has plenty of room.
It's not "Jetta Huge", but it's really fine. And roomier than most premium compacts from BMW and Mercedes.

 As you can see, the 110Volt plug in the back makes for a perfect road trip.


 The first thing I noticed was how quiet the engine is.
The new 1.4 Turbo is always quiet and smooth. No matter how I pushed it. When you hear it, it sounds very refined.
And there is always plenty of power for all uses.

The new Cruze comes with a Stop/Start system. It works all the time when the A/C is off.
(When it's on, it only works a few times.)

It is pretty much invisible with A/C off. Only a very slight shutter in the steering wheel.
It works very quickly and there is really no delay. So it doesn't affect normal driving at all.
I could feel it a tiny bit more when the A/C was on.


 The steering is a bit light for my taste. Off center feeling can be a little loose.
But it's no worse than most modern cars. They all mostly feel like a video game in that regard...


 The drive is smooth and quiet, pretty much all the time.
It really feels like a more expensive car. And makes you wonder why anyone would spend more money on a mid-size car.

I really enjoyed my week with the new Cruze.
Comparing it to the other compact I drove a few weeks ago, the Nissan Sentra, this is light years ahead.
The Sentra's seats are some of the worst I've even sat in. While the ones in the new Chevrolet are very comfortable.
The Cruze is so much more refined. It also drives much better and even gets much better gas mileage.

The Cruze is rated at 30/40. (For some reason other models of the Cruze are rated at 42HWY. But not the Premier)
I got around 45 on the Highway.
But "only" 28 around town.
These are great numbers.
( I got 23/38 with the "CVT Sentra".)

So, yes. I would definitely recommend the new Chevrolet Cruze for anyone looking for a very nice compact sedan.
It does everything very well.
As far as style, it kind of fits in between the super conservative Jetta and the over styled Civic.

Which might just be what people really like.

I can't wait to drive the all new Hatchback version soon.
And there is also a Diesel version coming up.
Here are all the specs of the car I had for a week.
You can click on it . See what happens....

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2017 Opel Zafira


 Since it's been around for a few years, GM feels its time to give the current Zafira a new face.
A new face that looks older, that is.

The new car is the one in white, on top. And I think it looks less modern (or weird) than the outgoing model.
 (bottom picture)
I guess now if fits better with other Opel models. And that's the point of the new face...
 Nothing new back there, except slightly revised lights.

There is an improvement inside. Even if only the top part of the dash is new (2017 model on top)

The infinite sea of small buttons has been reduced quite a bit.
This is something the "new "Cascada desperately needs. A slight revision on the dashboard to get rid of all these buttons and switches...
Which, I hear, it might very well get as early as next year. Also with new colors.

As usual, we are not getting the Zafira here in the US.
Even as a Buick.

But who knows about the next all new model due out in about 2 years...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Colorado

Just got this so I thought I'd share.

(I'm not even sure if this is the US version or not. Really...)

I drove the Colorado a few months ago and was pretty impressed. Except for the anemic V6, it drives great. (I guess the diesel option fixes that)

So it's good to see GM keeping it fresh.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Malibu Hybrid; 47MPG (46HWY)


A pretty amazing figure for quite a large car.
It uses a version of the Volt power train, with a larger 1.8 Liter engine. And obviously, no pure EV mode.
Although, apparently, it can still reach 50MPH before the engine starts. (With a very light foot I bet)

That compares very well to its competition:
- Fusion Hybrid: 44/41
-Sonata Hybrid: 40/44

The Hybrid starts at $27 770. Not such a good deal when compared to the other choices:

-Fusion Hybrid: $25 675
-Sonata Hybrid: $26 000.

And it is also about $3800 more than the "regular" Malibu LT.
Which gets 24/34MPG. So again, you'll have to save over $3800 to make it worth it...



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

GMC Yukon Denali XL Test Drive


The current Yukon/Tahoe/Suburban might be only a little over 2 years old, but they are already super popular.
Around L.A, they are pretty much everywhere.

Last year, GM sold over 152000  Tahoes/Suburbans, and over 71000 Yukons/Yukon XL.
Which is quite amazing.

They also seem to have replaced the TownCar as the favorite choice as a luxury ride to the airport.
(Or to the local Sleazy Hollywood "PullDown" club)
And they do look quite handsome. In a big brick sort of way.

The interior is nice too. Although I am still not sure why they still use the old 70's style column shifter. (Obvious cost saving?) But I got used to it pretty quickly. Even though it does cheapen the whole interior feel and look.

That interior is otherwise pretty nice.
 But, there are still a few cheap plastic bits here and there.
And the fake wood does a great job at... looking fake.

The Bose stereo sounded really good. But the interface got quite annoying a few times.
Like going back to shuffle without being asked to do so. Or just stop playing stuff altogether. etc...



The seats were surprisingly flat and hard.
(Quite a surprise to me since most GM seats are now really good)

Here is a shot of that beautiful "wood like thing".


And, of course. It is super roomy. Front and back. Even the 3rd row seats.
And the back in the long version (Similar to the Suburban) has a huge truck. And a giant space when all the seats are flat.
(That's pretty much the point of getting something that huge isn't it...)
On the road, it is, of course, very quiet.
But, the big 6.2 Liter V8 wasn't as super smooth and quiet as the smaller 5.3 Liter unit available in its Tahoe twin. (or the regular "non Denali" Yukon)

The new 8 speed transmission is mostly fine. But can also be a bit rough at really low speed around town.

The 6.2 Liter Yukon is rated at 14/21 MPG for the 4WD version I had for a week.
I could only get 12MPG in the city. And I was trying very hard...
But got 23 on the Highway.

The ride is pretty smooth, but not as isolated as I thought it would be.
It always lets you know that, no matter how much money you spent, this is still a truck, not a car.


Talking about price, the Denali version I had was priced at $78 825.
Which included about $8000 worth of options.

For my money, I would skip the Denali altogether and get the regular Yukon.
You can still get la loaded version with leather, sunroof etc... And the smoother 5.3 Liter engine
And save around $15 000.

This is something I had to try.
The "Camping in the Yukon" night. And it works. There is more than enough room behind the front seats for an inflatable mattress for 2 people.
And all the extra stuff you need for a cool camping night by the beach.

And with a total of 3 screens, it was a great way to watch the Larry Sanders show again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2017 Buick Lacrosse







Again, the current Lacrosse is a car I really enjoy. So I don't think this is such a improvement, really.
I mean it is nice. But I really was expecting something more.
Something a bit closer to last year's Avenir concept.

The interior is very nice too. But so is the current one.
And that soft scoop over the rear wheels is a bit too reminiscent of what they've already done on a bunch of other GM cars. Like the Impala, new Malibu and even the new Cruze.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

2017 Buick LaCrosse

 Here is the second official teaser for the all new LaCrosse.
Looking quite slick.
Good news since the current car has been around for a while.
The new version of the 3.6 Liter V6 will be available.
But I'm sure the 2.0 Liter Turbo will be the base engine. Since it is in the more expensive CTS.


Here are two pictures of the real thing.
At least for the Chinese market. Looking pretty much like the same car in the teaser.
So it's actually not that exciting...
Unless GM has 2 different designs of the same model. Like they do with the 2016 Cruze.

So there might still be hope for something better...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Buick Verano Hatch

 Buick is getting ready to introduce a new hatchback version
of the Verano. In China.
I really doubt we will ever see this here.

As you can see, the Chinese Verano is the exact same car as the new European Opel Astra.
(The new hatchback also comes with a sporty GS version )

We should see the US version of the new Verano really soon. As a sedan...

Monday, June 22, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible



Looking really good!

What a nice blend of modern and retro. (Except for that spoiler...)

As mentioned earlier, it now has a fully automatic top. Something the Mustang doesn't offer.

It looks really slick. But visibility looks to be even worse than the current model.
This could be quite a pain to drive in rainy days...

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Cruze

Just a teaser. Ignoring the fact we saw the whole thing a few weeks ago all over the web.

As I mentioned before, the new Cruze looks pretty nice so far.
And much better than the already released Chinese version.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

2016 Opel Astra



Finally. After what seems like 48 years of spy shots.
Here is the real thing.

And I think it does look quite good.
I mean, as usual, it looks more original than a Golf. But also, might not age as well.

We are not getting the Astra over here (Since we don't have Saturn anymore...)
But the sedan version of this will pretty much be our new Buick Verano.

So expect a very similar interior as well.
But probably not the new 3 cylinder engine.