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Exterior Color: Black
Sub Model: 4X4
Consumer Reports has taken aim at at small-displacement, forced-induction engines, saying the powerplants don't manage to deliver on automaker fuel economy claims. Manufacturers have long held that smaller, turbocharged engines pack all power of their larger displacement cousins with significantly better fuel economy, but the research organization says that despite scoring high EPA economy numbers, the engines are no better than conventional drivetrains in both categories. Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, says the forced induction options "are often slower and less fuel efficient than larger four and six-cylinder engines."
Specifically, CR calls out the new Ford Fusion equipped with the automaker's Ecoboost 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The institute's researchers found the engine, which is a $795 option over the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, fails to match competitors in acceleration and served up 25 miles per gallon in testing, putting the sedan dead last among other midsize options.
The Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Sonata Turbo and Ford Escape 2.0T all got dinged for the same troubles, though Consumer Reports has found the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the BMW 328i does deliver on its promises. You can check out the full press release below. You can also read the full study on the Consumer Reports site, or scroll down for a short video recap.
General Motors has finally dropped the curtain on the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra. Both trucks have undergone substantial revisions with updated versions of the company's 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8 and 6.2-liter V8 engines. In a shot across the bows of both Ford and Chrysler, GM says it won't use a V6 engine adapted from passenger car applications. Instead, it developed the 4.3-liter engine based on its proven truck-duty architecture.
All three mills will boast direct injection fuel systems as well as a new cylinder head design. Combined with a revised piston, the new engines feature a smaller combustion chamber with a compression ratio of 11:1 or higher depending on the application. Cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing are all part of the recipe, and each engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with auto grade breaking. So far, no fuel economy or horsepower figures have been released, though GM says the new engines will best their predecessors in both areas.
Outside, the trucks feature a number of enhancements to reduce drag and wind noise, and GM claims both the Silverado and Sierra will offer buyers some of the quietest cabins in the class. Extended cab models now feature front-hinged rear doors to allow easier access to the back passenger area, and Crew Cab buyers can now select between a five-foot, eight-inch bed or a six-foot, six-inch bed. Buyers with a mind toward going off road will also rejoice in the return of the Z71 package, complete with Rancho shocks, front tow hooks and additional under-body protection.
General Motors isn't the first automaker to deliver in-car Internet access, but a proposed plan announced today could make the technology more widespread than any of its competitors have offered. By the 2015 model year, most Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC products in the US and Canada will offer 4G LTE mobile broadband access. Initially, GM will just be pairing with AT&T to deliver this service, but additional carriers will be revealed in the future.
Current in-car Wi-Fi hot spots are limited to 3G, but GM says that 4G LTE is 10 times faster than 3G service and will allow for full Internet access, including streaming video for entertainment as well as services like real-time traffic updates and navigation driving directions. There is also no need for a paired smartphone with this new system, which should make it easier to use, and GM and AT&T will also be working together to develop new apps for customers.
Buyers can expect to start seeing 4G LTE in their cars starting next year, and GM is already planning to expand the service to other global markets as well. All of the information from GM's announcement is posted in a press release below.