Drive Type: 4x4
Clackamas, Oregon, United States
Ladies and gentlemen,
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.
Unless you're renting a car or driving through Orlando, Florida (the rental car capital of the US), you'll probably never see a Chevrolet Captiva - the rebadged, fleet-only version of the old Saturn Vue - on our roads, but this crossover is popular in many other parts of the world. As such, Chevrolet announced that the Captiva will be getting an update for 2013, which will be unveiled next week at the Geneva Motor Show.
Coming off a pretty extensive refresh in 2011, the 2013 model year will bring even more changes to the Captiva like LED taillights, new 18-inch wheels and revised fascias with a new grille and fog lights up front and inset chrome exhaust outlets at the rear. New interior features include heated rear seats, dual-zone climate control as well as available options on some of the upper trim levels such as leather seating and keyless entry and start. We have yet to hear back from Chevrolet as to whether or not the updated Captiva will be making its way to a rental lot near you, as the model is only available in the US to fleet buyers.
Alongside the updated Captiva, Chevy is also showing off its new Trax in Europe, where the subcompact crossover will go on sale this spring. GM's press release for these two Geneva-bound models is posted below.
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.