Auto blogThu, 06 Jun 2013 15:45:00 EST
A day after Ford announced it was scaling back the complimentary maintenance program for its Lincoln brand, General Motors has gone in the completely opposite direction, offering most of its 2014 lineup with free maintenance. Since 2011, Cadillac models have all come with a four-year/50,000-mile complimentary maintenance program, but Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles will now come standard with free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles for the 2014 model year.
The program will give vehicle owners and lessees free oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections following the recommended maintenance schedule laid out in each vehicle's owner's manual. We contacted GM to see which vehicles were eligible for the program, and a spokesperson got back to us with the following comment:
"All 2014 models are eligible, it's just that the included services vary by model, e.g., Spark EV would not need oil changes, Corvettes don't recommend tire rotations."
As an evolution and improvement of its OnStar technology, General Motors has announced that it will be expanding the RemoteLink Mobile App on most 2014 model year Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The new, aptly named RemoteLink Key Fob Services will allow users to remotely operate all of the same systems as the car's key fob, including locking and unlocking the doors and remote starting (on vehicles equipped with a factory remote starter) using a smartphone.
These Key Fob Services will be free for five years - starting from the vehicle's delivery date - but the full suite of RemoteLink features will continue to be offered only with a subscription (trial or paid). These premium features include contacting a live adviser, getting turn-by-turn directions and remotely monitoring the vehicle's diagnostic systems.
Scroll down below for the complete press release with all the details.
Refreshed, Not Refreshing
I'm probably ill-suited to accurately and fairly take the full measure of a vehicle like the 2013 GMC Acadia Denali. This is a machine conjured around the express notion of corralling and then herding a brood of rafter-swinging hatchlings to and fro in relative comfort, and with no such passel of wee Bowmans to call my own, it's difficult to give this rig a fair shake. While I can certainly weigh cargo capacity, legroom and fuel economy stats with the best of them, I'd be lying to your face if I said the word "crossover" didn't urge some uncontrollable Pavlovian recoil from the murky recesses of my frame. To put it simply, I just can't stand the damn things.
As a rule, the segment is built on a bed of compromise. Manufacturers love nothing more than to spin up a tired yarn about the virtues of this particular neck of the market. We're told the crossbreeds deliver all the ride quality, driving dynamics and fuel economy of a car married with the seating position, capability and interior volume of the SUV set. That all sounds as swell as a sunset, but as the 2013 Acadia Denali so artfully illustrates, the advertising on the box is rarely congruous with the prize inside. Even with an imaginary squad of younglings at my heels, the refreshed luxury crossover doesn't quite manage to scratch the promised itches.
Between the information for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country and the accidently leaked picture on GMC's consumer site, it didn't take much imagination to envision what the 2014 GMC Sierra Denali would be like. But here it is. Going on sale this fall, the 2014 Sierra Denali will continue to be the most luxurious pickup truck in the General Motors portfolio, while getting more power and technology than ever before.
Like previous models, the 2014 Sierra Denali stands out from lower Sierra models with a big cheese-grater chrome grille, 20-inch chrome wheels and body-color bumpers. Inside, the Denali gets plenty of leather with contrasting stitching, but this is where GMC really steps up from the Silverado High Country with real aluminum trim and a new customizable eight-inch driver display in the gauge cluster. Standard features will include heated and cooled front bucket seats, the Intellilink infotainment system with Bose audio, while the options list offers a Driver Alert Package (with forward collision alert and lane departure warning), a rear-seat entertainment system and a Z71 Off-Road Package.
As for power, the standard engine will be the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 with its 355 horsepower, and the optional engine will be the new 6.2-liter V8. Although official power figures for the bigger engine aren't in yet, GM is finally putting some estimates on paper expecting around 420 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque to go with a 12,000-pound towing capacity. The new Sierra Denali will be available in either two- or four-wheel drive. Scroll down for more details listed in the official press release.
Despite initially launching in just the Crew Cab configuration, the lineup of 2014 GMC Sierra and 2014 Chevrolet Silverado trucks will eventually grow to include three cab sizes and three bed lengths. Oddly enough, our first look at the Regular Cab bodystyle has arrived in a General Motors press release discussing the aerodynamics of the new truck, with an image showing a Sierra Regular Cab testing in the wind tunnel. GMC's website says that Regular Cab and Double Cab models will be available by summer.
While it really didn't take too much imagination to figure out what the two-door version would look like, this Regular Cab Z71 looks pretty sharp with its standard-length (6.5-feet) bed - a longer bed will also be offered. In regards to the aero tuning of the 2014 Sierra, these images show just how far GM has gone in maximizing the truck's fuel efficiency and reducing its noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. Interestingly, the press release shows visual evidence that keeping the tailgate up is best for aero - there's always been some Mythbusters-level contention about such things -but GM also says that adding tonneau covers (preferably soft) and running boards can also help improve the overall aerodynamics. Scroll down for all of this aero info in the official press release.
We recently drove the brand-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and found it to be vastly improved compared to the outgoing model. And now that The General's pickup trucks have been squared away, it's time to focus our attention onto their passenger-friendly companions, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon (above).
Our spy photographers have passed along a huge smattering of photos (and a video), showing the new SUVs out testing. Both the short- and long-wheelbase models were spied, and while the overall shape of the vehicles hasn't changed all that much, we expect the updates to be substantial. In addition to new powertrain options, like GM's new small-block V8, we expect the interiors of both SUVs to get massive makeovers, providing better materials throughout their cabins and quieter, more refined environments. We even hear that some trick new suspension developments may be in store for upper-end models.
Visually, these spy shots allow us to see a couple of new details on the SUVs' front and rear fascias, including LED running lamps on the Yukon and some interesting LED taillamp treatments. Of course, the obvious third party missing from this set of photos is the Cadillac Escalade, but as we reported earlier, GM is working to further differentiate the 'Slade from the rest of the fullsize SUV lineup, and is working to make the new model "much less ostentatious."
General Motors has released more information on the 4.3-liter V6 available in the 2014 GMC Sierra. The engine will serve up 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, with a six-speed automatic transmission, and giving the V6 Sierra a maximum tow rating of 7,200 pounds in regular cab, short bed four-wheel drive configuration. GM claims that figure is 500 pounds more than the equivalent Ford F-150 equipped with a 3.7-liter V6, and 700 pounds more than the Ram 1500 with its 3.6-liter V6. Buyers can expect to see the 2014 GMC Sierra with the 4.3-liter engine start at $25,085 including destination.
While the engine does deliver more torque than either of its main competitors, it falls short on the horsepower front. The 3.7-liter V6 in the F-150 develops 302 hp while the 3.6-liter V6 in the Ram 1500 yields 305 hp. GM says fuel economy estimates for its newest entry will land later this year. Check out the full press release below for more information.
Thanks to the quick-to-screen-shot folks at GM Authority, we now have our first look at what is likely the 2014-15 GMC Sierra Denali. GMA reports that the image you see here was temporarily posted on the GMC consumer site, though as you can see now, when you scroll over the "trucks" tab, the image has been removed.
GM Authority states that because the truck in this image wears a blacked-out lower bumper, redesigned grille insert and shiny wheels, this has got to be the upmarket Denali version of the fully redesigned 2014 model year Sierra. The Chevrolet Silverado will be getting a similar treatment, as we've seen in recent spy shots, dubbed the High Country.
Expect the Sierra Denali to ride on large, unique wheels (the one we spied earlier this year was fitted with 21-inch rollers), and feature a huge helping of luxurious interior amenities, as well as premium features like xenon headlamps. An official on-sale date for the Denali has not been released, though it's been reported that the high-grade Sierra, along with its Silverado counterpart, will arrive after the Texas State Fair this summer.
The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.
PickupTrucks.com has gotten its hands on a few more details concerning the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2014 GMC Sierra. General Motors held a conference call on the two trucks, allowing Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for both, to answer a few questions. Luke said truck buyers are largely concerned with power and fuel economy, and as such, GM will continue to explore new methods of providing both. That may translate into any number of drivetrain permutations, including light-duty diesel engines, eight-speed transmissions or even a twin-turbocharged V6.
What's more, both the 2014 Silverado and its GMC twin will boast a tow rating of 11,500 pounds, but only when equipped with a max-trailering package. Without that special package, the rating drops to 10,200 lbs for regular cabs and 9,700 lbs for crew cabs. Buyers will no longer be able to opt for a 4.10 gear ratio.
We're also excited to hear that GM plans on making the Z71 package into something more than just a few a stickers. While Luke didn't go into details, PickupTrucks.com says "it will get significant improvements in the future." Head over to the site for a quick rundown of the call's highlights.