For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 5
Drive Type: 4WD
Sub Model: SLE
Exterior Color: Red
Number of Doors: 4 Doors
Interior Color: Gray
Chatham, New York, United States
Forget Corvette versus Viper. When it comes to important head-to-head comparisons, fullsize trucks are where domestic automakers really care. And until the redesigned Ford F-150 makes its debut, the Chevrolet Silverado is going to have plenty to brag about thanks to a new Consumer Reports shootout against the Ram 1500.
It was a tight race among these V8-powered titans, but the all-new 2014 Silverado (and its GMC Sierra twin) barely edged out Ram's updated pickup with a score of 81 points - enough to make it the institute's top-rated fullsize truck on the market. Its narrow victory over the Ram, which finished just three points back, was due to its superior fuel economy, better towing and payload capacity and conveniences like a lower step-in height, easy-to-use tailgate and rear bumper steps that make loading and unloading less of a chore.
Importantly, CR notes that buyers with less heavy-duty truck needs might actually prefer the Ram over the Chevrolet, since its high points include a smoother ride thanks to its coil spring rear suspension, dominant infotainment system with Uconnect, and a big thumbs up for the available Hemi engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
Challengers come and challengers go, but the Jeep Wrangler continues to push forward even after vehicles like the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the entire Hummer brand have been shut down. Now GMC reportedly wants to take a stab at the quintessential Jeep, as well.
The news comes directly from Buick-GMC vice president Duncan Aldred, speaking with our compatriots over at Edmunds. Although Aldred said there are no plans currently on the table to expand GMC's lineup beyond the current range, "there is plenty of room everywhere in the hierarchy."
That could include a rival to the Wrangler, as well as a flagship luxury SUV positioned above the current Yukon Denali (pictured above). Just when (or for that matter, if) such models might come into fruition remains a big question mark, but it's certainly interesting to see what GM's dedicated truck brand has on the drawing board.
During the economic downturn, many car dealerships counteracted their slowing income by focusing on things that would set them apart from competition - things like the quality of customer service they provide. When the economy picked up and more sales and service followed, many also first invested those funds back into the business, improving their dealership facilities and service centers.
It looks like those investments are paying off, as J.D. Power and Associates' latest Customer Service Index Study shows that overall consumer satisfaction with dealer service has increased to 797 (on a 1,000-point scale), up from 787 in 2012 and 29 points higher than the score in 2011. The study also finds that people are more satisfied with the service they get at dealerships compared to independent service providers, despite the much higher average out-of-pocket cost per visit ($118 vs. $44).
Note, however, that this study only looks at how people are treated by a dealer's service department during the first three years of ownership (the survey is based on responses from 91,000 owners and lessees of 2008 to 2012 model year vehicles), so we're talking about the experience had when bringing a car in for repair or maintenance work, most likely under warranty. In fact, maintenance work is increasing in share and accounted for 77 percent of service visits (up from 72 percent in 2012 and 63 percent in 2011). This helps explain why customer satisfaction has also risen, since a properly maintained car is one that's less likely to require a dealer visit for an unexpected repair.