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Best and Worst GM Cars

Thu, Apr 7 2022

Oh yes, because we just love receiving angry letters from devoted Pontiac Grand Am enthusiasts, we have decided to go there. Based on a heated group Slack conversation, the topic came up about the best and worst GM cars. First of all time, and then those currently on sale, and then just mostly a rambling discussion of Oldsmobiles our parents and grandparents owned (or engineered). Eventually, three of us made the video above. Like it? Maybe we can make more. Many awesome GM cars are definitely going unmentioned here, so please let us know your bests and worsts in the comments below. Mostly, it's important to note that this post largely exists as a vehicle for delivering the above video that dives far deeper into GM's greatest hits and biggest flops, specifically those from the 1980s and 1990s. What you'll find below is a collection of our editors identifying a best current and best-of-all-time choice, plus a worst current and worst-of-all-time choice. Comprehensive it is not, but again, comments. -Senior Editor James Riswick Best Current GM Vehicle Chevrolet Corvette We were flying by the seats of our pants a bit in this first outing and my notes were similarly extemporaneous. When it came time to tie it all together on camera, I failed spectacularly. Thank the maker for text, because this gives me the opportunity to perhaps slightly better explain my convoluted reasoning. I chose the C8 Corvette because it's simply overwhelmingly good, and it's merely the baseline from which this generation of Corvette will be expanded.  While the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing (more on that in a minute) is an amazing snapshot of GM's current performance standing and its little sibling so enraptured me that I went out and bought one, their existence is fleeting. Corvette will live on; forced-induction Cadillac sport sedans, not so much. So while all three are amazing machines when viewed in a vacuum, the Corvette stands above them as both a reflection of GM's current performance credentials and a signpost of what is to come. So, given the choice between the C8 and the 5V-Blackwing right now, I'd choose the C8. In 10 years, when the Blackwing is no longer in production and Corvette is in its 9th generation? Well, that might be a different story. Now, just pretend I said something even remotely that coherent when we get to the part of the video where I try to make an argument for the 5-V Blackwing as best GM car I've ever driven. Or just laugh at me while I ramble incoherently.

Junkyard Gem: 2005 Chevrolet Aveo LS Sedan

Sun, Jun 14 2020

The story of Daewoo in North America took some interesting plot turns over the decades. First we had the 1988-1993 Pontiac LeMans, a rebadged Daewoo LeMans. A bit later, Daewoo began selling cars under its own nameplate here, with the Lanos, Nubira, and Leganza available for the 1999-2002 model years. Then Daewoo fled the continent and left warranty service of those cars in the hands of Manny, Moe, and Jack. With GM taking over Daewoo Motors after Daewoo's bankruptcy, we got some Daewoos with Suzuki badges here the Verona and the Reno— while Chevrolet began selling the South Korean-built Daewoo Kalos as the Aveo for the 2004 model year. This car may not be a gem in the sense that you would want to own one, but it's a gem of automotive history and thus deserves its place in this series (especially because it's one of the rare 5-speed cars sold here). Many (maybe even most) of these cars ended up in the hands of rental-car companies and other fleet users, but we can tell from the three-pedal setup that this car went to a non-fleet buyer. We've had a couple of these cars compete in the 24 Hours of Lemons, where I work as a dignified and respected race official, and they've been amazingly quick on a road course in the hands of good drivers. Power came from this 103-horsepower Opel-designed four displacing 1.6 liters. The Nubira and Lanos got versions of this engine on these shores, too. The LS was the top trim level for the Aveo in 2004, so this car got air conditioning and a halfway decent audio system (by 2004 standards). The seat fabric is industrial-grade stuff, which would have held up well under the steady drip and/or torrents of bodily fluids coating the interiors of rental cars. The 2004 Aveo LS started at $12,045, which comes to about $16,675 in 2020 dollars, so it was a lot of commuter-appliance for the price. The following generation of this car became the Chevrolet Sonic, beginning with the 2012 model year. You can still buy a new Sonic, and the inflation-adjusted price is nearly identical to that of the original Aveo… though you might want to move fast if you really want one, because Daewoo stopped selling the Kalos in South Korea not long ago. If you want the rarest member of the Aveo family available in North America, find yourself a hen's-teeth Pontiac G3, the short-lived Pontiac-badged version. Speaking of the G3, here's the way it broke the hearts of gas pumps around the world.

Question of the Day: What's the most irritating car name?

Wed, Mar 9 2016

You hear a lot about how the Chevrolet Nova was a sales flop in Mexico because "No va" means "it doesn't go" in Spanish; in fact, the Nova sold pretty well south of the border, and in any case most Spanish-speakers know that "Nova" means "new" in Latin and Portuguese. However, General Motors doesn't deserve to be let off the hook for bad car names, because the Oldsmobile Achieva no doubt inspired by the excruciating "coffee achievers" ads of the 1980s— scrapes the biggest fingernails down the screechiest chalkboard in the US-market car-name world. That is, unless you think Daihatsu's incomprehensible choice of Charade was worse. Meanwhile, Japanese car buyers could get machines with cool names like Mazda Bongo Friendee or Honda Life Dunk. It's just not fair! So, what car name drives you the craziest? Related Video: Auto News Design/Style Chevrolet Honda Mazda Daihatsu Automotive History questions car names

GM re-recalls 11k SUVs

Tue, Oct 13 2015

General Motors is recalling a bunch of previously recalled SUVs because, well, they still aren't quite fixed. The latest repairs are necessary on 10,974 SUVs in North America, including 9,932 in only the US. Affected models include the 2006-2007 Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer, and GMC Envoy; plus the 2006 Trailblazer EXT and Envoy XL. While not listed by NHTSA, a statement by GM to Autoblog says the 2006-2007 Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender are also affected. In these SUVs, it's possible that liquid could get into the driver's door master power window switch module and cause a short circuit. This could potentially lead to a fire, and owners are urged to park the vehicles outside until repaired. GM has been trying to fix this issue for years. It started as an investigation into fires, and that led to a recall for about 250,000 vehicles in cold-weather states. A nationwide campaign came in 2013 for 193,000 of them in the US. Last year, the automaker decided to replace the whole module as a repair. However in a recent investigation of these recalls, GM discovered that this latest group of SUVs never received the new part. According to documents submitted to NHTSA (as a PDF), "Some dealers incorrectly used the labor code associated with module replacement when, instead of replacing the module, they only added a protective coating to the module." To fix things this time, the models finally get the correct component. Related Video: GM Statement General Motors is recalling 9,932 older midsize SUVs in the U.S. because they were mistakenly excluded from an earlier recall. Certain 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL, and 2006-2007 TrailBlazer, Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender vehicles may continue to have a condition in which the printed circuit board inside the driver's door may corrode and short if exposed to certain fluids such as melted snow containing road salt. GM is aware of four fires but no crashes, injuries or fatalities associated with the expanded recall. The total number of vehicles being recalled, including Canada, Mexico and exports is 10.974. Customers are urged to park these vehicles outside until repairs have been made. GM reported this recall to the NHTSA on September 23.

GM and Isuzu to partner for medium-duty commercial truck

Tue, Jun 16 2015

General Motors is returning to the medium-duty truck business in the US for the first time since 2009 thanks to a new deal with longtime-partner Isuzu. The arrangement brings the Isuzu N-series models to Chevrolet dealers with the Bowtie's branding on them in 2016. There are six medium-duty Chevy models arriving at dealers in regular cab and crew cab bodies: the 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500, and 5500HD. The trucks will be sold as a bare chassis for buyers to outfit to their needs. Depending on model, customers will have the choice of an Isuzu-sourced 3.0-liter and 5.2-liter diesel engines or a 6.0-liter V8 gasoline-fueled engine from GM and six-speed gearbox. According to company spokesperson Bob Wheeler to Autoblog, the diesel models will be built in Japan and the rest assembled from knockdown kits in Charlotte, MI. This kind of vehicle sharing isn't uncommon for GM in the commercial segment, and it already partners with Nissan to use the Japanese brand's NV200 as the City Express van. The General also once owned a significant stake in Isuzu, and the two have remained collaborators even since then. Isuzu and GM Enter Commercial Vehicle Collaboration Agreement in the U.S. 2015-06-15 DETROIT and FUJISAWA, Japan General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Isuzu Motors (TSE 7202) have reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration, allowing Isuzu to strengthen its product lineup and GM to expand its commercial vehicle portfolio. Isuzu will produce low cab forward models for GM, based off of the Isuzu N-Series. The vehicles will be distributed by participating Chevrolet dealers in the U.S. market starting in 2016. To strengthen the product lineup, GM and Isuzu will explore the use of GM commercial vehicle components for Isuzu low cab forward trucks and GM will continue to produce and supply the 6.0L V-8 gas engine and six-speed transmission for Isuzu gasoline-powered low cab forward trucks. Isuzu and GM have maintained a strategic partnership for more than 40 years, producing collaborative business opportunities throughout the world. This agreement continues that tradition and reinforces a long-term relationship that helps to explore future collaborations in the U.S. commercial vehicle business. About General Motors General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.

Auto Show Notebook: Legendary Continental name inspired Lincoln's designers

Thu, Apr 2 2015

What's in a name? A lot for the Continental concept, and it gave Lincoln designers a sense of purpose as they styled the brand's upcoming flagship sedan. "The moment that we told them, it was amazing," Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra said. "They totally got it." "It" is cutting-edge technology wrapped in stately, large-sedan design. It's a nod to Lincoln's storied past, but a signpost for where the brand is heading. Though the Continental name dates to the late 1930s, Lincoln designers avoided making the concept overtly retro. "You can't let it pull yourself back too far in history, but you've got to design a car that lives up to the name," Galhotra said. Speaking to Autoblog on the floor of the New York Auto Show where the Continental formally debuted Wednesday, the Lincoln president reiterated that the car is on track to launch in 2016. It will compete against the Audi A6, Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series and other large luxury sedans. After its debut, the concept in New York will fly to China another critical market for Lincoln – for display there. It will be replaced in New York by a prototype without an interior. The Continental is the latest high profile play by Lincoln to raise its image with consumers, who have either ignored or forgotten about it amid steep competition in the luxury sector from German and Japanese brands and a potentially resilient Cadillac. Lincoln sales are essentially flat compared with 2014 through the first quarter of this year, with total volume of 21,478 units. The middling start to 2015 comes on the heels of nearly 16-percent sales growth last year spurred by the launch of the MKC and the prominent signing of Matthew McConaughey to star in Lincoln advertisements. Other News, Notes & Quotes Speaking of names, Chevrolet did its homework before deciding to proceed with "Malibu" for its new generation of midsize cars. "We went out and researched it," said Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America. "People actually like the name 'Malibu,'" he said. Admittedly, the current Malibu has struggled in the marketplace against entrenched competitors, Batey said, but he's optimistic its awareness and historical value are assets to the dramatically redesigned sedan."The name's strong," he said. Meanwhile, in other Chevy news, the brand kicked off a new marketing campaign, "Real People, Not Actors" Wednesday. It will show consumers interacting with Chevys and their spontaneous reactions to the vehicles.

Autoblog's guilty pleasure cars

Tue, Mar 10 2015

Guilty pleasures are part of life don't even try to pretend like you don't have one (or two, or six). In the non-automotive space, this could come down to that secret playlist in your iPhone of songs you'll only listen to when you're alone; or think of that one TV show you really do love, but won't admit to your friends. I've got plenty, and so do you. Going back to cars, here's a particularly juicy one for me: several years ago, I had a mad crush on the very last iteration of the Cadillac DTS. Oh yes, the front-wheel-drive, Northstar V8-powered sofa-on-wheels that was the last remaining shred of the elderly-swooning days of Cadillac's past. Every time I had the chance to drive one, I was secretly giddy. Don't hate me, okay? These days, the DTS is gone, but I've still got a mess of other cars that hold a special place in my heart. And in the spirit of camaraderie, I've asked my other Autoblog editors to tell me some of their guilty pleasure cars, as well – Seyth Miersma, as you can see above, has a few choice emotions to share about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Read on to find out what cars make us secretly happy. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG This decadent convertible is the epitome of the guilty pleasure. It's big, powerful, fairly heavy and it's richly appointed inside and out. It's a chocolate eclair with the three-pointed star on the hood. Given my druthers, I'd take the SL65 AMG, which delivers 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. That output is borderline absurd for this laid-back convertible. I don't care. You don't need dessert. Sometimes you just crave it. The SL line is about the feel you get on the road. The roof is open. The air, sun and engine sounds all embrace you. It's the same dynamic you could have experienced in a Mercedes a century ago, yet the SL gives you the most modern of luxuries. An Airscarf feature that warms my neck and shoulders through a vent embedded in the seat? Yes, please. Sure, it's an old-guy car. Mr. Burns and Lord Grantham are probably too young and hip for an SL65. I don't care. This is my guilty pleasure. Release the hounds. – Greg Migliore Senior Editor Ford Flex I drove my first Flex in 2009 when my mother let me borrow hers for the summer while I was away at college. The incredibly spacious interior made moving twice that summer a breeze, and the 200-mile trips up north were quite comfortable.

China's rise, global restructuring wither GM's Korea division

Wed, Jan 7 2015

An article in the Daily Kanban suggests the sun is setting on GM Korea, and it could already be well into dusk. GM Korea came about when General Motors, along with co-investors SAIC and Suzuki, bought Daewoo Motors from parent company Daewoo Group in 2001; it had a previous tie-up with GM, a joint venture that ended in 1992, although Daewoo cars were based on GM cars until 1996. Over the decade following the purchase, it became such an important part of operations that it was renamed GM Korea in 2011, "to reflect its heightened status in [the] global operations of GM." Just two years later, the printed rumors were that the subsidiary responsible for a fifth of Chevrolet's global production could be shutting down. The division's sales were down almost 21 percent through November of last year, counting domestic South Korean sales, exports, and CKD Complete Knock Down – products. That makes the labor strife, already an issue for four years, even more acute, reports say the subsidiary will lose $36 million a year if it can't get the job and wage cuts it wants, and government concessions can't make up for the losses. And it gets worse, so head over to Daily Kanban to read the rest of the story.

A car writer's year in new vehicles [w/video]

Thu, Dec 18 2014

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I'm not the only one taking stock of the year that's we're almost shut of. Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I've driven over the preceding 12 months. Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I've done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I've been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures. Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I'd never done before. The results are, well, they're a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they'll affect how I approach this gig in 2015. {C} My tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015 it'll be as high as 73. Let me give you a tiny bit of background about how automotive journalists typically get cars to test. There are basically two pools of vehicles I drive on a regular basis: media fleet vehicles and those available on "first drive" programs. The latter group is pretty self-explanatory. Journalists are gathered in one location (sometimes local, sometimes far-flung) with a new model(s), there's usually a day of driving, then we report back to you with our impressions. Media fleet vehicles are different. These are distributed to publications and individual journalists far and wide, and the test period goes from a few days to a week or more. Whereas first drives almost always result in a piece of review content, fleet loans only sometimes do. Other times they serve to give context about brands, segments, technology and the like, to editors and writers. So, adding up the loans I've had out of the press fleet and things I've driven at events, my tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015, it'll be as high as 73. At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more. I know that number sounds high, but as best I can tell, it's pretty average for the full-time professionals in this business.

Top Gear names BMW i8 Car of the Year, Corvette, Ferrari, Mercedes also win big

Fri, Dec 5 2014

The lads at Top Gear have released their listing of the finest cars of the past year, handing the ultimate honor to BMW's revolutionary i8 plug-in-hybrid supercar. "The i8 is a milestone in the annals of automotive history and a glorious statement for an exciting and positive future. The i8 delivers - and then some," the British mag wrote. The i8, though, was far from the only hybridized car to take victories. James May and Richard Hammond both highlighted hybrids as their personal cars of the year, with May saluting the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Hamster, unsurprisingly, heaping praise on the Porsche 918 Spyder. Jeremy Clarkson, meanwhile, opted to shock many by selecting not only an American car as his best of 2014, but giving the honor to of all things, a Corvette. Clarkson wasn't the only person to honor the USA's iconic sports car, with the new, 650-horsepower Z06 variant being named TG's Muscle Car of the Year. Other big winners include Mercedes-Benz, which TG honored for S-Class Coupe (Luxury Car of the Year), the new AMG GT (Sports Car of the Year) and the not-for-US C-Class Estate (Family Car of the Year). The 458 Italia Speciale A snagged a second win for Ferrari. The best of the rest include the Citroen C4 Cactus, Renault Twingo, Volkswagen Golf R, Lamborghini Huracan and Audi TT. Take a look below for the celebratory press blast from BMW. The BMW i8 wins Top Gear Car of the Year The BMW i8 has been named as Top Gear magazine's global Car of the Year 2014. The plug-in hybrid performance vehicle beat off some stiff competition from a host of other premium and luxury manufacturers to win the overall award. The editorial team of Top Gear commended the BMW i8 for its breadth of abilities. Its 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine combined with an electric motor gives searing acceleration and driver enjoyment but all wrapped in a package that takes BMW's EfficientDynamics philosophy to the extreme courtesy of CO2 emissions less than 49g/km and a 135mpg combined cycle figure. Charlie Turner, Editor in Chief at Top Gear magazine, said: "The BMW is a milestone in the annals of automotive history and a glorious statement for an exciting and positive future. The i8 delivers and then some. It's the kind of car we should celebrate, a beautiful vision of the future, delivered now.