GM has responded promptly to erroneous fuel economy claims for some of its 2016 SUVs. The models involved are the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. The window stickers on those vehicles were inaccurate. On average, they claimed the vehicles actually got about 2 miles per gallon better gas mileage than they actually did. The correct numbers are now posted on the EPA website. Corrected window stickers have been placed on all unsold vehicles.
If you are looking for the gasoline powered pickup truck with the highest fuel economy in America, the new Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon is the truck for you. According to AutoBlog their mpg rating of 18 city, 26 highway and 21 combined beats all other gas engine pickups sold in America. Those numbers apply to 2 wheel drive models equipped with the 305 hp, 3.6 liter V-6 engine mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission.
To put it all in perspective, here’s how the others stack up.
Full size pickups:
- Ram 1500 4×2 with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic is rated 17/20/25 mpg.
- Ford F-150 4×2 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and six-speed auto delivers 16/18/22 mpg.
- Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 4×2 with 4.3-liter V6 and six-speed auto nets 18/20/24 mpg.
Mid size pickups:
- Nissan Frontier 4×2 is rated 16/18/22 mpg.
- Toyota Tacoma 4×2 is rated 17/19/21 mpg.
If you need a truck with four-wheel drive, deduct about 2 miles per gallon all around.
Here’s one interesting tidbit from GM. The Canyon/Colorado will soon offer a Duramax diesel engine, a first for midsize trucks for the American market. And don’t forget that the Ram 1500 with EcoDiesel power is the highest rated full size pickup of all, featuring 28 mpg highway, 20 mpg city and 23 mpg combined.
The upshot of all those numbers? Pickup trucks have come a long way in a short time. I remember when most truck owners were forced to drive 12 mpg gas pigs. That’s progress.
Those who would call themselves auto industry analysts have pointed out time and again that the market for mid-size trucks in America just isn’t there. That’s why the Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota went the way of the dodo, despite the protestations of small truck loyalists.
GM decided to buck the trend though by resurrecting the short-lived Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, both of which will be offered with a small-displacement turbodiesel. Combined with a smaller footprint, lower MSRP, and lots of tech features aimed at attracting a younger crowd, the Colorado/Canyon has built up a lot of hype prior to arriving at dealerships. So much hype, in fact, that GM told Automotive News that it had five-times more dealership orders for these two compact trucks than expected.
Executives had figured they’d have about 6,000 combined orders for the Colorado, but Chevy dealerships across the country have asked for delivery of more than 28,000 Colorados, about five times higher than expectations, and GMC dealers ordered another 14,000 Canyons. The trucks aren’t expected to hit dealerships for another month or two, and apparently the unbridled enthusiasm has spilled over to the people responsible for selling them. Keep in mind also that the diesel engine doesn’t go on sale for another year (at least).
GM is the only American automaker to offer three different sized pickups for people like me who have been complaining that trucks have been getting too big and too heavy for those of us who don’t have to haul 10,000 pounds across the Rocky Mountains once a month.
It’s good to know that I’m not alone here in wanting a smaller, but still plenty-powerful smaller truck. Maybe this will convince Ford and Chrysler to get back in the game as well.
Truck owners looking for a cheaper alternative to diesel can have it for a $9,500 premium on Chevy and GMC heavy-duty pickups. GM figures you can save about $2,000 a year using CNG twice as much as gasoline, which means it’ll take just five years (or about 100,000 CNG-powered miles) to recoup the cost. Worth it?
That depends entirely on where you live. Some areas of the country are inundated with publicly-accessible CNG filling stations; other places don’t have a CNG station within hundreds of miles. Of course you’ll have to sacrifice some power if you choose to run the cheaper fuel. On gasoline, the 6.0 liter V8 is good for 360 horsepower and 380 ft-lbs of torque, but running CNG it churns out just 301 horsepower and 333 ft-lbs of torque.
Having begun production back in 2012, GM is sticking with its long-term cost analysis for its CNG vehicles. To get the kinds of savings GM claims, you’ll have to drive an average of 27,000 miles a year, more than twice the national average, and 19,500 of those miles must be on CNG fuel alone. For major fleet operators, these numbers are definitely attainable. For the average guy looking to save a few bucks though, this truck would require over a decade of driving to make any sort of financial sense. Much of the cost is tied up in the expensive fuel tanks, and while companies have made efforts to produce better storage options, these are still years away from making an impact.
For those wanting a CNG van instead of a pickup, the CNG system will cost a bit more, starting at $10,825 for a three-tank system and $12,090 for the four-tank system. So far, no word on the rumored Chevy Impala CNG either, though Ford is said to be working on a small fleet of CNG vehicles as well.
Nobody ever said going green would be cheap, and unless you own a fleet of these trucks, you’ll have a long time to wait before seeing any real savings.
GM’s full-size pickups got huge makeovers last year, with smoother fascias, tighter panel gaps, and aerodynamic chin spoilers collaborating both to give the trucks better fuel economy ratings and fresher, more upscale appearances. The next thing GM did to get our attention was introduce a full-sizer that was both CNG and ethanol capable, effectively liberating GM customers from the grip of foreign oil to the point that they could drive their three-quarter ton rigs up to 600 miles on just 6 gallons of petroleum gasoline.
Short of GM pulling off the same trick with a physics-busting, quantum-powered EV, what more could we reasonably ask for from the General’s Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra HD twins?
For starters, we could ask for some serious, Grade-A amenities, and the decidedly upscale Denali versions of the 2014 GMC Sierra HD trucks have all the posh gear and plush leather bits you might expect to find in a $79,000 Cadillac or even more hideously expensive Bentley Continental, plus a few more tricks up its truck sleeves. Tricks like GM’s own, fully-functional Pandora app, which I coo’ed over during my Chevy Colorado “deep dive” last week.
Take a look at the new for 2014 GMC Sierra HD trucks in the photo gallery, below, then let us know what you think of GM’s Flex-fuel, Bi-Fuel light truck contenders in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Photos courtesy of GMC.
The American compact truck market has been largely dead for years, but all that changed with the recent introduction of the new, 2015 GMC Canyon (show here) and Chevy Colorado twins. The new trucks promised a roomier interior than the outgoing models, as well more modern chassis, improved pulling power, and- for the first time since 1983- an American compact pickup truck with diesel power.
The thing is, that diesel’s not just a marketing gimmick. The new 2015 GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorados are serious, big-boy trucks in person, and seem closer in size to the 1992-1996 Ford F-150s than, say, a Ranger.
The GMC Canyon debuted in extended-cab and crew cab iterations at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, and the good people at GM gave us a ton of great photos of the new 2015 GMC Canyon to share with you, below. Take a look at what the new GMC has to offer, ask yourself if you’d buy a GMC Syclone version, then let us know if the GMC is truck enough to take the money you’d saved up for that UK Ford Ranger comments section at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
2015 GMC Canyon | Exterior
2015 GMC Canyon | Interior
2015 GMC Canyon | Size Comparison
Photos courtesy of GM/GMC.
Diesel-powered vehicles have gained a lot of U.S. sales momentum in 2013, and the number of available diesel models from automakers is set to double next year. Joining GM’s lineup are all-new mid-size pickups, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, both of which are in line to get small four-cylinder diesel engines a year after their 2014 launch.
This is great news following the disappointment of Nissan’s decision to fit the Titan full-size pickup with a 5.0 liter diesel V8, rather than the 2.8 liter four-banger it was working on with Cummins. While Chrysler will offer a 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 in the Ram 1500 pickup, with the death of the Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger, America has lacked a small-truck option.
That leaves the market wide open for GM and its global mid-size pickup architecture, which in every other country is powered by either a 2.5 liter or 2.8 liter Duramax diesel engine. A four-cylinder diesel engine offers buyers better fuel economy and plenty of torque for 99% of jobs the average American DIYer needs to do. The larger 2.8 liter diesel offers 180 horsepower and 346 ft-lbs of torque when mated to a six-speed automatic, and could be good for up to 30 mpg. That’s what I’m talking about.
With executives refusing to bring the global Ford Ranger to the American market, and Chrysler largely ignoring the mid-size truck market, only the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier are left to fight for very few buyers. Ford doesn’t even think Americans will buy diesels. Fewer buyers were fighting for fewer products, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, and the mid-size truck market is all but dead and buried.
Yet a small diesel engine that offers professional-grade torque with car-like fuel economy would doubtlessly lure full-size truck buyers from other brands into GM showrooms, something GM is banking on. Maybe it will serve as a wakeup call to other automakers too that small diesel pickups are the way to go. It’s definitely on my “do-want” list, and I even have a few years to start saving my pennies.
Source: Automotive News
Compact pickup fans, rejoice! GM has confirmed that they’ll be updating their compact pickup line-up for next year! Details are scarce, but expect the 2014 Chevy Colorado and 2014 GMC Canyon to be aerodynamically smoother, have smaller shut lines, and take interior styling cues from the excellent Chevy Spark, Sonic, and Cruze compacts that will likely share demographics with the new pickups.
Mart Padgett, senior editor of the Car Connection, was among the first to post GM’s teaser photo – which seems to indicate a legitimately modern truck that should make the pain of missing out on Ford’s diesel Ranger a bit easier to bare … especially if it gets an Ecotec turbo!
— MartyPadgett (@MartyPadgett) August 8, 2013
Source | Photos: GM, via Marty Padgett.
Ford has invested a lot into their EcoBoost engines, which replace displacement and cylinders with turbochargers. Rated 16 city and 22 highway, the EcoBoost-equipped F-150 has proven popular with consumers, though GM is looking to usurp the throne.
The GM 3.5 L V8 EcoTec3, which was initially announced in December 2012, has now surpassed its fuel economy by one highway MPG, but the city MPG is the same. The EcoBoost engine that the EcoTec is being compared to is the 3.5 L with 365 HP, and 420 foot-pounds of torque, which far exceeds that of the EcoTec3’s 383 foot-pounds. However, the EcoTec engine has 355 horsepower, and can tow 200 pounds more than the Ford, for a total towing capacity of 11,500 pounds.
There are two other new EcoTec3 engines. One is a 4.3 L V6, and the other is a 6.2 L V8. All three engines are matched with six-speed transmissions, and are equipped with direct-fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactiviation, all of which are designed to save fuel. While 23 mpg in a V8 pickup is great, the V6-powered Ram 1500 remains the undisputed mpg king, capable of 25 mpg highway.
Ford is betting consumers won’t mind a downsized engine, so long as it is capable. But the EcoBoost motor comes at a premium price, whereas the GMC Sierra is arguably most cost effective. Consumers have more powerful and fuel efficient pickup options now than they ever did before. But will GM’s new engine pay off? Or will the Ford EcoBoost continue to dominate? And will Ford really up the ante by 3 mpg with their next-gen trucks?
Source: Green Car Congress
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Despite heavily marketing the company’s Volt and eAssist technologies in the 2013 Chevy and Buick lineups, GM Inside News is reporting that the next-generation of GM’s hybrid full-size trucks and SUVs will not feature hybrid powertrains.
This news follows multiple rumors and spy shots that suggest the new full-size trucks and SUVs will not be as “Earth shattering” or innovative as many industry insiders had speculated.
It’s unclear whether the move to cut back the next-generation truck lineup’s R&D budget has its roots in the sort of fuel-saving ICE development that allows Chrysler’s new trucks to achieve 25 mpg or a general lack of interest (and, therefor, profits) in GM’s full-size offerings. At this time last year, GM’s trucks were positively dying on dealer lots while the company’s smaller, more fuel-efficient offerings were
flying driving off the shelves in much less time.
You can check out the original “Inside” article, below.
In recent weeks, news and speculation surrounding GM’s next generation full-size trucks and SUVs has been piqued. The increased speculation has stemmed from multiple rumors and spy shots that suggest the new full-size trucks and SUVs will not be as Earth shattering as originally speculated. GMI has now been told that GM has canceled almost all of the hybrid variants of the new trucks and SUVs.
GMI has confirmed with several sources—both external and internal at GM—that the hybrid program surrounding the full-size trucks and SUVs has been shutdown. It is unusual for GM to cancel programs that are so close to launch, but many insiders GMI has spoken with are not terribly surprised by the move.
The current batch of hybrid trucks and SUVs has historically not sold well. It has also been reported to GMI that the program has seen cost overruns and management does not feel like the hybrid trucks and SUVs are worth continued investment at this time.
Sources have indicated that the Escalade Hybrid may remain in the cards for the next generation. If true, GM likely feels the public relations aspect of having celebrities purchase the “green” Escalade deems the investment a worthwhile one. The 2014 Escalade is slated to be the last new SUV to launch in January 2014, meaning GM has more time to develop a hybrid version of the Escalade.
As it stands today GM offers their Two-Mode hybrid system in the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado and Tahoe and GMC Sierra and Yukon. The Two-Mode system utilizes two electric motors housed in the transmission case and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack to assist in powering the vehicle under specified conditions. In most applications the system is rated at 20 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
The original plan called for the next generation trucks and SUVs to utilize an updated version of the current Two-Mode system. Updates to the powertrain were to include mating it to a smaller displacement V-8 engine, upgrading the battery storage to a more modern lithium ion pack and revised electric motors.
Collectively, it was also speculated that the new hybrids would technically have more than two modes, including possible plug-in functionality.
News of GM scrapping the hybrids comes on the heels of further reports from insiders that suggest a recent interior spy shot of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and reaction to it led to a shakeup of the entire new truck program. Details of what exactly has changed are unclear, but nonetheless, development of GM’s latest trucks and SUVs continue to evolve – despite launching in just nine to 10 months from now.
Source: GM Inside News.
Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on a lot of things these days, but one area that seems to have bi-partisan support is compressed natural gas, or CNG vehicles. America supposedly sits on huge natural gas reserves, and automakers seem more than happy to oblige an alternative to oil. Within a day of each other, both General Motors and Chrysler’s Ram pickup division announced the addition of CNG-powered pickup trucks to their lineup.
GM has offered CNG-powered vans for over a year now, and the General is now expanding its offerings to include CNG pickups. The Chevy Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500 extended cab pickup trucks will be powered by a bi-fuel 6.0 liter Vortec V8 that will switch between gasoline and CNG seamlessly.
A 17-gallon carbon fiber-wrapped CNG tank, combined with the standard gas tank, offers over 650 miles of range with “minimal” power loss. The horsepower and towing capacity is not reduced in any way, and the pickups can be ordered with a short or long bed in either 2 or 4-wheel drive. The CNG system adds about 450 lbs. to the truck’s curb weight.
Chrysler took a very similar approach, offering a Ram 2500 HD extended cab with an 18.2-gallon and an 8-gallon gasoline tank that allows the Ram to go about 370 miles before filling up. Like the GM pickups, there is no loss of towing or hauling capability, and a minimal loss of power (fuel efficiency is another issue.) Unlike the GM trucks though, the Ram CNG pickup is being built at the Chrysler factory. GM is sending its trucks out to a Tier 1 supplier (IMPCO) for the conversion to CNG. It’s an important distinction that could have an impact on pricing (which has not been released yet.) Both trucks lose bed space for the CNG system, which could be a problem for contractors.
For its part, Ford offers (through a third party supplier) CNG versions of its Transit Connect work van and the F-650 chassis cab,
but there is no word on CNG F-series or Super Duty pickups. Ford also offers a CNG version of its F-250 Super Duty heavy-duty pickup truck.
With gas prices on the rise, and CNG being touted as a viable alternative to oil, there’s good reason to cheer for these developments as companies across the country look to CNG for cost savings. The trucking industry in particular is interested in the potential of CNG, given the higher cost of diesel in the United States. However, GM and Chrysler have offered CNG pickups before, and the reviews were less-than-kind. This is a second chance to prove the viability of CNG vehicles as capable work trucks. The timing couldn’t be better, but can these two companies get the word out?
Before we get on into what’s new at Chicago, let’s take a few minutes to talk about what’s not new. To do that, we’ll need to think back to February, 2011. “New” GM had been under the protectful umbrella of the Obama administration since the ’09 bankruptcy, spending all manner of taxpayer dollars in preparation of its November 2010 stock IPO. Part of GM’s marketing blitz back then (as now) is “green” technology, and if the Volt was Chevy’s Jesus car, its new-for 2011 CNG commercial van was Peter.
Peter, you’ll recall, promised commercial fleets hoping to reduce their carbon footprint that GM had dedicated itself to providing a cutting-edge, capable, AND cost-effective means of reducing harmful diesel emissions on the jobsite while reducing the fleet’s overall operating expenses (often by many thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the vehicle). Very good promises, in other words.
It’s worth noting, however, that GM was something of a political entity at the time … and you know how political entities are about promises.
Fast forward a year, and GM is back in Chicago, showing off its new GMC Acadia SUV (which, somehow, manages to be both boring and wasteful), new Buicks, new Chevrolets, new x, new y, new z. Past all that, tucked away at the back of GM’s display, GM’s 2012/13 commercial vehicle lineup. There was some good stuff here, like a new flex-fuel police Caprice, hybrid Silverado pickups, and this:
Not only did GM trot out a 2011 CNG commercial Express van, GM trotted out THE SAME 2011 CNG COMMERCIAL EXPRESS VAN.
I’m not usually very big on omens, but this didn’t seem like a good sign to me. I asked the nearest GM model about the van’s repeat status, and she said she didn’t know – but she did direct me to GM’s complimentary “Denali” coffee bar.
Not a good sign at all.
Sources: 2012 Chicago Auto Show, 2011 Chicago Auto Show.
Need proof that America is weening itself off conspicuous oil consumption? Look no further than your local GM dealer. Once there, you’ll find the Buick brand enjoying something of a revival, and – over at the Chevy dealer – you’ll find that GM’s Volt is selling out across the country, and Chevy’s 40 mpg Cruze is selling in huge numbers (the car topped US sales in June), but GM’s trucks? Not so much.
Mark Frost, general manager of Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta, explained that dealers “thought that this year would bring back the kind of economic activity that would translate into us selling more trucks.” Now, however, dealerships like Frost’s are sitting with over 122 days of inventory, which translates to over 280,000 unsold Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups parked on dealers’ lots – enough (even by GM’s projections) to last through November. Full-sized SUVs don’t look much better. “It’s not happening,” he said.
So, what do you think? Are we seeing a real, honest-to-goodness tuning point in American car-buying habits? Are Americans finally evolving beyond our obsession with oversized vehicles and equating size with status and wealth, or is this just a temporary sign of the $4-per-gallon times?
Let us know what you think, in the comments.
What you see here is Chevy’s newly-available, 4-tank CNG commercial van. This was news last year, but despite that, this is the first one we’d seen “in the flesh”. So, when one of GM’s marketing reps realized we were ignoring the ZL1 Camaro launch (by which time we had – ahem – already gotten the hood up, pulled back the vinyl that was sealing off the filler cap, opened the back of the van, etc.) we asked questions.
Here are a few of the things we learned (in no particular order).
- the Chevy Express CNG is the first CNG vehicle offered by GM to both fleet and individual customers. The CNG fueling system is, as of this year, uses a standard GM option code (FHZ).
- the vans are available 2 ways: UFM and UFP. The UFM trucks use 3 fuel tanks which fit beneath the van’s cargo floor, which are fully contained within the vehicle’s steel frame rails. Trucks fitted with the UFM system are visually indistinguishable from their gas and diesel fueled siblings, and travel about 250 miles between fill-ups (equivalent to 16 mpg, per the GM rep). UFP trucks add a 4th fuel tank, which increases operational range by 100 miles, but occupies some floor space in the cargo bay (shown, below).
- GM’s CNG vans (like the Chevy Volt electric car) are equipped with OnStar as standard equipment, in part to help alleviate what GM calls “range anxiety”, and in part because the CNG tanks displace the spare tire. GM hopes to side-step the “what happens if I get a flat?” question by giving prospective buyers the “we’ll send someone to help.” answer.
- GM delivered 16,000 CNG Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans, last year, and has plans to begin offering CNG cab-and-chassis vehicles to construction crews, ambulance fleets, and RV manufacturers next year.
- These are the only readily-available CNG commercial truck conversions on the market which are fully CARB approved, and which pass all government safety tests.
- Carb certified these vans SULEV-ii, which is cleaner than Chevy’s own
For my part, I was most surprised by how invisible the whole system was. Save for the CNG fuel nozzle and a decal advertising Natural Drive under the hood (the aftermarket company that GM contracts the CNG fuel system assembly/installation to) there was absolutely nothing to indicate that this van produced nearly zero emissions while helping to reduce dependency on foreign oil … which, perhaps, is exactly what it will take to sell to the neophobic fleet market.
Sources: 2011 Chicago Auto Show, GM.