Friday, July 29, 2016

Test Drive: 2016 GMC Terrain Denali, full review

This GMC Denali is photographed on Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. 
Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press

The interior of a GMC Denali is photographed...
Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Fast facts

* Model: GMC Terrain AWD Denali

* Exterior color: Ebony Twilight Metallic

* Interior color: Jet Black

* Engine: 3.6-liter V6

* Horsepower: 301

* Transmission: six-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 23 mpg highway, 16 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Integrity GMC

* Price (as tested): $41,080
Our driveway is a like an Airbnb for new cars.
It's rare that my wife comments on one of our four-wheeled visitors, so I was surprised last week when she stopped watering the hydrangeas to remark: "That's a nice-looking SUV."
Her compliment was directed at the GMC Terrain Denali in our driveway. Denali means "bling" in auto-ese, and our Ebony Twilight Metallic tester came with plenty of chrome jewelry. There's something about a black SUV bedazzled with chrome that has an uptown look. The black-tie effect contrasts with its pedestrian mission as a suburban runabout. Our tester would be right at home depositing patrons at a Tivoli Theatre symphony concert.
The Terrain and its mechanical twin the Chevrolet Equinox went on sale in 2010 and have become mainstays in the mid-size SUV segment. Partly because of its bold styling and rugged good looks, the GMC Terrain sold more than 100,000 copies in each of the last two years.
The 2016 model year brings a mid-cycle redesign that GM hopes will boost Terrain sales to the next level. GM has concentrated on cosmetic changes such as a redesigned grille, LED running lights and new, 19-inch wheels. Each of these upgrades refines a focal point on the Terrain.
New Terrains are available locally at Integrity GMC on International Drive, and Don Ledford Automotive in Cleveland, Tenn. Prices range from $24,000 for a bare bones SL model to $41,080 for our top-of-the-line Terrain Denali with just about every available option, including all-wheel-drive.
Like the bigger GMC Yukon, the Terrain has a commanding presence. The Terrain's new front and rear fascias, with C-shaped lower chrome trim, represent smart cosmetic tweaks. Denali trim includes satin chrome door handles, outside mirrors, roof-rack side rails and rocker moldings.
For that weekly visit to Sam's Club, Terrain also has a power rear liftgate, and there's 31.6 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the second-row seats. With the rear seats folded flat, there's almost 64 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear seats can be moved forward or backward almost eight inches to adjust leg-room to your occupants, a nice feature if you've got a growing family.
Inside, the Terrain has a new center stack design and instrument panel. Also new for 2016 are such safety features as cross-traffic alert and blind zone monitors. GMC's IntelliLink telematics system is managed through a color touch screen, and a subscription to GMs Onstar 4G LTE system will make your Terrain a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot.
Standard on Denali trimmed Terrains are a sweet-sounding eight-speaker Pioneer sound system and leather trimmed seats.
Under the hood, our tester features a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 301 horsepower. Our all-wheel-drive Terrain tips the scales at just over 2 tons. Base Terrains have a four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower. For our Chattanooga mountain terrain, check the V-6 box, which adds about $1,500 to the bottom line.
Major options include a power sunroof ($995), navigation system ($495) and custom 19-inch Denali wheels ($400). A dealer- installed trailering package adds $365 to the bottom line.
The cabin is open and airy and outward visibility is first rate. In a week of commuting, we found the Terrain to be a pleasure to drive. Several passengers noticed the quiet cabin and smooth ride, and the Terrain's bold styling drew admiring glances from passing motorists.
The 301-horsepower motor provides 272 pound-feet of torque, which makes traversing our mountain roads a breeze. Terrains are offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configuration. While few will ever go boulder-hopping, the AWD option makes the Terrain an all-weather vehicle.
Unlike a lot of full-size SUVs, that tend to wallow on curvy roads, the Terrain tracks well and the ride is secure and composed. Steering is relatively light and the six-speed automatic transmission ticks through its cogs quietly and efficiently.
The EPA fuel economy rating in our all-wheel-drive V-6 Terrain is 23 miles per gallon highway and 16 miles per gallon city. Four cylinder, front-wheel-drive models will do significantly better, say 32 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.
For most small- to medium-sized families, the GMC Terrain is all the SUV they'll ever need. And with about an $18,000 spread between the cheapest and most expensive models, there's a comfortable price point for almost every buyer.

Contact Mark Kennedy at or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Autotrader Real World Chevy Cruze Review!

2016 Chevrolet Cruze: Real World Review

Come see our our selection today! Master Chevrolet Cadillac 

The Chevrolet Cruze is entering its second generation for 2016 with an all-new, totally redesigned model that's intended to improve on many of the outgoing Cruze's shortcomings. While that may be an easy task given the old version's dated design, competing in the challenging compact-car segment isn't so simple, as many rivals have earned excellent redesigns in the last year or two.
So does the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the best in class? In order to find out, we recently spent a week driving one. Here's what we thought.

What's New?

The latest Cruze offers some major changes compared to the outgoing model. Styling is an obvious one, as the old Cruze's design came from another era, and it showed. The new version touts bold, swooping lines that will help it compete with handsome new rivals like the Honda Civic, the Hyundai Elantraand the Mazda3. It's the same story on the inside: The Cruze boasts a thoroughly overhauled interior that's a huge step up over the outgoing model's cabin.
But there are even bigger changes under the hood, as the latest Cruze offers only one engine: a 153-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder that gets an impressive 30-plus miles per gallon in the city and more than 40 mpg on the highway. Combine that with the Cruze's revised styling and a litany of new safety features and gadgets, and the all-new model clearly seems like a step forward, at least on paper.

Good Styling, Inside and Out

And it's a step forward in practice, too. Everyone who drove our Cruze press car commented on the excellent new design, which has helped the sedan break away from the generic look of the outgoing model. It especially helped that our Cruze test car featured the optional RS package, which provides a few surprisingly sporty additions that help the Cruze stand out. Unfortunately, the RS package is only skin-deep.
As for interior design, our testers had mostly positive comments there, too. While there were a few negative comments about inexpensive materials (especially on the dashboard), our testers noted that the Cruze's cabin seemed generally more upscale than the sedan's price would suggest. They also found the Cruze's interior to be spacious and mostly agreeable, save for thin material on the seats that could become a little uncomfortable on a long trip.

Great Engine

The engine also got high marks from our testers, with drivers noting that it touts minimal turbo lag, energetic response to throttle inputs and fairly strong acceleration for a compact car.
With that said, we didn't quite see the fuel economy promised on the label: None of our testers broke 32 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. That's a far cry from the Environmental Protection Agency's estimates, which hover around 30 mpg city/40 mpg hwy. Admittedly, however, this could be because we were playing with the Cruze's turbocharged powertrain a little more than most everyday drivers would.

Impressive Equipment

Everyone who drove the Cruze was also impressed with the equipment it offered. Even base models get a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, while the Cruze Premier (the model we tested) includes alloy wheels, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, keyless access with a push-button starter and a wide array of near-luxury options, ranging from lane-keep assist and forward-collision warning to a 9-speaker Bose audio system, automatic high beams, heated rear seats, a wireless device charger and automatic climate control.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Confirmed for Detroit Auto Show Debut in January [Video] [Photo Gallery]

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Confirmed for Detroit Auto Show Debut in January [Video] [Photo Gallery]
We’ve been expecting this for a long time now, but the peeps at Cadillac let the cat out the bag after a helluva lot of speculation - the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V will debut in Detroit in January. Of course, we’ll be there to snap some photographs of it and to report what it's got on the go-faster front in the flesh.

General Motors’ luxury division told autoevolution that the 2015 North American International Auto Show, starting on January 12th, will be the place where we’ll see “on display with the next-generation CTS-V will be the all-new ATS-V, along with the entire award-winning Cadillac lineup.”
The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V was already undressed of its secrets at Los Angeles, but what about the CTS-V?

Well, the American manufacturer told us that “the Cadillac CTS-V inaugurated the V-Series more than a decade ago” and “now it’s time for the V-Series to elevate to the next level.”

Whether that next level will be BMW M5-rivaling performance, only time will tell, but the new CTS-V shapes up to become a world class uber sedan, just like the F10-gen M5.

Apparently there will be no manual transmission available, but that’s nitpicking if we’re to be frank

Although the fast-shifting Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic was reserved only for LT1 and LT4 small-block 6.2-liter engines, the ATS-V’s twin-turbo V6 is mated to it. Because the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V will use the same 6.2 supercharged V8 from the 2015 Corvette Z06, expect the Porsche PDK-rivaling 8L90 automatic to be implemented here as well. What about the oomph the CTS-V will pack?

While the current model year CTS-V Coupe and Sedan boast with 556 hp and 551 lb-ft (747 Nm) of torque, we expect engineers to have reworked the powerhouse to produce approximately 600 horsepower, if not more. It’s redundant to make presumptions blindly like other auto publications.

That’s why we recommend to wait gingerly and quietly and see what Cadillac has in store for us besides some fine tuning to the advanced Magnetic Ride Control suspension and other performance driving aids.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

GM's Chevrolet Wins 4 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

General Motors Co.’s largest car brand Chevrolet won top honors in the 2014 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. This award reflects customer satisfaction in 50 categories.

4 of the Chevrolet vehicles were the leaders in their respective product segments. These include Chevrolet Impala in the large car segment, Chevrolet Sonic in the economy car segment, Chevrolet Corvette in the sports car segment and Chevrolet Camaro in sporty car segment.

As a result, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand has improved by five positions in relative ranking among other manufacturers from last year.

General Motors’ Chevrolet brand offers excellent design, performance, technology and safety and its cars are developed considering consumers’ needs and requirements. The company focuses on offering the best possible experience for its consumer. These four AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards prove that the company is delivering accordingly.

The Vehicle Satisfaction Awards focus on reliability and quality of the vehicles and the satisfaction level of the vehicle owners with their new cars or light trucks. The study is based on the opinion of 92,000 vehicle owners nationwide.

AutoPacific is an automotive market research firm which analyses satisfaction level of the owners of the vehicles from their vehicle's operation, comfort, safety and overall experience.

Recently, General Motors’s vehicles won the maximum number of initial quality awards for the second consecutive year in the Initial Quality Study of 32 brands by J.D. Power & Associates. The study is based on the number of complaints by 86,000 purchasers and lessees of 2014 model-year cars, trucks and SUVs in the first 90 days of purchasing or leasing the vehicle.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cadillac SRX Tops Segment in 2014 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

16 Jun 2014
Cadillac SRX Crossover
Cadillac SRX Crossover
The Cadillac SRX luxury crossover today won AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for the luxury crossover SUV segment, the third year in a row the SRX has won the award.
The Vehicle Satisfaction Award measures how satisfied owners are with their new car or light truck in 50 separate categories. It reflects the opinions of more than 92,000 vehicle owners nationwide.
“The SRX crossover continues to be Cadillac’s sales leader, and is again on a record pace so far this year,” said Bill Peffer, U.S. vice president, Cadillac sales and service. “In a market segment featuring the world’s top brands, the SRX stands out by delivering more distinctive design, along with the luxury and utility that crossover buyers’ demand.”
AutoPacific’s research measures owner satisfaction across specific areas related to a vehicle’s operation, comfort, safety and overall purchase/lease experience. AutoPacific is an automotive market research and consulting firm that annually publishes a variety of studies on the industry.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

GM Reaps in J.D. Power Initial Quality Awards

The addition of the latest and hottest technology sometimes leads to increased problems with brand-new vehicles, according to the just-published J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). The study, now in its 28th year, examines problems experienced by vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. The study determines initial quality according to the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

Overall initial quality in the 2014 IQS measures 116 PP100, a slight increase in problems from 113 PP100 in 2013. This year's increase in problems follows a similar increase
found in the J.D. Power U.S. 2014 Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), released in February, which measures problems experienced after three years of ownership.

New Tech Features Often Cause Quality Issues
The study attributes this increase in problems to the fact that new, more sophisticated technologies have been introduced in several newly launched models (i.e. those that are completely new to the market or have undergone major redesigns). They are more problematic than "carryover" vehicles (those that did not undergo any significant changes from last year's model to this year's). This year's IQS finds newly launched models experience an average of 128 PP100, compared with 113 PP100 for carryover models. The increase in problems among all-new models are seen mainly in the areas of voice recognition, Bluetooth pairing, and audio systems.

"Automakers are trying to give consumers the new features and technology they want without introducing additional quality problems into their vehicles," said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. "However, almost all automakers are struggling to do this flawlessly with some consumers indicating that the technology is hard to understand, difficult to use, or simply does not always work as designed."

A Single Problem Can Affect Brand Loyalty
The study also finds that the fewer problems owners experience with their vehicle, the greater their loyalty to the brand. Combined data from previous years' IQS results and the Power Information Network(R) (PIN) from J.D. Power show that 58% of owners who experienced no problems stayed with the same brand when they purchased their next new vehicle. Brand loyalty slips to 53% among owners who experienced just a single problem, and to 48% among owners who experienced two or more problems.

"Even problems experienced in the first 90 days correlate strongly with ultimate repurchase behavior," said Sargent. "These early problems can set the tone for the entire ownership period and still have an effect years later when consumers replace their vehicle."

GM Again Receives Most Initial Quality Vehicle Awards
General Motors continues its strong performance in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study taking more initial quality awards than any other automaker for the second year in a row. GM also has the most models ranked in the top three in their respective segments.
GM’s plant in Ingersoll, Canada, where the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are built, was awarded a Silver Plant Assembly Line Quality Award.

In the study, GM swept the Large SUV segment with Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon – both ranking highest in a tie – along with the Chevrolet Tahoe. In addition to the Large SUV segment sweep, two models have now ranked highest in their segments for two years in a row: the Chevrolet Silverado HD and Buick Encore. The Chevrolet Malibu topped the Midsize Car segment.

“We are committed to providing customers with the highest levels of safety, quality and an exceptional ownership experience,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vice president GM Global Quality and Customer Experience. “Having the most award recipients of any automaker shows that we are on the right track by putting the customer front and center in everything we do.”

Brand Highlights
 Segment Award Recipients
 Malibu – Midsize Car
 Silverado HD – Large Heavy-Duty Pickup
 Suburban – Large SUV (tie)
 Segment Top Three
 Camaro – Ranked Second – Midsize Sporty Car
 Equinox – Ranked Second – Compact CUV
 Tahoe – Ranked Second – Large SUV
 Escalade – Ranked Second - Large Premium CUV
 Encore – Segment Award Recipient – Small SUV (tie)
 Terrain – Segment Award Recipient – Compact SUV
 Yukon – Segment Award Recipient – Large SUV (tie)
 Sierra HD – Ranked Second – Large Heavy-Duty Pickup

About the Study
The 2014 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 86,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2014 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and May 2014.