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Ward's releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014
Apr 10, 2014 - 4:30 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: Chevrolet, Chrysler, GMC, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen

While we're still a ways off from the automotive awards season proper, where things like North American Car and Truck of the Year, Motor Trend's Car of the Year and Car and Driver's Ten Best are named, that doesn't mean there aren't trophies being handed out to deserving automakers. Ward's 10 Best Interiors being one of them.

As the name might imply, the magazine focuses on the very best interior treatments in the US market. Whereas some awards purposely exclude extreme, high-dollar offerings, Ward's considers them - the only requirement is that a vehicle has a "new or significantly redesigned interior."

Ward's offered up the list of winners in simple, alphabetical order, and it only seems fair to do the same:
We'll admit to being surprised by a pair of these - the Kia Soul and Jeep Cherokee - while the rest make a fair amount of sense. What's most remarkable is the huge range of prices, from the $24,010 Kia to the $372,800 Rolls-Royce.

What do you think of Ward's findings? Do you agree? Are there any vehicles that should be included in this list? Post your thoughts down in Comments.Ward's releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video]
Apr 09, 2014 - 3:42 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: Car Buying, Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche

Kelley Blue Book has announced the winners of its 2014 Brand Image Awards, which look at brands with "attributes that capture the attention and enthusiasm" of customers in the market for a new car.

The award is divided up into luxury brands and everyone else non-luxury brands, with a number of sub-awards in each group. There's also a single award for truck brands. Taking the crown for the best everyman brand (for the second year in a row) is Honda, while Mercedes-Benz was the king of the luxury brackets. Ford, meanwhile, had the best image among pickup buyers.

Honda was also named the most trusted brand among shoppers, while Kia, GMC, Mini and Chevrolet also snagged awards for value, refinement, performance and styling, respectively. Secondary winners in the luxury ranks include Lexus, Buick, Porsche and Jaguar. Mercedes was also named the most refined luxury brand.

"The classic saying 'perception is reality' falls true with the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards, as more than 12,000 in-market new-car shoppers have voiced their opinions about today's automakers," said Hwei-Lin Oetken, vice president of market intelligence for KBB. "With strong marketing communications coming from auto manufacturers and dealers, and the increased importance of peer reviews and ratings, consumers today are more influenced than ever to take interest in a brand, ultimately affecting their vehicle purchase decisions."

Take a look below for KBB's video recap of this year's awards, as well as a press release detailing the winning attributes of each brand.Continue reading Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video]

Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GM midsize SUVs lead IIHS safety tests, Honda Pilot disappoints [w/videos]
Apr 08, 2014 - 6:11 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: SUV, Safety, Videos, Chevrolet, Ford, GM, GMC, Honda, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Toyota

General Motors finally has something to celebrate about. The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain aced the latest round of small overlap front crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety among nine midsize SUVs, and they both scored a Top Safety Pick+ accolade. However, Honda, Mazda and Kia fared badly with their entries earning Poor ratings in the Overall safety category.

The Equinox and Terrain were the only vehicles among those tested to score Good ratings in every category of IIHS testing. The group praised updates to 2014 models that strengthened the front structure and door-hinge pillars, which helped keep the dummy's movement in check.

The Toyota Highlander was actually tested in December 2013 but results were included in the recent test. It also scored Top Safety Pick+ rating but received only Acceptable results in the organization's Overall, Structure and Restraints and Kinematics categories. To earn the award, a vehicle must have Good or Acceptable scores, plus offer some form of front crash prevention technology.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer all received Marginal scores in the Overall category, and the Kia Sorrento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot had Poor scores. The Pilot showed one of the worst examples of intrusion into the cockpit in the test when the parking brake pedal moved inward more than 16 inches, and the steering column moved over 5 inches to the right.

The new small overlap front crash test replicates a collision where 25 percent of the front end strikes a barrier at 40 miles per hour. It focuses a lot of energy into a small area, which makes it a very difficult test of a vehicle's integrity. Scroll down to see videos from each of the crash tests and read the full results.Continue reading GM midsize SUVs lead IIHS safety tests, Honda Pilot disappoints [w/videos]

GM midsize SUVs lead IIHS safety tests, Honda Pilot disappoints [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 GMC Yukon Denali
Apr 03, 2014 - 4:40 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: SUV, GM, GMC, Luxury, Quick Spins

Automotive enthusiasts often wonder aloud - ourselves included - why General Motors would choose to keep GMC while sending Pontiac (and Saturn, and even Oldsmobile before it) into the great automotive graveyard in the sky. The answer, as is so often the case, is profit. It's much easier for GM to rake in money hand over fist by rejiggering the trucks, crossovers and SUVs that it would already be developing for Chevrolet and making them a bit more luxurious and *ahem* "Professional Grade" with new grilles, badges and unique packaging for GMC.

While it may sound like we're being cynical, we totally approve of GM's fullsize SUV strategy. The least-expensive way to get into the fold is with the Chevrolet Tahoe, which starts at $45,595 with a 5.3-liter V8 engine and a cloth interior. Bumping that same Chevy to LTZ trim and its $59,995 sticker price lands a much nicer leather-clad interior and more techno-bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at. But it still looks like a Tahoe, and it still comes with the smaller 5.3-liter engine. Or, you could do what we'd do: Walk into your GMC dealer and take a look at the Yukon Denali. Here's why.

Driving Notes
  • The 2015 GMC Yukon Denali wears a starting sticker price of $62,680 or $65,380 for the XL version we drove. That's a difference of $2,685 over the Tahoe LTZ. You get quite a bit for that bit of coin, which is a pretty small percentage of the truck's total cost.
  • Of course, it's stupidly easy to raise the Denali's starting price to stratospheric levels. A Touring Package for $4,110 includes an excellent head-up display, loud and proud 20-inch wheels in chrome, a power sunroof, rear-seat entertainment and an enhanced security system. That last bit is noteworthy because these big SUVs are frequent targets of thieves. Power-retractable side steps cost $1,745 and aren't really necessary for most body types, but adaptive cruise control and automatic braking assist for $1,695 may be more desirable.
  • Besides the styling, which we'll get to in a moment, the most obvious benefit brought by the Yukon Denali is its standard 6.2-liter V8 engine. Its 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque is an immediately noticeable improvement over the Tahoe's 5.3-liter and its 355 hp and 383 lb-ft, especially when taking off from a dead stop or when passing on the highway.
  • While the six-speed automatic transmission is tried-and-true, it's two gears shy of current market leaders. That said, its deficiency is less apparent when mated to the Yukon Denali's 6.2 than the 5.3 of the Tahoe.
  • As you'd expect, the bigger engine in the Denali carries an efficiency penalty at the pump. With ratings of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway, the two-wheel-drive Denali's deficit sits at one mpg city and two highway. Not insignificant, but then again, neither is the extra power.
  • As a staff, we universally prefer the Yukon's looks to the Tahoe's, and, while we still find the Denali trim overtly blingy, we feel the treatment works better on the fullsize trucks and SUVs better than on smaller crossovers. If you want to go full bling, wait for the Cadillac Escalade and be prepared to open your wallet significantly further.
  • Inside, the Denali buyer will be coddled with heated and cooled seats sewn in supple leather. Instead of a traditional analog gauge cluster, GMC has fitted the Yukon Denali with a customizable LCD with three distinct themes. Each of them can be customized to include information relevant to the driver. Couple that with the standard eight-inch screen in the center stack and its MyLink infotainment system, and you'll have
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2015 GMC Yukon erupts into flames during Anaheim test drive [w/video]
Apr 03, 2014 - 4:40 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: SUV, Recalls, GM, GMC, Luxury

A 2015 GMC Yukon burst into flames while on a test drive in Anaheim, CA on Sunday after smoke filled the cabin. Residents of the neighborhood where the driver abandoned the redesigned Yukon reported hearing a series of small explosions (likely the tires, based on the video), according to a report from KTLA and The Los Angeles Times.

No one was injured in the incident, whichThe Times reports occurred after a possible oil or fluid leak. As you can see in the image above, the Yukon was engulfed in flames, although the Anaheim Fire Department was able to put out the blaze in about 15 minutes.

"We're very lucky that no one got hurt, and it was in an area that... was safe," Lt. Tim Schmidt of the Anaheim Police Department told KTLA reporters. "If there was any place that was going to be safe, it would be this area. It's very open. It worked out for us."

"Everyone kept thinking: Is it going to explode one more time? Because it looked like the gas tank was still there, intact," Sergio Luna, one of the witnesses, told KTLA. "So that was the big fear: If it does go off, what's going to happen?"

The news of a new model catching fire comes on the heels of a massive and controversial recall for General Motors, which has faced criticism for failing to recall over one million vehicles due to faulty ignition switches.

GM is aware of the fire and is set to dispatch a field team to analyze the destroyed SUV "very soon," according to GM's Alan Adler. Adler added that it's too soon to know much of anything - the fire, after all, did only happen yesterday - but it's hoped that the field team being dispatched will have answers as soon as possible. We'll be sure to stay with this story and update you as more information becomes available. Scroll down for the full news report from KTLA.Continue reading 2015 GMC Yukon erupts into flames during Anaheim test drive [w/video]

2015 GMC Yukon erupts into flames during Anaheim test drive [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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