2015 Chevrolet Colorado

It took a few years but the mid-size Colorado we saw the Asian market get back in 2011 is now for sale here is the US. Here is the Asian version: 2012-global-market-chevrolet-colorado-passengers-side-front-three-quarters And here it is in US trim. Similar but strikingly different: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Seeing these in the flesh really makes the best impression. There are visuals that are just not caught in pictures. It’s also a bit bigger than you would think it would be, making it definitely a mid-size truck where the previous model was more of a compact…comparatively. Thankfully the designers have freshened the front end so it’s a bit more muscular and aggressive, which fits nicely with the current styling of the Silverado full-size pickup and the rest of the Chevrolet family. I’ve heard a lot of people asking why GM decided to reenter the mid-size market now. Unfortunately I really don’t have an answer to that unless it’s as simple as GM didn’t want to beat in the pickup game by the imports, namely the Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma and, indirectly, Honda Ridgeline. Yes folks, those are the only small/mid-size pickups in the US. There is no more Ford Ranger or Dodge Dakota as of this writing. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 As with the exterior, the interior of the brand new Colorado is leaps and bounds better than the previous Colorado and has a clean, modern look with a standard display of either 4.2- or 8 inches for radio and navigation (nav on the bigger display, natch) and quality materials all around. My how far trucks have come in the last 30 years. 2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-135 Built in Wentzville, Missouri, Colorado comes with two different engine choices; a 2.5-liter inline four cylinder (200 hp/191 lb.-ft.) and a 3.6-liter V6(305 hp/269 lb.-ft.), both with direct injection and variable valve timing. Transmission choices are many, as long as you want six-speeds a prefer an automatic as a manual is only available on “select extended cab models” with either engine choice. Expect decent fuel mileage with the gas engines: the four cylinder has an EPA rating of 20/27 city/highway with 2wd and19/25 in 4wd. The V6 is EPA rated at 18/26 with 2wd and 17/24 with 4wd. 2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-132 Here’s a nice graphic explaining how Colorado tows compared to its competition. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Capability and Efficiency Pricing (with destination charge included) begins at $20,995/$27,760 2wd (4-cylinder/manual)/4wd (4-cylinder/automatic) for extended cab  and $26,725/$30,880 2wd/4wd for the crew cab long box (V6/automatic for both drivetrains).

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2013 NAIAS–Day One!

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The first day of the press preview is always the longest…waiting for the press conferences to finish so you can see the newest products as they are announced.

Yes, the show has begun and in the next few days and weeks, expect to see an onslaught of introductions like the newest Chevy CorvetteDSC02044:

 

…and concepts like the BMW i8:

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Pics and stories coming soon!!!!

2014 Impala!!!

Got this email the other day…

Thank you for your interest in the all-new 2014 Impala.
It’s coming early spring 2013 with an athletic new look, refined interior, and winning combination of power and fuel economy. And we’ll be sure to keep you updated all along the way.

NYASChevyImpalaReveal11.jpg

You don’t say!

As you can see from this pic, the Impala is getting the ultimate facelift. This ain’t yo daddies’ Impala! It’s a giant leap of faith from where the Impala was but looks good in pics!

The styling showcases how future Chevy’s will look. Gone is the cross-member face in favor of a more traditional grill and lower fascia.

The interior is completely redone as well, with attractive curves and a nice two-tone treatment on higher end models.

Expect a choice of three different direct-injection engines,182 horsepower 2.4- and 195 horsepower 2.5-liter four cylinders and a 303 horsepower 3.6-liter V6, and a host of updated safety and convenience features.

Here are some more pics, taken at a stylish house:

2014 Chevrolet Impala

It looks to have a little Buick Lacrosse DNA…notice the crease above the rear wheel arch.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

Not only does the outside look amazing, but the inside gets an update as well!

2014 Chevrolet Impala

The new interior gets new piping that doubles as mood lighting.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

Here’s the full release:

All-New Impala – Chevrolet Reinvents an Iconic Sedan

Designed to deliver bold style, interior refinement and enhanced efficiency

NEW YORK – Chevrolet completes the transformation of its North American passenger car lineup with the introduction of the all-new 2014 Impala. The redesigned flagship sedan builds on the strong heritage of the Impala nameplate by offering expressive style, a more-refined interior, easy-to-use technology, and what is expected to be an exhilarating driving experience.

“The 2014 Impala re-establishes this iconic Chevrolet nameplate as a design leader, with bold styling that will turn heads for years to come,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “The team has also delivered the comfort, safety, fuel efficiency and technology that will strengthen Impala’s leadership in the highly competitive full-size sedan market.”

The all-new Impala goes on sale in early 2013 as the 10th generation of one of the industry’s most enduring – and popular – nameplates. Impala was America’s best-selling full-size sedan in 2011, with sales of more than 171,000, which also made it one of the 10 best-selling cars overall in the United States, along with Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze.

“This all-new Impala delivers on our promise that every new car that wears the Chevrolet bowtie will embody the pioneering spirit that has defined the brand for more than a century.” said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing. “With the striking new design and the right mix of comfort, technology and efficiency, we have recaptured the magic that attracted millions of consumers to the Impala nameplate for decades.”

Designed on an award-winning global platform, the 2014 Impala introduces new levels of comfort, refinement and technology. Highlights include:

  • All-new exterior design that represents the next evolution of Chevrolet’s design vocabulary. It features a sleek proportion, sculpted body sides, standard 18-inch wheels and projector-beam headlamps, with HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps standard on LTZ models
  • A range of three direct-injected engines, including a 3.6L V-6, new 2.5L four-cylinder and a 2.4L four-cylinder with eAssist, that deliver enhanced performance and efficiency
  • All-new interior with flowing design and integrated center stack that incorporates an available eight-inch touch screen display with available Chevrolet MyLink
  • Chevrolet MyLink, which includes Bluetooth audio streaming and available navigation among many other features, is controlled via a touch screen on the eight-inch display
  • Quieter environment with a greater emphasis on comfort – including active noise cancellation with four-cylinder powertrains
  • 360 degrees of active safety features with 10 standard air bags and OnStar, along with available features including full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear camera and rear-park assist.

Design details

The 2014 Impala brings a new aesthetic to Impala that honors the cues that have helped distinguish the classic nameplate for decades.

“Our design team was challenged to create a new classic, but that didn’t mean relying on nostalgia,” said John Cafaro, director of North America passenger car exterior design. “This is very much a contemporary car, with design elements, craftsmanship and attention to detail that complement its advanced technology and performance.”

The Impala’s long, low proportion has a wind-swept profile that suggests motion, while the range of 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels is tailored to the body to provide that “just right” stance. At the front, low-profile projector-beam headlamps – or HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps on LTZ – sweep around the corners and frame a wide grille, while a power dome hood conveys performance. The LTZ’s LED daytime running lamps provide a contemporary visual statement, along with function.

Sculpted coves in the body sides add to the Impala’s design drama, with a signature cue in the rear fenders that acknowledges classic Impala designs. The long greenhouse area enhances the sleek look of the car while maintaining excellent visibility.

The 2014 Impala builds on Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior with greater attention to detail and upscale features – seen in everything from the wraparound flow of the instrument panel into the door panels and the available ambient lighting, to the soft feel of the materials and the premium appearance of the seats’ stitching.

The instrument panel integrates a new instrument cluster with a standard 4.2-inch color display with reconfigurable features for the driver information center. The eight-inch touch screen with concealed storage behind it is matched with the available Chevrolet MyLink system.

Comfort and refinement

The 2014 Impala’s comfort and refinement are rooted in a stronger body structure, designed to foster a quieter passenger environment and a greater overall feeling of quality. The stiffer architecture also enabled engineers to tune the ride and handling more precisely, for a greater feeling of control and comfort. A comprehensive package of sound-absorbing, sound-suppressing and even active noise cancellation (on four-cylinder models) contributes to the 2014 Impala being Chevrolet’s quietest full-size sedan ever.

Premium materials throughout the interior and details such as high-quality fabric, Ultrasuede and perforated leather appointments, complement the quiet environment and give the Impala a substantive look and feel. The seats are bolstered for greater support, and the seat cushions are designed to deliver a firm, premium feel that is just as comfortable on a 500-mile drive as on a five-minute excursion. The rear-seat head restraints fold to improve rear visibility when driving without rear passengers.

Safety technology

The 2014 Impala offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available safety features. It employs advanced technologies – including radar – to help avoid crashes. Visual and audible alerts help drivers identify potential crash situations and even intervene when a crash threat appears more imminent.

The available safety features and benefits include firsts for Chevrolet and Impala:

  • Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control – Using radar technology, this feature senses traffic in front of the Impala to adjust the vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. It is the first application in a Chevrolet.
  • Collision mitigation braking – Another Chevy first: Radar technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver. If the driver does not appear to react quickly enough or doesn’t react at all, this feature intervenes and applies the brakes in an effort to avoid the crash.
  • Forward collision alert – Camera technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver, giving him or her time to stop and/or change course.
  • Lane departure warning – A camera-based lane detection system that warns the driver of impending lane changes. The camera, mounted near the inside rearview mirror, identifies traffic lane markings and provides audible alerts.
  • Side blind zone alert – Using radar sensors on both sides of the vehicle, the system “looks” for other vehicles in the blind zone areas of the Impala and indicates their presence with LED-lit symbols in the outside mirrors.
  • Rear cross traffic alert – Based on the radar sensors of side blind zone alert, it warns the driver of vehicles in traffic when backing out of a parking spot – including angled parking. Visual and audible alerts are triggered if moving vehicles are detected.

These advanced crash-avoidance technologies complement the Impala’s other safety features – including 10 standard air bags and OnStar.

Performance and driving experience

Impala’s three powertrains all feature fuel-saving direct injection and lightweight components.

  • Impala’s Ecotec 2.4L engine works with the eAssist system to provide electrical assist in certain conditions to help save fuel. It is estimated at 182 horsepower (134 kW) and is expected to achieve 35 mpg on the highway. 
  • The Ecotec 2.5L is part of a new family of four-cylinder engines developed with increased efficiency and greater refinement. It is estimated at195 horsepower (145 kW).
  • Output for the 3.6L V-6 is estimated at 303 horsepower (226 kW).

All of Impala’s engines are matched with six-speed automatic transmissions.

The powertrains are the force behind Impala’s responsive driving experience, which is tuned for a spirited, yet comfortable performance. A MacPherson-strut front suspension and four-link rear suspension underpin the Impala, with an isolated front cradle and hydraulic ride bushing that help deliver a smoother, quieter ride. All models feature an electric variable-assist steering system that helps save fuel by drawing energy only when the steering wheel is turned.

The 2014 Impala will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with assembly at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich., and Oshawa, Ontario facilities. Pricing will be announced later.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The G8 Returns…As A Police Car Named Caprice!!

2013 Chevrolet Caprice PPV

Well, it happened. Chevrolet recently announced the return of the rear-wheel-drive sedan for the North American Market and they call it Caprice PPV.

What’s that? PPV? Oh, that’s nothing to concern yourself with. Really.

2013 Chevrolet Caprice PPV

Actually, PPV stand for Police Patrol Vehicle. But pick up your head little camper! It’s not as bad as it sounds! Or is it? From the release GM put out, it sounds like this vehicle will only be sold to governmental agencies, in two models, Police and Detective.

As you can see from the above pics, the Caprice PPV retains the basic shape of the G8  but is shorn with Chevy-family-specific front and rear fascia.

The front end does still have some of the G8’s angles and tapers but the rear sure does look a lot like the Impala!

2013 Chevrolet Caprice PPV

There are two engine choices, a 301 horsepower V6 and a 355 horsepower V8 along with one transmission, a six-speed automatic setup for high-performance driving.

And then you got cop brakes (four-wheel-disc), cop suspension, cop seats (sculpted to easily fit a utility belt) and cop space (with a center console that can accommodate computers and other police equipment”).

2013 Chevrolet Caprice PPV

The Bluesmobile has indeed evolved!

At about this point, I’m feeling a little slighted. The G8 was a wonderful car and it was very painful to hear that since Pontiac was sacked, the G8 was also no more. Let’s just hope that GM will smarten up and bring us a Buick version (or something!!!) for those of us who want a sporty, rear-drive sedan!

Guess us common folk will have to wait until these things hit the auctions when these cars reach the end of life on the police force.

At least Chevy finally has a worthy competitor to the Dodge Charger.

Here is the full release from Chevy:

Highlights for 2013

  • Segment-best 60-0 mph braking and top speed performance
  • Standard 301-hp / 224 kW V-6 and available 355-hp /265 kW 6.0L V-8
  • Segment-leading interior space, with the center console area available for computers and other police equipment
  • Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their office, sculpted to fit the bulk of a typical equipment belt.

Product Information

2013 CHEVROLET CAPRICE POLICE PATROL VEHICLE
IS ALWAYS ON DUTY

The Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) delivers the performance, comfort and safety today’s police departments need. It is a full-size, rear-drive sedan that offers V-8 and V-6 engines, as well as a host of specialized equipment and features.

Unlike other police cars on the market, the Caprice PPV is not based on an existing “civilian” passenger car sold in North America. It has been developed in key areas specifically for police duty, containing modern equipment and features. It is offered in Police (9C1) and Detective (9C3) models.

Vehicle highlights include:

  • Segment-topping performance braking and top-speed performance
  • Standard 3.6L V-6 rated at 301 horsepower (224 kW) that delivers a strong balance of performance and efficiency
  • Available 6.0L V-8, rated at 355 horsepower (265 kW), with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management technology and E85 capability, delivers best-in-class top speed and 0-60 acceleration of less than six seconds
  • Six-speed automatic transmission with sport shift calibrations for high-performance driving
  • Exceptional braking performance with heavy-duty, four-wheel discs and police-calibrated anti-lock system
  • Eight standard air bags with rollover protection and StabiliTrak stability control
  • Segment-leading interior space, with the center console area available for computers and other police equipment
  • Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their office, sculpted to fit the bulk of a typical equipment belt.

Caprice performs exceptionally well against other manufacturers’ police vehicles, with the Caprice PPV 6.0L delivering a higher top speed (154 mph / 248 kmh) than the Dodge Charger V-8 or the Taurus-based Ford Police Interceptor with EcoBoost, during Michigan State Police’s annual benchmark police vehicle evaluation (2012-13 models tested). Caprice PPV also delivered a shorter stopping distance from 60 mph than those competitors, as well as 0-60 acceleration of less than six seconds and 0-100 acceleration of 14 seconds.

The Caprice PPV rolls into duty for 2013 with only minor revisions to the interior trim, depending on the equipment group.

Caprice PPV exterior features

Caprice PPV was designed exclusively as a police car and its roster of standard and available exterior features is uniquely suited for police work. Highlights include:

  • Daytime running lamps with reduced intensity are standard
  • Daytime running lamps and automatic headlamps can be deleted
  • Flashing light system for headlamps and taillamps is available
  • Lock cylinders for front doors and trunk are standard
  • Heated outside mirrors are available
  • Spotlamps and spotlamp provisions are available
  • Full wheel covers are available on Patrol model.

Exterior color choice include Phantom Black Metallic, Heron White, Karma Metallic, Mirage Glow Metallic, Red Hot, Alto Grey Metallic and Silver Ice Metallic, Hugo Blue Metallic

Caprice PPV interior details and features

The Caprice PPV is designed to provide maximum comfort so officers can do their job more effectively. The front seats are sculpted to “pocket” the equipment belt, which greatly increases the comfort for a great range of officer sizes. The foam density of the seatback and cushion insert surfaces are designed to conform to the shape of an equipment belt’s various items, too, allowing the officer’s back to rest properly on the seatback surface.

Along with comfort, the materials used in the seats were also carefully selected. High-wear, low-friction materials were chosen to stand up to long hours of everyday use, while breathability, long-term durability and ease of cleaning were also important criteria.

Engineers worked on several iterations of the seat, testing a couple of versions in the field to get real-world feedback from police officers, who used prototype seats in their cruisers for a month. Their input helped determine the final design.

The driver’s seat features eight-way power adjustability, with a reclining back and lumbar control – as well as quick-adjust manual fore and aft movement for additional comfort. There’s also a built-in security panel.

Several standard and available features are offered on the Caprice PPV that make it the ideal tool for police duty. They include:

  • Standard driver information center in the instrument cluster with an oil life monitor and selectable “Trap Speed” feature that captures speed with tracking/pacing other vehicles
  • Standard analog 160-mph certified speedometer, with 1-mph increments
  • Standard tilt and telescopic steering column
  • Industry exclusive front seat-only head curtain air bag
  • Standard “stealth mode” for exterior and interior lighting
  • Standard trunk release button mounted on the instrument panel
  • Available disabled rear interior door locks, handles and windows.

Additional interior features include:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard
  • AM/FM stereo with single CD is standard
  • Cruise control is standard
  • Common fleet key locking system is available
  • LED-lit red and blue flashing-lights trunk lid warning is available
  • Inoperative dome and courtesy lamp feature is available
  • Remote keyless entry is standard
  • Remote vehicle starting system is available
  • Floor-mounted shifter without console is standard on Police models
  • Lamp, horn and siren wiring packages are available
  • Jet Black is the standard interior color.

Caprice PPV performance

The LFX-code 3.6L V-6 is the standard engine in the Caprice PPV, with the 6.0L V-8 optional. The 301-horsepower (224 kW) LFX is a 60-degree design, with the cylinder block and cylinder heads cast in aluminum for low weight. A forged steel crankshaft provides optimal strength in the bottom end, while the cylinder heads include four valves per cylinder, with a dual overhead camshaft design incorporating continuously variable valve timing.

Additionally, optimized-flow fuel injectors and the integrated exhaust manifolds/cylinder heads promote lower emissions. The LFX’s composite intake manifold also has a comparatively small radiated surface area to help it maintain excellent noise and vibration characteristics. The direct injection fuel system enables greater performance and efficiency, giving it horsepower that even some V-8s didn’t offer only a few years ago.

The Caprice PPV’s 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at 355 horsepower (268 kW) and 384 lb-ft of torque (521 Nm). It features Active Fuel Management technology, which helps save gas by allowing the engine to operate on only four cylinders during certain light-load driving conditions, saving the fuel normally used to drive all eight cylinders. It is also E85-capable.

Both engines are backed by a six-speed automatic transmission that is performance-calibrated for police duty. It features the Sport Mode feature, which delays upshifts and allows earlier downshifts when maximum engine power and transmission responsiveness is desired. Its unique calibration allows the transmission to “understand” driving conditions and select the appropriate gear, even through tight turns, and provides the optimum engine torque.

Additional powertrain and vehicle system features include:

  • 2.92 axle ratio
  • Limited-slip differential is standard with the 6.0L and available with the 3.6L
  • 170-amp high-output alternator with idle boost feature
  • Engine oil (V-8), transmission and power steering coolers
  • Electric cooling fans and EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) coolant hoses
  • Available industry-exclusive auxiliary battery for police equipment.

All models feature a four-wheel independent suspension, with heavy-duty components that deliver responsive, high-performance driving characteristics that are crucial in some police scenarios. A tight turning diameter of 38 feet (11.4 m) and a generous ground clearance of 5.6 inches (142.2 mm) enable excellent maneuverability.

Caprice PPV safety and crash-avoidance features

Officer safety is a fundamental element of the Caprice PPV’s design. The body structure features extensive use of high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel for greater strength and crash protection, while standard and available air bags offer protection in the event of a crash.

Dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags are standard, along with head curtain air bags for the driver and front passenger, front seat-back-mounted thorax air bags and – new for 2012 – driver and front passenger knee air bags. The front seat-only head curtain air bags enable the use of a full-width prisoner partition for greater officer safety. Combined front and rear head curtain air bags are available, providing rollover protection.

To help avoid crashes, the Caprice PPV includes standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, with a special police calibration for aggressive driving maneuvers. Large, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock (featuring a police-specific calibration) are also standard, along with strong, durable 18-inch steel wheels (with bolt-on center caps or full wheels covers) that are matched with performance Goodyear P235/50R18 tires.

Highlights From The 2012 NAIAS

Here are some highlights from the 2012 North American International Auto Show. In this group you will find, in no particular order, the Acura NSX and ILX concepts; Cadillac ATS; Chevy Code 30R, Miray and Tru 40S concepts as well as a Hot Wheels Camaro; Dodge Dart; Ford Escape and Fusion; Honda Accord Coupe in a gorgeous red; Hyundai Genesis Coupe; Maserati Kubang; Smart for-us; Subaru BRZ and Tesla Model S.

Enjoy!

Update

On the heels of my last post that highlighted how Ford and GM need to bring their newest, most curvaceous small trucks to the US.

Well, read all about how GM is bringing that sweet Colorado, along with a couple of other cool cars to the US, here.

Here’s another couple of Retro Reviews:


2007 GMC Yukon

07yukon_2

Redesigned Big Ute Is Easy On The Eyes And Pocketbook

by James E. Bryson

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or hiding in a Pakistani cave, you know by now that gasoline will never again cost less than $2 a gallon and that hybrids are selling like hotcakes, for a niche market. You also know that the worst vehicles for fuel economy are big, heavy SUVs and ultra-high-performance sports cars.

Enter the 2007 GMC Yukon.

If you were a GMC engineer/designer and you had to come up with a new model that could make or break your brand you might redesign the Yukon with few hard angles and many organic shapes to make the new truck stand out and add a gas-saving feature to the 5.3-liter V8 that shuts down 4 cylinders while cruising on level surfaces, where not a lot of power is needed to keep the rig moving.

Redesigning the Yukon must have been a difficult task indeed, since the styling of the previous model was new at least five years ago and there is so much stellar competition out there. What the stylists and designers delivered was handsome, taut lines with wraparound fascias front and rear and nary a plastic add-on in sight. The design team should be commended for putting a handsome and sleek SUV of this size on the road.

One industry-wide accepted measure of build quality is the size of the gaps between the doors and the hood and fenders. We were quite impressed and a bit surprised with the small gap widths all around the Yukon. We kept marveling at the lengths the engineers must have gone to to get those lines in line, so to speak.

The new front fascia has a more refined look with a sloping grill and integrated bumper that looks like it is all one piece, because it is. This huge difference compared to the old vehicle is like night and day. The new truck looks like it was made from one piece of metal and plastic that belies its frugal price, at least in the vehicle we drove.

That high-quality look and feel followed through to the interior.

What surprised us most upon taking delivery of our test vehicle was the cloth interior. Not only was it cloth (can’t emphasize that enough) but the seating surfaces were top notch. Not since the mid-90s, to our recollection, has the General been able to put a seat out that was this comfortable and supportive.

After a few days driving the Gray Dane around, we decided to head out to wine country; so the tank was topped off and we noticed we got 19 miles per gallon in mixed driving. Considering the shear heft of the Yukon, that ain’t half bad. We also like watching the display switch from V8 to V4 and back as we drove around. And remember, don’t try this at home, we are trained professionals (or so we like to think).

Driving through rolling hills and reducing radius curves show that the Yukon has come a long way since the beginning of the SUV craze. It’s no GTO or Saturn Sky, but the Yukon gets going pretty good and there’s not a trace of wallow or too much body roll-like SUVs of old.

Switchgear is top-notch. All have a soft, tactile feel and soft detents that give this base-model truck a classy, luxurious feel.

One really neat feature is the lighted visible detent on the climate controls. During the day it is a mild-mannered dark spot on the bright chrome-like dial, telling you where your blower and output is set at. By night, it is a cool blue showman, ready for the next gig and willing to give it all for a great performance.

One gripe we have about SUVs in general that this Yukon was without was a third row of seats. There are certain vehicles, like the Yukon XL and Suburban, that can do with the extra seating capacity without infringing too much on cargo space. Our tester did without this “convenience” and we were much appreciative to have the space t haul whatever we wanted without worrying about where to store those extra seats.

Our two-wheel-drive Yukon tester stickered at $34.690, including $875 for delivery, with no chargeable options. Included on the standard feature list was the 5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and flex-fuel capability, four-speed automatic transmission, dual front airbags with passenger sensor, OnStar, Stabilitrak stability control/four-wheel ABS, remote keyless entry, 17-inch aluminum wheels, power heated outside mirrors, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, auto dimming mirror with temperature and compass and driver information center, to name just a few.

For the dough, we got a capable vehicle with towing and hauling ability matched by only a few other vehicles in a stylishly handsome body and newfound fuel frugality. Add to that the flexibility of using an ethanol blend and you have a smart package that should appeal to the eco-friendly among us as well as the staid SUV driver that wouldn’t have it any other way.


2007 Chevrolet Tahoe

07tahoe

New Tahoe Is Grand In Size And Price

by James E. Bryson

Pulling out all the stops on redesigning its fleet of cars and trucks, Chevrolet is making it clear that it will not lose any more ground (nee, market share) to any and all of its rivals by bringing more new product to life this year. We got a chance to spend a week with the all-new 2007 Tahoe and what a ride it is.

Redesigned from the ground up, the Tahoe now has rounded lines and tight seems where it had angular surfaces and plastic cladding to hide behind for the last 10 years or so, it seems.

What the designers and stylists have done is give the old girl a much-needed facelift and tummy tuck. The lines have been smoothed out and the muscles are showing, not bad for a vehicle that can trace its lines to the 1930s.

In stark contrast to the ’07 GMC Yukon we recently drove, the Tahoe we were given to test was tops of the line with four-wheel-drive, leather captains chairs all around and three rows of seats, making this one a seven-passenger. While this is close to what you might get with a Suburban, the space behind that third row is not very useful, where the extra inches the ‘Burb carries goes directly to the cargo area, making it much more efficient at carrying all those people and their stuff.

And don’t misunderstand, the Tahoe is no slouch at carrying seven passengers, as long as the rearmost row is full of little people and they don’t need silly things like clothes and toiletries.

The new look features clean lines and softer styling, while keeping a similar look from years past; think of it as an evolution not revolution.

Up front, the grill is given the now-standard Chevy treatment of a strong crossbar with integrated Chevy bowtie, tying the design with the other Chevy products. Also, the domed hood and aggressive angles of the headlight clusters give the new Tahoe a snarl that seems to say “get of my way or I’ll roll over you.”

As with the Yukon, gaps are controlled and smaller, giving truck a more quality, carved-from-one-piece-of-metal look. Add to that the all-black luggage rack and running boards and the Tahoe seems to be moving uptown, with interior accoutrements to back that assumption up.

Speaking of the interior, the four captains chairs are comfy and make long rides something to look forward to. Heated seats are always good and these were well bolstered and much better than the bench in the Yukon.

The new dash design is quite handsome and the materials were the best we’ve seen in a Chevy truck. Everything also felt very familiar, like they updated the look and feel, but didn’t stray far from the previous design. Again, evolution.

One thing we found particularly neat was the rain-sensing wipers. These systems have been around for a few years but we weren’t expecting it to show up on a Chevy, let alone a Tahoe. We figured it out on a day when the rain was spotty. We turned on the wipers to get the windshield clear and wondered why they didn’t keep running every minute or so (as we had set the intermittent interval for). Then, a few raindrops and the wipers sprang to life! How glorious it felt to not have to keep adjusting the timing, or to turn the wipers on when a little rain fell. Talk about a home run for “America’s brand”.

And speaking of rain, that same day, as we were out and about in a heavy downpour, we actually got the big Tahoe into a four-wheel drift by hitting the go-pedal a bit too hard and inducing wheelspin. The only non-fun part was the intervention of the traction control system, which we immediately shut off for some more good times.

Handling for such a big vehicle is always in question and the Tahoe answers by giving good feedback through the controls and keeping most body motions to a minimum, as the laws of physics will allow. Wit that said, this new truck with its improved structure with fully boxed frame, wider front and rear tracks and a lower center of gravity handles like a vehicle half its size. We found ourselves driving hard a fast through areas we would never had thought to do in the old Tahoe, which brought us to the conclusion that it’s a little big for rallying but what a blast it might be out there!

Power is good enough to get you moving to highway speeds without too much fuss (5.3-liter V8, 320 horsepower/335 lb.-ft. of torque), just not good enough to push you deep into your seat. But with gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon, it’s good to know that the Tahoe we drove, with Active Fuel Management that shuts down four cylinders when at cruising speed, should save trips to the gas man, just not as many as we’d like. The EPA rates the 5.3 in our test Tahoe at 15 city and 21 highway, compared with 14 city and 18 highway for last year’s model.

Pricing on the Tahoe is in the stratosphere for non-luxury SUVs, but you do get a lot for what you pay. The base price on our four-wheel-drive LT was $37,665.00, which included such niceties as four-wheel antilock disc brakes, the flex-fuel 5.3-liter V8 with active fuel management 17-inch aluminum wheels, a review mirror with autodimming, compass and outside temperature, tow package, luggage rack and heated outside mirrors.

Add to the lofty price our options (LT3 equipment group ($3650)—leather bucket seats; 12-way power seats for driver and front passenger; radio with MP3-capable six-disc changer, Bose speakers and XM; power adjustable pedals; head curtain side airbags; rear parking assist; outside power folding mirrors with auto-dimming and turn signals and triple-zone climate controls.); three-passenger third row seating ($860); second row bucket seats ($490) with heat ($200); power liftgate ($350); P265/70R17 all-season tires ($125); rain-sensing wipers ($95) and a destination charge of $875.00 and the as-tested price for our loaded Tahoe was $44,605.00. Whew!

If you’re looking for a solid truck-based SUV to haul/tow/wreak havoc, the Tahoe is your stead, and the saddle is comfortable enough to keep you going long after the ride is through.