Month: March 2014

Three GMC Vehicles Ranked Most Dependable

The GMC Yukon, Sierra 1500 full-size light-duty pickup, and Sierra HD full-size pickup – including the 2500HD ¾-ton and 3500HD 1 ton models – ranked highest in their respective segments in the 2014 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

The Sierra HD also achieved the highest score in its segment in the 2013 J.D. Power dependability study, giving it the highest ranking for the second consecutive year.

“The momentum continues at GMC with this recognition,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick and GMC marketing. “Sierra, our highest-volume vehicle, now has its entire line of trucks ranked as the most dependable.

“Our all-new 2015 Sierra HD and 2015 Yukon full-size SUV have begun hitting dealerships, and we look to build that momentum in 2015.”

J.D Power uses information gathered from owners of 3-year-old, or 2011 model year vehicles, to rank overall dependability.

GMC Introduces New, Easy-to-Use Trailering App

GMC owners can pull off their next trailering chore without a hitch – at least figuratively – thanks to a new trailering guide app available today at the iTunes store. The free app is designed to give GMC customers a better understanding of trailering techniques and capabilities. It, even helps identify the appropriate GMC model for specific trailering needs.

“Our customers believe in the right tool for the job, and this app helps them get the most out of their GMC trailering capability in a convenient and accessible way, whether they’re hauling a utility trailer across town or a fifth-wheel cross-country,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president, GMC Marketing.

The app packages trailering tips and information from the trailering section of gmc.com, including maximum trailer weight ratings by model. When consumers open the app, they can access information either by selecting a specific GMC model or by entering their trailering needs to identify the right GMC model for the job.

Also featured is a dedicated learning center that caters to both first-timers and veterans, with features that include:

  • Trailering 101
  • Hitches and equipment
  • Pre-trailering checklist
  • How GMC trailering technologies work
  • Power and performance information
  • Safe trailering techniques

A third section contains a glossary of commonly used terms, and a fourth category focuses on dinghy (flat) towing. Video content includes Trailering 101 videos developed earlier this year in conjunction with the launch of the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup. Additional “How To” video content will be added over time to enhance the app’s user experience.

“Even for customers who’ve been trailering for years, our continuing enhancements in features, power and technology make the GMC Trailering Guide App a handy resource,” said Hugh Milne, GMC Training and Accessory manager.

The new Sierra 1500 comes equipped with a 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 offers segment-best standard V-6 torque with trailering capacity of up to 7,200 pounds (3,266 kg) and segment-best V-8 fuel economy, and is now available at Crain Buick GMC in Springdale.

2014 Buick LaCrosse Earns Five-Star NHTSA Safety Score

The 2014 Buick LaCrosse has received the highest possible 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

“Safety is one of the pillars of the Buick brand and our flagship continues to echo this essential element to our customers,” said Jeff Yanssens, chief engineer of the LaCrosse. “Not only do we offer advanced safety technologies in the 2014 LaCrosse, but we designed and engineered the core of the car to perform well with respect to crash safety.”

Employing many advanced technologies – including the use of camera and radar – to help avoid crashes, the refreshed full-size sedan offers one of the most comprehensive collections of standard and available safety features in the segment. Helping the driver identify potential crash situations, visual, and audible or where available, seat vibration alerts are initially used by these systems. If a crash threat appears imminent, some systems can even intervene and apply the brakes.

The available safety and convenience features include:

  • Safety Alert Seat – A patented General Motors’ technology, the driver’s seat works with many of the advanced safety features, providing seat vibration pulses indicating the direction of a potential crash threat.
  • Automatic Collision Preparation – Radar technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver. If the system detects that the driver does not apply the brakes, this feature intervenes to automatically trigger the brakes in an effort to reduce crash damage.
  • Forward Collision Alert – If the camera technology detects a possible crash threat, the system will send an alert.
  • Full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control – Radar technology senses traffic in front of the LaCrosse to adjust vehicle speed, including bringing the vehicle to a complete stop and accelerating again upon driver request.
  • Lane Departure Warning – A camera-based lane detection system can warn the driver of unsignaled lane changes. The camera, mounted near the inside rearview mirror, identifies lane markings, and provides alerts.
  • Lane Change Alert – Under most driving conditions, the system helps to inform the driver of fast-approaching vehicles in the next lane that are up to 230 feet (70 meters) behind the car. The LaCrosse is one of the first vehicles to offer this technology.
  • Side Blind Zone Alert – Using radar sensors on both sides of the vehicle, the system scans for other vehicles in the blind zone areas of the LaCrosse and under most driving conditions, indicates their presence with light-emitting diode, or LED-lit symbols in the outside mirrors.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert – Based on the radar sensors of side blind zone alert, it can warn the driver of vehicles in traffic when backing out of a parking spot – including angled parking. Visual, and audible or available seat vibration alerts are triggered if moving vehicles are detected.
  • Rear Vision Camera – In reverse, the camera provides a view of the area behind the LaCrosse, shown on the display in the center stack infotainment system.

Eight standard air bags complement the advanced, crash-avoidance technologies of the LaCrosse. These include rear-seat thorax air bags designed to protect the upper torso.

Enabling greater vehicle control, the LaCrosse also features StabiliTrak electronic stability control, all-speed traction control, and four-wheel disc brakes with Intelligent Brake Assist on the four-channel antilock brake system.

The safety and security of OnStar, which links to existing emergency service providers, is standard for six months. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar service also offers IntelliLink mobile apps, which provide vehicle information and OnStar services via the customer’s compatible smartphone. Visit Onstar.com for details and system limitations.

2014 Buick Regal Overview: Buick’s Athlete Learns a New Trick or Two

The saying goes that one should never judge a book by its cover.  Doing so might lead one to believe that the 2014 Buick Regal does very little different from its 2013 predecessor.  However,as the folks at Kelley Blue Book will tell you in their 2014 Buick Regal overview, the refined beauty of the 2014 Buick Regal is more than skin deep.

2014 Buick Regal OverviewKBB goes straight to the heart of the 2014 Buick Regal, lauding the 18 horsepower upgrade in the 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder as well as highlighting a new aluminum cylinder head, forged steel crankshaft, and variable displacement oil pump among other upgrades.

One of the most important aspects for drivers—fuel economy—is also improved upon by 17 percent with EPA ratings between 19 and 21 miles per gallon city and 27 to 30 mpg highway depending on the selected drivetrain.

One of the key updates is the 2014 Regal’s all-wheel drive option, a two clutch Haldex system that can transfer power fore and aft as well as from side to side.  The all-wheel drive option is only available with automatic transmission and cannot be equipped with the eAssist powertrain.

Buick’s “Athlete of the Family” certainly does not want for tricks up its sleeve, boasting a pleasant combination of something familiar and something new in carrying over the same things that made the 2013 Buick Regal a winner with drivers and enhancing them with all the things 2014 drivers expect.

via The News Wheel

2014 Buick LaCrosse: Positively Premium

One of Buick’s many past marketing mantras characterized this senior GM division as a purveyor of “Premium American Motor Cars.” Although that characterization has been mitigated by Buick’s reliance on the Chinese market Premium American Motor Car could easily have been scripted to describe the 2014 LaCrosse.

Due to reach showrooms this fall, the new LaCrosse represents an extensive freshening, rather than a major redesign. Everything from the windshield forward is new; the rear fascia has been restyled; the interiors have been refurbished with numerous alterations, and there are several new safety features. But aside from retuned suspension components, new doesn’t penetrate below the skin. Chassis dimensions are unchanged, as are the basic structure and powertrain offerings.

The Eyes Have It

Already one of the better looking sedans in its class, the LaCrosse gets a tasteful facelift that includes an enhanced version of its trademark waterfall grille, a more sculptured hood, active lower grille shutters to reduce aero drag at highway speeds, and new headlamp designs. The headlamp array includes optional Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights with articulating capability and LED accents. The rear fascia and decklid are also new, with an integrated spoiler and wraparound LED taillamps.

Interior upgrades are more extensive: upgraded materials, new center control stack with an 8-inch touchscreen, four new color and trim combos, fold-down rear headrests, and the next generation of Buick’s Intellilink infotainment system, including “natural voice recognition.” Those with unnatural voices need not apply. Arguably the most appreciated change are new seats with four-way adjustable front headrests.  They’re a comfortable “relaxed-fit” design – think mature persons’ jeans — and in all but the base LaCrosse they’re clad in leather.

In addition, Buick is offering a new top-of-the-range Ultra Luxury Interior Package (add $2,495, plus another $1,195 for the required sunroof). The package includes walnut-hued (Buick calls the color Sangria) semi-aniline perforated leather upholstery, ebony accents, and real wood trim.

New safety features include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert (warns the driver of overtaking traffic up to 230 feet behind), blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert-all grouped in an optional ($2,125) “Driver Confidence Package.” A second package-Driver Confidence II ($1,745)–includes the aforementioned, plus collision preparation (with collision mitigation braking), a “safety alert seat” that vibrates to warn driver of possible perils from either side or directly from the rear, and an adaptive cruise control system that can actually bring the car to a stop.

Easy Rider

As noted, there is no change under the Buick’s new hood, which shelters either of two power options: a 304-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, and a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder allied with an electric motor/generator that can add 15 horsepower to total output on demand. The latter is GM’s eAssist mild-hybrid system. Both power sources are mated with six-speed automatic transmissions. The eAssist system is limited to front-drive models, while all-wheel drive is an option with the V6 engine. EPA fuel economy ratings for the two engines are unchanged: impressive 25 mpg city/36 highway for the eAssist powertrain, 18/28 for the front-drive V6, 17/27 with all-wheel drive.

With V6 curb weights crowding two tons, and an mpg-oriented 2.77 final drive, LaCrosse acceleration tends to be deliberate by the standards for this class. No one could call it sluggish, but full throttle thrust isn’t exactly memorable either.

Similarly, the suspension, though retuned, is heavily prioritized for creamy ride quality, whether in standard or sport mode. The electric power steering, like many, tends to be numb, although sport mode adds some effort to the equation. However, used in the same sentence, the words sport and LaCrosse are uneasy allies.

Where the LaCrosse shines is in coddling its occupants in elegant comfort over long stretches of open road. The comfort quotient is of the sort that makes the I-80 run across Nebraska something approaching real pleasure, as distinct from tedium. This is augmented by exceptionally low interior noise levels-there are noisier cathedrals-and orchestral sound systems.  The LaCrosse may not challenge any of its sports sedan contemporaries in terms of athletics, but it’s hard to beat for serene cross-country motoring, especially when equipped with “active” electronic dampers.

The 2014 LaCrosse is now available at Crain Buick GMC in Springdale. Give us a call at (877) 388-6072, or visit us online at www.crainbuickgmcofspringdale.com, and set up your test drive today!

via KBB

GMC Introduces All-New, More-Capable 2015 Yukon Family

GMC announced last week that the all-new 2015 Yukon, Yukon XL and flagship Yukon Denali models will deliver greater capability and refinement, with more power, new fold-flat rear seats and a quieter interior. And thanks to a new family of advanced EcoTec3 engines, the lineup is expected to deliver the segment’s best V-8 fuel economy.

“We’ve engineered the Yukon and Yukon XL from the ground up, building on a strong legacy of capability to take them to the top of the segment with exceptional refinement and purposeful technology,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “And when it comes to the tasks people rely on a full-size SUV for, they do it better than ever – and with more style.”

Bold styling and advanced technologies – including new safety and security technologies – support Yukon’s greater capability, while a more comprehensive list of standard features and enhanced infotainment options are designed to broaden the appeal of one of the industry’s most-popular full-size SUV lineups. Combined Yukon/Yukon XL and Denali sales were up 24 percent for the eight months of 2013.

Yukon and Yukon XL share design, architectural and powertrain elements, but Yukon XL has an approximately 14-inch longer wheelbase and is approximately 20 inches longer overall, providing greater legroom for third-row passengers and almost twice the cargo room behind the third-row seat.

“Although they are based on a similar architecture, Yukon and Yukon XL are distinctive products that appeal to different customers,” said DiSalle. “Versatility and spaciousness are valued by customers for both vehicles, but the Yukon XL is the choice for families with more children and those with lifestyles that require its unique combination of passenger- and cargo-hauling capabilities. In fact, Yukon XL owners are more than twice as likely to transport passengers daily in the third-row seat.”

New and enhanced product highlights of the 2015 Yukon lineup include:

  • Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo capability and convenience – including an available power-folding feature
  • Approximately two inches more legroom for second-row passengers and easier entry/exit
  • All-new cargo management system
  • Available power rear liftgate with multiple programmable height settings
  • Standard eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen radio with enhanced IntelliLink and available navigation
  • Eight-inch-diagonal customizable driver display with three available user themes and available head-up display (Denali models)
  • Multiple USB ports, SD slots and accessory power outlets – including a 110-volt three-prong outlet –  to support electronic devices of all kinds
  • Available Blu-ray/DVD rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens on Yukon XL
  • Conversation mirror in the overhead console that provides a panoramic view of the rear seats
  • Keyless entry and push-button start.

When it comes to safety, the Yukon lineup incorporates new technologies to help protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a collision. They include a forward radar system and the segment’s only front seat center-mounted air bag (models with bucket seats), which is engineered to provide additional protection to drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.

Standard and available safety features, depending on the model, also include forward collision alert, front park assist, lane departure warning, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat. It offers directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crash threats.

Bold styling, enhanced refinement
All-new exterior and interior designs advance GMC’s professional grade aesthetic with elements designed to be beautiful and functional. The exteriors are sleeker and more aerodynamic, enhancing efficiency on the highway and contributing to the new Yukon’s quiet ride.

Bold styling cues include highly detailed, chrome-accented grilles matched with GMC’s signature C-shaped light-emitting diode lighting motif, front and rear. Projector-beam headlamps are standard on Yukon and Yukon XL. The distinctive Denali models are instantly identifiable by their signature chrome grille and unique exterior appointments, including exclusive high-intensity discharge headlamps.

Additional exterior features include:

  • New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise and contributing to improved aerodynamics
  • Laminated windshield and front door glass to enhance quietness
  • Lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels enhance efficiency through reduced overall mass
  • A standard rear spoiler on the liftgate houses a relocated rear window wiper that is hidden when not in use
  • New worm screw-style liftgate arms take up less interior space than the previous gooseneck arms
  • Illuminated, power-retractable assist steps available on Denali
  • New family of 18-, 20- and 22-inch wheels, including standard 20-inch wheels on Denali.

Inside, the all-new 2015 Yukon’s precisely crafted interior features a quiet cabin, authentic materials and premium infotainment choices. Examples include soft-touch instrument panel, console and door panel materials with live stitching and purposeful use of ambient lighting in functional areas, including first- and second-row foot wells and the center console. All models have a standard Bose sound system, seats with dual-firmness foam and an ambient air vent designed to enhance comfort for front-seat passengers.

Denali models feature active noise cancelation technology to make the interior quieter.

There are more storage options in the new Yukon lineup, including a compartmentalized center console that’s large enough to store a laptop or iPad and has provisions for hanging file folders and other organizational features, especially for customers whose vehicle also serves as a rolling office.

More capable, more comfortable
The 2015 Yukon lineup delivers greater capability and greater refinement through new and enhanced chassis and suspension systems. A fully boxed frame – composed of more than 75 percent high-strength steel – supports a quiet and controlled ride. New shear-style body mounts attached to the frame significantly improve stiffness and contribute to the Yukon’s smooth ride.

Compared with previous models, the driving experience of the new SUVs is further enhanced with:

  • Wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
  • Wheels that are a half-inch wider, reducing tire flex for improved cornering performance
  • New, electric variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
  • New 9.5-inch rear axle and standard automatic locking rear differential
  • Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, auto grade braking and hill start assist
  • New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions that improve pedal feel for stronger-feeling, more confident braking performance
  • Denali models include third-generation magnetic ride control, a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds.

Advanced engine technology
The all-new Yukon family is more powerful and efficient than before, thanks to the new EcoTec3 engine family, which debuted earlier this year in the all-new 2014 Sierra. A 5.3L V-8 is standard in Yukon and Yukon XL models and an exclusive 6.2L engine is standard in Denali models, which is expected to deliver the segment’s best horsepower and torque.

The EcoTec3 engines feature state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. More precisely controlled combustion enables the new engines to run with a higher compression ratio, which delivers greater power and efficiency.

Hydraulic engine mounts, electronic throttle control, adaptive exhaust systems, improved aerodynamics and other technologies help the engines operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods of time with Active Fuel Management, further increasing efficiency.

Both engines are matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.