Ford F-250 Nabs Most-Stolen Title From Cadillac Escalade

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For the first time in a decade, the Cadillac Escalade does not rank as thieves' favorite target, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute's analysis. The dubious distinction now belongs to the Ford F-250 — specifically four-wheel-drive, crew-cab versions of the pickup truck — which is six times more likely to get stolen than the average vehicle. Large pickups and SUVs continued to be targeted at higher rates than other vehicles.

In the Escalade's fall from first to No. 6, the HLDI cited waning popularity and improved antitheft technology, including a steering-column lock and an alarm that sounds when the vehicle's incline changes, along with a standard ignition immobilizer. But it's not all good news for the Escalade. Although its theft rate dipped by 50% from figures reported three years ago, four-wheel-drive versions of the luxury SUV still were stolen 4.5 times more than the average vehicle. The average insurance loss payment was $6,508 compared with nearly $12,000 previously.

By Matt Schmitz | July 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 54,686 Model-Year 2013 GM SUVs and Trucks

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GM is recalling 54,686 model-year 2013 versions of several trucks and SUVs due to a faulty park lock cable, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were built from Nov. 7 through Dec. 18, 2012, and include the 2013 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Express, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe; and GMC Savana, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL. Check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb.

In these vehicles, a fractured park lock cable or malformed steering-column components could allow drivers to shift from Park with the ignition key removed or the key in the Off position. This could cause the vehicle to roll away, increasing the risk of injury or accident.

GM will notify owners starting Jan. 17, and dealers will replace the affected parts for free. Owners with questions can call Chevrolet at 800-630-2438, Cadillac at 866-982-2339 or GMC at 866-996-9463. NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline (888-327-4236) can also provide more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | January 4, 2013 | Comments (0)

Incentives So Big They May Change Your Mind

Incentives Needle Movers

Big incentives don't usually land on cars that are widely shopped and/or praised by the media, but sometimes deals this good are hard to pass up. Below are some of this month's most significant incentives that may have shoppers reconsidering models they may have written off.

By Colin Bird | June 12, 2012 | Comments (4)

PickupTrucks.com Chevy Avalanche Road Trip

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How well does the Chevrolet Avalanche handle a college coed and all her stuff on a cross-country trip? Day one of the journey started in Washington, D.C., and covered five states. Follow PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams on a road trip with his daughter. There are lots more miles and states to come.

Chevy Avalanche Road Trip: Five States (PickupTrucks.com)

By Jennifer Geiger | May 15, 2012 | Comments (2)

Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks

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Good products usually sell themselves … but not always. We've assembled here a list of cars and trucks that should be more popular than they are. In some cases the sales figures aren't bad, but in none of the cases below do the sales match our assessment of the cars' relevance or excellence. That usually means car shoppers can find a bit of a deal, too. Here are our Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks in no particular order.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | May 7, 2012 | Comments (21)

Chevrolet Caps Avalanche Run With 2013 Black Diamond Model

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Chevrolet is ending production of its Avalanche pickup truck after model-year 2013 and releasing one last edition to celebrate. The model's swan song is the Black Diamond Avalanche, which features body-colored bed surrounds and a unique badge on the sail panel. The model caps an 11-year run for Chevrolet's crew-cab pickup.

Along with the Black Diamond additions, a backup camera, rear park assist, power-adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start will be added as standard equipment on model-year 2013 LS models. LT models also get a standard backup camera this year. According to Chevrolet, base prices also have been reduced by $2,500 with the two-wheel-drive Avalanche LS now starting at $35,980, plus a $995 destination charge.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 13, 2012 | Comments (38)

Daily News Briefs: April 13, 2012

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Your Friday the 13th edition of what’s going on in the automotive world is here:

  • The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas has dropped slightly to $3.90 from last week’s $3.93, but some areas are getting much greater relief. The Midwest was hit with some of the highest prices in the country earlier this year and it’s now seeing the biggest price declines. The state averages for Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio dropped 18, 14, 12 and 9 cents, respectively, in the past week, according to AAA. Analysts point to better refinery utilization and a stabilizing global environment for the big drops. My local gas station in suburban Chicago dropped its regular unleaded prices from $4.59 three weeks ago to $4.29 this morning.
  • Hyundai dealers need more cars on lots, so the company plans to reduce fleet sales to rental car companies and other organizations from 10% to 5%. Typically, having in-demand cars is a good thing, but Hyundai has just 25 days of supply versus an industry average of 55 days. That means customers have fewer choices at dealerships and likely won’t get a deal on the ones they find.
  • Using natural disasters for car names seems like an odd tactic, and GM has slowly phased out the model names. Gone are the GMC Typhoon and Syclone (sic), and today, the company announced it would stop production on the Chevy Avalanche. We’ll have more on that model’s swan song later this morning.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a rule that would make brake override systems mandatory equipment in vehicles. The decision stems from the issues Toyota and Lexus vehicles encountered involving unintended acceleration. Most new vehicles are already equipped with brake override systems, so the rule likely would not impact car prices like NHTSA’s proposed rule requiring backup cameras in vehicles.
By David Thomas | April 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

Year-End Deal Reality Check: Chevrolet

Chevy incentives
As the year comes to an end, Chevrolet is offering some unique deals on select models, including no-money-down leases or financing that defers the first monthly payment for a few months.

Special deals are available to shoppers of the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, Traverse and Impala (LS trim only). All three have attractive 0% financing with the option of having no monthly payments until the spring, according to Chevy.

Well-qualified shoppers can get 0% to 3.9% financing for 60 months, depending on the model. The new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and popular Cruze have 2.9% financing deals for 60 months. The soon-to-be-defunct Impala has $3,000 cash on the hood; so does the 2012 Chevy Avalanche. You can take off $2,000 on a new 2012 Traverse, while the hot-selling 2012 Chevy Tahoe and Suburban have only $1,500 on the hood.

The deals are even more attractive for those looking to lease a new Chevy. Under the Sign & Drive program, you can lease a new 2012 Cruze ($199 a month), Malibu ($229 a month), Traverse ($299 a month) or Silverado ($381 a month for All Star Edition trims) for no money down with 39-month and 39,000-mile terms.

All current Chevy deals end Jan. 3. For more information, go here.

By Colin Bird | December 28, 2011 | Comments (0)

Few Big Incentives from Chevy in April

This month, Chevrolet continues to offer a few healthy cash-back offers, but some 0% financing on some of the brand’s large SUVs has been taken away.

Chevy’s slow sellers, such as the Avalanche and HHR, continue to offer 0% financing throughout April. The Tahoe and Suburban switch from 0% financing to a still-attractive 2.9% for 60 months, though both models maintain a $2,000 cash-back deal from last month. No Chevy models increase their cash-back offerings.

Chevy’s popular sellers, like the Cruze and Equinox, don’t offer much in terms of incentives, but both models have somewhat attractive lease deals.

Most incentives expire May 2. Continue reading below for more detailed offerings:

By Colin Bird | April 11, 2011 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 26,751 GM Trucks, SUVS

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General Motors has expanded an earlier recall from last month over a potential problem with the rear axle/suspension, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected models include the 2011 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Colorado, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe; and GMC Canyon, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL. While the initial recall affected only 1,262 vehicles (and all the vehicles were trucks), now 26,751 vehicles (including SUVs) are affected.

In the affected vehicles, the rear axle cross pin was not manufactured correctly. As a result, the pin could fracture and become displaced within the rear axle, causing the axle to lock up. This condition could make maintaining direction control difficult, increasing the likelihood of an accident without prior warning.

GM is expected to begin the recall Jan. 25. Dealerships will install a new rear axle cross pin free of charge on affected vehicles. For more info, owners can contact Cadillac at 866-982-2339, Chevrolet at 800-630-2438, GMC at 866-996-9463 or NHTSA's safety hotline at 888-327-4236. Owners can also go to www.GMownercenter.com.

By Colin Bird | January 17, 2011 | Comments (6)

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