"Will the 2015 GM full-size SUVs have a hybrid version?"
"Will the 2015 GM full-size SUVs have a hybrid version?"
Vehicles Affected: 18,972 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks manufactured between Aug. 1, 2013, and Sept. 10, 2013, and equipped with manual reclining seatbacks.
The Problem: Either of the front seatbacks may have play and therefore fail to conform to federal safety requirements pertaining to head restraints. If the vehicle is struck from behind, the head restraint may not properly protect occupants, increasing the risk of injury.
Of a dozen 2013 and 2014 models vying for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club in the latest round of testing, less than half made the cut. NHTSA's crash tests examine vehicles' safety performance in frontal and side collisions, as well as roof strength in rollover accidents.
Both the 2014 Buick Regal with eAssist and Verano front-wheel-drive sedans made the grade. The Regal received fours in both frontal and rollover ratings and a five in side-collision tests for an overall score of five. The Verano, also finishing with an overall score of five, received fives in both frontal and side collisions, and a four in rollover tests.
With USB ports now commonplace in new cars, trucks and SUVs, it didn't take long for engineers to realize more is better. The 2014 GMC Sierra SLT 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado LTZ 1500 we recently tested each had five USB inputs for charging cellphones, music players, tablets, cameras, toy helicopters or whatever else has a battery and USB charging capabilities. The base trucks have two USB ports each.
The trucks' USB locations are divvied into a group of three ports below the climate controls, and the remaining two are in the center console. Not only are there five inputs, but a Chevrolet representative says all five can read devices as well as charge them. Often extra USB ports are merely charging docks and aren't capable of reading a device for music.
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.
Ram, Chevrolet and GMC recently redesigned their light-duty trucks, and Ford’s F-150 underwent a well-received overhaul prior to that heating up the extremely important segment. PickupTrucks.com teamed up with Popular Mechanics to test all six players in the segment to see which one claims bragging rights as the top truck.
PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams' first impressions of the 2014 GMC Sierra hauled straight to the top of our most-watched videos list this week, besting debuts by both the 2014 Acura RLX luxury sedan and 2013 Toyota Corolla S compact sedan. Williams recently got to test the new Sierra at a driving event just north of Santa Barbara, Calif., where he got a trailer-towing crash course hauling his own overnight accommodations for the trip, a 23-foot Airstream trailer. Check out what else was popular:1. 2014 GMC Sierra First Drive
Sometimes drivers need a little kick in the pants to keep them focused on the road — literally. GM's Safety Alert Seat does just that. The system, which sends subtle vibrations through the seat bottom cushion to alert the driver to potential road hazards, will be optional on the 2014 GMC Sierra.
The Safety Alert Seat works with other safety systems such as rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems. For example, when the lane departure system detects lane wandering without a turn signal, it sends a pulse to the left or right side of the driver's seat.
GM says the new Sierra, which goes on sale this summer, has "available advanced active safety features never offered to full-size pickup truck owners." We first tested the Safety Alert Seat on the Cadillac SRX crossover; it's also available on the ATS sedan. According to GMC spokeswoman Kelly Wysocki, the Chevrolet Silverado will get the system as well; she couldn't comment on its availability in other GM vehicles, however.
To read about Cars.com editor Kristin Varela's experiences with the system in the SRX, click here.
Cars.com's sister site PickupTrucks.com notes that GM's announcement of performance specifications on its new half-ton pickups follows the automaker's tendency to feed us only morsels of info at a time. There's still plenty to chew on for those hungry for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra now that testing is completed on a new 5.3-liter V-8, one of three optional engines. According to reported figures, the half-tons will lead their pickup pack in fuel economy, payload and towing capacity — while preliminary pricing shows modest increases and in some cases none at all.
Check out PickupTrucks.com for the details.Related
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