Several Midsize SUVs Fail IIHS Crash Test


The 2014 Honda Pilot didn't do very well in's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, and it fared even worse in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest crash test. The Pilot is one of several SUVs that scored poorly in the IIHS's challenging small front overlap test.

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The agency recently performed the test, meant to simulate a 40-mph crash of a vehicle's front corner into another vehicle, a tree or a pole, on nine midsize SUVs; six scored marginal or poor. Only the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain took home good ratings, earning them Top Safety Pick Plus status.

The GM twins join the redesigned-for-2014 Toyota Highlander, which was tested last year and also deemed a Top Safety Pick Plus. To qualify for the agency's highest award, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable small overlap rating, good ratings in four other occupant protection tests and a rating of basic or higher for front crash prevention.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 7, 2014 | Comments (13)

Which Cars Have Heated Seats with Separate Back and Bottom Heaters?

In the new Chevrolet Impala, I noticed the heated seats are two-stages like GM vehicles used to have. But many GMs I've been in recently have just the one setting for bottom and back combined. Is this GM-wide? Which vehicles have the two-setting heaters?


By Rick Popely | September 29, 2013 | Comments (1)

Can You Compare the GMC Terrain to the Subaru Outback?

"Can you compare the GMC Terrain to the Subaru Outback?"


Though the Outback is officially a wagon, it mimics the look of an SUV, has standard all-wheel drive and provides more ground clearance than most crossovers. If it looks like one and performs like one, there is no reason it can't be on the same shopping list as the Terrain.

The Outback stacks up quite well against similar-size crossover SUVs such as the Terrain (a kissing cousin of the Chevrolet Equinox), and it offers some advantages in ride and handling because it is derived from the Subaru Legacy sedan. The Terrain, though also based on a car platform, feels more trucklike and is less maneuverable in tight spots.

Even with standard all-wheel drive, four-cylinder Outbacks have EPA estimates of 24/30 mpg city/highway with the continuously variable automatic transmission. The four-cylinder Terrain's fuel economy estimates are 22/32 mpg with front-wheel drive and 20/29 mpg with all-wheel drive. Though four-cylinder Outbacks aren't sprinters, they feel livelier and more responsive than four-cylinder Terrains.

The Terrain looks larger than the Outback, but at 185 inches bumper to bumper is actually 4 inches shorter. The Terrain has a much longer wheelbase (distance between front and rear wheels), 112.5 inches versus 107.9, which usually translates into more passenger space. That's not the case here: The Outback's interior has 105.4 cubic feet of passenger space, compared with 99.6 for the Terrain. The Outback also has more cargo space, 71.3 cubic feet versus 63.9.

Ground clearance is 8.7 inches on the Outback and 6.9 inches on the Terrain. Though that has benefits, such as when driving through deep snow, it makes getting in and out of the Outback more challenging for some, so you should check that out while shopping.

Pricewise, the Terrain is probably more expensive than comparable Outback models in base form, though how many options you choose can change the math. See here for a side-by-side comparison of Terrain and Outback specifications. Once you choose specific models of the Outback and Terrain, this helpful feature will spell out how they compare for size, standard equipment and optional features.

Have a car question you'd like us to answer? Send us an email at [email protected], or ask in the comments below.

2013 Subaru Outback Research
2013 GMC Terrain Review
Subaru Outback News
GMC Terrain News

By Rick Popely | August 25, 2013 | Comments (2)

Insurance Study Finds GMC Sierra 1500 Best for Safety

A new study of insurance rates for injury protection and medical payments ranked the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck highest for occupant injury protection. The Fiat 500 ranks lowest. studied prevailing insurance rates across hundreds of ZIP codes from six major auto-insurance carriers: Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. The firm analyzed premiums for injury coverage, including provisions for uninsured motorists and lost wages, on more than 750 new cars.

Besides the GMC Sierra 1500 (SLE/SLT/Work Truck), the best rates came from the Porsche Cayenne, GMC Yukon (SLT/Denali), GMC Sierra 2500 (SLE only) and GMC Terrain (SLE1 only) — all trucks or SUVs. On the other end, multiple trim levels of the Fiat 500 and 500c (cabrio) rated worst among injury-protection rates. The Kia Rio5 (LX/SX), Toyota Corolla (L only), Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Mercedes-Benz CL600 joined the small Fiat among the worst cars for injury-related insurance rates. Four of those five are compact or subcompact, and three of them start under $17,500.
By Kelsey Mays | January 29, 2013 | Comments (0) Reviews the 2013 GMC Terrain


GMC took some risks with the 2013 Terrain’s exterior styling, says reviewer Mike Hanley. Between its large grille — chrome on the top-of-the-line Denali trim — and exaggerated, blocky fender flares, the Terrain has a jarring look. Mike says GMC got some things right, though: The Terrain’s newly available 3.6-liter V-6 is significantly stronger than the older V-6. The crossover’s cornering ability got better too; it encourages you to push it even harder in turns.

2013 GMC Terrain Review

By Jennifer Newman | October 23, 2012 | Comments (13)

2013 GMC Terrain Denali Video

For the first time since it was introduced in 2010, the GMC Terrain is available in a Denali luxury trim. This top-of-the-line model offers more bling — and a $40,000 price tag. Unfortunately, some of the added accoutrements end up inhibiting the everyday drivability of the vehicle, according to reviewer Mike Hanley.

2013 GMC Terrain Denali: First Look 
2013 GMC Terrain: Car Seat 
Check More GMC Terrain News

By Colin Bird | October 10, 2012 | Comments (2)

2013 GMC Terrain: Car Seat Check

Like its stable mate, the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC's smallest SUV is an incredibly family-friendly vehicle. It's one of the largest crossovers in the compact class and has a huge backseat. The Terrain's Latch anchors are exposed, making connection a breeze, and its second row slides and reclines, so there's plenty of room for two child-safety seats.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

By Jennifer Geiger | September 28, 2012 | Comments (5)

GM Halts Sale of Some 2013 Vehicles to Fix OnStar Glitch

A glitch in the OnStar system has caused GM to halt the sale of several 2013 vehicles, Automotive News reports.

A software problem is preventing OnStar's crash notification system from working in accidents that do not trigger airbag deployment. As a result, the OnStar call center isn't being alerted in certain types of accidents, like rear-end collisions.

The airbag system and the OnStar emergency button aren’t affected by the glitch. 

About 60,000 vehicles require a manual software update to fix the bug; most of them are on dealer lots. The nameplates affected include the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, Equinox and Volt; the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS; the 2013 Buick Verano; and the 2013 GMC Terrain. Some 2012 Cadillac SRXs also are affected. 

GM notified dealers of the glitch last week and asked them to stop delivery until the issue was fixed, according to Automotive News. A GM spokesman told the trade paper that the fix should be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.

GM Halts Deliveries of Certain 2012-13 Vehicles to Fix Software Glitch (Automotive News)
OnStar Revamps Buttons for 2013
OnStar Coming to More Cars

By Jennifer Geiger | September 10, 2012 | Comments (8)

Daily News Briefs: June 12, 2012

Buick-Pontiac-GMC-Cadillac Dealership, Michigan

As auto sales continue to rise, so too does the number of car dealerships and salespeople working at them, according to The Detroit News. In the first three months of 2012, 66 auto dealerships opened and 146,500 more jobs were added to the new- and used-car dealer workforce, according to the Detroit paper. There are now 1.08 million people working at car dealerships, up from 933,500 last year.

By Colin Bird | June 12, 2012 | Comments (0)

Daily News Briefs: May 17, 2012


New models will come fast and furious in the 2013-16 model years, according to Bank of America/Merrill Lynch's annual product pipeline analysis, dubbed the "Car Wars" report. Bank of America sees an above-average level of new model launches starting in the 2014 and 2015 model years, when 105 all-new models will be launched.

GM will have a dramatic replacement rate, according to the investment bank, including the launch of a new Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and an all-new generation of full-size crossovers (including the Chevrolet Traverse). New versions of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain will also dramatically transform GM's lineup in the next four years. GM's market share is said to increase slightly over the next three years, to an estimated 18.2% by 2015.

Ford will see an above-average replacement rate, too, says Merrill Lynch. It projects that the automaker will have a "solid product cadence," culminating in an all-new Ford F-Series in the 2015 model year.

Despite Chrysler's current massive product surge, the investment bank says the carmaker will have a below-average launch of new vehicles in the coming years. Chrysler will launch a slew of new crossovers, such as the new car-based Jeep Liberty replacement, and other small and midsize Fiat-based vehicles, such as the new Chrysler 200 and 100, in the coming years. Expect an all-new Ram truck in the 2017 model year, the report says.

Korean, European and Japanese automakers are expected to have below-average replacement rates for the 2013-16 model years. In fact, after Hyundai and Kia had a strong product launch for the 2011 model year, the bank describes the coming years as "volatile" for the Korean carmakers and believes there's a strong indication of decreasing market share for each over the next few years.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | May 17, 2012 | Comments (0)

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