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)

Insurance Study Finds GMC Sierra 1500 Best for Safety

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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.

Insure.com 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)

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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Check out Other Recalls

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

Third-Row Access: Captain's Chairs Save the Day

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I recently test-drove a luxurious, comfortable car that got decent gas mileage and came standard with a roomy third row. However, there was a problem: My son had to vault over the second row to get to his car seat in the third row. Because I had my girls' child-safety seats installed in the second-row outboard positions, this car's slick one-touch flip-and-fold feature was rendered useless.

For better or worse, my son's vault training didn't start with this car. Many cars on the market require athletic skills to access the third row once you have car seats installed in the second row. This is definitely something to consider if you — like me — have more than a couple of children in car seats and need a three-row vehicle.

A minivan is an obvious solution, but there are other options. One of the best ways to avoid this third-row-access debacle is to opt for captain's chairs in the second row, creating a little pathway to the third row. Several savvy automakers offer this option. While this may knock your second-row seating capacity down a notch, it also increases your possibility of getting children and even adults into the third row without resorting to vaulting.

Consider the Dodge Durango (photo above): It's long been popular for families, but it lacked practicality for those of us with three or more children because of the crossover's bench-only second row. For the 2013 model year, the Durango will offer second-row captain's chairs for the first time.

By Courtney Messenbaugh | November 19, 2012 | Comments (6)

Are GM's Big Hybrids Headed to the Chopping Block?

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Before the Chevrolet Volt and GM's new eAssist models, the carmaker's hybrid offerings were mainly composed of a small number of dual-mode hybrid SUVs and trucks. Now there's some uncertainty as to whether those hybrids will be around when the next-generation models arrive, according to GM Inside News and PickupTrucks.com.

It's speculated that the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid, GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid, GMC Yukon Hybrid and GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid may get cut when the new models come in the 2013 and 2014 model years, according to GM Inside News, an enthusiast site. The forum says the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid may get renewed, however.

By Colin Bird | September 4, 2012 | Comments (6)

Where to Sit: Scion iQ's Front Seats or GMC Yukon XL's Third Row?

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There’s no reason why anyone should cross-shop the Scion iQ microcar and massive extended-wheelbase GMC Yukon XL, but coincidence brought these polar opposites into Cars.com’s test fleet at the same time. The amount of space inside the Yukon is impressive to the point where we wondered if the third row could be roomier and more comfortable than the iQ’s front seats. Wonder no more, we got out the measuring tape.

Check out the Scion iQ vs. GMC Yukon XL Photo Gallery On Facebook

The difference in size is staggering. From bumper to bumper, the entire iQ can fit between the Yukon XL’s wheelbase. Subtract the iQ’s curb weight (2,127 pounds) from the Yukon XL’s (5,824 pounds) and there’s almost 3,700 pounds left over to craft a midsize sedan. 
 
The Yukon XL’s third row has a tough task to conquer the iQ’s front seats because, despite a small exterior, the Scion’s surprisingly large interior has plenty of room for front occupants.

By Joe Bruzek | August 28, 2012 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Reviews the 2012 GMC Yukon XL

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The 2012 GMC Yukon XL is good at two things: carrying lots of people and holding all their cargo, says Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays. But he wonders why you would spend the extra money for the GMC model when its Chevy Suburban sibling does the same thing for less.

2012 GMC Yukon XL Review
By Jennifer Geiger | August 24, 2012 | Comments (2)

2012 GMC Yukon XL Video

In an age of perpetually volatile gas prices, who in their right mind would want to purchase a very large SUV such as the 2012 GMC Yukon XL, you might ask? It’s certainly a valid question; the answer is folks who need to tow as much as a pickup truck while carrying a lot of passengers or cargo, according to Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays. However, the Chevrolet Suburban is nearly identical and less expensive than the GMC Yukon XL.

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2012 GMC Yukon XL: Car Seat Check
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By Colin Bird | August 14, 2012 | Comments (2)

2012 GMC Yukon XL: Car Seat Check

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The 2012 GMC Yukon XL lives up to its name. With an extra 20 inches in length on the regular GMC Yukon, the XL is made for hauling a lot of people and cargo. The XL can hold up to nine people on three rows of seats. It also can fit three child-safety seats across its second row.

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 Newman | July 17, 2012 | Comments (5)

Incentives Diet: Buy This, Not That

2012 Chrysler 200 LX vs. 2012 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT

With new models coming fast and furious via announcements at the four major auto shows —  L.A., Detroit, Chicago and New York — of the season, we thought we'd focus our incentives breakdown on some older, proven models that are still around for the time being.

In this latest round of Buy This, Not That, we focused on midsize sedans, full-sized luxury SUVs and large family sedans. Included in this rundown are the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Malibu, which both have new models entering the market now or in the near future.

All the trim levels picked for these comparisons included an automatic transmission, air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and power locks, windows and side mirrors. Final price includes destination charges.

By Colin Bird | April 18, 2012 | Comments (4)

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