Top 10 Most Polarizing Cars

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Maybe you love it, maybe you hate it, but almost certainly you're talking about it. Polarizing cars have that effect on people — but sometimes you just love what you love, even if seems like everyone thinks you're nuts for loving it. Sometimes that public pressure makes you love it more. There have been cars like this since the beginning of the auto industry, with the first automobiles themselves being polarizing machines. Some people thought the horseless carriage was amazing, and some thought it was blasphemy, but it certainly got attention.

We polled the editors of Cars.com to decide the most polarizing cars of recent memory and tabulated the results. What's the most polarizing car?

By Aaron Bragman | September 17, 2013 | Comments (23)

Smart ForTwo Tops List of Most Embarrassing Cars

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Drive a Smart ForTwo and you have one of the most embarrassing cars in America, according to a new survey by CarInsurance.com.

The Foster City, Calif., company asked 1,500 drivers age 25 and older to pick the most embarrassing car from a gallery of 12 current or recent vehicles: the Chevrolet HHR, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Nissan Cube, Smart ForTwo and Volkswagen New Beetle hatchbacks; the Chevrolet SSR and Subaru Baja pickup trucks; the Honda Element, Hummer H2 and Pontiac Aztek SUVs; the Lincoln Town Car sedan; and the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible.

Respondents were asked to deem each car embarrassing or not and then ranked the three most embarrassing. The ForTwo pulled an ’84 Reagan — it won by a landslide. (Or it lost by a landslide, depending how you see it, in which case it pulled an ’84 Mondale.) Nearly half of the respondents said they’d be embarrassed to drive Smart’s tiny hatchback, and a third said it was the most embarrassing car. The survey allowed respondents to specify a reason, including write-in options. "It looks like I couldn’t afford a real car," CarInsurance.com says one respondent wrote.

By Kelsey Mays | August 5, 2013 | Comments (20)

GM to Recall 1.3 Million Vehicles Over Heated Windshield Wiper System

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Do you have a heated windshield wiper system on your 2006-2009 GM vehicle? If so, it’s likely part of a wide-ranging recall of 1.36 million vehicles including 18 different models of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer and Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs.
 
The defect is a new one, and it follows a previous recall of the same system in the same vehicles. So if you’ve already had one recall performed, this is another you’ll need to address. Even if you’ve had the previous recall performed, the system may still have significant heat and melting issues that could lead to fire.
 
GM will be removing these systems completely from the vehicles and reimbursing owners $100. The systems will not be reinstalled, and GM no longer offers this option on new vehicles. The recall will begin on or before Monday. In the meantime, do not use the system.

The full list of vehicles is below, as are the customer service numbers for each division and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

By David Thomas | June 8, 2010 | Comments (7)

Louisiana Plant Builds Last Hummer H3

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While it’s sure to become a symbol of the gas-guzzler boom, Hummer saw the last H3 roll off the production line of the Shreveport, La., plant this Monday.

The SUV is part of a special order for Avis, the rental car company, and its completion means that roughly 200 of the plant’s 900 employees will lose their jobs in July. If you’ll recall, GM tried and failed to sell the brand to a Chinese heavy machinery company, leading to its decision to wind down the brand.

All remaining Hummer models have gone on sale in a “Last Chance to Buy a Hummer” promotion that includes zero-percent financing for 72 months and $6,000 off H2 and H3 models.

Hummer has certainly earned a — how else to put this — conspicuous place in automotive history with both its detractors and fervent fans. The last H3 simply marks another one of those small moments that makeup a larger sea change in the kinds of vehicles people are driving.

Last Hummer Rolls Off the Assembly Line (WKOW via The Car Connection)

By Stephen Markley | May 26, 2010 | Comments (12)

Recall Alert: 2006-2010 Hummer H3

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GM has issued a recall for 162,129 Hummer H3 vehicles from the 2006-2010 model years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall is due to a potential defect in the hood that could cause it to detach while being driven. Some of the H3s from these model years have integral clip-tabs on the hood’s louver that may fracture. In these cases the hood louver could rattle against the hood and come loose. Gone unaddressed, more clips could fracture and the hood could come free while the vehicle is in motion.

If the hood comes free at any decent speed, it would become a dangerous projectile that could strike another vehicle.

Dealers will use an adhesive to secure the hood louver to the hood free of charge. Owners may contact Hummer at 800-732-5493 or NHTSA’s hot line at 888-327-4236.

By Stephen Markley | May 5, 2010 | Comments (8)

Hummer to Shut Down, Discounting H2, H3

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General Motors announced today that it will begin shutting down the Hummer brand after failing to secure a buyer. Part of the shutdown is a massive discounting on 2009 and 2010 Hummer models still on dealer lots, which comes to about 2,200 vehicles, GM says.

Buyers can get $6,000 in rebates on the 2009 Hummer H2 and H3, $5,000 on the 2009 H3T and $4,000 on 2010 H3T. Zero-percent financing will be offered instead of some of the cash rebates for qualified buyers.

Both the 2009 and 2010 Hummer H3 start at $33,390. The 2009 and 2010 H3T at $30,750 and $30,915, respectively. There weren’t significant changes between the two model years, so finding a 2009 would be worth the extra cash. The 2009 H2 starts at $63,090. We’d expect dealers will offer their own discounts on top of the cash back from GM.

You can find a new Hummer in Cars.com’s inventory by going here and entering your ZIP code.
By David Thomas | April 7, 2010 | Comments (10)

GM Takes Second Look at Hummer Bidders

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As GM attempts to off-load brands like Hummer and Saab, the entire process feels like the end of a horror movie when the monster keeps popping back to life.

Just as Hummer’s fate appeared sealed when the Chinese industrial machinery company Tengzhong couldn’t get the sale approved by the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal reports that a flicker of hope remains for the SUV brand.

GM is apparently taking a second look at two previous suitors that made bids for Hummer before Tengzhong but were rejected as insufficient. The Journal did not say which companies made the offer, but it did confirm that GM turned both down sometime last year.

It remains likely that GM will simply have to wind down the brand as it did with Pontiac and Saturn, but Hummer remains a widely recognized — and for some, a fiercely beloved — brand.

GM Weighs Two Offers for Hummer (The Wall Street Journal)

By Stephen Markley | February 26, 2010 | Comments (4)

J.D. Power Finds Lexus and Hummer Tops in Customer Service

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For 2010, J.D. Power and Associates split its Customer Service Index Study into luxury and mass market categories, with Lexus winning the luxury brand and Hummer at the top in the mass market column. Even before the news that Hummer was shutting down came to light Wednesday, the least expensive vehicle it sold was the H3 starting at $33,390.

In the luxury category, Lexus was followed by Cadillac, Jaguar, Acura and BMW. For mass market, GM took six of the top seven spots, with defunct Saturn in second place followed by Buick and Chevy. (Mini rounded out the top five.)

Keep in mind that the Customer Service Index says nothing about the quality of the brands. It simply measures maintenance service or repair work at the dealerships during the first years of ownership. J.D. Power’s criteria include service quality, service initiation, service adviser, service facility and vehicle pickup.

While this year’s study showed the industry improving overall, J.D. Power cautions that low volumes in the service bay could have something to do with this because of the downturn in new-car sales.

Check out both luxury and mass market rankings after the jump.

By Stephen Markley | February 25, 2010 | Comments (10)

Hummer Sale to Chinese Company Falls Through

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GM’s planned sale of the Hummer brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. has fallen through. GM says it will wind down all operations for the brand.

GM says it will honor all warranties and provide service and parts through other GM dealers. This is the same process that Saturn and Pontiac went through in the past year since GM’s restructuring.

Hummer sales fell 67% in 2009 compared with 2008 to just 9,046 units. Reports from Bloomberg earlier today pointed to the Chinese government’s desire to portray a green image as its huge population is increasingly buying more cars as a reason it would not approve the sale. 
By David Thomas | February 24, 2010 | Comments (4)

Hummer H3 Alive and Well With Tweaks

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Despite a tough run through high gas prices and a sour economy, and with a sale to a Chinese company pending, Hummer will produce a 2010 H3 and H3T. Both will arrive in dealerships by next month.

The vehicles will receive a couple of notable tweaks. First, they will have an available E85 Flex Fuel 5.3L V8 engine as an option. Rated at 300 horsepower, we wouldn’t exactly call this an attempt by Hummer to go “green” but the new ethanol-capable engine does offer a cheaper fuel choice (especially for those who live in ethanol-subsidized states in the Midwest).

Secondly, Hummer will offer three new colors for the 2010 model year: Red Rock Metallic, Silver Stone Metallic and Canyon Metallic.

The price for the H3 will remain the same for 2010 with an MSRP of $33,390, while H3T pricing starts at $30,195 (a $165 increase for those keeping track). Neither price includes a $780 destination charge.

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By Stephen Markley | November 6, 2009 | Comments (10)

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