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$2.00 A Gallon and What Does GM Offer?
GMInsidenews.com
5/22/2004

"GM doesn't offer any fuel efficient cars like the Japanese & Europeans, and gas is at $2.00 a gallon!" So goes the cry we've all heard before. It is assumed that brands like Acura, Mitsubishi, or Audi automatically get better gas mileage because of their "highly advanced" techy powertrains.

While Toyota and Honda offer hybrids, and Volkswagen offers diesel cars, the rest of the import lineup doesn't necessarily have a whole lot going for it when it comes to squeezing distance out of each drop of gas. If you are extremely bothered by the price of gasoline, however, you might tend to gravitate towards the brands with the stereotypical image of fuel efficiency - perhaps granted a 'halo effect' by the few ultra-fuel-efficient models they do have. Hope you like to buy premium fuel though, because the Toyota Camry's 210-horsepower, 24-valve, 3.0-liter V-6 needs it, and gets 20/29 fuel economy, even with the benefit of a 5-speed auto transmission. And a typical mid-range Audi A6 Avant gets 18/25 mpg - some car based SUVs do as well or better than that.

When it comes to true fuel efficiency, hauling and cargo space value for your dollar, GM actually has quite a few above average buys, despite its glaring lack of hybrid cars for now.

Here are a few:

1.
"I need my cargo space! But I also want good fuel economy and a car like ride."

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx - 22 city / 30 hwy
With 68.0 cubic feet of cargo volume, the Malibu Maxx holds a lot. Compare that to an Isuzu Rodeo, that has 81.1 cubic feet of cargo volume. * Unfortunately the Isuzu's 3.2L V6 gets 17/23 mpg with an automatic and similar horsepower. Toyota's Highlander - in fact a similar (but larger) vehicle to the Maxx, but not quite as nimble on its feet due to its jacked up stance, also gets similar cargo space to the Rodeo, but its V6 gets only 18/24 mpg - and yes, Toyota recommends premium fuel. The Highlander is a more expensive vehicle, and weighs in at 3750 pounds to the Maxx's 3458. Hmm, perhaps Toyota would have been better off with a plain old Camry Station Wagon instead.
The Maxx may not be the best looking Chevy, but it has some advantages over its brothers. The Maxx, unlike its new stablemate, the Chevy Equinox SUV, has a redesigned version of the Equinox's 3.4L, the 3.5L, that makes 200 horsepower and 220 torque. Space, a new engine, good fuel economy, decent power - the Maxx has it all. Well, everything except a 3rd row of seats. And it starts at $21,600. Not bad, considering what else is selling out there for this price.

2.
"I need a small car that will save me money at the pump! But I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it!"

2004 Chevrolet Aveo - 27 city / 36 hwy (5-speed manual)
There was a day when cheap meant cramped. With 42.0 cubic feet of cargo volume, room to seat 4 comfortably, and a hatch, the Aveo is not a tiny car that won't hold anything. And with a sticker price starting at $9,455 --- that Toyota Prius with an MSRP of $20,295 will need to get some STELLAR fuel economy to make up for the 10,000 dollar difference in price. Oh, and what's this? The Prius is listed as having a mere 16.1 cu ft of space with four passengers. "And a sloped tail and high floor preclude tall cargo despite large opening."*
The Aveo may not be the ultimate "bling machine" that will get you dates, but the low purchase price and the good fuel economy are hard for even the dedicated hybrids to beat. And the Aveo won't need to have hybrid powertrain maintenance issues (batteries, etc.) down the road.

3.
"I need a lot of cargo space - space that only a large SUV can provide!"

2004 GMC Savana - 14 city /18 hwy 4.8L V8

Can you hear that echo? Its the echo of 316 cubic feet of cargo space on extended models. You'd need 4 and a half Isuzu Rodeos to haul that much stuff, and even the big old Suburban / Yukon Denali XL can only haul HALF of that at 131.6 cu. ft., for you die hard Suburban-is-the-biggest-baddest enthusiasts.
When it comes to 'how much can you haul for how much gasoline', the Savana and the Chevy Express are the often overlooked winners. With the same engine, the Yukon gets 15/19 fuel economy - hardly worth it to lose half your cargo volume for one extra mile per gallon. The Savana offers a 4.3L V6, but besides being an older engine than the 4.8L V8, it is rated with exactly the same fuel economy, and is a weakling wheezer when inside these big vans. The money you save is probably not worth it unless you only plan to drive the thing for a year and never do anything but deliver hundreds of overstuffed pillows.
The Express and Savana are the vehicle that most Suburban intenders should look hard at - and oh, did I mention you can get into one for nearly $10,000 less? Well, there, I just did. While spartan at lower trim levels, the Savana starts at $23,055. So on the vehicle price alone - you save a bundle. When you save 10,000 dollars off the cost of a Suburban and can load up twice as much, who cares if the gas mileage isn't that great? WHy the Savana and not the Express? Like the Astro and Safari, for some reason the GMC twins tend to hold their resale value a little better than Chevrolets.

4.
"I just want a roomy mid-size sedan that gets good fuel economy, looks modern, and can use regular fuel."

2004 Pontiac Grand Prix - 20 city / 30 hwy

With an "available fold-flat front passenger seat coupled with standard 60/40 split folding rear seatback (it) expands load volume and accommodates long objects up to 9.5 ft."*, the redesigned Grand Prix offers room, power, and a proven "bulletproof" engine. Its torquey 3800 gives power off the line, and decent cruising fuel economy - on the highway this engine doesn't break a sweat and revs very low compared to other mid-sizers like the Mazda 6. High-revving might be nice when you are taking the twisties for about 10 minutes, but you'll love the effortless cruising of the GP on trips. Try out the folding rear seats and fold flat passenger seat - if you've ever hated loading something large into a sedan, you'll like the versatility of this one. The supercharged version offers 60 more horsepower and 50 more torque, and only suffers 2 miles per gallon in fuel economy (18/28) -- and also allows use of regular fuel. When you get into the 260hp / 280 torque range in imports, you tend to see "premium fuel required". Take a test drive and punch it off of a dead stop, and you'll be hooked on the supercharged Series III engine. (just don't drive it all the time like that or you'll kill that fuel economy)

5.
"I need a fuel-thrifty pickup with decent power, none of that 120 horsepower stuff."

GMC Canyon - 2.8L Inline-4 175HP 21/27 mpg
With a starting MSRP of $15,895, and 27 mpg on the hwy, the Canyon has a new 4-cyl based on the same design of the Inline-6 in the Trailblazer. It may not be as efficient as the old 4-cyl. - but it packs a lot more power - enough to make it good for more than throwing your dirty boots and a fishing rod in the bed. Compare this to the Toyota Tacoma's numbers: 2.4L I4 142HP - 22/27 mpg. I'd say it's worth 1 mpg of city driving to have 33 more horses on tap. Nissan's Frontier numbers are almost exactly the same - 2.4L I4 143HP, 22/27 mpg. GM's 4-cyl. pickup engine manages to crank out more power per gallon of gas than either of the "fuel efficient import brands".

The Near Future:

For GM's sake, it would be a PR boost to offer the optional hybrid assist motor in the now fleet-only Silverados in GM's entire large SUV lineup - along with Displacement on Demand. But no word of alternate uses of the Silverado's "mild hybrid" engine is forthcoming from GM...yet.

This fall, the best all-around bang for the buck GM vehicle that balances fuel economy with cargo volume may actually turn out to be the new lineup of CSVs. Thankfully they are more than Ventures with a nose-job, and may actually get better fuel economy as they bump up their horsepower. The Venture's 3.4L engine got 19 city / 26 hwy fuel economy. Not bad, but at 185 hp not particularly potent. Some of us may lament the lack of a 3900 in these vehicles, but the CSV's more fuel efficient 200hp (205hp?) 3.5L may actually have been a wise choice in this time of expensive gasoline, given the price doesn't drop much.

GM MediaOnline has this to say about the CSV engine:

"The new 3500 has a multitude of refinements to improve performance, reduce noise and vibration, and reach higher levels of quality, reliability and dependability. The 3500 debuted on the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.

The engine incorporates a cast-iron block and aluminum cylinder heads. The Buick Terraza features an exclusive forged steel crankshaft, which provides a quieter, more refined engine sound."

Only available in the old minivans' "extended length" with fold down (if not true "fold flat") rear rows of seats, they should offer a cavernous cargo area to car-based SUV intenders.



Conclusion? Unless you are a tree-hugging, oil-industry-hating greenie who thinks it is worth the extra cost to buy a Prius just to poke a stick in GM's hybrid-downplaying eye, you can't really complain that GM has "no fuel efficient vehicles" in its lineup. The cost of owning a hybrid is right up front there in the MSRP, and good luck finding one for less than sticker price. GM's offering of value, ability to use regular fuel, and cargo space might not be as glamorous and techy as a hybrid or a showcase for technology, but when it comes to dollars and sense, GM has a few gems for the fuel cost conscious. (Not to mention those incentives!)

If the price of gas doesn't come down, the Malibu Maxx, CSVs, and Aveo may have arrived at exactly the right time for GM. Here's hoping that they have the manufacturing capacity to keep up.

* Source - consumerguide.com
 
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My '02 Camaro Z-28 with the LS1 V-8 engine and manual 6-speed gets better gas milaeage than the Toyota ForeRunner, Jeep Grand Cherokee, etc, ... and about the same as the "fuel efficient" Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

Hmmm..... <_< <_<

Sadly, image and perception rule....

<_< <_<
 
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Yea, GM and Ford are the evil US corporations with the big smokestacks cranking out all kind of pollution.

Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota fart spring breezes and butterflys.

No, I ain't cynical...**** just look around.

<_<
 

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I especally love how anti-SUV articles have an anti-detroitslant to them.

The phrase "Toyota Sequoia" means nothing in contrast to Tahoe in the author's eyes.
 

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Once again, it all boils down to perception.

GM has in the past , and does now, build quality vehicles that get as good, or better fuel mileage as the imports do. It all has to do with the public's perception that if it's imported, it must get better mileage than a domestic does. I get so sick and tired of filling my better half's Grand Am after a day's outing on the logging roads, and my Acura owning friend saying "It must have been only half a tank that you put in it just now." No, friend, it was full when we started, and it was empty when we finished, oh so many miles after we started. 24 MPG is very realistic for this car with the L4, and he barely gets 20, but it must be better mileage than any domestic product could ever get. (Perhaps he needs to relearm basic math.)

It's really hard to shake urban myth. People just don't (or won't) believe the truth about GM cars; they're a better deal, both in initial price and fuel cost over the life of the car.
 

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Originally posted by New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66@May 22 2004, 04:43 PM
My '02 Camaro Z-28 with the LS1 V-8 engine and manual 6-speed gets better gas milaeage than the Toyota ForeRunner, Jeep Grand Cherokee, etc, ... and about the same as the "fuel efficient" Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

Hmmm.....  <_<  <_<

Sadly, image and perception rule....

<_<  <_<
Amen, my brother!

My nowhere-near-stock 1999 Camaro SS will pulldown 29 MPG in open highway driving.

It may not be Prius-mileage, but it sure looks better than one!
 

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Originally posted by LakeMichigan+May 23 2004, 12:44 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (LakeMichigan @ May 23 2004, 12:44 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-marinerbc@May 22 2004, 10:44 PM
Once again, it all boils down to perception.

GM has in the past , and does now, build quality vehicles that get as good, or better fuel mileage as the imports do...
I think all car mfr's were reeling in the mid 70's until the early 90's about fuel efficient cars and trucks, and the prosperity we all saw in the 1990's loosened that idea, hence all these half ton SUV's and trucks with up to a 6.0 V8 and either 3.73 or 4.10 axle ratios, when their 1995 counterparts had a 5.7L TBI with as low as a 3.08 ratio...I think the product adapts with the times (obviously!)...people forget, back in the mid 80's we were paying about the same per gallon of 87 RON as we did 2 years ago...I also think GM's f/e numbers have dropped overall, across the board from the 70's, 80's and early 90's (as I briefly explained)....remeber when the Geo Metro XFI was one of the leaders in highway MPG for many, many years...a relative of mine had a 1986 Parisienne sedan, bought new, it had the 4.3L TBI Chevy V6,a 4 speed automatic O/D trans, & a 2.93 axle ratio...he ALWAYS got highway MPG in the high 20's with that car, I know, I experienced it! I used to own a 1996 Bonneville, 3800 V6, std axle ratio (2.86, I think), basic car w/15" tires...the highest MPG I rec'd was 36.8 mpg...driving I-55 between Chicago & St. Louis...the diesel 6000 I used to own, that too...high mpg figures...I still think if these bigger trucks were built with some higher axle ratios, down in the 2.93 to 3.23 range that GM did years ago..at the expense of some response and possibly some towing capability, that could help raise the vehicles overall MPG rating which consumers today would definately notice when they fill up at the pumps...[/b][/quote]
Part of the problem is a public with ever changing desires and needs. Just before, and then after the 1973 oil embargo, the public demanded fuel efficient small cars; yet by the second embargo in 1979 we had forgotten all about mileage. Even after '79, and after the insurance companies killed muscle cars, the big 4 (at that time AMC was still around) were pressured to give us what we wanted, namely performance. This usually came at the expense of fuel mileage, but sometimes technology helped the mileage situation.

What amazed me completely, were the people that absolutely hated station wagons, and big vehicles like the Suburban, then raced out to buy mini-vans, then when that wasn't cool anymore, really large and heavy SUV's. They just didn't care what the price of gas was, and basically said as much. The problem is that a manufacturer can't retool overnight; the lag time is usually measured in years. So now we are concerned with fuel mileage again; who's to say that we won't change our minds again in six months?

One of our cars has that very same 2.93 axle ratio, and does quite well mileage wise on the highway, while having decent getup and go in town. (It's the same B Body as your Parisienne, an Olds 88.) I thought I remembered even more conservative ratios, around 2.73....? Or is the old memory failing?
 

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* This is not intended towards any particular person *

Ok.........to all of you knuckleheads who complain about gas prices listen up:

Some of you buy bottled water $1.00 from the vending machine, and it has 20 oz.

Math shows:
1 gallon contains 128oz.

6 (20oz) bottles = 120oz.

So essentially some people pay around $6.00 for a gallon of water, and complain about $2-3 gas prices.

Just something to think about.......if you don't buy bottled water....you may resume your complaints.
 

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Ming has made some very good points in regards to the car
line-up of GM. There vehicles when compared to the Japanese
do as good, and in many cases better mileage wise. I would
like to seeconsumers offered more choices in diesel powerplants.
The new versions are much cleaner, and don't smell horrible
like the examples from the 1980's. Take a look at the fuel
mileage of a diesel VW, they blow away a conventional
internal combustion engine, and provide simular performance,
and superior longevity. The only problem seems to be the
upcomming tighter restrictions on diesel polutants in the US,
which might virtually end the import of diesel engine options.
 

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Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@May 23 2004, 01:42 AM
Where in the heck can you get 87 RON, and what the heck can you run on it?

My Craftsman lawn mower needs more octane than that!
As a Sears employee, you are wasting your money on higher octane for that lawnmower, and I dont even work in L&G. :D I also own a 7hp mower, and I put in 87 gas.

87 is everywhere, then it changes from state to state from there
Usualy its 87, 89, 91 but stations like sunnoco have 87. 91, 93, 94, and Super 100!!
 

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Price per gallon:

Chanel No. 5 Parfum: $45, 056
Revlon Nail Enamel: $983.04
Visine Advanced Eye Drops: $741.12
Vicks 44D Cough Syrup: $96.67
Coppertone SPF 45 sun-block lotion: $90.11
Pepto-Bismol: $58.52
Evian bottled water: $21.19
Mocha at Peaberry coffee (tax included): $22.28
Corona beer: $12.89
Snapple: $10.32
Tide liquid detergent: $8.39
Coca-Cola: $2.64
 

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The auto industry in the USA cannot win and never will. The US consummer is the most fickel person on this earth. Tastes change in this country as fast as a baby's diaper. If your MacDonalds and the nitwits turn against burgers this week, you just crank up the salad with grilled chicken meals. If you build SUV's and big sedans and the public starts buying Mini's you have a large problem that you can't correct in a short time frame. The lousiest job on earth is a guy that works for an auto company who is trying to figure out what the US public will want three years from now. I figure within twenty years there is going to be a major crash in the auto industry worldwide. It will be interesting to see what companies survive........Also the industry brought some of this on itself. This country went to the moon in 1969. I don't want to hear we could not have developed the technology in the last 35 years where you could be getting 50 miles a gallon. We could have but gas was so cheap there was no incentive to do so, even though some people (President Carter) saw this gas mess comming a long time ago but nobody was listening then.
 

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All in all I think I might have to go for a new grand prix. It has some kind of style and fuel economy is not to bad.
Thanks for the post.
 

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You forgot my favourite: the Impala, which gets an EPA estimate of 32 MPG on the highway. Is there anything in it's class that can touch that? Heck, it even does better than some smaller cars from Korea that have 4 cylinder engines! A nice, big car alternative for the SUV lover who wants to be behind the wheel of something big.
 
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Mestizo,

Hey, I'm not complaining about gas prices. I figure, it''s more fun to drive a Z-28 Camaro than it is to drive a Honda Civic. I figure, per month I probably pay about $20-$30 more per month for gas than someone driving around a Civic. That's about the price as 2 Pizza Hut Supreme or Papa John's "The Works" pizzas. Now, I don't eat all that much pizza, so instead of enjoying two pizzas a month, I am enjoying going to and from work!

Now come on. If you enjoy driving your Prius as much as I enjoy driving the "performance" laden Z-28, then you got some serious masculinity issues.

And compared to the Prius? Yes, I will pay $50 more a month to enjoy going to and from work.

<_< <_< <_<
 

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The auto industry in the USA cannot win and never will. The US consummer is the most fickel person on this earth.  Tastes change in this country as fast as a baby's diaper. If your MacDonalds and the nitwits turn against burgers this week, you just crank up the salad with grilled chicken meals. If you build SUV's and big sedans and the public starts buying Mini's you have a large problem that you can't correct in a short time frame.  The lousiest job on earth is a guy that works for an auto company who is trying to figure out what the US public will want three years from now.
nonsence,
Id take that job in a minute.and make better decisions too.:p

as much as things change something always remains the same.such as
Americans love for big,
big cars,big trucks,big wagons,
of course theres also many people especialy young financialy limited,who prefer small cars,mostly b/c of the fuel efficiency,

however ,there'll always be demand for trucks
big cars,
sports cars,
and small econo cars.
this fact will never change imho.

and main reason why car sells or not is...looks,looks,looks
performance and reliability,practicality are next important ones.

what are best selling cars of all time?
Porsche,looked the same for how long now?how come it still sells so good?
Mustang,havent changed too much over the years either.
BMW same thing,
Camaro,the older ones looked better imo,were bit more practical to drive,the new ones were slighly overdone; windows too big,ugly wipers sticking out,nose too long.

so it works like this;when you are young you drive whatever you can afford,most likely small econo car,
then a truck or van if you are a working man,
then a big car or wagon when the kids come,and when you start making enough $ you get a sports car,or a big luxobarge,or both.

hey anyone from GM wanna hire me as consultant? :woot2:
 

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Originally posted by gmt5.3@May 23 2004, 10:15 PM
does that include insurance also? ;)
Chances are that the Prius being new and the Camaro being at least 2 (probably more) years old , insurance will be similar, or cheaper for the Camaro.
 

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Originally posted by New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66@May 23 2004, 08:59 PM
Mestizo,

Hey, I'm not complaining about gas prices. I figure, it''s more fun to drive a Z-28 Camaro than it is to drive a Honda Civic. I figure, per month I probably pay about $20-$30 more per month for gas than someone driving around a Civic. That's about the price as 2 Pizza Hut Supreme or Papa John's "The Works" pizzas. Now, I don't eat all that much pizza, so instead of enjoying two pizzas a month, I am enjoying going to and from work!

Now come on. If you enjoy driving your Prius as much as I enjoy driving the "performance" laden Z-28, then you got some serious masculinity issues.

And compared to the Prius? Yes, I will pay $50 more a month to enjoy going to and from work.

<_< <_< <_<
Like I said.....it wasn't directed towards anybody in particular.

We overpay for sooo many products, and just because the news hypes up the gas prices, we naturally get upset at gas.

The water was just a comparison of a daily product that was overpriced. If the news hyped up the bottled water price, or some of the other products that Rex Raider mentioned then gas would be forgotten.

I'm hoping the gas guzzlers/muscle cars would come down in price.....this would be a great time to snag a Camaro or Firebird.....if they were in production. :angry:
 
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