Chevy’s "Real People" Ads Are Working
At the door of my daughter’s preschool this morning, her teacher looked out to see my 2018 Chevrolet Equinox tester sitting in the first parking space. The Summit White crossover is fully loaded with the Premier trim package and 19-inch, Ultra Bright Machined wheels, so it’s easy to spot in the morning sun. And what’s the first thing she says? “Oh, I’ve seen that one! It’s from the ‘Bad Mamma Jamma’ commercial, right?!”
Yep, she pegged it. The 2018 Equinox has gotten its own “Real People” ad in Chevy’s long line of TV and Internet commercials. Like the others, this commercial supposedly takes “real people” and gets their first-blush opinion of Chevy vehicles. While not my favorite of Chevy’s marketing strategies (that goes to the “Like A Rock” series), “Real People” has taken some extensive abuse. A recent Jalopnik article even says the Bad Mamma Jamma ad is “everything wrong with everything.” The profanity-laced editorial calls out Chevy for making average people look like idiots while marveling at vehicles on-camera. But there’s something the Jalopnik writer isn’t seeing…
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2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Driven
The Chevrolet Cruze has undergone some big changes in the last two years. For 2016, the sedan moved into its second generation by hitting the gym for weight reduction and added muscle. Now for 2017, Chevy has added a hatchback version complete with all the upgrades introduced a year before. I got the chance to spend a week behind the wheel of Chevy’s new hatch, surmising the little bowtie is darn good at hauling people and their stuff.
Admittedly smitten, I’d venture to say the Cruze Hatchback is a better choice than most compact crossovers. The data proves it, at lease objectively in regards to fuel economy and interior volume. Subjectively, the Cruze Hatch feels light on its feet and doesn’t mind being thrown into a turn. No, the Cruze Hatch’s 1.4-liter turbo-four is hardly a monster, but it appropriately balances power with efficiency. It’s hard to complain about 38 mpg highway, even when the sprint to 60 mph takes nearly eight seconds. So, what’s it like to live with? Find out below.
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The 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatch is Better than a Crossover
It’s no secret crossovers and SUVs are sweeping vehicle sales numbers across the country. Americans are buying these high-riding, unibodied wagons like never before and automakers are responding with even more models. It seems the humble sedan’s days are numbered. But crossovers are inherently compromised – their high center of gravity and sloppy on-road handling not rewarded with off-road capability as with traditional SUVs. The crossover is the cotton candy of the automotive world; all fluff and sugar with no substance. But there’s a better way to get loads of cargo volume without killing on-road drivability. Enter: the hatchback. And perhaps the best and newest example is the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback.
I’d wager the average Joe and Suzie Carbuyer bought their crossover because it looks cool and offers more interior room than the sedan they traded, while getting better gas mileage than the Chevy Suburban the really wanted but couldn’t afford. Their crossover acts as the happy median and everybody is satisfied. But are they really? Their crossover compromise in every imaginable sense. Suzie misses the cheap fuel bill their sedan provided and Joe wishes for better control when taking Interstate off-ramps. But they pretend to be happy because they don’t know any better. In reality, Joe and Suzie should have bought the Cruze Hatchback. Stick with me on this…
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The 2017 Chevy Cruze is No Missile
This week finds a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback sitting in my driveway, which is honestly exciting. Sure, it’s no supercar or attention-grabbing luxury barge, but it’s the successor to my wife’s car, a 2012 Chevy Cruze LT. Being slightly self-serving, the wife and I went for a drive to see how the new Cruze stacks up. Who knows, perhaps the new Cruze Hatch could satisfy her craving for a crossover with more room. Things were going well, but it didn’t take long to discover the new Cruze feels doggishly slow.
How can this be? Chevy reengineered the Cruze from the lugnuts up for 2016 with a lighter chassis and lighter drivetrain components, including the supposedly more powerful 1.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder turbo. Those changes carry over to the new-for-2017 Cruze Hatchback, including the all-aluminum EcoTec’s 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Her Cruze’s iron-block 1.4-liter turbo only makes 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Chevy says the Cruze Hatch weighs roughly 2,900 pounds. That’s a big reduction from the 2012 Cruze’s curb weight of 3,126 pounds. So what gives?
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Maven Gig Sounds Cool but Proves People Are Idiots for Using It
The concept of ride sharing and the basis for Maven is pretty sweet. Do you live in a big city and need your own whip for a day? Maven’s got you. Are you a college student that needs to take a trip off campus for the day? Well, you’re covered too. It’s not a bad setup. Use an app to choose a car, then use your phone to unlock the car, start the engine, and take your trip – as long as you return the car in the same condition in which you received it, it’s a pretty viable option if you really just need a car for the day. Now, Maven has launched a new program called “Maven Gig.” This program works by allowing you to rent a vehicle for a week at a time, and you can even use it for your side gigs – that means freelance jobs like food delivery services and even Uber. And, it has just added the Chevy Bolt as the initial offering for this program. So, what’s the catch? Well, if you use it more than once in a great while, you’re an idiot.
Seriously, I’m not trying to be rude, but the pricing for a week’s rental for a Chevy Bolt EV comes out to be $229. That’s really not bad if you’re in a jam because your car is broken down or otherwise indisposed of at the moment. But, if it’s something that you use frequently, you’re just spending way too much money. If you do the math, that computes to an average of $992 a month or $11,908 a year. That’s for the use of a car that you can buy, at the time of this writing, for $29,995 after a federal tax credit. In fairness, that weekly rental charge of $229 includes insurance, maintenance, and unlimited miles. We haven’t sat down and computed what it would cost to buy a Bolt EV and insure it at the same time, but something tells us that it’s not going to set you back nearly $1,000 to do so.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze RS - Driven
The Chevrolet Cruze was not hurting for fans. As its first generation neared the end of its run in 2014, Cruze sales reached their high point, with more than 273,000 copies sold. Curious, then, that the Cruze suffered a setback in sales when it was redesigned in 2016 for the 2017 model year. Having spent a week with it recently, I can say that confuses me. The Cruze got sexy new sheet metal, a more-efficient powertrain, a new hatchback model, and improved ride and handling when it was redesigned. Yet, it sold fewer than 200,000 copies for the first time ever in 2016, if you don’t count its late introduction in 2010 when it was on sale for just three months. So, what gives?
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Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sedan Becomes Most Efficient Non-Hybrid In America
The Chevy Cruze entered its second generation for the 2016 model year and came correct with a redesigned exterior that gives it a sportier look while maintaining the look of an everyday family sedan. Supported by an all-new architecture known as the D2 FWD, the new Cruze shed up to 250 pounds and gained an inch in the wheelbase department. The car itself is more aerodynamic, offers better fuel efficiency, and comes with extra space inside over the last-gen model. But, more important, was the new engine that displaces 1.4-liters and delivers 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. That was the only engine on the list for U.S. customers… until now. Chevy has finally announced the diesel-powered Chevy Cruze, and it packs a fair 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque with a 1.6-liter four-banger in tow.
Power output isn’t the reason we’re here today, though. The reason we’re here today is that diesel engine can deliver an EPA-estimated 52 mpg on the highway when paired with a six-speed manual transmission. But, it’s not all peaches and cream here, as in-city driving is rated at just 30 mpg, giving this Cruze diesel with the manual an EPA combined rating of 37 mpg. There’s also Chevy’s new nine-speed automatic that manages to pull 47 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg in the city, also leading to a combined rating of 37 mpg combined.
As far as comparisons go, it won’t beat out your everyday hybrid in combined rating or city rating, but that figure of 52 mpg on the highway is better than that of the Toyota Prius C at 43 mpg on the highway, and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, which achieves 48 mpg on the highway. The Prius Eco beats it out by just one mpg on the highway. Needless to say, this is a pretty big deal for Chevy customers who spend more time on the highway than anywhere else.
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2017 Chevrolet Trax Redline Edition
Chevrolet introduced the Trax subcompact crossover in 2012 at the Paris Auto Show, followed by a U.S. debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Essentially a Buick Encore with a few bowties scattered here and there, the latest model Trax got a facelift just last year, receiving new styling outside, new trim levels, and a 7.0-inch display screen for the interior. So far, the Trax has been selling quite well, moving some 400,000 units in worldwide markets since its global debut. To help bolster that success, Chevy has introduced the new Trax Redline Edition at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, adding the tall-bodied model to a lineup of no less than eight other Redline’d cars and trucks in a flurry of CAS special editions.
The first time we got a look at Chevy’s concept for the Redline special edition was at SEMA in 2015, and now, we have a huge variety of models to choose from when opting for something with the Redline look. Included in this latest release is the Cruze LT, Malibu LT, Camaro LT and SS, Equinox LT, Traverse Premier, Colorado LT, and Silverado Double Cab LT Z71 and Crew Cab LTZ Z71.
Meanwhile, the Trax is offered with the Redline package at the LT trim level. Upgrades include wheels in a black finish with a red dash on a potion of the outside rim, nameplates that are finished in black and outlined in red, a grille with a black finish, and a bowtie badge that’s finished in black as well.
Look for the Chevrolet Trax Redline Edition in dealerships this July.
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2017 Chevrolet Cruze Redline Edition
Introduced for the 2016 model year, the second-generation Cruze represents a massive upgrade over the previous model. Sportier and more elegant on the outside, the new Cruze also boasts a roomier interior with better materials that give it a near-premium feel. The new D2XX platform, shared with the Chevy Volt and Equinox and the Opel Astra, as well as the turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine also deliver a more dynamic feel and enhanced fuel economy. Come 2017 and the Cruze receives the Redline Edition treatment at the Chicago Auto Show.
Launched alongside similar special-edition versions of the Malibu, Camaro, Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Colorado, and Silverado, the Cruze Redline Edition is essentially the production version of several almost production-ready concepts showcased throughout 2015 and 2016. The aim is to give potential Cruze customers a few customization options, a feat that’s pretty rare in the non-premium compact segment. On the other hand, the package isn’t available on all trims, which means you need a solid budget to take a Redline Edition home.
Chevrolet has yet to announce when the Cruze Redline Edition will hit dealerships, but said that all these models will become available for purchase by the end of 2017. Until then, let’s have a closer look at what this special-edition version brings to the table.
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Chevy Bolt Accused of Going Rogue, But the Story is Questionable
With the introduction of autonomous technology, the concept of cars going rogue is a real fear for some. Tesla, for instance, has felt the backlash of a few complaints that its Model S did the unthinkable, only to prove otherwise in most cases. But, this is the first time we’re hearing about the Chevy Bolt EV doing anything out of the ordinary. According to on Bolt EV owner, his Bolt managed to shift itself out of park and smash into a shelving unit behind it, ultimately causing some kind of damage. Apparently, he was out of town (with proof,) and his wife says she didn’t do it. The owner, who goes by socalif on gm-volt.com, posted the story just a few days ago. Here’s what he said:
“Here is a strange one, but seriously happened. I was out of town (the only driver of the Bolt) I get a call saying there was a crash in the garage. BOTH keys were out of the vehicle, car self-locked and shut down in park from the previous night. Wife heard a crash, goes to the garage and sees that the car backed up and ran into a work bench pushing in a wall. Granted, hard to believe, but both keys out of the car, she was in the house (no other drivers here), I was 40 miles away, and somehow the car moved???? Insurance called, dealership notified, GM messaged.”
Other forum members have mixed opinions on the story, with some thinking that it’s possible and others saying it’s a lie. Some hold firm that the wife is at fault. Either way, after messaging GM directly, the owner says they have contacted him and want to set up a time to inspect the vehicle and what happened. Surely, GM will get to the bottom of it, so we’ll get the full story eventually. There is a good reason that some members are skeptical of the story, however, so keep reading to find out.
2017 Chevrolet Spark ACTIV
The Chevy Spark is one of those funky little city cars that has seen surprising success over the years. The third-gen model, for instance, managed to sell 1.1 million units globally in its time on the market. For 2015, the four-gen model debuted with a more aerodynamic body, slightly more powerful engine, and some pretty extensive updates on the inside, making it one of the most comfortable city cars you can get your hands on here in the U.S. It was also the model GM used as a basis for its first all-electric model since 1999 when the EV1 was put to death.
With the new-gen model two years into production, GM saw fit to create a special edition of sorts that is being called the Spark Activ. Joining the Chevy Beat Activ Concept from earlier this year, and the Chevy Trax Activ Concept that debuted at the SEMA show in November 2016, this model follows suit with a few off-road bits because you never know when you’ll have to take a city car off-road, right? Jokes aside, this thing really is about as boring as the Activ concepts that we’ve seen in the days passed, but it might just be someone’s cup of tea.
“The new Spark ACTIV is all about adventurous fun and style,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of Car and Crossover Marketing. “It has an attitude, while still offering the sophisticated, efficient and connected driving experience customers have come to love.”
So, with that said, let’s dive on in and look at this special edition to see what it really brings to the table.
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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
How do you build the car of the future? Just ask Chevrolet. According to the bowtie, the masses yearn for something that combines connectivity, electrification, and practicality. It has to be upgradeable. It has to be ahead of the status quo. Most importantly, though, it has to be affordable. Enter the 2017 Bolt EV. Offering a plethora of electronic features, 200 miles of range per charge, and a $30,000 price tag, the Bolt appears to tick all the right boxes.
Chevy went to extremes to tie the Bolt to the cutting edge of technology, streaming the debut at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show via Facebook Live and following it up with an interactive 3D tour of the interior. I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a hologram of Steve Jobs in a Tron outfit at the end of it. Dead gadget tycoons aside, the 2017 Bolt looks to be a real watershed moment, not just for Chevy, but EVs as a whole. But is it?
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2017 Chevrolet Trax
Chevy released the Trax to the worldwide market in late 2012, but it didn’t make it to the U.S. until its debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show. It went on sale here in the U.S. for the 2015 model year and was essentially a Buick Encore with some modifications and a different badge. Aimed at a younger audience, the Trax was pretty successful, with Chevy selling more than 63,000 units in the U.S. during 2015. Since its worldwide launch in 2012, Chevy has sold more than 400,000 examples of this small SUV.
Despite being updated in 2014 for the U.S. market, the Trax has gone through another facelift for the 2017 model year. The new Trax brings better looks and more functionality than the outgoing model and is definitely sportier on the outside. Along with its new look, the Trax will also hit the showrooms sporting a new trim level – Premier – sitting alongside the returning LS and LT trim levels.
More than 60 percent of Chevy’s customers that have purchased a Trax in the past are female, and of all the customer that purchase a Trax, more than half of them traded in something that wasn’t a Chevy. That just goes to show the popularity of this little SUV, even if it is a "girl’s car." With that said, let’s take a dive into the 2017 Trax and see what kind of updates Chevy is bringing for the new model year.
Update 08-02-2016: Chevy has announced pricing for the 2017 Chevy Trax. Check out the details in the pricing section below.
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