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Mis-leading headline.  The article says only that the badges that say "BUICK" will be dropped for 2019.

 

Like many other cars, Buick will rely to a greater extent on its logo for identification, beginning with the 2019 models.  If you look at Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, etc., you will see that this is common practice in the industry.

 

The article does not imply that Buick as an automotive brand will disappear.

 

 

 

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A very in-depth commentary on "Seeking Alpha" website.  Sales numbers, USA and China.  Also indicates where the growth is in the brand and how the "sedans" are not "sales leaders".  As long as China Buicks are selling in large numbers in China, there will be "a Buick".

 

The issue of using nameplates, logos, and alpha-numeric model designations seems to be somewhat cyclical, except for Mercedes.  Seems to depend upon "the latest" thoughts on that issue.  OR if one brand changes to something and it works for them, others surely follow.  By observation, the longest-running USA brand model designations were "names" of special places, not alpha-numeric combinations.

 

NTX5467

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15 hours ago, Centurion said:

Like many other cars, Buick will rely to a greater extent on its logo for identification, beginning with the 2019 models.  If you look at Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, etc., you will see that this is common practice in the industry.

 

Agreed.  We should keep in mind that the market is world wide. 

So, brand names are often meaningless in other countries; especially those countries that do not use our lettering system.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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Is there anything specific to Buick besides the name? Corporate platforms, corporate engines, corporate transmissions; what makes a current Buick a Buick?

 

Three weeks ago I tried out a gently used 2017 Cadillac XTS, which is a Buick Lacrosse, which is a Chevy Impala, which is closely tied to a Malibu. I had read a lot of good reviews, but drove away without looking back.

The sad part is that I walked in really wanting it to be a car I would like. I think because of my car hobby I am too closely connected to standards of the past. I am looking for the $3,500 car of 1960, the $25,000 car of 1996, which works out to the $100,000 car of 2018. It don't work that way.

 

I, honestly, don't think there are any Buicks anymore. Which is fine with me. There are some nice choices in the hundred years of predecessors. And I know how to keep them going.

 

Bernie

 

 

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IF they aren't proud enough of their product to put the name on it, then, well...I could go on, but I won't.

This has to rank right up there with some of the stupidest decisions and moves Buick has ever made. The elimination of the LeSabre name and line of cars springs to mind--right when LeSabre had all sorts of awards and quality prizes, a sterling reputation and a loyal product following, and they eliminated it from the lineup in the early 2000s. Same type of bone-headed thinking behind this latest move...

 

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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I don't know  that the brand means much to us except it is on the "old" cars we love.

When was the last Buick made that might be collectable?   Many of you know I think it was the Reatta but the last one built was 27 year ago. 

Is there a collectable Buick in the past 27 years?  Will there ever be another?

I don't know who get the credit (Pete or the BCA office) but Buick is buying advertising space in the Bugle and I hope they can continue.

Are most of us still buying new Buicks as a knee jerk reaction because we own old Buicks.....if you didn't have an old Buick,  would you buy a new Buick?

 

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I don't think this is new, out and about today, saw many Chevrolet's with no name, maybe a truck but all the cars and SUVs did not say Chevrolet on them and this is where they were born, so read some more articles, the new generation can't read, they like "logos" LOL!!!!

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The cars on the dealer lots are mostly floor planned with interest paid monthly. The cars driving out with new owners are leaving in significant numbers as lease cars. "Real" purchases are being made on 2 and three year old off lease cars. Not many cars are being sold in the traditional way "sold" has been defined.

 

The fresh Asian market saved Buick shortly after Pontiac followed Olds into the hole. And the Asian market is finding cars built less than a boat ride away. Most nations the US considers as third world countries have successful business models based on buying capital assets and leasing their service; fewer actual owners. Pay computer kiosks are common in other countries, only in major airports in the US. But that $700 smartphone in your pocket may be due for a precedented change.

 

Buick buyers are tight with their money as a rule, not a good market. And the old guys are resistant to the leases.

 

And the generally have a superior temperament. The Baldridge awards, pollsters basically asked Buick owners how pleased they were with their purchase, pretty much asking the Buick buyer if he thought he made a smart decision. You might get a Ford or a Chrysler buyer to admit they made a mistake, but you are going to go a long way before a Buick owner says they did anything dumb. Of course they won the satisfaction award. Buick owners are satisfied with themselves. No kidding!

 

It is harder for me to buy a daily driver. I am a torque driver. I don't want some buzzing small engine that cranks out horsepower at speeds I thought turbochargers are supposed to run at. I want the engine longitudinal and the back wheels pushing. When I tried out that Cadillac a couple weeks ago the sales manager asked what they could do to make me want it. I said "Add mass." I don't want to drive a car where I can tell when each wheel thumps a tar strip and which wheel it was. I want power at the low end and I want to ride in my living room. "Sorry, Sir, we can't do that."

I have it and I know where I can get more. Be happy I, at least stopped in and tried out your little green eggs and ham car. Sam don't want it either.

 

I used to teach an apprenticeship program. I had a big focus on differentials and change of states. Anyone from my classes will tell you "Bernie said if it doesn't change it is dead. Change is how we recognize life.

 

The car business is changing.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Pete Phillips said:

IF they aren't proud enough of their product to put the name on it, then, well...I could go on, but I won't.

This has to rank right up there with some of the stupidest decisions and moves Buick has ever made. The elimination of the LeSabre name and line of cars springs to mind--right when LeSabre had all sorts of awards and quality prizes, a sterling reputation and a loyal product following, and they eliminated it from the lineup in the early 2000s. Same type of bone-headed thinking behind this latest move...

 

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

 

I understand the discussion on putting the name on the car, but if you are old enough to remember when Shell removed their name from the sign and only have the yellow shell on the sign.  Very highly identifiable.

 

Maybe this is just another experiment with the tri-shield to see what type of brand value the tri-shield has in the market place.  Only time will tell if this is a good move.  I am somewhat skeptical.

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I respectfully submit that many of the "marketing" orientations are advocated by people who have LITTLE real knowledge of effectively marking products in a compelling manner.  Remember when Cadillac went from "names" to "letters of the names"?  Eldorado Touring Coupe became the Cadillac ETC.  Somebody obviously signed-off on that!  DTS would have been "DeVille Touring Sedan".  Mercedes, BMW, and others have used alpha-numeric names as model designations for ages, BUT the progression of letters and numbers actually mean something of which model it is, which engine size, and "FI" or "Carb".  So it all makes some sense, that way, IF you care to understand it.  Kind of bland, in some cases.

 

The USA brands typically used names for their vehicles.  Names which alluded to vehicular properties . . . grace, elegance, luxury, toughness, speed, power, or some desirable geographic location.  Going far beyond "Special", "Deluxe", or "Custom".  If you cared, it could be a nice geography lesson!  And then there were the model designations which meant "hardtop", too.  And with all of the theatrics in the car commercials, those names had real capabilities for sounding spectacular AND aspirational.  A way of making them seem "exciting" and "something a customer would want to go see in person".  In that orientation, can you imagine some alpha-numeric designation generating that same level of excitement?  Just the names "Buick", "Chevrolet", "Pontiac", "Oldsmobile", and "Cadillac" had those theatrical qualities by themselves.

 

I suspect that one reason Buick sedans have not sold well is the price point they are at.  That's MY suspicion.  The high-selling Encore is a very nice vehicle at a good price point for what it is.  If it were not an SUV-type, it would be a tiny sedan that couldn't carry very much at all.  The Envision is a little larger and has an instrument panel design that is unlike other GM vehicles, which is GOOD!  The current Lacrosse is a very nice car, but looked bloated to me.  It looks better in some colors than others.

 

The "Lucerne" came about due to a request by the dealers that they wanted a name that was not the same as they'd had before.  A new model name that would draw people into the Buick showrooms to see "a new Buick", rather than a name they were familiar with.  Unfortunately, as good as the Lucerne might have been, it was as unremarkable as the name it was given, by my observation.  It was a "place-holder" of sorts.  I looked at that body for hours, off and on again, to see how it might be spiffed-up and made more distinctive to look at.  My orientation was that many of the great-looking cars of the '50s were just basic shapes, with chrome trim and two-tone colors which really made them look sharp.  Take the Buick grille, any VentiPorts, and the tri-shield away, and the Lucerne could have been pretty much anything, unfortunately.  Remembering one of the comments at the 75th Anniversary banquet in Flint . . . "You could tell a Buick two blocks away".  That sort of visual brand identity went away sometime in the 1980s.  Well before the "What car is that" Oldsmobile Intrigue came to be.

 

The marketing people always like to frame their "new" way to do things as "New, Different, and Better".  Got to keep the customer interested!  So they change something that probably shouldn't have been changed, but rather expanded and refined instead.  On the other hand, some "static" orientations can be bad for the product.  So there would need to be some newness along with some stable product orientations for best results.

 

Oldsmobile had a very recognizable "Rocket" logo.  Everybody knew what it was and what it was applied to.  But as the upcoming Aurora and other cars were on the drawing board.  Cars which would be very different from prior Oldsmobiles.  There seemed to be a need for a new logo to reflect the "newness" of these cars, after the disasterous "Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" ad campaign!  So they got a new logo that nobody knew what it was.  Didn't recognize it.  The cars could have have  been a Mazda for all anybody knew!  And THEN . . . the ONLY place the Intrigue name was was on the rh backup light lens!  Cast into it with no accent paint, just clear plastic!  Doomed to failure from the start, as if "by design" . . . although the car got very good reviews from the likes of Road & Track.  "Intrigued" by what that car is?  AND this was all during the "brand management" phase of GM's life, when they lost market share, made a little money with fewer products at about 20% market share (which Wall Street loved), but when market share went down a few more percentage points, then the financial people got scared.  Few other "properties" to sell-off to maintain dividends . . . and we know what happened later on.

 

Olds could have been saved and revitalized by changing the focus of it competing against Lexus and Infinity and looking more toward the Jag S-Type and Chrysler LHS instead.  Not very much additional investment as much of what might be changed would have cost pretty much the same as what it replaced.  BUT, by that time, there was no "will" inside GM to do that as they even ran off some loyal Olds customers with "no bench seat" in the Aurora, so the loyal Olds customers kept their trusty Delta 88s a few more years.

 

We tend to consider "Buick" to be a USA brand with the bulk of them being sold in the USA.  Yet the Chinese have a real affection for Buicks, as Buick was GM's "export" brand into China ages ago.  And more Buicks are still sold in China than in the USA, significantly so.  It was THIS that kept Buick alive, not that Buick was the founding brand of GM.

 

The fact that Pontiac was the choice of many to keep alive should have been a red flag of sorts for Buick marketing.  The other side of the deal is that all of the last Pontiacs didn't really have a "dual" product in GM-NA.  Buick was still considered a "grandparent car", as Pontiac was still perceived to be a more youthful brand, even after the Aztec.  Therefore, it was less "Invasive" to then-current GM operations to delete Pontiac and to keep Buick.  The statement that GM lost money on every Oldsmobile is suspect, as the Intrigue was built on the same line as the Pontiac Grand Prix.  After the Riviera went away, there was no companion product for the Aurora, although the Olds Alero was a Pontiac GrandAM under the skin.  The Olds Bravada became the Buick Rainier, to fill those gaps on the "TrailBlazer" assembly line.

 

I know that each product has a "life of the tooling" that dictates and is planned for in each new vehicle to be built.  I have observed that advertising can be diminished ("blah" sales brochures, too!) if the product will be ending and nor up for renewal.  This was highly evident in the final years of "Camaro and Firebird", until the groundswell of support for the Camaro happened.  Suddenly, Chevrolet started paying attention to what "the customers and enthusiasts" were saying, as Ford had done when it was leaked that the "next Mustang" was going to be on a Japanese platform (as it was too late to stop that vehicle from its new plant and production, it became the Ford Probe) and the Mustang spent several more years on the Fox platform with new "Mustang" styling, power, and excitement.  

 

The KEY Thing is to keep the product people aimed in the "right direction".  Those at Buick?  There's promise, but after the flat end of the Avenir and the "just after than" Buick cope on the Corvette platform, I don't know if THEY really know what they need to do.  At this time, they are riding the wave of SUV-type vehicles, it seems, which is not that bad of a place to be.  They might point to the very small percentage of "sedan" sales as a reason to not do any different sedans, but that small percentage of sedans might also be due to the fact that the current products aren't nearly as good in the USA and/or Buick orientations as they probably should be?

 

I'm not sure that GM has really "found its way", other than for Chevrolet, in general.  Many GMC SUVs seem to be emulating what some Oldsmobiles were in the past, by observation.  Buick hasn't really mounted a decent "charge" against Lexus in many years.  Cadillac?  "Audi-llac"?  GM can do the products, just getting the dang things sold!

 

NTX5467

 

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I would submit that one of the reasons for Pontiac's demise in sales is that the division/corp changed the names of the models at least I think five times in about 25 years.  As an example they went from a Pontiac Grand Am to a G6 and people walked away.

 

Here is a starter list of all of the names more recently and I am not sure it has all of them.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pontiac_vehicles

 

And that was just Pontiac.  Remember when it appeared that every Oldsmobile had the name Cutlass attached to it?  And the examples can keep going on.  Total confusion on the sales floor.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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I was on business travel last week and somehow managed to receive a Chevy Impala with 300 miles on the clock from Avis.  I was pretty excited, as everything I had read said that these were likely the best full-size American car available today.  Well, that thing must have shut itself off and restarted at least 20 times between the airport and my hotel.  Hmmmmm, I guess it does that so that my next door neighbor can hit the remote start on his 2016 Silverado and let it idle in his driveway for 15 minutes every morning.  We call this 'progress'?  Change for the sake of change does not signify vitality -- rather, it may simply be the last gasp...

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8 hours ago, EmTee said:

I was on business travel last week and somehow managed to receive a Chevy Impala with 300 miles on the clock from Avis.  I was pretty excited, as everything I had read said that these were likely the best full-size American car available today.  Well, that thing must have shut itself off and restarted at least 20 times between the airport and my hotel.  Hmmmmm, I guess it does that so that my next door neighbor can hit the remote start on his 2016 Silverado and let it idle in his driveway for 15 minutes every morning.  We call this 'progress'?  Change for the sake of change does not signify vitality -- rather, it may simply be the last gasp...

 

One of the reasons for push button starts is because of the number of persons that put 5 POUNDS of stuff on their key rings and wear out the lock cylinder.  That is part of the reason for the GM recall of the ignition locks cylinders. Especially younger women.   I know because when I was a rep, I saw a lot of customer cars with that much stuff on the "key ring".

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Does anyone else find the new cars are less intuitive to drive?  I could get in most older cars and in a few seconds know what worked what.  Had a loaners DTS and a loaner MDX and  Loaner X3 recently hated them all.  Was happy to get the radio on and the heater to work.  The automatic speed cruise control makes me crazy.  For me there is a sweet spot that the cars are modern enough, ABS, Bluetooth, traction control but not all the automatic crap. I also hate the fact that doing your own oil changes is about as much as you can do without all kinds of special tools and equipment.  We've moved to electrical gremlins from mechanical ones.

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11 hours ago, NTX5467 said:

I respectfully submit that many of the "marketing" orientations are advocated by people who have LITTLE real knowledge of effectively marking products in a compelling manner.  Remember when Cadillac went from "names" to "letters of the names"?  Eldorado Touring Coupe became the Cadillac ETC.  Somebody obviously signed-off on that!  DTS would have been "DeVille Touring Sedan".  Mercedes, BMW, and others have used alpha-numeric names as model designations for ages, BUT the progression of letters and numbers actually mean something of which model it is, which engine size, and "FI" or "Carb".  So it all makes some sense, that way, IF you care to understand it.  Kind of bland, in some cases.

 

The USA brands typically used names for their vehicles.  Names which alluded to vehicular properties . . . grace, elegance, luxury, toughness, speed, power, or some desirable geographic location.  Going far beyond "Special", "Deluxe", or "Custom".  If you cared, it could be a nice geography lesson!  And then there were the model designations which meant "hardtop", too.  And with all of the theatrics in the car commercials, those names had real capabilities for sounding spectacular AND aspirational.  A way of making them seem "exciting" and "something a customer would want to go see in person".  In that orientation, can you imagine some alpha-numeric designation generating that same level of excitement?  Just the names "Buick", "Chevrolet", "Pontiac", "Oldsmobile", and "Cadillac" had those theatrical qualities by themselves.

 

I suspect that one reason Buick sedans have not sold well is the price point they are at.  That's MY suspicion.  The high-selling Encore is a very nice vehicle at a good price point for what it is.  If it were not an SUV-type, it would be a tiny sedan that couldn't carry very much at all.  The Envision is a little larger and has an instrument panel design that is unlike other GM vehicles, which is GOOD!  The current Lacrosse is a very nice car, but looked bloated to me.  It looks better in some colors than others.

 

The "Lucerne" came about due to a request by the dealers that they wanted a name that was not the same as they'd had before.  A new model name that would draw people into the Buick showrooms to see "a new Buick", rather than a name they were familiar with.  Unfortunately, as good as the Lucerne might have been, it was as unremarkable as the name it was given, by my observation.  It was a "place-holder" of sorts.  I looked at that body for hours, off and on again, to see how it might be spiffed-up and made more distinctive to look at.  My orientation was that many of the great-looking cars of the '50s were just basic shapes, with chrome trim and two-tone colors which really made them look sharp.  Take the Buick grille, any VentiPorts, and the tri-shield away, and the Lucerne could have been pretty much anything, unfortunately.  Remembering one of the comments at the 75th Anniversary banquet in Flint . . . "You could tell a Buick two blocks away".  That sort of visual brand identity went away sometime in the 1980s.  Well before the "What car is that" Oldsmobile Intrigue came to be.

 

The marketing people always like to frame their "new" way to do things as "New, Different, and Better".  Got to keep the customer interested!  So they change something that probably shouldn't have been changed, but rather expanded and refined instead.  On the other hand, some "static" orientations can be bad for the product.  So there would need to be some newness along with some stable product orientations for best results.

 

Oldsmobile had a very recognizable "Rocket" logo.  Everybody knew what it was and what it was applied to.  But as the upcoming Aurora and other cars were on the drawing board.  Cars which would be very different from prior Oldsmobiles.  There seemed to be a need for a new logo to reflect the "newness" of these cars, after the disasterous "Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" ad campaign!  So they got a new logo that nobody knew what it was.  Didn't recognize it.  The cars could have have  been a Mazda for all anybody knew!  And THEN . . . the ONLY place the Intrigue name was was on the rh backup light lens!  Cast into it with no accent paint, just clear plastic!  Doomed to failure from the start, as if "by design" . . . although the car got very good reviews from the likes of Road & Track.  "Intrigued" by what that car is?  AND this was all during the "brand management" phase of GM's life, when they lost market share, made a little money with fewer products at about 20% market share (which Wall Street loved), but when market share went down a few more percentage points, then the financial people got scared.  Few other "properties" to sell-off to maintain dividends . . . and we know what happened later on.

 

Olds could have been saved and revitalized by changing the focus of it competing against Lexus and Infinity and looking more toward the Jag S-Type and Chrysler LHS instead.  Not very much additional investment as much of what might be changed would have cost pretty much the same as what it replaced.  BUT, by that time, there was no "will" inside GM to do that as they even ran off some loyal Olds customers with "no bench seat" in the Aurora, so the loyal Olds customers kept their trusty Delta 88s a few more years.

 

We tend to consider "Buick" to be a USA brand with the bulk of them being sold in the USA.  Yet the Chinese have a real affection for Buicks, as Buick was GM's "export" brand into China ages ago.  And more Buicks are still sold in China than in the USA, significantly so.  It was THIS that kept Buick alive, not that Buick was the founding brand of GM.

 

The fact that Pontiac was the choice of many to keep alive should have been a red flag of sorts for Buick marketing.  The other side of the deal is that all of the last Pontiacs didn't really have a "dual" product in GM-NA.  Buick was still considered a "grandparent car", as Pontiac was still perceived to be a more youthful brand, even after the Aztec.  Therefore, it was less "Invasive" to then-current GM operations to delete Pontiac and to keep Buick.  The statement that GM lost money on every Oldsmobile is suspect, as the Intrigue was built on the same line as the Pontiac Grand Prix.  After the Riviera went away, there was no companion product for the Aurora, although the Olds Alero was a Pontiac GrandAM under the skin.  The Olds Bravada became the Buick Rainier, to fill those gaps on the "TrailBlazer" assembly line.

 

I know that each product has a "life of the tooling" that dictates and is planned for in each new vehicle to be built.  I have observed that advertising can be diminished ("blah" sales brochures, too!) if the product will be ending and nor up for renewal.  This was highly evident in the final years of "Camaro and Firebird", until the groundswell of support for the Camaro happened.  Suddenly, Chevrolet started paying attention to what "the customers and enthusiasts" were saying, as Ford had done when it was leaked that the "next Mustang" was going to be on a Japanese platform (as it was too late to stop that vehicle from its new plant and production, it became the Ford Probe) and the Mustang spent several more years on the Fox platform with new "Mustang" styling, power, and excitement.  

 

The KEY Thing is to keep the product people aimed in the "right direction".  Those at Buick?  There's promise, but after the flat end of the Avenir and the "just after than" Buick cope on the Corvette platform, I don't know if THEY really know what they need to do.  At this time, they are riding the wave of SUV-type vehicles, it seems, which is not that bad of a place to be.  They might point to the very small percentage of "sedan" sales as a reason to not do any different sedans, but that small percentage of sedans might also be due to the fact that the current products aren't nearly as good in the USA and/or Buick orientations as they probably should be?

 

I'm not sure that GM has really "found its way", other than for Chevrolet, in general.  Many GMC SUVs seem to be emulating what some Oldsmobiles were in the past, by observation.  Buick hasn't really mounted a decent "charge" against Lexus in many years.  Cadillac?  "Audi-llac"?  GM can do the products, just getting the dang things sold!

 

NTX5467

Boy, howdy! You hit the nail on they head. Beautifully articulated. First, I'll readily admit I'm like Sgt. Schultz on the old TV show "Hogan's Heroes,"  in that "I know nothing" about auto mechanics, but for some dumb inexplicable reason, I have always loved classic cars, especially Buicks. I guess because I grew up in early Sixties hearing "grown folks" say, "If you drove a Buick you were somebody." I had a late uncle who was a doctor and made house-calls and he drove a Buick. The local bank president drove a Buick, along with several other prominent businessmen in the small community where I lived. I was well schooled in the Buick mystic.  And, yes, you could tell what brand a car was from a mile away, especially depending on the grille work.  

 

Not long ago while sitting behind a Mercedes at a red-light did it dawn on me that car models had gone from using specific names to alpha-numeric identifications. Once I became cognizant of that change, I marveled at just how many car manufacturers have done away giving models names in favor alphanumeric designations. I don't know, saying a person owns an "M6" BMW--which I just saw in traffic two days ago--doesn't have the same ring as saying he/she owns a Riviera, LaSabre, or a Century. 

 

In my own extremely limited view, cars now look so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another, which is a shame in my humble opinion. My late father told he remembered the first time he ever saw a Packard. He said you just knew it was a Packard because of it's look (design). 

 

Thanks again for your very insightful article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and appreciated the time and effort it took to compose.

Kind regards,

Garrett Meadows

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20 hours ago, Pete Phillips said:

IF they aren't proud enough of their product to put the name on it, then, well...I could go on, but I won't.

This has to rank right up there with some of the stupidest decisions and moves Buick has ever made. The elimination of the LeSabre name and line of cars springs to mind--right when LeSabre had all sorts of awards and quality prizes, a sterling reputation and a loyal product following, and they eliminated it from the lineup in the early 2000s. Same type of bone-headed thinking behind this latest move...

 

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

 

I agree completely, Pete.  

 

One of the auto industry analysts that I read weekly is Peter DeLorenzo, whose columns are posted at autoextremist.com.  DeLorenzo's father was one of Harlow Curtice's closest advisors, and he has a background in the advertising industry.  He is consistently critical of GM's failure to invest in the company's marketing function.  GM's refusal to hire a Chief Marketing Officer is viewed as a glaring omission by company management.

 

Product aside, I often think that the folks who have been entrusted with the Buick brand have absolutely no grasp of Buick's place in the market.  We know Buick to have a proud heritage, and I could only shake my head at the insulting "That's not a Buick" commercials of the recent past.  Is that how the marketing people think they can burnish Buick's brand image?  Buick deserves far better than it receives from GM's leadership.

Edited by Centurion (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, skateboardgumby said:

The "Lucerne" came about due to a request by the dealers that they wanted a name that was not the same as they'd had before.  A new model name that would draw people into the Buick showrooms to see "a new Buick", rather than a name they were familiar with.

 

And this sense of familiarity.

Lucuene750.JPG.1bdd730973704e52c9d1df21aa25ea4c.JPG

 

A couple of weeks ago I was looking at this exact comparison. I knew if I whistled a happy tune no one would suspect the wrong wheels were driving, but I went RWD instead.

And my Wife is a little tired of riding while she listens to me say "Now, why can't this be a Buick or a Cadillac." I don't want my Son's Buick.

Bernie

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We bought three new Buicks last year and are very happy with them. That said, we didn't necessarily buy them for looks - I agree there seems to be little distinction in styling these days. The Quiet Tuning is significant, having driven some Chevs recently as well as an import or two the last few years. 

 

As for not not putting the Buick name on it, try finding Buick on the exterior of at least some years of Riviera. I think that argument is bunk. For years, I've pulled up behind imports and, not sure of the logo, couldn't see a definitive brand on the vehicle. No big deal. 

 

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IF Dad had had a J-2 Olds, that would have been "a keeper".

 

I used to do the Susan G. Komen driving events that were co-sponsored by BMW.  If they had openings in their schedule, you could drive them all, if you wanted.  Once, I did a 5-series "M" hot rod.  For some reason, I was not impressed with the 6-cylinder power nor the chassis calibration.  The metallic feel of the throttle pedal was a turn-off.

 

Another year, I reserved a 7-series "non-V-8" sedan.  The host rep walked me out to it.  He asked if I wanted an iDrive demo.  I replied "Just show me how to drive it".  At that time, iDrive was much-maligned in the press, so it was of little interest to me.  On some of the more current Buicks, having a central menu selection would be a big help as many functions are spread from the turn signal stalk to the center console!  It all kind of makes sense once you get it all figured out, what is where, BUT that first time, you wonder "Did they really design this to be used?"  Just to change the radio station is bad enough, much less deal with the speaker balance or tone controls!  Had to get out the manual!

 

That 7-series V-12, THAT was something else.  When I got on the freeway, got to "traffic speed", I heard a sound,  Somebody had set the speed warning to 62mph.  A yellow triangle appeared in the driver info center.  When I slowed down a bit, it went away.  Another guy in a 7-series V-8 seemed to suspect I wasn't driving fast enough, as he stayed on my rear bumper.  So, when I got to the turn-around, cross the freeway, and head back location.  I had to wait for traffic to clear.  When it did, I turned onto the access road and nailed it.  A 30mph sign was a short 1/2 block away.  When I went past it, the speed warning was going off again.  I could feel the various stages of the engine management/traction control release.  It just went faster and faster!  I backed off and coasted.  The 7-series V-8 car was nowhere to be seen.  hehe

 

Once on the freeway, I set the cruise and settled in to pay attention to the car and how it felt.  As far to the front as I was, I kind of felt like I was piloting a jet airliner.  I imagined the house I'd need to part this car in the driveway of, so it'd all look like it all belonged together.  Then the freeway exit came up and I took it back on the surface streets.  Handed the keys back to them, thanked them as they thanked me for participating, realizing that that car (and many like it) had waayyy too much tech and engineering in it for many of the customers to really understand the reason for it.  I was glad it was "theirs" as I don't know that if anything had happened, that my insurance would have had enough money to pay for it.  I walked back to my "survivor" '77 Camaro (parked 1/2 block away) and returned to my "normal" world with cars that I could work on myself.

 

I used to really like the "Pagoda" top Mercedes coupes of the middle 1960s.  The later Grosser Mercedes "limo" sedans, wondering how they got a 5.0L V-8 to push that thing around as it did, all the way to about 140mph in "nothing flat".  Past that, no real interest.  CAR AND DRIVER liked the 3-series BMWs, so that as in interest.  I thought it was neat that they were tuned for oversteer in tight turns, so they'd navigate the switch-backs on their test roads in Germany.  The engine tech was interesting, too.  That was well before BMW became a Mercedes luxury alternative vehicle.  Many who owned Bimmers knew what they were, what their performance pedigrees were, and understood the cars themselves.  I respect them for what they are, but with no desire to own one anytime soon.

 

Bernie, I hope you don't need the window glass adjusted!  Best way to now own a BMW is to lease it with a complete-vehicle warranty/extended warranty that also includes full maintenance.  Best of luck.  Still, BMW has had some interesting cars over they years!

 

NTX5467

 

 

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We had a 12' Lacrosse with the 4cylinder.  What a dog and the start/stop was annoying.  My wife liked the car but hated the drivetrain.  I bought that car with 20k and it was a front end total.  Just a couple airbags, bumper cover, headlights.  Nothing structural.  She put 40k on it in a year (sales) and it was in the shop several times for expensive electronic repairs.  I've never had a car in the shop before that one.  Always something wrong with electronics or hybrid battery.  That car costed more at the dealer in one year than the entire maintenance record for the 12 years I've owned my silverdo.  Never again will I buy the hybrid thing.  Averaged 27 mpg which isn't as good as our 98' Riveria or 99' Aurora v8 that we owned over 15 years ago.    I feel it was a very nice driving car with junk powertrain.  I told the dealer that hybrid system was junk and he agreed but wouldn't come out and say it.  One other thing is the car had to have snowtires.  It was helpless without them.  Maybe the 4 cylinder was to light but if I didn't plow the drive after 4" of snow the wife couldn't make the drive and it's not steep at all.  Once we bought a nice set of snow tires it was ok.  

 

Next car I bought was a 14' XTS awd cadillac with a v6.  Another front ender but a clean title and less damage.  Parts cost a lot more though.  Seems like the headlights were over a grand at dealer cost.   I feel it's a much better car than the Buick was.  Lots of power, similar mileage, better seats, handles better but doesn't ride as soft.  Just feels like more car.  Some of that could be the upgrade engine.  She ran almost 30k on it and oil changes are the only thing I've had to do.   It's still not a 57' Fleetwood in terms of ride but they never will be unless they add some mass and some tire sidewall.   I'd like to test drive the new big car.  This things eats up the snow also.  Everything about it from handling to driving to braking it just works without messing with snow tires.  Must be the extra weight.  

 

My wife likes it so much she is keeping it even though she has a company car again.  Before she would only have her company car and not have a 2nd car.  She said if we take a trip she no longer wants to ride in a fusion or escape type suv.    

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1 hour ago, Janousek said:

We had a 12' Lacrosse with the 4cylinder.  What a dog and the start/stop was annoying.  My wife liked the car but hated the drivetrain.  I bought that car with 20k and it was a front end total.  Just a couple airbags, bumper cover, headlights.  Nothing structural. 

 Yes, often headlights and airbags can be an instant $10,000 estimate.  Add anything else and you're often in the total loss range.  Here in KY, we can deduct the airbags cost when determining a total loss since they are just bolt in parts.  We usually don't because we can sell the salvage pretty high right now (used late model anything, whether wrecked or not, is high right now). 

 

Your sentiments are common among most anyone who has driven a car from even 15 years ago or more.  They just drive different and we are supposed to think trading emissions for gas mileage is a popular trend.  Instead of giving us cars that get 75 mpg, they give us the same old 25-30 usually with more HP and "better emissions."  Well, using less gas would also be a benefit to the environmentalists in the carbon footprint auto debate.

 

For some reason Americans feel they need new and different technologies, whether they are actually better or not.

 

Our family vehicle is a 2002 and will continue to be so until it dies completely.  I have had new company cars over than past 10 years that are all nice and new, but drive horribly and get the same mileage as our 2002 SUV.  I wouldn't buy a single one of them (Saturns, Dodges, Chevrolets, Jeeps) Supposedly they have more power, but unless you can trick the transmission to getting to a higher RPM gear (which new ones never want to do), the higher HP is useless.  I am getting a 2018 Traverse as a company car replacement later this year.  It has more gears than I can count.  Should be fun, I guess.  It's a nice benefit of my job, I will certainly say that. 

 

 

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I had "my Father's Olds" once, a '56 88 Holiday with a Super 88 engine. That was a good car.

 

Reading over the references to European cars, especially Benz and BMW, brings some entertaining thoughts. Can you imagine the MB marketing people in thinking about naming a hardtop model the Riviera? A few of them squirming in their seats. Maybe one haltingly asks "Isn't that at the mouth of the Rhine River?" "Yah" "I think we might have an image issue there." "Lucerne? Biarritz?" "Nein, I think not." "Maybe some cryptic alphanumeric s?" Nodding, they all agree.

 

I really did buy the BMW 760li after considering the lookalike Lucerne. I figure the vanity plate will take focus away from the model designation, though.

_cfimg7531869775971590799.PNG.30ed4a74eef9e14bf85f7f279a7ef19e.PNG

 

Bernie

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Chevrolet has started a new program this year based on truck ownership over the years and brand ownership. I know this because I am part of the Legends program. They send me questionnaires periodically asking what I like most about my truck, what type advertising tactic would have the most impact on my buying decision etc. I believe that most trucks reliability are comparable and the main difference is in style. I bring this up because the Chevy Truck Division seems to be reaching out to current owners to get their input. It doesn't seem as though Buick is doing this. Just a thought....... 

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As of right now, I have no Buicks in my garage.  That is a first after probably 20 plus years of having at least 1 Buick.  When it came to daily driver cars, newer cars I tried to like the new "Buicks" but couldn't find a good reason to like them.  I think that Buick leadership of today have missed the mark in a lot of their business decisions.  Bringing a car to market with the GS name badge that is an Opel, cars made in China, having  a very limited line and models to choose from, and then high tech cars that are problematic are all issues they have made on their own.  Dropping the name "Buick" from the car is just another bad decision but I can understand why when others are making your cars.

 

That said, I like many of the newer cars and the technology that they have brought to the table.  Currently, my daily driver is a 2013 Lincoln MKX and it is the nicest car I have ever owned.  It has 52,000 trouble free miles.  Prior to this we had a 2005 Ford Escape which was trouble free from the day we bought it new to the day we sold it 130,000 miles later.  I was amazed at what a big leap cars had made between 2005 and 2013. 

 

I love old cars and especially old Buicks but they can't compare with the comfort and safety the newer cars provide.  It's too bad that Buick hasn't stayed up with the rest of the market.

 

Greg  

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The engine "start/stop technology" has been hailed as needed to meet tightening emissions AND fuel economy targets.  On several of the later-model GM cars I've driven/rented, it !  to be modulated off of the brake pedal pressure.  IF you can stop, then immediately (before the timer cuts off the engine) slightly ease off of the brakes slightly so the vehicle remains stationary, the engine will keep running.  BUT on many, after the engine is off for a short period of time, it starts back up by itself and STAYS running for the rest of the long red light!  Fuel savings from being off about 30 seconds?  The 2019 Silverado will have a switch to deactivate it, as a current model car (Cadillac?) has a hidden switch in the console compartment.  INTERESTINGLY, the Nissan Altimas I've rented have better highway and city fuel economy than similar GM vehicles AND have no "start/stop technology"!  And, even more interesting (and probably desired by customers!), are the "detents" in the throttle linkage travel, equating to "gears", it seems.

 

As always, how a dealer (any dealer or car rental/leasing company) orders a vehicle can relate to the driving experience.  I would NOT have ordered any of the "electro-boost" 4-cylinder engines in ANY car--period.  It might have been a tech "tour-d-force", BUT and expensive one when component replacement (alternator) time comes.  Another reason to get the extended warranty and THEN replace the vehicle before any factory warranties run out!  I'm NOT a big fan of the more recent downsized turbo engines replacing non-turbo engines of slightly larger size.  They seem to drive nicely, but the mpg promise of the smaller engine doesn't seem to be there other than in EPA ratings.  ANY time the turbo's working, there's MORE fuel being used, by observation, even at light throttle.

 

In using the newer turbo4s, GM is getting the horsepower numbers they need, but if it were not for the gazillion-speed automatics, they would not drive as good as they do.  ONE thing about these automatics, the "top gear" ratio is still pretty much close to what it was with the original 4-speed OD automatics of the 1980s!  The new GM 8-speed works very nicely, much nicer feel and performance on less throttle than even the 6-speed it replaces, by observation.  BUT there are still issues which can be related to how GM engineers seem to believe they need to program them to act!  The 8-speed that Chrysler has been using for several years works flawlessly, at least in the Charger 6-cyl and HEMI rent cars I've driven.  Shifts very quick and smooth!  Why GM just doesn't co-opt that programming seems ignorant, by observation.

 

And then Cadillac has/had a V-6 with double turbos and 400 horsepower?  Might be technically appealing to some of the people that lease their cars and brag about "tech" to their buddies, BUT what's that going to mean 20 years from now when people are searching for fixes on the Internet?  Or trying to find a reasonably-priced private mechanic to work on them?  IF it takes that much $$$$$$ in vehicle production cost/complexity to appear that they are trying to compete with Audi and such, might there be better ways to do it?

 

Oh, and the 2019 Silverado V-8 can deactivate up to 7 cylinders, rather than just 4!  Getting the vibration down in that situation might be technically interesting, but how much is THAT going to cost the customer down the line?  It's all been previously related to the configuration of the engine, whether 60degree or 90degree firing intervals.  The Vortec 4.3L V-6 would only deactivate 2 cylinders, as It was a 90 degree engine, whereas the Chevy 3.9L V-6 would kill three cylinders, as it was a 60 degree engine.

 

By observation, the Impala SS 5.3L V-8 would equal or best the 3.9L V-6 in highway fuel economy.  At the first elevation change going over an overpass on the Interstate, the 3.9L would immediately go back into V-6 mode, from V-3.  The larger V-8 would stay in V-4 mode longer.  The engines would always idle on their full number of cylinders, only going into deactivation mode in cruise conditions.

 

On the 2018 Sierra TX Edition I'm driving, I must have gotten a tail wind while it was in V-4 mode as the "Last 25 miles Fuel Economy" almost pegged the display at 29.5mpg, as normal cumulative mpg for about 15K miles has been 18.5mpg, in the way I drive/use it.  Normally, on freeway runs, it is between 19.5mpg and 23mpg, depending upon various factors, including which way the wind's blowing!

 

In their defense, those smaller turbo4s in Impalas and CADILLACS might be good for what I term "a general drive-around car".  BUT if there's any need for acceleration to freeway speeds on a shorter on-ramp, from about 35mph at less than WOT, THEN you wish you had the V-6 (in the absence of a real V-8!).  If the trans will do a quick downshift (not in the code it seems!!) rather than taking several seconds to get the first downshift and THEN the next downshift to get things moving, that gap you were trying to slot into has vanished!  Even worse if you might have been coasting to wait for that gap to verify itself to you!!!  IF you'd been in a Charger or Chrysler 300, THEIR 8-speed would have gone to the gear the throttle position and other inputs indicated (after all, the electronics sample at millions of times per second!!) and what you desired to do would have happened.  

 

IF you coast up to a red light, then throttle into a GM vehicle, it's like there's a big flatspot in the throttle response, THEN it responds.  If it had been a carb, we'd be chasing accel pump issues!  But that's the way GM has their code written, it seems!!!!!  Worse on some vehicle/engines than others, but still there.  Is that what it takes for them to get past the emissions/fuel economy certification tests?  Do they actually drive what they sell, or what others sell???

 

As for the keychain issue, it's not always the younger females, but the grandmothers seemed to be at fault too.  "Charms" for each of their kids and for the grandkids, typically.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but it makes for a "different' situation when you duplicate a key on one of those keychains.

 

Pardon my angst at how GM perceives they need to do things these days.  I guess I'm on the downside of the learning curve and those being paid the "massive bucks" to make decisions at GM upper management are still on the initial up-slope of their learning curve??!!  THAT's what happens when there is not a lot of continuity in leadership or really paying attention to what others are doing . . . so you don't do something worse.  I was hoping the engineering side of GM was running things now, but I'm not so sure about that, by observation.  The talent is most probably there, but getting to it seems to be an issue!

 

NTX5467

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NTX,  nice write up on some of the new tech.  

 They can push it all they want but start/stop sucks.  It's annoying and that lacrosse had pathetic mileage for a BS feature and pathetic power.  Funny part is the wife told me whatever car we replace it with better have a v6 and no start/stop.  Granted, this is a car girl but she called it a golf cart and thought it took a higher end car and made it herky jerky.  

 

I had poker in the shop a couple nights ago and we were talking about the 6 speed transmissions and that they are going to 8 speeds and more now.    Two of the guys complained about the constant up/down shifting and how annoying they are.  I've never noticed it on our XTS but they live on 55mph roads with constant rolling hills.  

 

Unfortunately bean counters and emmission regulations are probably dictating more than we know.  I test drove a new SIlverado a few years ago with a 5.3.  I've owned a few trucks with a 5.3 back around 00' because I was building wrecks out of them so I know what they are.  I got out and asked the salesguy where the motor was.  He looked at me like I had lobsters growing out of my ears.   It wasn't nearly as peppy as my early 5.3's.  I did a little research and basically a lag was programmed in for mileage like you mentioned.  

 

I honestly don't care what the mileage is on my trucks.  I get they have to do stuff for emissions but I'm happy with my 12 mpg I've gotten for the past 12 years from the best truck I've ever owned.  04' 2500hd regular cab with a 6.0.  A buddy bought a new ford f250 6.2liter and has gotten 11 mpg for the past year.  Makes me smile as he had a 03' Silverado 2500 with 250k that got better mileage than his new truck.  I'm not always sure they move foreward with every tech gizmo.  

 

I really don't want to be preached too by bunch of guys flying around in private jets about what fuel mileage/emissions I should be allowed.  

 

 

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10 hours ago, NTX5467 said:

as normal cumulative mpg for about 15K miles has been 18.5mpg, in the way I drive/use it.

 

My '04 Silverado Z71 with the 5.3L and a quarter-million miles on the clock gets me anywhere from 17.5 (winter) to 19.5 mpg on my 20 mile daily commute - with all 8 cylinders working.  I don't see the benefit in the cylinder deactivation complication...

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One of the reasons for "fly by wire" throttle is that the rate of opening of the throttle plates can be controlled.  One of our former techs noted that on a cable system, with the vehicle hooked to a 4 gas emission analyzer, if you open the throttle suddenly and forcefully, then snap it closed, the meters will go wild as the enrichment for acceleration spikes with that sudden throttle movement.  In the earlier systems, there seemed to be a tad more slowness of the reaction to throttle pedal input, but that now seems to have generally disappeared.

 

 What GM still has, it seems, is something that we learned about at the 2004 Grand Prix dealer training ride/drive event.  Garage mode.  What that means if the throttle is moved slowly and vehicle speed is basically "stopped", as if you're putting the car into the garage, or backing out, it takes more throttle to get the car to move, seeming unresponsive.  On our department pickups, I've learned to pat the throttle lightly as to jab it more when the truck doesn't initially moves results in "a lunge", which is usually not good.  So, I'll put my left foot on the brake and use the right foot to modulate the throttle while backing up, especially if there is an incline involved.

 

With advancing time, the cruise control, traction control, and other functions have been added to the initial fly-by-wire throttle controls, plus the garage mode operation which I might not have known about except for going to that particular dealer training event.

 

AND, there's a fail-safe mode on some of the pickups.  TWO throttle position sensors, one on the accel pedal and another on the throttle body.  Their readings have to agree and correspond, lest a "code be set".  On a few model years, there were quality issues with the connection on the throttle body that drove techs crazy.  But that was about 10 years ago.

 

On some GM vehicles and in some model years, you can put the trans shift lever in "M": and manually keep the trans from downshifting, but doing so might cause the engine to lug in the higher gear, with even more decreased fuel economy.  There are, by observation, some different programs in the trans control module, so this might not work for them all.  I believe the 6-speed auitomatics first used the "M" position  (P-R-N-D-M-L shift quadrant display).  One customer noted that he used that "M" to keep his car locked into a particular gear in hilly terrain.

 

In the hilly terrain, the trans is acting like it was designed to do, even if it might not seem that way.  As throttle is applied to maintain speed uphill, the torque converter clutch first unlocks, then a downshift to a lower gear happens if the unlocking converter was not enough.  From there, an additional downshift can occur.  Once the hill's crest is reached, then the reverse happens as the trans upshifts and the torque converter locks back up again.  Using "M" might limit the shifting, but not necessarily what the torque converter does.

 

On the prior models without the computerized trans controls, the same scenario would happen, but governed by engine manifold vacuum levels.  I fielded many calls from customers who had bought pickups where the dealer had ordered "highway gears" to allegedly get better fuel economy (in the '90s or earlier).  The V-8s were running about 2000rpm at 60mph with the 5.0L 4bbls we had back then.  So the engine was not high enough into the  torque curve to pull itself up a mild hill without some "help".  So with the cruise control set, the trans did its thing, shifting down and then back up.  I'd ask the customer why they were inquiring about a getting a different rear axle ratio for their truck.  I'd ask them to get a option code from the SPID label (later, just a VIN was needed). They'd recount the "always shifting" scenario, then I'd explain why it was doing that, acting "as designed", on the particular Interstate they were on when it happened.  PLUS why the truck was equipped as it was.

 

A new rear gearset was about $550.00 back then.  Then several hours labot, plus some new lube and such.  Ended up being close to $1000.00.  Getting one out of a salvage yard and getting it useable was a little more money.  My end recommendation was that the vehicle was acting "as designed", as intolerable or different as it might be.  But the best option was to get a different pickup, paying attention to the rear axle ratio to not repeat what they were trying to get away from.  I told them what codes to get checked.  They appreciated my explanation and understanding of their concerns.

 

Use to be that the rear axle was an important spec on pickups, but the rear axle ratio/tire sizing now seems to result in 1700rpm at 70mph.  If more load is encountered, the trans downshifts as it needs to, as the two or three top gears on the 6-speeds are "OD" ratios.  The 8+ speeds seek to keep the engine rpms in a particular "efficiency" band so not a lot of throttle is needed to get the car down the road, up hills, or similar.  Better fuel economy and fewer CO emissions should result.  I have driven a few new Silverado 5.3L trucks with the 8-speed and they drive a good bit better than the 6-speeds did.  Once the first few shifts happen, I didn't notice the rest of them.  Kind of neat watching the tach needle swing up to  3000rpm and them quickly back to a lower point and do it again!  Think of the desire to have a "geared CVT" of sorts, with all of those gears to be used as needed.

 

I don't believe most V-6s have the "start/stop" tech on them.  One quick way to tell is on the tach, it'll have an "Engine Stop" mark between the "Zero" and "500" rpm marks.  The V-6 and V-8s will have "Active Fuel Management" or "cylinder de-activation", which can be watched in the fuel economy function  screen on the Driver's Info Center.

 

No matter what prior orientations might have been, the best way to get fuel economy on recent-vintage vehicles is to use the cruise control on the highway and just drive.  Using the + and - buttons to modulate speed changes, if possible.  Reason is that gradual throttle/speed increases, but the main benefit is that going down hills and such, if you watch the Instant Fuel economy readings, in "coast-down", the mpg will go to 99mpg as long as the throttle is closed, until about 35mph or of.  What this also means is that if you  need to use a good bit of throttle to accelerate around something, when done, just back out of the throttle and let the cruise return the vehicle back to the set speed (getting 99mipg in the process).

 

One time, I was in a rented Impala SS 5.3L V-8.  I was running 65mph in the inside lane, legal speed, when I noticed a raised-up FE250SD diesel approaching in the rear view mirror.  No place to change lanes, where I was, so I nailed it and safely ran it up to about 100mph, pretty quickly, then coasted back down to speed in another lane (at 99mpg).  As the coast time was longer than the power time, the average mpg actually increased a few tenths mpg.  Coast time usually is longer than power time, by observation.

 

The days of having a larger torquey V-8 that got along just fine with a 3-speed or 4-speed OD automatic only exist in older vehicles.  We NOW are in the age of miniature, highly-stressed 4-cylinder engines with turbos and such, plus mighly-multi-geared transmissions.  No need for optional axle ratios as you gear it for ultimate fuel economy and let the trans adjust to conditions as programmed to do.  I understand why we have all of this "stuff", but I'm not sure it's really beneficial in a significant manner, in all cases.

 

What I DO like is that when I put my foot into the throttle on the 2017 5.3L pickup I'm driving, it DOES move with no trouble and gets not more than 1mpg less than the 2014 4.3L VorTec V-6 it replaced.  Not a bad deal, in that respect!  AND, if you can keep it in 4-cyl mode (by some unknown manner), it'll show 30+mpg at about 65mph steady/level ground cruise.  My normal mpg runs about 19.5-22.5 average, but gets decreased when I have some down time during the day.

 

Considering what we lived with in the middle 1980s, all of this tech results in a dang sight better fuel economy!  When we got the TBI 5.7Ls in '87, with a 3.08 rear axle ratio and careful 55-60mph cruise speeds, I documented several 20mpg tanks of fuel.  Hugely better than the new '77 350 C-10 I drove that never got more than 13mpg on its first tank of fuel!  And it didn't run nearly as well as the more recent trucks did.  Progress, but sometimes "at what cost"?

 

Sorry for the length . . . 

NTX5467

 

 

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I was going to sell my rusted '05 Silverado that I bought new. Growing up, my first impressions of an "old man" were seniors with patched up old trucks. That and a few other stereotypical quirks are on my "To Avoid" list as I age. I figured I could get close to $5,000 for the truck I bought for $20,000  and put 170,000 trouble-free miles on. After about 8 months of serious car shopping with a budget of $35,000 and mostly looking at GM products, I decided the truck was too valuable to sell. It will stay as a backup for a long time. That freed me from the current enthusiast cars mentioned above. Not to confuse them with automotive enthusiasts, I mean the cars built for environmental enthusiasts. Cars still poured and pounded out of steel, shipped around the world on oil fired ships, and unloaded at the dealership from a diesel truck. Oh! Wow! The engine shuts off at stop lights.

The most ecological car is the car that already exists. The carbon footprint of the advertisement of these efficient cars exceeds their fuel savings. But they are driving the market and pretty much screwing up the cars. Next time you see a Congressman or a Representative, they make a lot of regulations about car design, ask them how many kilowatts they bought for their home last month. Ask if they had a goal to reduce personal consumption this year and if they are succeeding. They and their ilk drool to regulate for the activist while generally lacking any clue of what they are doing, personally.

 

My recent purchase weighs 4800 pounds and appears to get 20 MPG on the road. The Prius that gets built next month still has to have a pot of stell melted and a paint booth filled with fumes.

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Some might not remember, but GM and Ford, possibly Chrysler, had "natural gas" vehicles in the 1990s.  Usually pickup trucks and "fleet" vehicles.  Ford did some NG Crown Vics, but as NG has a power reduction, few police depts. wanted them (at a time when the normal Ford OHC V-8 was doing good to produce 210 horsepower).  In more recent times, seems like Honda had some too, but there were limited fueling station options at the time.

 

The first "hybrid" pickup that GM did had some batteries under the rear seat of the 4-door cab.  Engine stop, too!  Didn't work too well in TX as when the engine stopped, so did anything operated by the engine (think a/c compressor!), which didn't play too well in TX in July, as in Dallas or Houston traffic in the summer.  We sold one of the display models that was used at the TX State Fair.  The batteries were not inexpensive, either.

 

Some cars work better than others, in the "Start/Stop" mode, on the "re-start" situation.  If you're in normal city traffic and make all turns at red lights, no big deal.  But IF you're trying to get to that gap in cross-traffic, if you sit there long enough, the engine stops.  Stay longer and it restarts.  But in that time when the engine is stopped and you see that gap approach, THAT's when the stop/start can become a dangerous liability!  Or so it might seem.  NOT something I'd desire to deal with, either!  Hope the alternator belt doesn't break, either!!!

 

On "mild hybrids", those aux batteries have their own cooling system.  They have their own desired temp range and their "temp regulation system" tries to accommodate that so the "hybrid" part will work.  Out of temp range?  No workie.

 

NTX5467

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10 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

The most ecological car is the car that already exists.

 

Amen -- and that's a good plan regarding your old Silverado.  I was wondering how many tarps and old newspapers would be needed to carry that 5 gallon container of used oil and junk tires to the solid waste transfer station in the back of your 760i... 

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