Thinking about an SUV? Consider these!

Maybe the SUV doesn’t need to die.

There’s definitely less of a need for the Suburbans, Excursions, and Sequoias of the world, but families still need to tow their toys, haul their kids and plow through snowstorms.  

Though these SUVs won’t tow yachts or carry a truckload of Home Depot supplies, they’re the ones that actually make some sense in a world where utility and practicality are coming into balance.

GMC Acadia

Its starting price of about $32K is the highest on the list, but it’s also arguably the most negotiable. The Acadia offers plenty of room for 8, has decent fuel economy for its size, and brings a nice amount of bling into your garage. This is a great choice for large families who need to go to Costco in a snowstorm on the way to the ski resort.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Starting around $23K, the Tiguan brings the lure of European style to the compact SUV class. The selling points are a turbo engine and awesome driving dynamics. This is the SUV for those who need one, but really LOVE to drive.

Subaru Tribeca

Starting around $30K, the Tribeca is the SUV for those who need one but place comfort well over driving dynamics. It’s serene and quiet while providing the peace of mind of strong all weather grip. (Somehow this Subaru is starting to look like a Chrysler, but at least it’s better than the previous B-9 Tribeca.)

Honda CR-V

Starting at around $22K, this is the SUV that wins the “Most True to its Name” award: the Comfortable Runabout Vehicle. Plus it has the added bonus of being nearly unstoppable in snow and ice.

Suzuki Grand Vitara

For SUV buyers looking for a real value, it’s hard to beat the Grand Vitara. Starting under $20K, it offers real off road ability, a 100K warranty, luxurious touches, attractive styling and defaults to RWD when not in 4WD mode. 

What’s YOUR perfect SUV?

-tgriffith

No clear consumer support for automotive bailout.

52% of survey respondents disapprove of a government bailout for GM and Ford.

Consumer sentiment mirrors initial reaction to bank bailout package.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 3 — CarGurus® (http://www.cargurus.com/), a leading online automotive community, today announced the results of its survey of more than 8,000 online automotive consumers worldwide. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they do not support a government bailout for General Motors and Ford. While 48% do favor some sort of bailout, the survey illustrated the lack of consumer consensus on bailouts and in particular federal support for these leading U.S. automotive manufacturers. Lack of consensus mirrors split over bank bailout package “In these tough economic times, consumers appear to be torn on whether to support Ford and GM with some sort of federal assistance,” remarked Langley Steinert, CEO/co-founder of CarGurus. “Not unlike the close votes in Congress on the bank bailout, the nation is split on federal assistance for private industry. Many see it as a necessary step to save jobs, but an equal proportion find it hard to stomach using public funds to support private industry.” Survey Results Across the CarGurus Network, respondents answered the question:

Should the government bail out GM and Ford? (Total Votes = 8,100) No – 52% Yes – 48%

About CarGurus LLC Located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, CarGurus LLC is a leading online automotive community founded by Langley Steinert and Nick Shanny, formerly co-founders of TripAdvisor LLC, the 3rd largest online travel site in the world. CarGurus’ founders, board, and investors bring a wealth of experience from such leading web companies as TripAdvisor, eBay, Expedia, and Yahoo. For more information about CarGurus, visit us at www.cargurus.com. CONTACT: Steve Halloran, Editor, CarGurus LLC 617-354-0068, x12 press@cargurus.com

Pontiac: performance or practical?

Pontiac has hit a homerun with the G8. So why is it being yanked?

Pontiac has hit a homerun with the G8. So why is it being yanked?

 

When you think of performance vehicles, odds are names like BMW, Porsche, even Mercedes or Lexus will come to mind. Pontiac probably wouldn’t make the list.

Yet Pontiac is the company with the slogan of “game changing performance.” Of their 6 models, though, only two of them stand a chance of living up to that promise, and they’re both going away.

The RWD G8 and Solstice have given us reason to hope that the slogan would become more than just a marketing ploy, but oh my how things can change.  Pontiac recently announced the discontinuation of these cars, leaving GM’s one-time ‘Driving Excitement’ brand with only front-wheel-drive midrange sedans, coupes, and unexciting crossovers. So much for GM’s claims of eventually turning Pontiac into an American version of BMW.

Without the G8 and the Solstice, Pontiac is left with the G6, the G5, the Torrent, and the Vibe. That’s certainly a lineup capable of delivering an adequate commute, but hardly reaches the performance level that Pontiac has always aimed for.

This is a sign of two possibilities: 

GM is in the process of rebranding Pontiac toward the fuel efficient and practical… or GM is in the process of phasing Pontiac out completely.

Option 1 would be a complete 180-degree shift from Pontiac’s performance history and is the less plausible outcome. Option 2 is more feasible, especially considering the talks of a possible GM/Chrysler merger. Pontiac would be left in the unenviable position of being an expendable brand simply because its main selling point, performance, would be gone. 

Pontiac isn’t worth keeping around if they’re not even going to try living up to their ‘game changing performance’ claim. I’d rather see Pontiac ride valiantly and proud into automotive history than relegate itself to practicality.

What do you think- Is a Pontiac without any performance worthy of existing?

-tgriffith