Armchair Quarterbacking Chevy, Part 2

Continuing my Armchair Quarterbacking of Chevy; it’s time to look at the SUV’s and Trucks.

2013_chevrolet_equinox

This is my ride.  A 2013 Equinox 2LT.  I own this.  I got it brand new last May in 2013.  I added a trailer hitch to it and other than that, it’s bone stock.  This is a great car.  Well, it’s really a crossover SUV according to the Auto Industry, an SUV/Truck according to Chevy, and a Station Wagon according to my friends.   It’s got a direct injected, 3.6 liter, multi-fuel, V-6 engine that cranks out over 300 horses.  It can really haul ass. I love the big bore looking dual exhausts.   I’ve got 15,000 miles on it now, and the only problem I’ve had was a bad battery that was replaced under warranty at 8,000 miles.
Here’s the problem though.  I keep calling it a car because it doesn’t feel like an SUV at all.  SUV/Truck?  There is nothing truck-like about it and there never well be.  It’s a Station Wagon.  Even the All Wheel Drive versions… are just all wheel drive station wagons.  So let’s improve upon what it really is.
What I don’t like about the EQ is the lack of testosterone in the Shifter.  When in Manual Mode, to up and down shift you have a tiny toggle think on the shifter.  Come on.  Let me play with that stick.  I want to move the stick to shift.  Not toggle the button.  And also, when in manual mode, make it stay in the gear until I manually shift it.  And if I want to down shift – let me down shift it.  The EQ’s Manual mode has no control over anything – it only takes your command as a suggestion that it will consider later, down the road.  Manual Mode should also involve a sport setting.   An SS version would be nice too, because… Reasons.  Really there should be an SS version of everything.  Because having the option of More Power should always be available.

2014_chevrolet_traverse
Keeping up with Chevy’s evident idea of taking one thing and making it a bit bigger… The Chevy Traverse is to the Equinox what the Sonic is the Spark.  Basically the same damn thing a bit bigger.  Again, this is supposed to be an SUV.  What it really is, is a Mini-Van.  Anyone telling you differently is selling something.  The Traverse really is a nice vehicle.  They sell very well, as I see millions of them on the road, just like the EQ’s.  But they should be called the Transverse because it’s just a cross-dressing Mini-Van trying to look a little more butch.  It even has Eyeliner.

2014_chevrolet_traverse_Eyeliner

Not that there is anything wrong with that…
What Chevy really needs to do though, is get off it’s ass and bring back the Trailblazer.  Here’s a rendering of what that could look like:
2015-chevrolet-trailblazer
Now THAT is a freaking SUV.  And Chevy, when you do this.  Don’t make it like how Dodge did the Durango and Ford did the Explorer… That’s what the Traverse is… a huge bloated Station Wagon.  No.  Base it on the Colorado.  Truck First.  What you need to do is make it something that can compete with Toyota 4Runner.  Something that has some actual Off Road capability instead of the rival’s Dirt Road capability.  Make the Trailblazer live up to it’s name.  Give it the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but the clearance and ruggedness of 4Runner.  That’s the target.  People would go BONKERS for it.  I’d trade my EQ in on it.  Engine options would of course have to start out with the 3.6 Liter V-6, but then give it that 5.3 Liter V-8 option.  Because – BALLS.  That’s something missing in the Off-Road market.
Colorado

I’m loving the new Colorado… or what I’m seeing of it.  Dropping it was a mistake.   I really liked the last one.  I did.  I had a friend who got one and I was jealous.   A great little truck.  But it was rather gutless.  You had rather weak engine options in it.

Chevy really needs to do something to answer to the Ford Raptor.  Toyota brought out some cosmetic upgrades to make their truck look like a Raptor type Rig… but it’s only weak sauce.  So here is what you do, Chevy… Go to YouTube and watch every video on something called the King of Hammers.  Eat Bacon.  Listen to Heavy Metal. Go shooting.  Grow a beard.  And then eat some more Bacon… and then let your engineers do a version of the Colorado called the Hammer.  Give it some serious performance chops, and make it a freaking Off Road Super Hero.  And put one in every Dealership.  Get the Hammer Pro Team out and run it to the North Pole like what Top Gear did with the Toyota.  Run it around the Nurburgring like what Ford did with the Raptor.  Promote the hell out of it and show the world that Chevy has it.

One last thing, Chevy.  Remake the Avalanche on the Colorado platform instead of the Silverado.

11 thoughts on “Armchair Quarterbacking Chevy, Part 2”

  1. Please don’t confuse the Colorado with a truck. The El Camino was better designed for actual work. My dad had 3-4 S-10’s over the years and loved every one of them. He drove the crap out of ’em and used them for light duty on the farm (checking cattle, hauling a few sacks of feed, etc).

    The Colorado was different. Sure, it looked cool in the 2WD Z-71 configuration (no, that’s not a misprint). However, if you got mud in the wheelwells, you’d clog up the air filter for the gas tank (you need air to displace the gas you burned, right?) Who the hell puts an air intake/filter in the dirtiest place possible? If you drove through a pasture and got native grass seeds in the radiator, there was no room to stick a hose between the radiator and the engine to wash it out. You had to pull the radiator to do this. It’s great for hauling stuff, but stay on the paved road.

  2. Here is something I wish they’d do – make trucks that a working man can afford. Priced out new pickups a while back and the prices were utterly horrifying. In my area I can buy a nice home possibly two for the price of a new pickup. Want a suburban to haul the family around in and tow a camper or boat on the weekend? You could put a kid or two through college for the price of a new one.

    Please build a stripped down model with a bench seat, a floor liner that can be hosed down, no damned onstar or freaking TV in the dash or built into the headrests, solid front and rear axles with air or electrically actuated locking differentials and the capability to accept a 33-35 inch tire without modifications to the suspension. I don’t need or want traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring. Heat, air and cruise and a decent set of gauges and that’s it.

    While we’re at it, design with service in mind. Easy to access wear items like thermostats, starters, filters, spark plugs, water pumps, fuel pumps etc. I shouldn’t have to spend 45 minutes and take off half of the engine to replace a damn thermostat. Should be able to replace it with a screwdriver and wrench in the parking lot of the NAPA store. Oh and pick either standard or metric fastener sizes and go with it ffs.

    You’d think you could save a chunk of change purchasing a truck 10 or so years old but you’re in trouble there too. I know people who end up with 5 figure repair bills to replace injectors and pumps or transmissions in those 10 year old pickups. Things like alternators and starters go for multiple hundreds. It’s crazy.

    1. Just replaced the brake calipers in my 2002 F350. $90 for the front calipers, $65 for the rear.

      Don’t think I’ve ever had an expensive repair on that truck.

      1. Just had the ball joints on my 2001 F250 4×4 done.
        $160 in genuine Motorcraft parts.
        And agreed about the inexpensive brakes.

        Jim

    2. You can buy stripped down “fleet” vehicles… Talk to your local dealer about it. You will be shocked at the savings.
      And then disappointed with what you actually bring home.

      1. I LOVE fleet vehicles.
        Manual windows and locks, no carpet, manual hubs, manual transfer case.
        Only thing I wish it had is cruise control.

        Jim

        1. I would want autolocking hubs, intermittent wipers and cruise. That would be nice. I bought a Ford F-150 once, fleet, had none of that.
          (For a company not for myself)

          1. That’s the problem. I want /some/ of the convenience features. But others are actually detrimental. I don’t want leather seats and carpets. I want a truck that I can literally hose out. But I do want power seats, because I drive a lot, and adjusting the truck to fit me is important to making that safe and comfortable.

            I have shorter legs, and the power-adjustable pedals in my truck are great. I can adjust the seat so that my arms meet the steering wheel perfectly, then move the pedals closer by an inch or so, to make them comfortable for leg reach. If I didn’t have that, I’d have to adjust the seat for my legs, and then I’d feel like I was crouching up on the wheel.

            On the other hand, I’ve never used my radio for anything other than listening to the radio. The fact that it can play tapes and CD’s is entirely wasted.

            Some of the gizmos are useful. Others are not. It would be nice to be able to truly a-la-carte things, instead of ordering from packages.

  3. I want a newer Chevy Truck, mine is a 2002. A 2500 HD extended cab, long bed, cloth seat, rubber floor, manual windows, manual doors, manual hubs, 6 speed standard trans, duramax, but with cruise and air. Here are the problems, no standards since 05 in duramax’s. All the rest is do able if you order new. This would be my work truck and the wife could have mine but she won’t touch it until I fix the electric windows.

  4. Based on my years of experience with GMC dealers. Burn all the GM employees at the stake, level the dealerships and factories and salt the earth beneath.

    Geoff
    Who notes Dodge dealers are far worse than GM dealers.

  5. Despite customer satisfaction surveys, Consumer Reports data or otherwise, GM just doesn’t seem to “do the truck thing” as well as Ford. And I’m not a Ford guy. They just have it figured out better. There is a reason you see so many F-series trucks on job sites, and it’s not due to any significant price differential.

    A stripped down F-150 with a real V8 or reliable diesel is just about the perfect work truck. Agree that it needs cruise control and AC, but that’s just about all, along with enough gearing to do decent towing, if required. Fuel mileage be damned, if it’s a gas burner. Most work trucks don’t drive very far, or can be converted to alternative fuel.

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