Memorial Day is here and many of you are probably enjoying a cold one and getting ready to begin some serious grilling with your family and friends. However, the day will come to an end and everyone will be hitting the roads to drive back home today so these easy to follow tips will at least save you a few dollars.
While Spring gas prices are already trending higher then usual, these tips will be ever more important if we experience record highs for the 2013 summer. The hunt for less expensive gas is not, and does not, need to be difficult. Like most daily activities today, there are apps out there to help.
GasBuddy.com started out as a website that let users report and view fuel prices in their area to help others find cheap gas locally. It now has an app for both iOS and Android devices.
Gregg Laskoski, an analyst for GasBuddy, said the app can help drivers save money.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a gap exists just in their local markets,” he said. “In Miami … there was a gap in the lowest priced station and the highest priced station at $1.05 a gallon. In mini-markets, it can be $0.50, $0.60, $0.70 cents per gallon.”
This app will not only save you money, but it turns into a fun game as well as you earn points for entering gas prices in your local market. Depending how much you drive on annual basis, will clearly determine how much you save with the assistance of an application like GasBuddy, but figure that you will save anywhere between $250 to $300 for every 15,000 miles you drive.
Aside from a helpful app like GasBuddy.com, here are 6 basic money-saving tips to help you determine where, and how, you fill up next.
1. Pay Attention to the Newest Price Reports
Whichever app or website you use to retrieve local gas prices, be sure to pay attention to the age of the information. For example., postings from 22 hours ago are probably not very reliable whereas information posted 3 hours ago is most likely on the money.
2. Pick a Card, But Not Just Any Credit Card
The credit card you use at the gas station can be the critical difference between saving you money at the local pump or costing you more then you initial thought.
Many stations will charge a surcharge unless [you] use their particular gas card. On the flip side, you can seek out and get a credit card that includes specific perks related to purchasing gasoline. For example, the Chase Freedom credit card can provide you with 5 percent rebate on gas. But to complicate matters, you better make sure that you are filling up at a gas station that does not have the up-charge when paying with your credit card since the uptick in cost will most likely wipe out your savings.
To put simply, If you are paying with a credit card, you can sometimes be slapped with an extra fee at the pump so pay attention.
3. Location, Location, Location
Gasoline stations near the highway can be a win if there is more than one major truck or travel stop or a loss if there is only one station and it is small in size. Also, in areas like NJ, Sunoco has contracts with the Turnpike Authority to provide fuel services on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, but under the terms of the agreement, those specific gas stations may only change their prices weekly, prior to 7 am on Fridays.
4. Keep an Eye on Those Truck Stops
Truck stops are a good indicator to see if the price of gas will go up because they sell ample amounts of gas very quickly. Hence, truck stops are constantly receiving new loads of gasoline and that means that truck stop owners are paying the most-up-to-date prices for gasoline. You can use this tip in conjunction with the previous fuel saving tidbit to determine whether or not you should fill your vehicle up in NJ before or after the weekly price change.
5. Fill Up in an Area With Many Gas Stations
This is really just common sense since competition will typically keep prices lower.
6. Fill Up Near State Lines
Filling up near state lines will save you money. States are more competitive because of any difference in taxes. For example, the combined tax in Illinois is nearly $0.61 per gallon, where Missouri is $0.36 per gallon. This holds a lot of weight if you travel the roads in the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic since a typical road trip often involves crossing multiple state lines.
Be sure to take a moment of silence to remember the brave service men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Have fun cooking, attending parades, swimming in the ocean, camping in the mountains or just relaxing this Memorial Day and from everyone at Windsor Nissan, please drive safe…and save some money at the gas pumps!!!
It is pretty simple when it comes down to it; find ways to maximize your MPG. Driving a car can be analogous to a video game. For example, you can drive from point A to point B exactly as stated by your Navigation or Google Maps just like you can play Zelda on Nintendo from beginning to end, but Google Maps and your vehicle do not tell that there are tons of ways to manipulate your car that will save you real money and time by earning an extra 50 miles on the road compared to your previous full tank of gas in your 2013 Nissan Rogue.
Whether you are visiting family, heading to the beach or camping in the mountains, you are probably driving, as it is far more convenient then having to strip down at airport security and that is after paying United Airlines $25.00 for your bag. Considering 31.2 million people hit the roads on Memorial Day Weekend, US drivers will spend approximately $1.44 billion filling up at the pump.
So, in an attempt to save you some of your hard earned wages and to make a small impact on our environments (come on….every bit helps), here are the Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips that will enhance the amount of miles you will achieve while driving per gallon of gasoline this Memorial Day Weekend (and obviously anytime that you are driving your vehicle).
1. Plan Ahead & Pick Your Route Wisely
Most people are fairly lazy when it comes to this specific topic since vehicle navigation is becoming as standard as a CD player in new vehicles. Combine that with the prevalent use of smart phones and map applications and you fill find that most people simply get into their vehicle and then figure out how to get to their end point from the driver’s seat. Yet, since everyone relies on this method, the end result is having everyone on the same road at the same time in a gigantic traffic jam…..wasting fuel.
If you plan ahead, you can avoid this nightmare and waste of expensive fuel. It might mean taking the road less-traveled, but it could result in a more pleasant, scenic route, free of traffic and even if it’s longer, in terms of actual miles driven, it might prove quicker. A moving car that spends less time on the road is more efficient than one stuck in traffic for hours.
2. Check Your Tires
To start, make sure you tire is wearing evenly across the tread because if it is not, you may find yourself an unfortunate situation and/or with a much larger service bill the next time you visit your local Car Dealership. For example, if your tire tread is uneven, this might be a direct result of your vehicles alignment being off.
Or, your tire could just be under-inflated (I know that sounds awkward), which is a quick fix you can accomplish by yourself at any gas station in a matter of minutes. This is an easy fix and it will pay huge dividends. Lower tire pressures can adversely affect wear and increase drag, reducing gas mileage. From a safety standpoint, low pressure tries are my susceptible to overheat at high speeds, and will increase the potential for blowouts.
Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive, and a weekly check will ensure you are always at a safe, economical pressure.
Tires don’t have to cause you much stress, and confirming that yours are always in tip-top shape will both improve safety, and save you money on gas.
3. Check Your Car
Do a few quick checks over your automobile. By checking that the engine has sufficient oil, confirming all the lights work, and cleaning your vehicle before your departure are easy and inexpensive to do and increase the fuel efficiency of your ride.
Although you’ll likely be loading the car up with people and luggage, do a check around to make sure your car isn’t full of junk or unnecessary paraphernalia, like mine is, because it all adds weight, and weight is the enemy of efficient driving.
4. Timing Is Everything
Set off earlier and travel during off hours. No, really. New Yorkers know not to head to the Jersey Shore, Southampton, or the Catskills Friday night. If you have any control over your schedule, take an extra day off or travel at night. After dark, it will be cooler in the car, less taxing on your engine and you will burn less fuel.
Big rigs also take a break in the evening, so fewer trucks on the highway will give you peace of mind over your precious cargo…your loved ones and/or friends. Otherwise, avoid city centers and major interstate exchanges during rush hour or the hours right after lunch.
Finally, you will be able to drive slower (saving fuel) without the anxiety of sitting in traffic.
5. Drive Smoothly
Now we’re onto specific driving techniques. First, treat all the car’s controls with some respect so use smooth, measured inputs. Not only will it make things more pleasant for your passengers, but accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will mean less engine, brake and tire wear, which increases your vehicles fuel efficiency.
That is not to say you need to travel everywhere at a snail’s pace either. It’s better to accelerate briskly, but be sure to change gears earlier. In addition, reach your economical cruising speed sooner. Hence do not draw out your acceleration. The more time you spend in the process of accelerating, the less time you will spend at low revs in top gear, where the best economy can be had.
I hope these tips help you save a few bucks this weekend and whenever you decide to go on your next road trip.
Happy Driving This Memorial Day from everyone at Windsor Nissan!!!!
General Motors is entering the next-generation small van competition with a new version of a commercial vehicle made by Nissan, both companies announced Tuesday.
The Chevrolet City Express, as it will be called, will be a revised Nissan NV200 and will come to market in fall, 2014. Nissan has been trying to aggressively find new uses for its small NV200 van, including adapting it as the “taxi of tomorrow,” the mainstay of New York’s cab fleet.
In creating a Chevrolet version, Nissan solves a problem for GM. With the success of Ford’s small Transit Connect, the pressure has been on GM to find a match. By partnering with Nissan, GM cuts years of development time and expense.
GM officials know exactly what they want the van to accomplish.
“It’s designed to go head-to-head against Transit Connect — and win,” Ed Peper, GM’s fleet sales chief tells USA TODAY. “Speed (to market) was a very important asset we had to have here.”
The van will be for sale to individual customers as well as fleet buyers, the businesses that buy their vans in bunches for flower deliverers, plumbers and myriad other enterprises.
The small van segment is new to GM. Ford basically created the segment in the U.S. with its Transit Connect, which sort of a combination car and truck. Now, Peper says GM’s vehicle will stand out from the Nissan with an entirely new front-end design that looks distinctively like a Chevrolet and a five-year, 100,000-miles powertrain warranty.
The van, to be built at a Nissan plant in Mexico, is yet another example of how Nissan partners with other automakers to try to get enough production volume at its plants to make vehicles successful.
“Working with partners to expand markets for our innovative products enhances Nissan’s growth and manufacturing efficiency by leveraging our capacity to meet growing demand in this space,” says Joe Castelli, a Nissan vice president, in a statement.
Now it yet to be seen whether GM will try to enter the large, new-generation van market. It is dominated by Mercedes-Benz’ large Sprinter, and both Ford and Chrysler have their own large vans planned based on European designs.
SIBERIA, Russia – Russian race driver Roman Rusinov and auto journalist Andrey Leontjev pushed the Nissan GT-R across a frozen Lake Baikal, setting a new national speed ice driving record of 294.8 kph (183 mph).
The speed record on ice was a joint project of Nissan in Russia and LAV Productions company, taking place at Small Sea Strait – part of the Baikal water area between western coast and Ol’khon isle. The Nissan GT-R 2012 model year used winter non-studded Bridgestone tires.
The length of the track was divided into an acceleration part – 3.5 km, timekeeping part – 1 km, and breaking area – 3.5 km. The driving attempts were fixed and evaluated by a specially-created committee of the Russian Automotive Federation, and also a group of four judges from Yaroslavl, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Moscow. The car starts from standing position and develops maximum speed on the distance of 1000 meters (1 km). RAF fixes average speed on this route.
The 540-horsepower GT-R production car had no modifications, running the 3.8-liter, V6 engine on the frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake in southern Siberia, with a result for the history books. Enjoy this video of their record ice escapade.
For more photos of the Nissan GT-R on Lake Baikal, check out our photo gallery.
Take a look at some of the behind-the-scene production shots here.
With the unseasonably warm weather we are having this week in New Jersey, my mind got me thinking about Summer. Summer being my favorite season, and the fact it is my daughter’s name!
The summer months also bring in happy customers to Windsor Nissan who get unbelievable deals! The sun is shining, the beaches are crowded and the bodies are tanned, which can only mean one thing — Summer 2013 will arrive in the very near future!. To celebrate the return of our favorite season, we’ve scoured the Billboard chart archives and updated this definitive list of the most popular songs about summer ever recorded.
These 30 hot tunes with summer-specific themes are ranked based on each track’s performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from August 4, 1958 — the inception of the chart — through the chart dated May 26, 2012. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. (For more details on how this chart was compiled, scroll to the bottom of this page.)
Do you agree these are the top rated Summer songs?
30 – Surfin’ Safari
The Beach Boys 1962
As is often the case, the Beach Boys pay homage to their favorite sport in their 1962 pop hit “Surfin’ Safari,” with lines about loading up their Woodie — that’s a ‘board-friendly station wagon for you gremmies — and inviting the world to the best beaches for waves. With a catchy beat and great harmonies, the song reaffirmed surf tunes’ appeal, residing on the Hot 100 for 17 weeks.
29 – Summertime
Billy Stewart 1966
Perhaps one of the most widely covered tunes, “Summertime” epitomizes the season’s lighthearted ethos. Billy Stewart’s 1966 crossover rendition, which is embellished with jazzy horns, bluesy guitar, and funky, scatting vocals, peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100.
Fat Boys and the Beach Boys 1987
The rap-n-surf-guitar track came complete with a skit-y video featuring the ultimate boys of summer, the Beach Boys and the Fat Boys, the ultimate ’80s hip-hop boys of dinner, throwing hula hoops and surfboards into the car for a sojourn to the beach. Not that anyone really needed to see either the Fat Boys in board shorts or the Beach Boys scrachin’ on the turntables. Wipeout, indeed.
27 – Cruel Summer
For summer days when you’re feeling down, Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” is the companion who understands your discontent. The somewhat downbeat dance-pop track, which cozied up to the Hot 100 in 1983, bemoans the harsh heat of loneliness that can make any summer a drag.
26 – Summertime Blues
Eddie Cochran 1958
Eddie Cochran knows how much it sucked to be a teenager, even back in 1958. His slightly rebellious hit “raised a holler” about just how much of a bummer it is to have to work all summer instead of frolicking with your girl and your friends. The tune, appropriately featured in the 1980 film “Caddyshack,” may claim there’s no cure for the summertime blues, but we’d guess it sure beats sitting in school.
25 – A Summer Song
Chad & Jeremy 1964
Capturing the sweet sadness of saying farewell to summer love, Chad & Jeremy employ delicate, simple vocals over chugging drums and rich acoustic guitar plucks. In this tune, which entered the Hot 100 in 1964, the folk rock duo reminds the listener that there are always the memories to keep you warm in the fall.
24 – Suddenly Last Summer
The Motels 1983
For those with any nostalgia for the decade of Pac-Man and leg warmers, The Motels’ “Suddenly Last Summer,” which peaked on the Hot 100 in 1983, will satisfy any craving for ’80s summer music. Over a catchy drum beat and spacey guitar, the emotionally distraught Martha Davis explains in a hot, dusty voice that though the seasons change, that doesn’t mean the summer has to end.
23 – Surfer Girl
The Beach Boys 1963
The Beach Boys’ name alone should conjure images of summer, with the Cali group’s many carefree songs about surfing, cars, and girls. Peaking on the Hot 100 at No. 7 in 1963, “Surfer Girl,” a romantic ballad channeling the likes of ’50s doo wop, is no exception, with vocal harmonies that will make you yearn for a summer fling with whom to sway along.
22 – Summer Breeze
Seals & Crofts 1972
When it peaked on the Billboard charts in 1972, “Summer Breeze” focused on a sense of simplicity and clarity in a time of Vietnam war and big cultural shifts. With its soothing combination of soft guitar, banjo, vocal harmony and toy piano, as well as its reflective lyrics, Seals & Crofts’s first hit single is a crucial component of any mellow summer soundtrack.
21 – School’s Out
Alice Cooper 1972
With heavy eyeliner and a snarling, guitar-driven swagger, Alice Cooper took the sweet, innocent idea of the first day of summer break, and turned it into an emancipation proclamation for ditching class permanently. School, he growled, was not only out for summer, “School’s out forever!” The gritty tune peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100 in 1972.
20 – Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer
Nat King Cole 1963
Nat King Cole’s rhyme happy 1963 hit is an oldie but goodie in the truest sense of the phrase. Well into the rock era, it peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100. Between the charm of Cole’s warm voice and the “soda and pretzels and beer” he sings about, it’s no wonder this tune is still familiar decades later.
19 – Summer Love
Justin Timberlake 2007
While many summer tunes are relaxed, breezy numbers, Justin Timberlake took his danceable 2007 “Summer Love” in a refreshingly poppy, electronic direction. Timberlake devotees and casual fans alike flocked to the song, giving it a No. 6 climax on the Hot 100.
18 – Saturday In The Park
With brassy horns blowing like a cool breeze off Lake Michigan, Chicago’s “real celebration” of a hot July day in the park took sights and sounds like people laughing and a man selling ice cream all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100 in 1972. “Can you dig it?” they sing. Yes, we can.
17 – Summer Girls
The theme song to many a youthful turn of the millennium summer night, “Summer Girls” is the solid hit from the cheesy dreamboats of LFO. This 1999 lyrical masterpiece (“When I met you I said my name was Rich / You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch,” anyone?) spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 3.
16 – California Girls
The Beach Boys 1965
By the mid-’60s, the Beach Boys were the kings of surf music. In 1965, the west coast poster boys for the genre sent “California Girls,” a sunny paean to the merits of Cali ladies above all attractive women from anywhere else, all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100.
15 – Summer
War’s 1976 soulful slow jam “Summer” earned its peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100 with then up-to-the-minute lyrics about cruising around town “with all the window down / eight track playin’ all your favorite sounds.” Including bongos, apparently. Do they make bell-bottom shorts? The tune starts at 2:24 in the video.
14 – Under The Boardwalk
The Drifters 1964
In the summer of 1964, the Drifters saw their dreamy tune about catching some shade and some steamy good times literally under the boardwalk at the beach spent lots of quality time on the Hot 100. The tune has become a summer staple covered by many, including Bruce Willis and the Tempations.
13- Summer Of ’69
Bryan Adams 1985
A mid-’80s Bryan Adams, who had a clear penchant for leather and tight jeans, released “Summer of ’69″ in 1985 and sent it to No. 5 on the Hot 100. This anthem of playing his “first real six-string” and meeting a summer sweetie at the drive-in is a classic, nostalgic ode to the summer of the “the best days of my life.”
12 – In The Summertime
Mungo Jerry 1970
The boys of Mungo Jerry handed the world the ultimate laid-back summer track when they released the vaguely tropical jam “In the Summertime” in 1970. The U.K. group’s only major U.S. hit, the tune also scored lots of chart love for Shaggy in the summer of 1995. His remake rose all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100.
11 – The Boys Of Summer
Don Henley 1984
“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong / after the boys of summer have gone,” croons Don Henley as he patiently awaits the departure of his estranged love’s summer flings so he can regain his ex’s affection. The 1984 top five hit, which ironically hit the charts during the holiday season, also scored Henley the Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal performance.
10 – Summer Nights
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1978
Popular everywhere from bar mitzvahs to karaoke bars, “Summer Nights” is one of those great movie songs that appeal to everyone. Made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton Jones in the movie “Grease” in 1978, the legacy of Danny and Sandy’s summer fling lives on in the faux-’50s tune that warmed up to the top five at the height of the disco era.
9 – Hot Fun In The Summertime
Sly & The Family Stone 1969
With a mellow, funky horns and bassline and soulful vocals, Sly & the Family Stone’s easy-going hit entered the Hot 100 the same month the group played the most iconic summer festival of all time, Woodstock. In the tune, each member expresses a line about what they love most about summer, however they all agree, “That’s when I had most of my fun… those summer days.” Particularly the summer days when you manage to be part of music history.
8 – Surfin’ U.S.A.
The Beach Boys 1963
Namechecking every popular surfing spot, The Beach Boys certainly did their research for summer jam “Surfin’ U.S.A.” They sang they’d be gone all summer, and hey, if they didn’t make it back before school starts, “tell the teacher we’re surfing.” The song, a reworking of the tune from Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen,” reached the top five of the Hot 100 in 1963.
7 – Summertime
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince 1991
“This is the Fresh Prince’s new definition of summer madness,” rapped Will Smith before he was an international movie star back in 1991 when he was still the rapping cohort of DJ Jazzy Jeff and a newly-minted sitcom actor. Smith was giving props to their sample of Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness,” and that hook helped the duo earn a No. 4 peak on the Hot 100.
6 – Endless Summer Nights
Richard Marx 1988
“Endless Summer Nights” finds Richard Marx waxing hopeful about a summer fling he wants to develop into more, despite his girl’s resistance. This ballad must’ve done the trick, because he later married the woman he was on vacation with when he was inspired to write the song. “Endless Summer Nights” reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 1988.
5 – Surf City
Jan & Dean 1963
“We’re goin’ to Surf City / ’cause its two to one” sing Jan and Dean of the girl-to-guy ratio that awaits them in some tasty beachside locale – that is, if their ’30 Ford Wagon doesn’t break down along the way. The surf rock track rode the airwaves to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1963.
4 – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini
Bryan Hyland 1960
Decades before Yoplait turned it into the soundtrack to a commercial about achieving your summer perfect beach body, in 1960 Bryan Hyland hit with this ode to one girl so shy about showing her daring two-piece swimsuit at the beach that she sat wrapped up in a blanket and then hid in the water until she turned blue.
3 – Wipe Out
The Surfaris 1962
Summer anthems are often defined by the sing-a-long factor. Aside from the manic laugh and shriek of the song’s title at the beginning, The Surfaris’ “Wipeout” is the exception to the rule, with almost 3 minutes of surf-guitar instrumental magic and one of the most memorable drum beats of all time.
2 – Summer In The City
The Lovin’ Spoonful 1966
“All around, people lookin’ half dead… But at night, it’s a different world,” sings John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful, contrasting a New York summer’s day with the vibrant nightlife of rooftops cats out looking for kitties he much prefers. “Summer in the City,” complete with honking cabs and jackhammers, scored the band a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 in 1966.
1 – California Gurls
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg 2010
With an unabashedly synthy beat and breathy vocals about a “warm, wet and wild” place and the women you find there, how could Katy Perry’s perfectly timed hit — with a smooth assist from Snoop Dogg, not have been the top song of summer 2010? In fact the song was so huge, it leapt from No. 18 when we first published this chart in May 2010 to No. 1 just one year later, beating out over 50 years of other hot summer songs.
Text by Courtney Baldasare, Melanie Fried, Gabriella Landsman, and Jessica Letkemann
How This Chart Was Created
The ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Prior to the Hot 100′s implementation in 1991 of enhanced radio and sales information from Nielsen BDS and Nielsen SoundScan, songs had shorter reigns at No. 1 and shorter chart lives. To ensure equitable representation, earlier time frames were each weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those decades and the turnover rates that have occurred since the advent of Nielsen Music data.
Which song is your favorite?
It’s no secret Nissan takes pride in developing quality vehicles that are built to last. Now others are recognizing the automaker for those same efforts. The 2012 Frontier was recently named as on the Top 10 cars with Best Resale Value according to Kelley Blue Book.
You invest a lot of money in your vehicle and in addition to quality and dependability; you want a vehicle that is going to retain its value if you decide to trade-it-in or sell it. That’s what you’ll get with the 2012 Frontier. The Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value awards—announced every year since 1981—are considered the industry-standard because government agencies, the automotive leasing industry and banks/financial institutions rely on these rankings/figures to help with their projections/values.
It’s no surprise that Nissan would create a vehicle that would earn an honor like this. As for the 2012 Frontier, you get the same great style and performance you would expect from a Nissan truck. That includes a 261-hp V6 and full-length, fully boxed frame for strength and the traditional off-road capabilities that makes Nissan trucks among the industry leaders. The Frontier Crew Cab Standard, which has room for five, has 6,500-pound towing capacity, proving tough for rugged conditions, but sporty and efficient for everyday use.
All the traditional features of Nissan are in place with the 2012 Frontier. And because of its strong resale value, you’ll get your money’s worth when you decide to trade-it-in or sell it to purchase your next latest and greatest Nissan model. Stop in to Windsor Nissan for a test drive today!
Top-notch interiors to suit work or luxury use; extensive features and options; fuel economy; strong tow ratings
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 full-size pickup receives few notable changes for 2012. Several small styling tweaks have been made, including a new split grille and a new aerodynamic front bumper for LS and LT models without tow hooks. Two new trim packages are available: White Diamonds and Custom Sport Truck. New 20-inch chrome wheels are also available.
Full-size trucks are used in such a wide range of situations-from construction fleets to long-distance driving-and the two different interiors offered in the Silverado and the nearly identical GMC Sierra help satisfy shoppers better than most other competing models. LS and LT models are probably the best fit for buyers who need the sturdy, get-messy capability of a pickup at least some of the time, but the LTZ is the choice for those who need a pickup that doesn’t compromise luxury. And for those who need a pickup but want to make a greener choice, with even lower operating costs, the Silverado Hybrid has 25% better fuel economy without sacrificing much towing or hauling ability.
Chevrolet continues to offer two completely different interiors for its Silverado 1500 family of pickups: Work Truck, LS and LT trims get a so-called “pure pickup interior” that includes larger door handles and controls that are designed to be used with gloves on, while the LTZ trim gets a luxurious, softer and car-like interior. The LTZ instrument panel is a bit lower to afford a better outward view, and several special color and trim themes are offered with the LTZ exclusively. LTZ models boast many more exclusive features in addition to the instrument panel; different door panels, a divided center console, heated power leather front seats and an upgraded Bose sound system are included, while the top crew cab LTZ models get a rear-seat audio system, larger glovebox and rain-sensing wipers. In most Silverado 1500 models, a stadium-style back seat is split 60/40, including a folding center armrest and can be folded forward easily. The extended-cab versions have enough legroom for occasional use and access is aided by 170-degree back doors. Regular cab, crew cab and extended cab versions of the Silverado are available, while cargo bed lengths are 5′ 8″ for the short bed, 6′ 6″ for the standard bed, or 8 feet for the long bed. The maximum payload rating runs as high as 1,909 pounds. Across most of the model line, the Silverado has a very good ride and handles well compared to the full-size trucks of the past, with a well-tuned coil-over-shock front suspension, Hotchkiss-type rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Actually, five different suspension packages are offered, each tuned for particular types of use: Z83 is for a smooth ride; Z85 is oriented for better handling and trailer towing; Z71 yields better off-road capability; Z60 is for top street performance; and NHT is for top towing capacity. Towing numbers range up to 10,700 pounds when configured with the extended cab, 6.0L engine and Enhanced Trailering Package. The 2012 Silverado offers four different engines–a 195-horsepower, 4.3L V6, a 302-hp, 4.8L V8, a 315-hp, 5.3L V8 and a 403-hp, 6.2L V8. The V6 comes with a 4-speed automatic, while all others get a 6-speed automatic. Fuel economy ratings are as high was 22 mpg on the highway. The Silverado Hybrid is a good option for green shoppers who still need pickup capability. The 2-mode hybrid system incorporates a 6.0L gasoline V8, electric motor system, variable automatic transmission and nickel-metal hydride battery pack, all of which enable a 6,100-pound tow rating while allowing especially good fuel economy in city driving, with EPA ratings of 21 mpg city, 22 highway. Top options on the Silverado include Bluetooth phone connectivity, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a navigation system with XM Nav Traffic, plus a rearview camera system that aids visibility while parking this tall vehicle. A new Custom Sport Truck package features the 5.3L engine, heavy-duty trailering, 20-inch wheels, special body moldings with chrome accents, and more. The White Diamond Edition, available on LT and LTZ models, features White Diamond Tricoat paint, chrome mirrors and door handles, and the Z60 suspension system when combined with the LTZ trim.
For 2012, the Avalanche is pretty much the same as in 2011. Twenty-two-inch wheels are available on the LT and LTZ and a new optional stereo is optional on the LT-a satellite radio-capable one that also includes an 80GB hard drive.
The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche’s design is virtually unique in the market. It attempts to solve both passenger-hauling needs and cargo-hauling needs with a single truck. There’s almost nothing else quite like the Avalanche’s folding mid-gate in the market– it allows the bed to be expanded only when needed and have more interior space the rest of the time. Overall, handling and ride quality are a step above what might be expected in a full-size pickup and the cabin has a refined feel with top-notch materials. Towing capacity is an impressive 8,100 pounds.
The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, each with a choice of rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. Standard on all models is a 320-horsepower, 5.3L V8 engine, hooked up to a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine has Active Fuel Management, which switches to 4-cylinder operation when possible to help save fuel. Fuel economy ratings of 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway are quite respectable for a vehicle of this size and capability. The Avalanche’s unusual styling aside, the centerpoint of this truck’s unique setup is its folding mid-gate, which allows items from the truck bed to utilize passenger cabin space when needed. As such, the Avalanche can function as both a 6-passenger SUV and as a truck with an 8-foot bed. With the mid-gate open and the back seat folded fully down, the Avalanche can fit a 4-by-8-foot piece of plywood. The bed also has built-in storage compartments with drains, ideal for being filled with ice and used as coolers. The Avalanche includes some of the same rugged character and ability as GM’s full-size pickup models, including a very respectable tow rating of 8,100 pounds. Those who do plan to take their Avalanche far off the pavement will want to get the Z71 Off-Road package, which brings color-keyed wheel flares, tubular assist steps, a chrome grille insert and leather bucket seats. Z71 also includes a host of tough hardware, including high-pressure gas-charged shocks, on/off-road tires, recovery hooks, skid plates and an automatic-locking differential.
The heavy-duty Trailering Package includes a 2-speed transfer case, which also comes standard on LTZ 4×4 models. The 2012 Avalanche drives like most of GM’s other full-size trucks–which is to say it’s more nimble than you might think, with surprisingly good ride comfort and great interior appointments, including generously sized front seats. In base LS trim, the Avalanche comes with a simple set of features that should be just fine for work-minded buyers. On the standard features list are front bucket seats, air conditioning, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and a MP3/CD sound system with USB port and SIRIUS/XM satellite radio. The LT is more comfort-minded and brings a soft-ride suspension plus remote start, remote keyless entry, dual-zone climate control and Bose audio. The LTZ trim gets lots of appearance extras, plus power-adjustable pedals, a garage-door opener, heated-and-cooled front seats, perforated leather upholstery, a rearview camera system, parking assist, DVD entertainment and a navigation system with XM NavTraffic info. Safety features across the Avalanche range include traction control, front and rear airbags and electronic stability control.