In an effort to “increase awareness and consideration” of its offerings, GM has introduced new, lower-price base trim levels for four of its vehicles. Those vehicles are: the Chevrolet Cruze sedan and Equinox SUV, the Buick LaCrosse sedan, and the GMC Terrain SUV.
The Detroit News has the story. These new budget models represent reductions of around $1,500 to $2,600 from their respective previous entry trim levels. The Cruze L, for instance, starts at $16,170 – a savings of $1,575 over the Cruze LS. The Chevrolet Equinox L sees an even bigger reduction from the LS trim level, down $2,400 to $22,120.
The Detroit News contacted Chevrolet Spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm, who said that both the Cruze and the Equinox “are in critical segments: Compact car is the third-largest segment in the U.S., and compact SUV is the fastest-growing and largest vehicle segment in the U.S. Both L trim-level options give us a great chance to introduce the brand to new customers with competitive products featuring unexpected features.”
Even with the significantly lowered pricing, consumers won’t be getting stripped-down, poorly-equipped budget vehicles; the Cruze L, for instance, retains keyless entry, traction control, and even an OnStar 4G LTE hotspot. It does, however, ship exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission – a fact that will likely alienate much of today’s clutch-illiterate drivers.
There is another potential hang-up; these four new base models may not qualify for the same incentives as plenty of GM’s other models. But so long as customers see a few competitively-priced GM products in the search for their next entry-level sedan or crossover, prompting consumers to take a closer look at the brand, the new base trim levels will have served their purpose