This article is part of the GM Authority Opinion Desk series, where you can see exactly what’s on the minds of the GM Authority crew.
GM’s most recent monthly sales report to the media had plenty of good news. Year-over-year sales were in the green, and the company’s crossovers once again posted a dominant market share. The press release went on to classify all Lambda-based crossovers – the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse (review here) – as “mid-sized” CUVs. At first, I was confused; then I realized that GM does this sort of thing all the time when describing or comparing its vehicles.
For instance, just what sort of vehicle comes to mind when you think of a mid-sized crossover? A Ford Edge, maybe? How about a Toyota Highlander? That’s agreeable. But a Chevy Traverse? If that’s the case, at least take the following into consideration:
The Chevrolet Traverse is 205 inches in length, seats up to eight people and weighs in at over 5,000 pounds. These dimensions are a total far-cry from anything mid-sized. In fact, the Chevrolet Tahoe – which many would call a behemoth of an SUV – is 3 inches shorter in length than the Traverse, though just a few inches taller. It should also be noted that crossovers like the Highlander weigh in at 4,000 pounds or less.
Of course, I could just be getting the wrong idea. GM could just be secretly working on a bigger CUV than the Traverse, maybe to compete with motor homes or things of that nature, and then would go on to be The General’s “full-size” crossover. But I doubt it. I can understand that vehicles in different size segments can compete with each other through other factors such as the price and certain features, but it’s a long stretch to label any Lambda-based CUV as mid-sized.
But it’s not just this one instance where GM mismatches its vehicles. Rather, it’s become extremely evident that GM likes to compare a majority of vehicles in its portfolio to competing vehicles that are much smaller. For instance, Cadillac’s website suggests we compare the CTS to the BMW 3 Series, Buick’s site recommends pitting the Enclave against the Lexus RX, and Chevy compares the Equinox to the Ford Escape. The GMC Terrain and Acadia? The GMC website leaves no suggestions and has you pick just which vehicles you want to compare them with, making it a total free-for-all.
The Bottom Line
If General Motors would just fix its comparisons to be more appropriate, their vehicles could in turn be leaps and bounds more appealing. For instance, instead of Chevy’s website directly comparing the Equinox to the Ford Escape – a vehicle that’s over a foot shorter and nearly 400 lbs. lighter – it should be compared to the likes of the Ford Edge. The Edge and Equinox have nearly identical dimensions, seat up to 5 people and share a close price when competitively equipped. However, the Equinox can achieve 32 mpg on the highway, a feat that no other vehicle its size can even come close to matching. This very important aspect is where the Equinox wins out, which in turn could bring many more consumers into dealerships looking for a wholesome crossover with outstanding fuel economy.
Hopefully those in charge within GM also take notice to this.