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Road Trip Destination: Corpus Christi

Photo Courtesy of Jay Phagen/Flickr
Photo Courtesy of Jay Phagen/Flickr

The great American road trip is something that we need to get back to doing on a regular basis. There really is nothing like spending some time with the road, exploring new places and getting away for a few days. Here in Texas, we’re privileged to have a ton of great destinations all within a few hours of driving. There’s an abundance of lakes, national parks and major metropolitan areas that give you the chance to experience a world of cultures, fun and outdoor activities. This week, we’re focused in on Corpus Christi. A 7 hour drive from us here in Grapevine, but well worth the drive.

Approximately 150 miles south east of San Antonio, down Interstate 37, is any beach lover’s dream. Not only is Corpus Christi one of the premier spring break attractions, it’s also well-known for it’s year round warm weather. Being situated on the Gulf Of Mexico gives it plenty of beachfront property where you can rent a cabin, tow an RV or just camp out on the beach. For anyone who loves being on the beach, this is the place to be! Water skiing, fishing, and boating are just a few reasons to get to the bay!

Don’t discount Corpus Christi if you aren’t a beach-goer, though, there’s plenty to do when you’re in town! The bay is home to the USS Lexington, which is the oldest remaining aircraft carrier in the world! Having been a few times, it’s amazing seeing the inner-workings of those massive ships!

There’s also the Texas State Aquarium and the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center which are popular attractions. If you’re a hunter, then you’ll enjoy hunting for duck, geese, dove and white-tailed deer.

Of course, you’ll want to avoid Corpus Christi around the time of Spring Break (unless you really want to) to avoid major crowds.
What do you think of Corpus Christi? Have you been?

GMC’s best-selling truck has great momentum, coming off its best June since 2006, and 12 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains.  With exterior styling as its top reason for purchase, the new truck adds key design elements: LED “C-shaped” signature daytime running lights and LED headlights; new front fascia and grilles for each trim level; new LED fog lamps; new bumpers; and new “C-shaped” LED taillights. The new Sierra will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, with additional details and information on the new model released in the coming months.

News Wire: 2016 Sierra 1500 Offers New Look, Advanced Engineering

GMC’s best-selling truck has great momentum, coming off its best June since 2006, and 12 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains.  With exterior styling as its top reason for purchase, the new truck adds key design elements: LED “C-shaped” signature daytime running lights and LED headlights; new front fascia and grilles for each trim level; new LED fog lamps; new bumpers; and new “C-shaped” LED taillights. The new Sierra will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, with additional details and information on the new model released in the coming months.
GMC’s best-selling truck has great momentum, coming off its best June since 2006, and 12 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. With exterior styling as its top reason for purchase, the new truck adds key design elements: LED “C-shaped” signature daytime running lights and LED headlights; new front fascia and grilles for each trim level; new LED fog lamps; new bumpers; and new “C-shaped” LED taillights. The new Sierra will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, with additional details and information on the new model released in the coming months.

This article originally appeared on gmc.com.

New, premium styling cues, technologies complement crafted interior

DETROIT – With exterior design the top draw for customers to the Sierra 1500, GMC’s best-selling truck rolls into 2016 with a fresh appearance that takes its signature premium styling to a higher level – and offers new, advanced engineering features designed to complement its crafted interior.

Greater visual distinction among Sierra models and some special equipment packages, such as the Elevation and All Terrain, are new for 2016, which also brings significant lighting technology upgrades. Highlights include:

  • New headlamps with GMC signature LED lighting on all models
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) projector-beam headlamps with LED signature standard on base model, SLE and SLT
  • Thin-profile LED foglamps standard on SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali
  • High-performance LED headlamps with LED signature standard on Sierra Denali and available on SLT
  • New grille design with specific appearance for base model, Elevation, SLE, SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali
  • LED taillamps standard on SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali.

Advanced engineering in the 2016 Sierra is manifested in next-generation technologies such as Lane Keep Assist, which helps keep the truck in its lane with subtle steering enhancements, and IntelliBeam headlamp control, which automatically adjusts the high beams for oncoming traffic. Both are added to the Driver Alert Package available on SLT and Sierra Denali models.

Additionally, new power-articulating assist steps are available on Sierra Denali, which makes entry and egress easier.

The 2016 Sierra’s new technologies also include phone integration via GMC IntelliLink, which enhances connectivity and promotes safer driving. It allows smartphone users to connect with applications such as navigation, hands-free messaging and more through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Android Auto is standard on a new radio with a seven-inch-diagonal screen at the start of production and is coming to available eight-inch radios later in the model year.

Read the entire article on GMC.com.

2016 GMC Sierra HD All Terrain

News Wire: 2016 Sierra HD Lineup Offers New, Advanced Technologies

2016 GMC Sierra HD All Terrain
2016 GMC Sierra HD All Terrain

(This article originally appeared on gmc.com)

Active Steering Assist complements capability; new gooseneck package offered

DETROIT – No other heavy-duty truck matches the GMC Sierra HD lineup when it comes to offering capability with comfort, quietness and crafted interiors. It builds on a 112-year legacy of professional grade heavy-duty trucks with technologies and features that make leveraging its capabilities easier and more enjoyable.

New for 2016, Active Steering Assist power steering on some double cab and crew cab models helps make hauling and trailering easier and more confident, with electronic controls that enhance road holding and stability on the highway regardless of whether the truck is loaded. It also offers greater responsiveness and an improved steering feel – not available on base models or regular cab.

A new Gooseneck/5th Wheel Trailering Prep Package is offered and makes Sierra HD models ready right from the factory to tow larger trailers. It’s available in the first quarter of 2016 for Duramax-equipped models and features a frame-mounted hitch platform and tray that accommodates a gooseneck ball hitch or fifth-wheel hitch-mounting brackets, and includes a cargo bed-mounted trailer harness. A new Gooseneck Completion Kit will also be available from GMC dealers, featuring a 2-5/16-inch ball hitch and two chain tie-downs.

Additional new and updated features for 2016 include:

  • GMC IntelliLink with a seven-inch-diagonal capacitive touchscreen features a new HD radio and performance improvements including a faster processer for better performance, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • GMC IntelliLink with an eight-inch-diagonal touchscreen features performance improvements including a faster processer for better performance and Apple CarPlay capability (Android Auto capability coming later in the model year)
  • High-intensity Discharge (HID) projector-beam headlamps with GMC signature LED lighting now standard on all models
  • Available wireless phone charging
  • Available remote locking tailgate
  • Exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat (double cab only), Cardinal Red, Deep Garnet Metallic (crew cab only) and Mahogany Metallic (not available on All Terrain or Denali).

Read the entire article on GMC.com.

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5 Potential Risks of Driving With Your Pets On Board

Photo Courtesy of Hillary Hartley/Flickr
Photo Courtesy of Hillary Hartley/Flickr

Driving, it itself, is a complicated process. Your eyes have to be scanning for potential problems, keeping tabs on the cars in front of, behind and beside you, calculating distance with our eyes, etc.. The list goes on and on. Just because we do it every day and mostly without incident does not mean that we can introduce another factor without risks. It may seem like a good idea to let your dog ride with you in the front seat, or in your lap, but there are plenty of problems that can arise from it. Here are 5 risks that you put yourself in danger of every time you let man’s best friend ride along.

1. Distraction

Your dog has no idea how to drive and they know nothing of the attention and concentration it takes to maneuver through traffic. They will jump in your lap, bark at passing motorists or jump from seat to seat, all causing you to take your eyes off the road, even for a split second. Which could be tragic.

2. Airbag deployment

There’s a reason we do not recommend having children in the front seat. The same goes for dogs. It’s the airbag and it could cause serious injuries or death in the event of an accident that causes them to be deployed. Being an animal lover, I don’t even like to think of this scenario.

3. Rescue Aversion

If you are in an accident and you’ve got your pooch with you, you run the risk of stalling rescue efforts. Accidents are a high-stress event and if your dog is trapped in the vehicle with you , it may retaliate and attempt to bite anyone coming to rescue you.

4. Tickets

Many states have laws in the books for allowing your pet to roam around the car, unrestrained. If you let your dog sit on your lap, stick its head out the window or roam around the bed of your truck, you could very easily get pulled over and handed a hefty fine. Play it safe, keep them restrained.

5. Stepping On Power Window Switch

I’ve seen this one firsthand! In the days of the crank windows, this was not a problem, but now with just about every car manufactured, your windows can be activated by the push of a button. While you’re headed down the highway, your dog could easily figure out that button and if that happens, it could be extremely dangerous. Always be sure your child locks and window locks are activated to eliminate that problem.

News Wire: GM Lansing Delta Township Plant Builds 2 Millionth Vehicle

The 2 millionth vehicle, a 2016 Buick Enclave, rolls off the production line at the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Friday, August 14, 2015, in Lansing, Michigan. GM's newest assembly plant in North America, opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
The 2 millionth vehicle, a 2016 Buick Enclave, rolls off the production line at the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Friday, August 14, 2015, in Lansing, Michigan. GM’s newest assembly plant in North America, opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

This article originally appeared on buick.com)

LANSING, Mich. – A 2016 Buick Enclave, painted in White Frost Tricoat, rolled off the production line at General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant today, the 2 millionth vehicle produced at the automaker’s newest assembly plant in North America.

“This milestone directly reflects the dedication and hard work that our employees put into these crossovers every day,” said Mike Trevorrow, Lansing regional plant manager. “This team has established a strong foundation since opening to enable us to produce our 2 millionth vehicle in nine years, which is quite an accomplishment.”

Opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly blends best practices and the newest technology in one facility. It was the first automotive manufacturing facility in the world to be a Gold Certified Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Since starting production, Lansing Delta Township has manufactured the Saturn Outlook, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Acadia Denali and Buick Enclave. A white Outlook was the first vehicle produced on May 24, 2006.

The plant currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts.

GM has announced more than $580 million in investments for Lansing Delta Township facility over the last two years, including $63 million in 2014 to expand the plant by nearly 263,000 square feet and $520 million earlier this year for tooling and equipment associated with future new vehicle programs.

“Producing the 2 millionth vehicle would not be possible without the great people we have here,” said UAW Local 602 President Bill Reed.

While most vehicles follow somewhat of a bell curve for sales during their lifecycle, the Enclave has continued an upward trajectory after more than seven years. Minor dips in 2009 and 2012 reflected overall trends in the recovering auto industry, but record-setting 2014 sales represented a 39-percent increase over the Enclave’s first full year of production. As of June 2015, more than 500,000 Enclave models had been sold worldwide.

“The Enclave led Buick’s product renaissance, redefining what consumers should expect from a full-size luxury crossover,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It is fitting that an Enclave is the 2 millionth vehicle to roll off the line in Lansing, demonstrating continued consumer demand.”

This milestone for Lansing Delta Township is part of GM’s celebration of 500 million vehicles built globally, more than any other automaker.

(Read the entire story here..)

2016 Buick Regal Sport Touring – features special 18-inch wheels with machined faces and black “pockets,” a rear spoiler, Buick IntelliLink with Apple CarPlay capability and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot.

News Wire: Buick Expands 2016 Sport Touring Lineup

2016 Buick Regal Sport Touring – features special 18-inch wheels with machined faces and black “pockets,” a rear spoiler, Buick IntelliLink with Apple CarPlay capability and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot.
2016 Buick Regal Sport Touring – features special 18-inch wheels with machined faces and black “pockets,” a rear spoiler, Buick IntelliLink with Apple CarPlay capability and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot.

This article originally appeared on Buick.com)

DETROIT – Buick unveiled 2016 LaCrosse, Regal and Verano Sport Touring (ST) models today – sedans with distinctive exterior cues designed to set them apart from the pack.

Each features special 18-inch wheels with machined faces and black “pockets,” and a rear spoiler. They join the Enclave Tuscan Edition and recently announced Encore Sport Touring as special models expanding Buick’s lineup with more design-focused choices.

“Buick is reaching an all-new generation of customers by reinventing itself in terms of design, function and capabilities,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “These new ST models underscore the importance of design choices, while complementing the safety, refinement and connectivity technologies that are drawing new customers to Buick dealerships.”

The new Sport Touring sedans – and Encore Sport Touring – go on sale this fall.

LaCrosse Sport Touring includes Buick IntelliLink with Apple CarPlay capability, OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot, remote start, eight standard air bags (including rear-seat thorax air bags) and leather-trimmed seats – with heated front seats.

Regal Sport Touring includes a standard rear-vision camera system, heated front seat and leather-trimmed front and rear seats. It also comes with Buick IntelliLink with Apple CarPlay capability and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot.

Verano Sport Touring includes dual-zone climate control, eight-way-adjustable power driver’s seat and heated front seats, along with Buick IntelliLink and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot.

Experience Buick Protection on all 2016 Buick models includes the first two visits of scheduled maintenance services for two years/24,000 miles, whichever occurs first. It complements Buick’s four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.

Read the entire article on Buick.com)

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Soreen D

Keep Your Car Cool!

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Soreen D
Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Soreen D

It’s hot out there! I was getting in my car to go home from work and I thought I was going to catch on fire! With these dog days of summer upon us, we really have to start thinking about what we can do to minimize the heat retention in our cars. Otherwise we will be miserable for the next month or so, until it starts to cool down a little bit. Here are a few tips I came up with on my drive home.

1. Use a window visor or sunshade.

It sounds like a no-brainer, right? But, you’d be amazed at the number of cars I see in the parking lots wherever I go that haven’t put one up! Not only can you put one in your front windshield, you can put one on the back, too! You’d be surprised just how much of a difference one of these makes. The inside of your car will be at least 10-15 degrees cooler than if you just let the sun’s rays bake the interior of your car.

2. Find a shady spot.

Even if you have to walk a little further to get to your destination, your body will thank you when you get in the car to head home.

3. Place a towel over the steering wheel.

I never thought about this one until I saw it in action. Those steering wheels get hot! By just draping a towel over it, you will ensure that you don’t end up with 2nd degree burns on your palms and fingers.

4. Crack your windows.

Of course, I don’t mean that literally, but, lowering your windows just a couple of inches means that the hot air can escape the car instead of being trapped and getting hotter by the minute.

What are some of your tips and tricks to keep your car cool during these summer months?

 

2016 GMC Canyon SLE

News Wire: GMC Canyon Expands Capability with New Duramax Diesel

2016 GMC Canyon SLE
2016 GMC Canyon SLE

(This article originally appeared on gmc.com)

All-new turbo-diesel powertrain enables unmatched 7,700-lb. trailering capability

DETROIT – GMC introduced the 2016 Canyon diesel today – featuring an all-new powertrain that expands the Canyon’s already class-leading capabilities, including trailering capacity of up to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg).

The new 2.8L Duramax diesel, SAE-certified at 181 horsepower (135 kW) and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm), is estimated to deliver greater highway fuel economy than the Canyon’s segment-topping gas engines, and is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever from General Motors. It goes on sale this fall.

Several new technologies and supporting features complement the Duramax diesel’s capability while helping ensure GMC’s trademark refinement:

  • Standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission matched with a Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber in the torque converter, which reduces powertrain noise and vibration
  • Smart diesel exhaust brake system that enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear on steep grades
  • An all-new integrated trailer brake controller is standard and exclusive on diesel models
  • A new, electronically controlled two-speed transfer case on 4WD models.

“The new Duramax diesel takes the GMC Canyon’s award-winning capabilities to a new level in its segment,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing.

The new Duramax diesel is offered on SLE and SLT Crew Cab models, with 2WD or 4WD. It is priced $3,730 more than a comparably equipped Canyon V-6 model.

An available trailering package includes a hitch receiver and seven-pin connector, as well as the segment-exclusive automatic locking rear differential. A 3.42 rear axle ratio and four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife™ brake rotors are standard. Capacities include:

  • Maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) for 2WD models and 7,600 pounds (3,447 kg) for 4WD
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings of 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) for 2WD and 6,200 pounds (2,812 kg) for 4WD.

A fully boxed frame provides the strength to enable the capabilities of the new Duramax diesel while supporting a ride designed to be smooth and quiet. Like the full-size Sierra’s frame, Canyon features three sections – or bays – with specific strength and support characteristics, including a front bay made of hydroformed side rails and an integrated four-point front axle mounting system designed to reduce vibration.

“A diesel engine was part of the Canyon’s portfolio plan from the beginning, meaning the chassis, suspension and other elements of its architecture were engineered to support it,” said Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer. “That means there are no compromises with the Canyon diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control.”

When it comes to putting that capability to use, Canyon offers helpful cargo features such as the standard CornerStep rear bumper, two-tier cargo bed loading, 13 standard movable tie-downs in the cargo bed, an available factory spray-in bed liner and the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate.

In addition, the 2016 Canyon offers technologies and connectivity features such as GMC IntelliLink with new phone integration technology – and Apple CarPlay capability – OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.

Read the entire article on GMC.com.

 

 

 

 

The 2015 GMC Sierra SLT front three quarter view

News Wire: GMC Sierra HD Leads Segment in J.D. Power APEAL Study

The 2015 GMC Sierra SLT front three quarter view
The 2015 GMC Sierra SLT front three quarter view

(This article originally appeared on gmc.com)

Terrain places second in Compact SUV category

DETROIT – Underscoring its appeal to discerning owners of full-size pickups, the 2015 GMC Sierra HD led the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment in the 2015 J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study released today. The 2015 GMC Terrain placed second in the Compact SUV category.

The APEAL Study examines – through consumer surveys – how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive. Owners evaluate their vehicle across 77 attributes, which make up an overall brand score measured on a 1,000-point scale.

“These and similar awards affirm that our customers recognize and appreciate the precision engineering, design and technology that go into every GMC,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, GMC. “Sierra HD trucks are engineered without compromise to deliver the capability, refinement and technology that inspire confidence with every task.”

Because many owners of heavy duty pickups use them for hauling and towing, GMC paid special attention to features that promote greater driving confidence and comfort on long trips, such as integrated cruise control and auto grade braking. They help drivers maintain a set speed up and down grades, even when towing a heavy trailer in mountainous terrain.

On Sierra HDs equipped with the available Duramax diesel engine, the driver can also engage the diesel exhaust brake, which uses the variable vanes in the turbocharger to smoothly and quietly create additional backpressure in the engine to help slow the vehicle. The combination of the exhaust brake and the automatic transmission downshifts helps maintain the desired speed, even on long, steep highway downgrades.

A standard rear-vision camera system provides a view of items behind the vehicle and can assist with lining up in front of a trailer.

In June, 48 percent of Sierra HD retail sales were Denali HDs.

The Terrain remains a favorite in the compact crossover segment, introducing customers to the brand’s premium design and luxury features. Customer connectivity in the 2015 Sierra HD and Terrain includes GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system, along with OnStar with 4GLTE and built-in WiFi hotspot, providing a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected.

Read the entire article on GMC.com.

On July 22, 2015 participating Buick dealers today introduced the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, a daylong test drive experience complemented by sounds, smells and even yoga techniques to help encourage well-being and happiness on the road. 

News Wire: Buick Introduces 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive

On July 22, 2015 participating Buick dealers today introduced the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, a daylong test drive experience complemented by sounds, smells and even yoga techniques to help encourage well-being and happiness on the road. 
On July 22, 2015 participating Buick dealers today introduced the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, a daylong test drive experience complemented by sounds, smells and even yoga techniques to help encourage well-being and happiness on the road.

(This article originally appeared on Buick.com)

Videos, podcasts, yoga and scent contribute to feeling of well-being

LOS ANGELES – Buick and its participating dealers today introduced the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, a daylong test drive experience complemented by sounds, smells and even yoga techniques to help encourage well-being and happiness on the road.

Driving can be stressful, especially during rush hour or for those who get lost. A recent survey of drivers conducted online by Harris Poll– commissioned by Buick – shows 57 percent are interested in learning how to reduce their stress while driving.

Separately, a recent AutoTrader.com “Car Buyer of the Future” study found that 88 percent of consumers said they would not buy a car without test driving it first. And a majority of those surveyed said they wanted more convenience and less pressure while test driving.

“From the refined and sculptural design of our vehicles, to the environment of our showrooms, to our award-winning customer service, happiness and a sense of well-being are inherent in everything we do,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick.

The 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive content includes exclusive videos, podcasts, compressed digital images, and even a recipe for an in-car fragrance designed to make any car journey a happier experience. The online content is expected to help to engage new customers and complement the dealer-offered 24-hour test drive.

To create the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, Buick brought together some of America’s leading experts on happiness and well-being. They used the beauty, calm and refined comfort of Buick vehicles to inspire their specialized content.

Read the entire article on Buick.com.

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