Print 41 comment(s) - last by cokbun.. on Feb 8 at 3:00 AM

GM's eAssist technology looks dated next to its competitiors

General Motors is taking its efforts to increase fuel economy across the board seriously with its "near luxury" Buick brand. Last year, GM made the 2.4-liter four-cylinder eAssist engine standard on the Buick Lacrosse and made the more powerful (and thirstier) 3.6-liter V6 engine a no-cost option.
That same approach is now being applied to the slightly smaller Buick Regal. The traditional 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is being replaced with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder eAssist. GM hasn't announced pricing yet for the 2013 Regals, so we're not sure how much will be added to the vehicle's base price to account for the more expensive hybrid components.

Buick Regal eAssist
With that being said, GM's mild hybrid offering is hardly competitive in today's market and it only matches the fuel economy of traditional midsize sedans with regular gasoline engines. For comparison:
2013 Buick Regal eAssist: 25/36 (city/highway)
2013 Ford Fusion: 26/37
2012 Toyota Camry: 25/35
2012 Hyundai Sonata: 24/35
When it comes to true hybrid competitors, the eAssist smackdown is even more apparent:
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid: 47/44 (city/highway)
2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid: 43/39
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: 35/40
It remains to be seen how long it will take GM to start offering a true hybrid powertrain that can hold its head up high when compared with the rest of the competition.

Source: General Motors

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RE: I'd change the comparison
By Brandon Hill on 2/7/2012 10:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
Even if you take a look at the Malibu Eco (26/38), it's still uncompetitive with its hybrid competition, especially in the city.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco: $25,235
2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid: $25,900
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid:$25,850

Who in their right mind would pick the Eco?

RE: I'd change the comparison
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 10:30:44 AM , Rating: 1
Who in their right mind would pick the Eco?

The same people who would buy this Buick? :)

RE: I'd change the comparison
By Brandon Hill on 2/7/2012 10:51:27 AM , Rating: 2
OK, you got me there ;)

RE: I'd change the comparison
By czarchazm on 2/7/2012 10:49:46 AM , Rating: 2
Brandon, do we know if this eAssist Buick will be sold in China? My understanding is that China accounts for Buick's largest market.

If the manufacturing lines that do the eAssist equipment are flexible enough for more intensive hybrid equipment, it might be well-played by GM to pay off their manufacturing equipment cost by placing this in the China-sold Buick.

By Brandon Hill on 2/7/2012 11:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see why not. As you said, it's their biggest market.

RE: I'd change the comparison
By lagomorpha on 2/7/2012 11:48:15 AM , Rating: 3
Considering everyone willing to purchase a new Buick in North America is probably too old to be allowed to drive, moving Buick entirely to China might be prudent.

RE: I'd change the comparison
By jbwhite99 on 2/7/2012 5:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
Price of gas in China is about 5% more than it is here. It costs a fortune to get a permit for a car over there, and you have never seen pollution like they have there. When I was in Beijing last fall, it was just amazing - the smog made made everything gray. So anything that improves it like this would be very helpful.

I wish China (and the US) would pass a 50 cent gas tax for infrastructure, and it would take pressure off people driving so much.

RE: I'd change the comparison
By apinkel on 2/7/2012 11:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
The Malibu Eco mpg numbers (26/38) are better than every one of the non-full-hybrid cars you listed. Yes the full hybrids beat it, as they should.

Camparing prices of the Malibu Eco to the Full on hybrids... it's pretty difficult to compare the prices without getting into the option list. My understanding is the Malibu eco will come pretty well equipped for $25000.

Also, someone may pick the Malibu Eco because they prefer it's more traditional driving dynamics to the CVT transmission setup used by most hybrids. While I like eco... I still want my car to be somewhat fun to drive.

RE: I'd change the comparison
By Keeir on 2/7/2012 1:40:45 PM , Rating: 3
Because comparing base MSRP is just too difficult until we have the full price sheet.

For example, the Sonata Hybrid is great, but if you want a sunroof your base MSRP is now ~31,500. Or maybe you want a Sunroof and Cloth seats... (not possible on the Sonata).

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