Tag Archives: GMC

Signage Makeover at NewRoads GM

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Posted on Jul 18, 2016

NewRoads GM Makeover photo

 

On my way to work at NewRoads Mazda, I couldn’t help but notice large cranes in front of the NewRoads GM store that I pass by on my everyday route. So I decided to stop by and check it out!

 

NewRoads Chevrolet Makeover photo

 

NewRoads Chevrolet Makeover photo

 

NewRoads Chevrolet Makeover photo

 

After inspecting a little closer, I could see they were installing signs above the store entrance. The building, which had already undergone changes, was now getting sleek new letters installed.

 

NewRoads Cadillac Makeover photo

 

NewRoads Cadillac Makeover photo

 

NewRoads GM Makeover photo

 

The following day, on my way by, I once again couldn’t help but stare at the NewRoads GM store. However, today it wasn’t the big cranes that drew my intention, it was the fresh and new CADILLAC BUICK GMC and CHEVROLET signage.

 

The beautiful signs leap off the fresh new facade  each automotive brand. Be sure to check it out at 18100 Yonge Street, Newmarket Ontario – you can’t miss it!

 

NewRoads Cadillac Makeover photo

 

CIAS 2016 Auto Show Re(hub)cap

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Posted on Feb 17, 2016

CIAS 2016 Recap - Subaru

 

The 2016 Canadian Auto Show is on this week (12th – 21nd) and we had a sneak peak the day before it opened to the public for some exciting reveals! Check out below to see what the NewRoads brand had in store!

 

Canadian International Autoshow - Mazda

Canadian International Autoshow - Mazda

Canadian International Autoshow - Mazda

 

MAZDA:

First things first, congrats to the CX3 for being named AJAC Utility Car of the year! WAY TO GO MAZDA! Anyway, the display featured the MX5 Global Cup car as well as the new CX9 that was unveiled a few months ago. It was exciting to see the new redesigned SUV, and we can’t wait to see it in our show room! The MX5 Global Cup car was also great to see, loving all of the variations of the MX5 that are popping up. Too bad we couldn’t have had a visit form the RX vision!

 

2016 CIAS Toronto - Subaru

2016 CIAS Toronto - Subaru

2016 CIAS Subaru

2016 CIAS Subaru

 

SUBARU

Subaru had a lot going on! From the new Hyper Blue colour making an appearance to the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid and the new Impreza concept there was lots to see. Loving the new styling in this Impreza concept, it’s a bit of a difference to their traditional design, and it’s working. Also on display was one of Subaru’s rally cars, it was awesome to see a well used Subie. The vehicle that I was really excited to see that I didn’t expect was the XV Crosstrek HYBRID. That’s right a hybrid Subie. Can’t wait to take this bad bot out for a spin.

 

2016 CIAS Cadillac

2016 CIAS Cadillac

2016 Toronto Auto Show Chevrolet

2016 Toronto Auto Show GMC

 

GM

From the runways of New York City and Dubai the Cadillac XT5 made an appearance at this year’s CIAS. The new Cadillac SUV is a nice addition to the line up. Cadillac also revealed the AT6, making it obvious that they are style driven. Chevrolet took some queues from their consumers and announced the new Cruze hatchback and the BoltEV. Buick featured the new Envision (coming to showrooms soon) and the stylish Avenur concept showing that Buick has still got it. The GMC display is always fun to see with their suspended truck allowing you to walk under the vehicle and see all the moving parts.

 

CIAS Kia

2016 Toronto Auto Show Kia

2016 CIAS Kia

 

KIA

Personally, I was really excited to visit the Kia set up and see the much-anticipated 2017 Kia Sportage. It was everything I could imagine and more! Kia also revealed a new concept car that will be hitting the showrooms early 2017 named NIRO. The Niro model is a HUV (Hybrid Utility Vehicle) leading the new direction for Kia’s future. These two models showcase the initial future of Kia design and we’re into it! Another pleasant surprise at the Kia display was the #KiaAllStarMVP Turbo Optima – just in time for the NBA all-star weekend in Toronto!

 

CIAS Kia NBA All-Star car

CIAS Kia NBA All-Star car

 

Over all the future looks very exciting for our NewRoads brands and the Canadian automotive market in general!

 

 

GMC Yukon XL Denali Road Trip

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Posted on Oct 27, 2015

GMC Yukon XL Denali Road Trip

 

Nothing says fall in Canada like a good old nature walk. In York Region, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by lush forests and conservation areas. If you’re native to Newmarket or surrounding area you definitely are familiar with 99 Steps and Jokers Hill just off of Bathurst. 99 Steps, or officially known as the Thornton Bales Conservation Area is the perfect local fall adventure! So we borrowed a GMC Yukon XL Denali for a mini road trip to check it out!

 

GMC Yukon XL Denali Road Trip

 

99 Steps at the Thornton Bales Conservation Area photo

 

yukon25

 

99 Steps at the Thornton Bales Conservation Area photo in the Fall

 

As is our luck lately, as soon as we got to the trail it rained – almost immediately (classic). Thank goodness for the Yukon, we were able to sit in luxury as we waited for the rain to pass. After the delayed start to our adventure we hopped out of the massive vehicle and headed for the hills, or forest in this case. It has been quite a few years since I visited 99 steps, which honestly is a bit embarrassing since I practically grew up right next door. Anyways, it was a bit nostalgic being here again. I brought my brother along for the ride and he led the way.

 

Thornton Bales Conservation Area photo in the Fall

 

99 Steps - Thornton Bales Conservation Area Fall photo

 

Fall walk at 99 Steps - Thornton Bales Conservation Area

 

Fall leaves

 

While it was a little wet to the touch, the forest floor was covered with leaves bursting with pretty pigmented fall colours. Since we’re well into the fall season many of the leaves have changed and fallen really enhancing autumn feeling that you get from walking in the forest. Famous for its steep slopes, 99 steps has an elevation that drops 54 metres from its southwest corner to its northern boundary, creating some pretty spectacular views. This area is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine and is of natural and scientific interest. Who knew something so grand could be in our backyard!

 

October walk in the  Oak Ridges Moraine

 

October walk in the  Oak Ridges Moraine

 

GMC Yukon XL Denali

 

October walk in the  Oak Ridges Moraine photo

 

When planning this trip I immediately thought of the Yukon as the perfect vehicle. When I was growing up my Dad drove one and it was the perfect family vehicle for trips of this sort. Little did I know that I’d be borrowing the keys to the luxury Yukon XL Denali. Since it rained, there were many muddy puddles, which obviously was nothing for the Yukon. We added some character to the vehicle, sorry not sorry for the mud splatter!

 

GMC Yukon XL Denali

 

GMC Yukon XL Denali

 

Fall road trip with the GMC Yukon XL Denali photo

 

GMC Yukon

 

Yukon Denali photo

 

So once I got over the initial “why would anyone ever need a truck this big” feeling I discovered all of the amazing features. The back up camera was ideal for navigating this truck for me. I also experienced all of the safety tech features. While driving a car in front of me suddenly came to a stop the Yukon flashed red on my dash and I was able to stop safely. As mentioned, 99 Steps is known for its steep slopes, thus having the Yukon with the hill start assist was very helpful. What happens is the vehicle detects when it’s on an incline and holds the breaks until the gas pedal engages to prevent rolling backwards.

 

Fall road trip with the GMC Yukon XL Denali photo

 

GMC Yukon XL Denali photo

 

NewRoads GMC Yukon Denali photo

 

Off road GMC Yukon Denali photo

 

So lets see, luxury interior, space for the entire family and friends, advanced safety technologies, and redefined performance. I think we have a winner here!

 

 

GMC and the Calgary Stampede

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Posted on Jul 9, 2015

GMC and the Calgary Stampede

 

It was a fun filled weekend for General Motors Canada, with Cadillac occupying the Taste of Toronto and GMC taking over the Calgary Stampede. We got a first hand account of GMC in Calgary thanks to a few bloggers that they took along for the ride. Sasha Exeter from So Sasha took to Instagram, Snap Chat and Twitter on the trip of a lifetime! From living at a ranch in Alberta to the iconic Smithbilt Hats Inc. shop, the GMC Canyon was the star of the rodeo carrying GMC’s precious cargo.

 

GMC trucks and the Calgary Stampede go together like PB&J, and we love the experience that they created this weekend. It was really all about celebrating what GMC stands for; precision, excellence and trucks that are fun to drive and get you where you need to go even if that means to a distant ranch in the middle of Alberta! Take a look at their Stampede thrills below!

 

GMC and the Calgary Stampede photos

 

 

The 8 Cars you Date in your Life

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Posted on Mar 25, 2015

1. The eternal optimist – Kia (all of them)
Rio, Soul the OPTIMA… seriously so happy all the time!
Kia Soul

 

2. The Outdoorsy one/animal lover – Subaru Outback
Their furry friend will probably ride shotgun over you on the way to the camp sight.

 

3.The obsessive one – Subaru WRX STI
The Subaru WRX STI is the one who will obsess over everything to the tiniest detail.
Subaru WRX STI photos

 

4. The high maintenance one – Cadillac ATS
You know that the Cadillac ATS only appreciates the luxury of red wine and rich mahogany.
Cadillac

 

5. The extremely versatile/flexible one – Chevy
From pick-ups to sedans to sports cars to muscle cars to SUVs, Chevy will be what ever you want them to be.
Chevy Lineup

 

6. The really mature foodie – Buick Regal
Buick Regal makes you think about life goals, and you know plan for the future. They also only go to 5 star restaurants and are into fancy food trends like kale and bone marrow.
Buick

 

7. The Techy – Mazda
Mazda is that guy/girl who always has the latest gadget. You know that new apple watch? Ya they already have it.
Mazda

 

8. The I’M A MAN man – GMC Canyon
Do you need more of an explanation? You sometimes think that GMC is over compensating for something.
GMC Canyon

 

 

Chevrolet Equinox & GMC Terrain earn Top Safety Pick Rating

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Posted on Apr 11, 2014

Chevrolet Equinox GMC Terrain earn Top Safety Pick Ratings

 

Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain Earn Top Safety Pick+ Ratings!  The only midsize SUVs of nine evaluated to receive IIHS’ highest safety designation.

 

Oshawa (Tuesday, April 08, 2014) – The Canadian built Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain with available forward collision alert technology, earned 2014 Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the United States, the only midsize SUVs of nine evaluated to earn Good ratings in the Institute’s small overlap front crash test.

 

The Equinox and Terrain join the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan, with similar technology, in earning the institute’s highest safety rating.

 

The test, in which 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver side strikes a 1.524 m (5-foot) high rigid barrier at 64 km/h (40 mph), is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole.

 

“Having the only two midsize SUVs that earned the Top Safety Pick Plus designation speaks to GM’s focus on improving our vehicles by offering advanced crash avoidance technologies that can help avoid a crash, and by enhancing vehicle structure and occupant protection if a crash occurs,” said Gay Kent, director of General Motors Global Safety Strategy and Vehicle Programs.

 

“We are very pleased that the IIHS has recognized the safety of both the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain with this prestigious rating.”

 

Equinox and Terrain previously were named Top Safety Picks. The criteria for 2014 Top Safety Pick+ status was revised to include vehicles offering a frontal crash protection system meeting IIHS requirements, as well as achieving a Good rating – IIHS’ highest classification – in four of five crash tests, and no less than an Acceptable rating in the fifth test. The 2014 Equinox and Terrain received Good ratings in all five crash tests.

 

The available forward collision alert technology on Equinox and Terrain uses a camera to detect when a driver is at risk of hitting the vehicle ahead, and delivers visual and audible alerts. It is part of a safety package that also includes lane departure warning and rear park assist. The package is available on Equinox 2LT trim and standard on the LTZ model. On Terrain, it available on SLE-2 and SLT-1 trims, and standard on SLT-2 and Terrain Denali
models.

 

Along with forward collision alert, Equinox and Terrain are equipped with six standard air bags, including dual frontal air bags, head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags; as well as an available rear-vision camera that helps drivers identify objects behind the vehicle.

 

Source: http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2014/Apr/0408-equinox-ilhs-gm.html

2015 GMC Canyon at NAIAS

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Posted on Feb 6, 2014

2015 GMC Canyon at NAIAS

While the big news from GM at the North American International Auto Show was the unveiling of the next Corvette Z06, the Colorado’s cousin in the mid-size truck market was also unveiled. I use the term cousin and not twin due to the fact that the 2015 GMC Canyon is more of a baby Sierra with similar styling cues and available options where the Colorado broke off from the Silverado in styling creating its own unique look.

 
The Canyon features a higher end interior and some exclusive features that the Colorado will not be getting. The all-new 2015 GMC Canyon will redefine the midsize truck with segment-first features that make it more capable and versatile than any other midsize pickup on the market. With safety features that use cameras to see where you may not be able to see, these available features let you know when you may be approaching another vehicle too quickly or when you’re leaving your driving lane.

 
Powering the new Canyon and expected to deliver class-envying trailering and payload, Canyon is the epitome of efficiency. A 2.5L I-4 engine and 3.6L V6 engine will be available at launch. Both engines feature direct injection, variable valve timing and 6-speed transmissions. The 2.5L Duramax Turbo-Diesel joins the engine lineup in 2015.

 
This truck promises to be an amazing addition to the already astonishing GMC line up and will be a pleasure to drive when they arrive here in the fall.

 

2015 GMC Canyon at NAIAS
2015 GMC Canyon at NAIAS
2015 GMC Canyon at NAIAS

All-New 2014 GMC Sierra Review | Toronto Star

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Posted on Jul 19, 2013

Photo 2014 GMC Sierra Review

 

By Jil McIntosh, Toronto Star

 

I don’t camp. As I tell people, my idea of “roughing it” is no room service. So when General Motors told me I’d be towing a trailer and then sleeping in it, I had to remind myself that it was really about the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra I’d be using for the task.

 

The Sierra is the mechanical twin to the equally new Chevrolet Silverado, but has different exterior styling and the appropriate badge on the otherwise similar interior. The top-level Denali trim returns, and, although Chevy adds a new High Country luxury level, the Denali will still be the overall top of the line.

 

Although full pricing is still to come, the regular cab starts at $26,155; the double cab at $30,050, and the crew cab at $31,615. The Silverado and Sierra were priced the same in the past, but this new GMC has a bit more content, and the base tags run about $600 more than the Chevy.

 

At first glance, the exterior styling doesn’t look radically different from the outgoing model, but it’s entirely redesigned.

 

The quick clue is the cab: where the tops of the doors wrapped up into the roof before, the new ones are flush. GM says it cuts down on wind noise, and I believe it, as no other truck is as quiet inside as this one.

 

One difference lies in the double (extended) cab, which now has rear doors hinged at the front. On the crew cab, a 6-foot-6 box is now offered, along with a 5-foot-8 version.

 

The three engines also have the same displacements as before: 4.3 L V6, 5.3 L V8, and later this year, a 6.2 L V8. But they are also entirely new, and each is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

 

Each contains three fuel-saving technologies: direct gasoline-injection, variable valve-timing, and cylinder-deactivation, which operates only four cylinders when full power isn’t needed.

 

That’s fairly common on V8s, but unusual for a V6. It’s a seamless transition, and you can really only tell when a green-tinged “V4” appears in the instrument cluster.

 

Towing capacity is never an exact science, and much depends on factors such as cab configuration and axle ratio, but GM claims a maximum of 7,200 lb. (3,265 kg) for the V6, and 11,500 (5,216 kg) for the 5.3 L V8. When the 6.2 L comes out, it’ll have a high of 12,000 lb. (5,443 kg). Those big numbers are a badge of pride with truck companies, so expect some of the others to start tweaking so they can trumpet even larger figures.

 

My test truck’s gears were configured more for fuel economy than towing, so the engine had to work hard to maintain uphill speed once I got into the foothills. But, overall, the Sierra tows well, with a firmly-planted front end, available trailer brake controller, and a trailer sway control system built into the electronic stability control. It selects wheels to break if it senses the trailer’s starting to swing.

 

I pulled into the appropriately named Sierra West ranch for the night, where, true to my roots, I unpacked some items brought along for the trip: Christmas lights for the trailer’s awning, and a couple of pink flamingoes for outside the door.

 

I really like that the trailer pin hookup is above the bumper, where it’s easy to reach. And while we’re talking about the back end of the vehicle, there are steps in the bumper ends, with corresponding hand-holds in the box rails for easy climbing into the bed.

 

It’s a lot simpler than Ford’s system, which requires you to pull out a step and lift up a handle. Ram has nothing but a tiny corner of the bumper to step on (and possibly slip off of) when the tailgate’s down.

 

The biggest difference between old and new is the interior, which has gone from tired and dated, to arguably the segment’s best.

 

The seats are very comfortable, and thanks to a low “hip point,” it’s relatively easy to get in and out. With the size of pickup trucks these days, it’s far more common to have to crawl up or slide out, which gets old pretty fast (and also wears the edge of the seat sooner).

 

The controls are good-sized buttons and dials that work well with gloves, grouped according to function. The instrument cluster borrows its squared-off gauges from the Camaro, and includes a configurable driver display.

 

The new Sierra doesn’t break any new ground, but it catches up to the competition in a fiercely-fought segment. The Japanese full-size trucks lag behind. Toyota will introduce a new Tundra shortly. But the three domestic brands are all at the top of the game.

 

I was, too, once we unhooked the trailers and headed for our final overnight stop: a hotel where, thankfully, my room was no longer on wheels.

 

2014 GMC Sierra

 

Price: $26,155 (regular); $30,050 (double), and $31,615 (crew)

 

Engine: 4.3 L V6; 5.3 L V8, and 6.2 L V8

 

Power/torque: 285 hp/305 lb.-ft. (V6), 355/383 (5.3 L V8), 420/450 (6.2 L V8)

 

Fuel consumption L/100 km: (5.3 L): 13.0 city, 8.7 hwy (2WD); 13.3, 9.0 (4WD)

 

Competitors: Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra

 

What’s best: Quiet cabin, smooth handling, top-notch interior.

 

What’s worst: Rear crew cab floor isn’t flat.

 

What’s interesting: In the U.S., the Sierra accounts for 10 per cent of GM’s U.S. truck sales, but in Canada, it is almost 50 per cent

 

Source:  http://www.wheels.ca/reviews/preview-2014-gmc-sierra-back-in-the-saddle-with-the-big-boys/

2014 GMC Sierra | GM’s Best Selling Vehicle

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Posted on Jul 11, 2013

Photo - 2014 GMC Sierra, GM's Best Selling Vehicle

 

By Jeremy Cato, Globe and Mail

 

Pop quiz: What is the best-selling vehicle in the lineup sold by General Motors in Canada? Give up? It’s the GMC Sierra pickup.

 

Yet another example of how Canadians differ from Americans. In the United States, sales of the Sierra massively trail its corporate pickup sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado. Mechanically, the two are identical, though GMC buyers, we’re told, are a little fancier and better educated than the Silverado’s. Put it this way: the typical Sierra driver is a guy who owns the electrical contracting company, while the Silverado guy is a prosperous journeyman electrician or maybe the foreman.

 

And I am saying “guy” because almost all full-size pickup are bought by men. Not all, of course, but the reality is that a big pickup is a manly thing. If that is politically incorrect, sorry. You’re free to send your comments and letters.

 

GM, of course, is rightly proud of the restyled and re-engineered Sierra and Silverado. This is no small matter. In Canada, Sierra and Silverado sales combined were about 34,000 though the end of May, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (18,585 Sierras, 15,308 Silverados). Through the same period, Ford of Canada sold 50,626 F-Series pickup, while Chrysler sold 34,052 Rams. We are talking big business in big trucks.

 

The rebooted Sierra is packaged differently than the Silverado, and the styling cues are unique to each, too. Yes, it does take a trained eye to spot the differences, but GM officials say they plan to roar ahead with even more differentiation between Sierra and Silverado as the days and weeks and years unfold.

 

Certainly the Sierra is a handsome rig, big and brawny and carefully styled to appeal to the fairly conservative buyer who is willing to spend as much as $60,000 or more on a well-loaded pickup. For that you get a beefy, solid truck with a quiet ride and a cabin that screams anything but “roughing it.” GM’s designers have clustered like-controls together – not the case in the outgoing model – and focused on keeping the materials feeling expensive not rich, with the fit and finish a match for any car.

 

The engines, though, are where this story begins. GM is rolling out the Sierra (and Silverado) in stages, with quad cab models (front-hinged rear doors, not rear-hinged) powered by the new Ecotec3 5.3-litre V-8 (355 hp/383 lb-ft torque). This is a modern engine, with direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation (to save fuel when you don’t need the power) and variable valve timing.

 

With it, the Sierra has a “segment-leading” tow rating of 11,500 pounds and fuel economy is, we’re told, “best in class:” 13.0 litres/100 km city and 8.7 highway. For the record, the handy readout for ongoing fuel economy hovered at 29 litres/100 km during my road trip hauling along a 24-foot trailer to the Sierra West ranch.

 

As the new GM pickups roll out, a 4.3-litre V-6 (285/305 lb-ft) and a 6.2-litre V-8 (420 hp/450 lb-ft) will join the lineup. The former has a tow rating up to 7,200 pounds, while the latter can tow something close to a suburban bungalow at 12,000 pounds. All three are gas engines.

 

The record should show, however, that Chrysler’s Ram will soon be the first full-size, light-duty pickup sold in Canada with a diesel engine option. This is among the reasons why GM is anxious to make sure potential buyers know how efficient and effective the new gas engine lineup has been engineered to be. I never felt a need for more grunt when pulling a 24-foot trailer, though at times the V-8 had to work, going up to nearly 5,000 rpm when climbing a hill in tow mode.

 

GM’s engineers certainly thought through the needs of any buyer who trailers for fun or work. The brake rotors are the brilliant Duralife type that last twice as long or more then old-fashioned tradition brake rotors. The trailer brake controls are integrated, there is a Hill Start Assist function to get you going on a grade and Tow/Haul mode changes the transmission shift points to make towing more efficient. The rear-vision camera is superb for trailer hook-ups, too.

 

All in all, an excellent pickup. Long-time Sierra buyers have no reason to wander to the Ram or Ford dealer. But then, pickup buyers are notoriously loyal, so few ever would. GM has nicely defended its pickup turf here.

 

Source:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/new-car-reviews/gms-best-selling-vehicle-its-a-guy-thing/article13108280/

 

The GMC Sierra RV Camping Adventure

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Posted on Jul 11, 2013

GMC Sierra Trailer RV

 

By Jeremy Cato, Globe and Mail

 

It is the night before my long-awaited return to the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” and, on a chilly, damp Southern Alberta summer night, I am dancing my way through a field of cow pies, as light and nimble afoot as the Young Canadians are nightly on the stage at the Calgary Stampede.

 

This is the part of RV camping I’d forgotten since I left Alberta in the 1980s, left behind my career as a sportswriter covering the Stampede, among other things.

 

The “roughing it” part is something I had forgotten. The finding your way to your trailer in the pitch dark, after several hours of staring into a blazing campfire, sipping an adult beverage. If I had planted my boot in a squishy dropping or two – and they dotted the field as numerous as stars in the sky – I’d never have known, though. A long afternoon of fierce thunderstorms had left Randy and Ginny Donahue’s grazing land all mushy and wet. One type of mush at midnight feels much like another, if you get my drift.

 

Randy and Ginny run Sierra West Cabins and Ranch Vacations near Lundbreck, Alta. Between the land they own and the land they rent, Sierra West amounts to about 1,000 acres of working dude ranch. Randy and Ginny themselves are straight out of a John Ford casting call: he with his lean build, hard hands, droopy grey mustache, felt cowboy hat, suede waistcoat, jeans and lived-in boots; her with Stetson pulled down low over shoulder-length straw hair falling on a jean jacket. Authentic? These two are not city folk, believe me.

 

Truth be told, their story is as sweet a love story as you’ve ever heard. Randy first set eyes on this land decades ago – no a lifetime ago, really, back when interest rates were 20-something per cent. His then-wife bravely took to homesteading it with him. For about three weeks. She left with everything but the land itself and a couple of cows, says Randy, smiling through his ’stache.

 

To make ends meet, Randy took a day job as an electrician, filling his spare time working his deeply mortgaged spread into shape. Years later, Randy and Ginny – both divorced and with kids – met at a fair, long removed from knowing each other while growing up. They rekindled an old spark that had never flared into a romance because, well, Randy is five years older and that’s a generation between teenagers. In any case, they found each other and a common purpose in Sierra West. It is a gem, complete with rustic cabins and smart horses.

 

That first night I thought of their tale as I scraped off my boots – just in case – and climbed into my Spree by KZ Super Lite LX home away from home. We’re talking 24-foot trailer here, one worth $30,000-plus. It sleeps seven, has a full kitchen and, when I sucked in my breath and held it, I was able to finish a 40-second wash in a shower stall sized like a microwave oven.

 

It had a good bed, too, and better blackout shades. That meant I needed a wake-up rinse in the oven – ah, shower – after a fine sleep-in. I needed it. The trials of Day 1 of The Great Towing Adventure were filled with lightning, thunder and sideways rain that turned Alberta Highway 22 into a shallow river. A leaky tent served as our well-stocked mess hall. Oh, but the weather cleared and the big Southern Alberta sky came alive with the shadows of passing clouds, before the stars finally came out with the bonfire. A fine rest.

 

When I awoke, I pondered the RV lifestyle, something I have long believed is ideal for families with kids and retirees. I, in fact, did the RV thing for years and years when my own son was growing up. Brilliant. But I hadn’t slept in a trailer for at least five years. So a little “glamping” – glamorous camping – sounded like fun when General Motors called. Its aim was to convince me that its new 2014 light-duty pickups are stout. To prove it, I’d drag the Spree Lite from Calgary to Lundbreck, set up shop and enjoy the big sky in July.

 

The downpour was an extra, though not a problem. Towing a trailer – my recreational vehicle (RV) – is easy enough if you have the right tow vehicle and you remain aware that you’re yanking around a 24-foot tail (make super-wide turns and leave twice as much room as normal between you and the car ahead). I still do something similar in the summer, pulling my 21-foot ski boat to the lake every few weeks. The Spree rig is a big, boxy beast, however, and not curvy like my Reinell with the Cobra V-8. Being square means there’s no seeing around the Spree, so you need to rely on your mirrors and your wits. I had not counted on November in July, however.

 

Neither had Go RVing Canada, a lobby and information group comprised of RV suppliers, dealers and campgrounds. Did you know that the RV sales and service industry is valued at more than $3-billion and accounts for 100,000 Canadian jobs? RV manufacturing is a nice little cottage industry, too (pun intended): valued at $265-million a year. About one in every seven Canadians owns some sort of RV and collectively the one million RVs on the road in Canada take about eight million trips a year. You can spend $100,000 or more on a big, self-contained Class A motorhome, opt for something like my Spree or stay on budget and spend a few grand on a tent trailer.

 

General Motors, of course, wants the notice of anyone with a hankering to pull something. There is this all-new 2014 GMC Sierra pickup and it’s “built to trailer,” says the company. And loads and loads of Albertans, in particular, like to tow trailers, thus this is where GM Canada came to put the spotlight on the Sierra. Truth is, RV superstores dot Alberta.

 

I am no towing superstar bit I managed to plant my rig in Randy and Ginny’s field and enjoyed all of it. There is something rugged and wonderfully macho about sitting behind the wheel of a four-door pickup with four-wheel drive and trailer brakes, a stud trailer bringing up the rear. The truck was completely up to the task and it should have been, right down to its boxed frame, integrated trailer brake system and the 355-horsepower, 5.3-litre V-8.
The cow pie dance at midnight? We’ll just keep that little bit between us, okay? Does nothing for my image, nor for GMC’s.

 

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/auto-news/the-gmc-sierra-shines-during-an-rv-adventure/article13108666/

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