Cadillac ATS has a 3-1 chance of being the best new car of 2013

5 of the best new cars in America

By Alex Taylor III | 

The Cadillac ATS takes aim at the segment-leading BMW 3 Series.
The Cadillac ATS takes aim at the segment-leading BMW 3 Series.

It isn’t quite like being an Oscar nominee, but the North American Car and Truck of the Year organization has announced the finalists for its car and truck of the year awards. The eventual winners will be voted from those lists and their identity will be revealed at the Detroit auto show in January.

Endorsements by third parties like the journalists on the NACTOY panel are increasingly important in the car business, and the awards, now in their 20th year, have been growing in visibility. (Full disclosure: I am one of the 50 jurors). So it is not too soon to start handicapping the contest to see who the early favorites are.

Jurors are asked to drive and evaluate cars for factors like innovation, handling, performance, safety, and value for dollar. And like the members of the motion picture Academy, they are subject to their own predilections and interests. Critics have decried a hometown tilt by jurors, many of whom are based in Detroit. Executives at Toyota are still angry that the revolutionary hybrid Prius was passed over in 2001 for the cute but inconsequential Plymouth PT Cruiser for Car of the Year. (The snub was partly corrected when the next-generation Prius won the award in 2004).

In recent years, Car of the Year voting has shifted to a more international outlook (Volkswagen and Range Rover were winners in 2012), but it still favors the domestics. Detroit has won 10 awards, Asian automakers but four. Toyota’s Camry, perennially the best-selling car in the U.S., has never won and has been a finalist only once.

This year, the short list is balanced but the betting here is that hometown pride will once again be the deciding factor in who wins North American Car of the Year. Here are 5 of the top contenders for the award.

Cadillac ATS

For years, General Motors has been trying, and failing, to build a car that could compete with BMW’s 3 Series. The ATS is this year’s fighter and has been scoring very well in road tests. Unlike other automakers, GM tends to get judged against itself — how much better a new model is vs. the one it replaces — rather than the competition. With all that in mind, the ATS is clearly “the best Cadillac ever.”

Odds of winning: 3-1


Cadillac Driver Assist Package aka “Super Cruise”

Cadillac recently released the 2013 XTS and 2013 ATS Sedans with the beginnings of a new technology called “Cadillac Driver Assist” aka “Super Cruise.” Driver Assist in its current release will stop a slowly moving car before it hits something. Here is an example of this technology. I don’t want to get too into it because I already wrote a blog post about this part of the technology. You can read that here

The Exciting part is that this is just the beginning. Cadillac is slated to make a car that completely drives itself using driver assist by 2015. Driver assist was just the beginning.

Total Confidence Pricing

A trip to the car dealership generally involves some negotiation. For some this is their favorite part of the process. Simply put some like negotiation and others don’t. The reason to negotiate is to ensure you get the best deal possible. Every time I go somewhere as cheap as a garage sale I will always negotiate. For example last weekend I went to a garage sale and there was a nice pair of gloves I wanted to buy. They were marked at $3. I decided to try my luck at getting them for less. I started by asking what the lowest was she would take for them. She replied $2. I saw some room to negotiate so I countered with $1. The garage sale operator didn’t like my offer of $1 but did take $1.50. Well after I bought the gloves I wondered what would have happened if I had offered 50 cents to begin with I may have been able to get them for $1. I didn’t dwell on it long after all I got a good deal. The price I saw wasn’t the price I got.

What does this have to do with buying a car? When I negotiate generally I am left asking myself is that the best I could have done? I wonder what would have happened if I started lower. It is human nature to feel regret and ponder things like this, especially on a major purchase. This summer you can completely avoid that step in the car buying process. This summer at Rapid Chevrolet we are offering total confidence pricing on our selection of new 2012 vehicles. The way it works is we put the lowest price that we can offer on every new vehicle. You can come to the lot and check it out or just fill out a quick form and have the price emailed to you here. Confidence Pricing Quote

Preferred pricing is generally reserved for highly targeted customers such as customers who purchase a certain quantity of vehicles at once. It is generally never available to the general public. Since we list this rock bottom pricing in the window of every new car, truck, and suv you can be confident that you will get the best price in the country since all new Chevrolet dealerships will be nearly identical if not you can browse the lot and know what each one will sell for. This should make the process much more pain-free and faster to walk away with the best price possible. This price is also known as “Chevrolet Preferred Pricing” in this case The Price you see is the price you get.

Here are some examples of this Preferred Pricing

On this Red 2012 Camaro SS the MSRP is $40,455 and the Total Confidence Price is $39,148 that’s a savings of $1,307. During this total confidence program you can also get an additional $500 off or take our Love it or Return it Guarantee. That’s a little more than my $1.50 off example at the beginning of this article. If you are wondering what Love it or Return it is. It is a program that will let you return a vehicle after up to 60 days. No questions asked. So if you decide you would rather have a new Corvette next month after you buy this Camaro you can just trade it in. So you Love it or Return it. Guaranteed.

Here is a 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 that has an MSRP of 37,380 and a Total Confidence Price of  $35,222. That is $2,158 on a new vehicle. It gets even better than that though. On new 2012 Chevrolet Silverados purchased between now and September you get an additional cash allowance of $2,500. This lowers the total price to an amazing 32,722. If you are decisive and decide against the love it or Return it Guarantee you can the additional $500 off bring the total price on this vehicle to $37,222. That will leave you with an additional $5,158 of MSRP with no haggling.
On some vehicles you can get additional allowances if you bring a “trade in” but all of the rest will be clearly marked for you. “The Price you See is the Price you Pay” Stop by our dealership at 2090 Deadwood Ave in Rapid City, SD today. You can see all of our new inventory here
We’re so confident you’ll love your new Chevy, we’ll give you up to 60 days to make sure of it with our new Love It or Return it Guarantee. Buy any new 2012 or 2013 Chevrolet, and if you’re not happy, you can bring it right back. Needless to say, we’re pretty confident you won’t want to let it go. That’s Chevy Confidence. Must return between 30-60 days. Mileage and Damage limitations apply. Excludes leases.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on our website Rapid Chevrolet or simply contact me by leaving a comment below. To find out the total confidence price on a certain vehicle check here Rapid City Total Confidence Pricing.
Be sure to check out all of our specials on Trucks and Used Cars.

12 Essential Items for your Summer Car Survival Kit

Most people carry a winter survival kit in their car. It is a great idea to have one. It is a good idea to also have a summer survival kit. Here are some things it could include.

  • 2 Gallons of water
         You can keep it fresh by adding a drop of bleach to the water
  • Radiator Fluid
  • Sunscreen
         Some SPF30 since you aren’t going to be using it for tanning.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Umbrella
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Protein Bars
  • Rain Poncho
  • Basic Tools
  • Duct Tape
  • Extra Charged Cell Phone Battery
  • Warning Triangles

There are many other things you could include in the pack but that will cover the basics. One way you can greatly reduce your chances of being stuck on the side of the road is by driving a newer car. You can check out our entire inventory online at

Six Simple Checks to Avert Disaster before Summer Driving

Here are Six Simple checks you can perform to avert a possible disaster. Summer driving can be very demanding on you and your vehicle. With a few quick checks you can keep your vehicle running well even in hot summer weather like today. They don’t take long and can save you hours of trouble and headaches later. Read On

1. Cooling System
Check Radiator fluids before leaving home. Just open the hood and check that the fluid is up to the line specified on the coolant reservoir.

Keep an eye on the temperature gauge while driving if it has one. If it starts overheating, before you get into the temperature red zone, turn off the AC and turn on your heater. This will make the car extremely uncomfortable but will reduce engine heat by acting as an extra path for heat to leave the engine.

If your car does get into the temperature red zone make sure to pull over as soon as you find a safe place to do so. Don’t try to open the radiator cap until the engine cools. It will burn you with steam and probably boiling liquid. A shirt will not help you because the steam will instantly cut through it. Just wait for it to cool.

2. Engine Fluids
Whenever you drive your car you should check your oil, transmission fluid, and brake levels. Checking these will help prevent problems all the time but in a very hot weather situation it is essential from the extra strain the temperature can put on the engine.

3. Tires
Check the tires air pressure before you leave to make sure they are where they need to be. The heat from the ground can make a tire that is a little overinflated become very overinflated and possibly fail while going down the road.

4. Air Conditioning
While not completely essential to get you there having your AC work can make the difference from being miserable to feeling great by the time you get there. If your AC doesn’t work the most common reason is that it simply needs to be recharged. If your AC isn’t working up to par bring it in and we can test the system for you and get it working great. We currently have a great special on getting your AC a checkup.

5. Battery
Among all of the other things that can fail from heat your battery can cause some problems. Most people think of the battery going out from cold but heat can be just as bad. Check the fluid levels in your battery if you still have one of the older types. Otherwise just make sure the terminals are free of corrosion and are tight.

6. Fuel
This last one might seem obvious but some people aren’t going to read this and have their car overheat. On hot days there are generally more traffic delays from cars breaking down in the road. Make sure you have plenty of gas so you don’t run out waiting for traffic to clear.

If you find problems with any of these items you should bring your vehicle into our service department. We will quickly get you back on the road and you won’t have to worry. Just give us a call at (605) 593-4098 or visit our Service Site

CUE “Cadillac User Experiance” by Cadillac

Cue by Cadillac will be introduced on the all new 2013 Cadillac XTS, ATS, and SRX. It is a very inovative new technology that replaces the traditional dashboard and console with touchscreen LCDs.

From Cadillac’s website

Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data, will benefit consumers by offering safe, connected driving beginning in 2012.

2013 Chevy Malibu ECO Drive-by and Walk around Video

Want to see the 2013 Chevy Malibu? Here is the new video we made here at Rapid Chevrolet of the 2013 Chevy Malibu ECO. It is has a walk around, interior video, as well as some drive-by footage.

Texas considering 85 mph speed limit on a toll road

Texas is considering an 85 mph speed limit on a toll road. The move would make move the speed limit from 80 to 85 mph. This would make a section of the new Highway 130 have the highest posted speed limit in the US according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There are no longer any roads in the US with no speed limits like on Germany’s autobahn or how Colorado, Montana, and probably others used to have no posted speed limit.

Texas is considering this move to combat traffic congestion they predict on the road. From what I have noticed the general cause of traffic congestion is someone driving slowly in the fast lane so if this would work is anyone’s guess. It would probably work better to start ticketing anyone driving to slow in the right lane.

Straight and FLAT

What this brings to mind for me is what if South Dakota were to raise the speed limit on I-90 from Sioux Falls to Rapid City. It would make the 350 mile mostly straight drive a little more tolerable. It would drop the time to get from Sioux Falls to Rapid from 4 hours and 40 minutes to 4 hours and 8 minutes. It would in the end save drivers about 30 minutes to get from one side of the state to the other.

Other considerations would be the amount of fuel required to cross the state. Driving that 10 mph faster would generally make you use a little more fuel. With how straight I-90 is it would also be worth consideration removing the speed limit all together so you could choose your own speed. Montana did this with great success as illustrated by

What are your thoughts on this?

2012 Chevy Camaro in Stock

We currently have 4 2012 Camaros in stock right here in Rapid City.

2012 camaro v8 engine

V8 2012 Camaro Engine

The 2012 Camaro LS and LT both feature an updated 3.6 liter V6 that still puts out an impressive 323 hp and 278 lb/ft of torque.
Once you get to the 2012 Camaro SS you have a 6.2 liter v8 that puts out 426 hp and 420 lb/ft of torque. The V8 version of the 2012 Camaro will get from 0-60 in 5 sec.

New in 2012 is the ZL1 which has a supercharged 6.2 liter v8 which adds an additional 120 hp to the already powerful engine. The ZL1 comes in at 580 hp and 556 lb/ft of torque or just about enough to keep you plastered to your seat.

2012 Camaro 2LS Coupe

2012 Camaro 2LS Coupe

2012 2SS Camaro Coupe Red

2012 2SS Camaro Coupe

Chevrolet Impala is the top selling Certified Pre-Owned vehicle for April 2012

Posted on May 10th, 2012 by Dealer in News

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers in the U.S. reported 23,062 sales of certified pre-owned vehicles for April 2012. This represents an 11.6 percent decrease compared to April 2011, and a 28.4 percent decline compared to an exceptionally strong March – the highest-selling month since March 2011.

Through April, dealers reported 101,313 sales of certified pre-owned vehicles, a 3.4 percent decline compared to the first four months of 2011.

“April’s sales performance was on par with the industry in light of the fact that we had three fewer selling days than we had in April 2011,” said Larry Pryg, national manager, Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles.  “We are approaching the first full, successful year of the Owner Care program, and we’re confident that our program and focus on the core brands will continue to provide customers with quality vehicles and a positive ownership experience.”

During April, the Chevrolet Impala led the way with the highest total sales. For April, the top two sellers for each brand include:

Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac
Impala LaCrosse Acadia CTS
Malibu Enclave Sierra 1500 DTS

To see the latest Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles’ incentive program, please visit: GM Incentives and

For more information about Chevrolet/Buick/GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles and Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, to locate a dealer or to learn about the details of the warranty and benefits, please visit and

About Chevrolet/Buick/GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Chevrolet/Buick/GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles are high-quality, reconditioned vehicles, available at participating Buick, Chevrolet and GMC dealers. Each Certified pre-owned vehicle features Owner Care, a two-year/30,000-mile standard vehicle maintenance program, and the first offering of its kind from any automotive manufacturer’s certified pre-owned program. For more information about Chevrolet/Buick/GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, please visit