OPTIONING YOUR PROPERLY BADGED CAR

After considering the wealth of options, pricing, and power available from one platform – one midsize SUV, in fact – that General Motors can give you, GoodCarBadCar returns to GM for more badge/platform engineering talk.

Lincoln has been discussed. With sadness. Pontiac has debuted their Vibe, a vehicle which connects not with any GM product; but with a Toyota. But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to choose between severely badge-engineered cars?

By severe, I mean this: the car is friekin’ identical, man. The changes can be seen on the logo, man. The difference is in the badge…. man. Pontiac introduced the G5 (Pursuit) after Chevrolet attempted to herald the presentation of the Cobalt.

At GM Canada’s ‘Build Your Vehicle’ website, the small photo of the G5 was actually a Cobalt. Yes, I could tell, even though most of the car is identical anyway. I re-entered the site another way and managed to find different photos when I built my own G5. However, apart from the base price of the base Cobalt and G5, even the most specific options were identically priced. Would you like your paint colour to be named performance red-tint coat or sport red-tint coat? Exactly, you don’t care what your paint is titled. But at Pontiac and Chevrolet, you’ll pay $380 for the privilege of choosing that paint. It’s the same.

Engine block heaters will cost you the same $65 at either dealership. Front-license plate mounts, ABS, air-con, XM satellite radio – all the same price. $15.00, $650, $1150, $550. I can’t even say “respectively”. Everything’s the same. Even the value factor is the same: Lamborghini will charge you $650 for floor mats in its Gallardo Superleggera, whereas Pontiac and Chevrolet will expect $570. Less.

Oh, and by the way, General Motors wants the same $15.00 for a license plate mount when you buy a Corvette. Good deal.