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The 300M was impressive in its market segment when it was introduced a few years ago, but it ain't all that now. If I had only thirty thousand and change to spend I'd probably buy one because it's bigger than anything else with luxury pretentions at that price, but it's no rocketship.

From the Detroit News Auto Insider article posted elsewhere on this forum (and thus faithfully paraphrased from a GM Press Release no doubt):

"One key to the new engine family's success, maintains GM, is that it will be competitive with the best in the V-6 class, yet be built at a lower cost. "

This is not GM's "beat all comers with superior technology" engine. This is GM's "let's check off the same boxes on the spec sheet as those imports as cheaply as possible" engine.

Honda and Toyota et al have had at least a decade of production to refine their V6s. Heck, look at Nissan -- an entire company raised from the ashes on the strength of their V6. GM, on the other hand, has been hoping against hope that its family sedan engines wouldn't have to adopt all this costly stuff -- how come people don't want an iron-block big-displacement pushrod 90-degree V6 cut from a dead V8 some thirty-five years ago? Who told buyers they needed aluminum blocks and dual overhead cams and variable valve timing? Don't they know that stuff is expensive?

Indeed, GM is still hedging its bets, because they have two new V6 families -- the "high-feature" V6 (this one) and the "high-value" V6, the latter engine intended no doubt for Chevy Malibus and Pontiac Grand Ams and Buick Centurys, because the rubes who buy those cars clearly don't know how to pronounce DOHC. ;-)

I understand GM's conservative approach -- they can't see increasing cost in their high-volume product, and don't want to escalate a feature war that eats everyone's profits -- but I wish they would try to be the best more often. Cadillacs should inspire lust and envy, engines included.

This engine -- which merely brings parity with a five-year-old Chrysler -- inspires adequacy, at best.

.Jinx
 
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