The subcompact and small vehicle sector provides more choices than ever before. This is in part due to an increase in younger consumers joining the customer base for new cars. While everyone is concerned about fuel economy when buying a new car, younger consumers also tend to gravitate toward vehicles that are smaller, more versatile and even those that are considered “trendy”. GMC has long been known as the go-to for “professional grade” heavy-duty pickups and full size SUVs, so these descriptions are not something people typically associate with the brand. GMC is poised to change this however with the introduction of the 2014 GMC Granite. While it was first unveiled as a concept in 2010, there are still rumors that it may become a production vehicle sometime late in 2013. The Granite is a unique vehicle that fits the needs of the younger consumer while still maintaining the quality and durability for which GMC is known.
Smaller can be better
The 2014 Granite is referred to as a subcompact crossover, which while still a relatively new concept for vehicles, has become a popular choice among the younger crowd. For those of you that have seen commercials for one of the first entries into this sector, the Kia Soul, it is not hard to see what segment of buyers they are marketing to with the rapping rodents and pop music. Back in the 80s and 90s, the GMC Jimmy became a popular choice for the younger crowd that wanted the versatility of an SUV, but better gas mileage and a smaller stature. The Granite seems to be almost a modern version of the Jimmy, which after being branded as the S-10 Blazer, disappeared around 2005. GMC has also given the Granite a unique feature that solves one of the few complaints people have about the subcompact wagons and that is accessibility. GMC has designed the Granite with rear doors that are rear-hinged and have eliminated the center pillar, giving access to the entire passenger compartment with no obstructions.
Small in size, big on technology
While the Granite may be one of the smallest vehicles GMC has introduced, this does not mean they have to leave out features. It will be one of the most advanced vehicles in the technology department with the ability to integrate almost any electronic device with the vehicle. This includes the typical connections for smartphones and MP3 players, but will also include hook-ups for laptops, tablets and possibly even video gaming systems at some point. With younger people being the most dependent on electronic devices, the ability to integrate a variety of them into their vehicle is not only convenient, it allows them to be a safer driver as well. While the younger buyers are also concerned with the safety of vehicles, the Granite is expected to be equipped with at least 10 airbags positioned strategically throughout the vehicle.
The mechanics of the Granite
The original concept Granite that appeared in 2010 was powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that now powers the Chevrolet Cruze. While of course a smaller four-cylinder will provide the best fuel economy, the design of the Granite will allow it to be upgraded to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that currently powers the Buick Verano. The Granite will share many components with the Cruze including its suspension set up and “twist beam” rear axle, driver assist features and possibly a transmission. The interior of the concept Granite is extremely high tech and may be toned down a bit so it does not intimidate any members of the older buying group interested in it. While there have been no mentions of trim levels or other specifications of the Granite, the design itself makes it a potential candidate to be a hybrid powered vehicle as well.
It is no secret that younger people are becoming a larger part the auto buying consumer base. The increase in the number of subcompact and compacts cars being produced is proof of this. Automakers are successfully making the shift to build cars that have all the components the younger generation is looking for. While the 2014 GMC Granite is still a concept with no official production date announced, it has the potential to bring more younger buyers to GMC than ever before. While the GMC “professional grade” truck and SUV sector will still contain the most popular models, the addition of the Granite will help them appeal to the needs of a younger consumer base. While you will not see the Granite at your local GMC dealer, Permian GMC still has a great selection of vehicles, including crossovers like the Terrain and Acadia. You can visit our website at
and browse our inventories of both new and used vehicles. You can also chat online with one of Permian’s knowledgeable staff members if you have any questions. No matter what you are looking for or what age group you belong to, Permian GMC can help you find the right vehicle for you.