• Jun 3, 2009


General Motors makes more than a few world-class automobiles. As true as that statement may be, that alone wasn't enough to stall the automaker's steady decline – fueled as it may have been by the global economic downturn – into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To expedite GM's return to viability, the Obama Administration plans to split the giant automaker into two parts, a so-called "Good GM" made up of GM's best assets and "Bad GM," which is what we're examining in today's Top Ten list.

In case you're not aware, Bad GM happens to include the entire lines from HUMMER, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn. Instead of dwelling on the oft ignored, underdeveloped and stagnant vehicles in Bad GM's lineup, we're taking a look at the best that Bad GM has to offer. Try as we might to make this into a true Top Ten list, we were only able to come up with seven suitable vehicles to lament – which admittedly does tell us something. Some were obvious, a few not so much. That said, follow along as we pick the Top 7 Good Cars from Bad GM.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Badge engineering" is the practice of producing the same vehicle for two different brands with insufficient distinction, thus creating an overlap in target demographic and market tactics.

      If the G8 is getting killed, it wouldn't be "badge engineering" to turn it into a Chevy. Badge engineering would be selling it as the Chevy Impala while simultaneously selling it as a G8. It would be selling a Pontiac G3 when people can buy a Chevy Aveo, a G5 when people can buy a Cobalt coupe.

      If the Euro Honda Accord is sold here as the Acura TSX, then an Australian-built sedan can be sold here as a Chevy, as can a Euro-built vehicle as a Saturn (except they're killing Saturn...)

      "Bad" GM is a function of cannibalization, not of vehicles. The brands are dead, but not the cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I vote for the G8
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's also my favourite out of the bunch. But isn't it odd, that one of the best cars that GM makes is Australian? Hopefully, GM continues to sell them under the bow-tie.

        I know its a pipe dream, but it would be even better if Opel-Magna can get a hold of the Zeta platform and produce one for sale in North America. Opels are one of the best looking line of cars that GM produces...which they just sold.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the Vibe?

      it's a Toyota Matrix! not even made by GM really.

      this is a late April Fool's joke, isn't it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Technically, it's made by a company that is jointly owned by GM and Toyota.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Vibe probably has the best chance of any of the Pontiacs of living on. It's a good car for its intended market and purpose and certainly has better quality than the HHR. I was in one of those last week and the interior was craptastick.

        Chevy could do worse than tagging this onto the Cobalt or Cruze lines.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Notice the trend:
      Pontiac Vibe
      Pontiac Solstice
      Pontiac G8
      Saturn Aura (based on the Pontiac G6 platform)

      So what does GM do in their infinite wisdom? Kill off Pontiac of course!
        • 5 Years Ago
        By the same token, notice the trend:

        Saturn Aura
        Saturn Sky (which is sold as an Opel GT in Europe)
        Saturn Vue

        When six of your seven cars all come from the same stable--Pontiac and Saturn--it's a sign that your "bad" GM is actually pretty good. The G6 and Aura are, as you noticed, similar cars, but based on Opel's Epsilon platform. GM refuses to drop Buick because of its performance in China, but Buick's newer models also share Opel-engineered underpinnings. So why not drop Buick in the states (but not in China) instead of Saturn or Pontiac and merge the Pontiac and Saturn brands to develop a true Euro/performance division. Just slap a badge. No one's buying Opels over here anyway.

        Alas, GM, alas...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Techstar: the Aura and G6 both used the stretched Epsilon underpinnings first used on the Opel/Vauxhall Vectra estate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You go begging for billions of taxpayer dollars, you're going to get some pretty drastic "micromanaging," as you put it."

        It's being done by President Teleprompter on an unprecedented scale. Like telling Chrysler how much advertising budget they can use.

        Even with their struggles, GM and Chrysler management certinally has a better chance of success making a business plan than the idiots in Washington who have never worked in a business in their life.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Remember, it's not all their decision. There is micromanagement from Washington happening.
        • 5 Years Ago
        'Even with their struggles, GM and Chrysler management certinally has a better chance of success making a business plan than the idiots in Washington who have never worked in a business in their life. '

        They ran the company into the ground and had to go begging. You want them to continue running the show using your cash?

        'It's being done by President Teleprompter on an unprecedented scale. '

        Now you sound like Glenn Beck.

        'Like telling Chrysler how much advertising budget they can use. '

        That's what running the company means. You control budgets. That what people who work in business do so why not do that when gov't steps in?

        Let's not pretend President Palin would do any different. GM and Chrysler are dying and we're trying to prevent them from taking a whole lot of other companies with them. That's all. These companies came to the gov't for help, the gov't didn't just take over a viable industry for fun.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is the cruelest/funniest commentary ever!
      • 5 Years Ago
      one of gm's best cars is a toyota, and other's have toyota-built and designed components (aisin transmission in the vue).
      • 5 Years Ago
      While it didn't sell well, I would have included the Saturn Astra instead of the Aura.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it April Fools Day?
      • 5 Years Ago
      So the best GM car is a Toyota! Figures..........
      • 5 Years Ago
      Right, a handful of good/great cars from a sea of meh, bleh and bad.
      john34howard
      • 7 Months Ago
      I think GM makes some really good cars. My dad has owned a GM car for quite a number of years and it has been one of the more reliable cars we have. I have been thinking about getting a GM car because I think they are pretty good cars. http://www.genevamotor.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      a weak list. how could it possibly not include the colbalt ss, corvette zr1, and cadillac cts-v -- giant-slayers in each of their respective classes?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because those are part of the "good GM". Read the title.
        • 5 Years Ago
        :tucks tail between legs:
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