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Because I had so much trouble with my 2006 Chevy Cobalt – what with a prolonged two stage recall – the thoought has bounced around in my head, “Would I buy a GM car now?”

My gut reaction isn’t a surprise – “No.”

As if I were psychic, Consumer Reports grabbed my question by the horns and tried to answer it.

Here is what it decided as of May 23, 2014.

In the recall aftermath, is it smart to buy a GM car?

Should you buy a used GM car?

Cars from the Old GM were not as good as competition and clearly built to price, as was often reflected in our road tests and even annual reliability surveys. In fact, GM was notorious for squeezing cost out of suppliers, pressuring them to further reduce costs over time. Arguably, some cars, therefore became worse during their model span, rather than improving.

In many cases, we didn’t recommend older GM cars when they were new and still don’t today. The key is to research the desired model, as there are some cars that are more appealing than others, and have the specific car inspected. How a car was cared for can make all the difference in the next owner’s experience. Once you buy a used car, have your local dealer or repair show confirm that all relevant recall work has been conducted
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Should you buy a new GM car?

Yes. There is a clear difference in the quality and performance of the latest models to emerge from post-bankruptcy GM compared to those sold even just five years ago. The latest vehicles generally score well in our testing, with impressive fit and finish, competitive feature sets, and strong performance. The Buick Regal, Cadillac ATS, and Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, and Silverado are among the recent shining examples. But, across the brands, reliability remains inconsistent. As with buying from any automaker, it pays to check the latest road test scores, predicted reliability ratings, owner satisfaction ratings, and owner costs to make a truly informed decision.

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