• GM sales are trending upward across the board for 2013.
  • Compelling products like the Cadillac ATS are fueling the surge.
  • Promising new cars are in the pipeline, including the 46-mpg Chevrolet Cruze Diesel.

Sales of General Motors cars and trucks are up nearly 10 percent for 2013 -- and not because of crazy incentives and rebates. Quite simply, GM sales are up because the company is making a lot of good cars these days, and smart car shoppers are taking notice. With strong new products in a variety of segments, the Detroit stalwart has much to offer if you're in the market for a new car. We'll run through a few of the hottest sellers here.

Cutting-edge Compacts

Small-car sales are up a whopping 27 percent at GM this year, led by double-digit spikes for the Buick Verano, Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Cruze. The Verano is a uniquely efficient take on the luxury-sedan formula, pairing the fuel economy and agility of a small car with premium styling and features. Its distant relative, the compact Cruze sedan, has been around for a few years, but it continues to contend on the strength of its smooth, quiet ride and excellent handling. As for the sub-compact Sonic, it offers unusually refined driving dynamics and one of the coolest gauge designs; also, it comes in either sedan or -- our favorite -- hatchback.

Fuel economy is always a consideration for small-car shoppers, and GM's hot-selling compacts are impressive here, too, with the Verano topping out around 30 miles per gallon and the others reaching 40 mpg or more. Be on the lookout for an upcoming turbodiesel version of the Cruze, which is EPA-rated at 46 mpg highway.

Do-it-all Crossover SUVs

GM's long-running trio of 3-row full-size crossovers -- the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia -- received a thorough rejuvenation for 2013, including new styling inside and out. Not surprisingly, GM sales in the full-size crossover segment have taken a turn for the better: The Traverse is up 14 percent; the Acadia is up 15 percent; and the Enclave is up 19 percent.

It's not just about the styling, though; we're also enamored of the new user-friendly touchscreen interface in these crossovers. Called MyLink in the Traverse and IntelliLink in the others, this interface mimics portable devices such as the iPad with its colorful screen and large touch-activated buttons. These three crossovers may have been getting a little long in the tooth before; however, thanks to the thoughtful updates, they're right back in the hunt.

Cadillac Is Crushing It

Of all the GM brands, Cadillac leads the way with its whopping 28.6 percent sales gain compared to this time last year. The last time Cadillac posted such a significant increase was in 1976.

So what's shaking at GM's luxury division? There's the perennially strong-selling Cadillac SRX 2-row luxury crossover, of course, which features a robust standard V6 for segment-leading power. But the real star is the new ATS compact luxury sedan, a BMW 3 Series fighter that has wowed critics and shoppers alike with its combination of show-stopping styling, athletic handling and powerful, fuel-efficient engines. We're partial to the ATS Turbo, which gives you eager acceleration along with a frugal 31 mpg on the highway.

And don't forget about the midsize CTS sedan, as an all-new model is due this year with myriad improvements across the board.

What it means to you: GM is on the comeback trail, and its robust vehicle roster should ensure strong consumer interest for years to come.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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