2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Episode 3011 , Episode 3028
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

For decades, Detroit’s automakers have been either unable or unwilling to sell world-class small cars in America. Too often their small cars were dumbed down to meet low cost and low expectations of a public that sees them only as basic transportation. Now, finally, we’re starting to see some of the great small cars Detroit builds for other countries come here. First it was the subcompact Ford Fiesta. And now it’s this car, the compact Chevrolet Cruze.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is already sold in some 60 markets other than North America, where it plays the role not of commuter car, but of mainstream family sedan. So, while technically a compact, like the Cobalt before it, the Cruze is big for its ilk. At 181.0 inches in overall length, it’s six inches longer than a Toyota Corolla.

From its familiar two-tiered Chevy grille to its thickset back-end, the Cruze exudes a taut international profile and an overall look that’s substantial, but also very safe. Substantial too are Cruze wheels and tires with standard 16-inch and optional 17s and 18s.

The Cruze powertrain line-up will surprise many. Most trims are fitted with a trick 1.4-liter variable-timing, turbocharged I-4 rated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Only the base Cruze LS uses a non-turbo 1.8-liter ECOTEC with 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque.

The LS and high mileage Cruze ECO models come with a standard six-speed manual, while others start and end with a six-speed manual-mode automatic.

That provides Cruze with Government Fuel Economy ratings of 24 city/36 highway using regular gas.  We saw a solid 31.5 in real-world driving. Cruze Energy Impact Score is a modest 12.2 barrels of oil consumed per year, with a smallish Carbon Footprint of 6.7 annual tons of CO2 emitted.

But hypermilers will be more interested in the Cruze ECO due later. With a slew of aero upgrades, it will bare a highway rating of 42, more than the smaller Ford Fiesta. There are even more surprises inside.

The interior of the Chevy Cruze is a real game changer. Not only is it very quiet, and near mid-size in roominess, the quality of materials is impressive. Instead of acres of hard plastics, you’ve got soft materials on the face of the dash and the doors. And over here, around the center console and the center stack, expensive-look ‘piano black’ accents. That’s not what I would expect to find in a moderately priced compact car.

This edition of Chevy’s cockpit interior theme is very handsome, although some felt slightly penned in by it. The easy scan motorcycle-like gauge cluster with trip computer screen fits well. Seats are comfortable, nicely bolstered, with good lower back support. Our 2LT trim added leather and heat. All Cruze models are well-equipped with air, six-speaker CD/XM-stereo, keyless entry, and lots of cupholders and storage options. And for safety, Cruze wears OnStar and an impressive 10 airbags, including two rear seat side bags.

The rear seat offers ample room for three, although leg room is less than we’d hoped. But fold the 60/40 seat backs and the trunk’s already huge 15 cubic feet of space grows exponentially. So it may be world-class in design, but does it drive that way too?

With no notable turbo lag, initial throttle response is great. But, tall gearing bogs things down from there. Still, a 0-60 of 9.2 seconds is within expectations for an economy sedan. The quarter mile passed in a lazy 17.1 seconds at 82 miles per hour with mostly smooth shifts.

High strength steel gives the Cruze a solid platform to mount a front strut, and rear torsion beam suspension. Engineers added a centering Watts Linkage, here called Z-Link, for added roll and lateral control. Traction and Stability Control are standard.

Surprise again, the Cruze scoots through the cones with the kind of agility you expect from a car designed for Europe and beyond. Understeer is moderate and consistent, with good steering feedback.  The driver can actually concentrate on having a little fun. Overall, Cruze handling is safe and solid.

The Cruze is fitted with ABS front discs and rear drums standard, with all-disc an option. Our car’s disc/drum combo averaged an acceptable 129 feet from 60 to zero. Reaction was stable and the pedal reasonably firm. On normal roads, Cruze ride quality is also solid. It conveys the quietude of a premium-level vehicle. Cruze prices are higher than the outgoing Cobalt, but they’re still very reasonable.  The Cruze LS starts at $16,995, the LT at $18,895, and the LTZ at $22,695.

The success of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is critical to GM’s long-term global prosperity. Fortunately, it beat all of our expectations, and then some. It’s a well-equipped, roomy, high quality, small car that should make even the most dyed-in-the-wool import buyers take a long and hard second look.

 

Specifications

  • Engine: 1.4-Liter Variable-timing, Turbocharged I-4
  • Horsepower: 138
  • Torque: 148 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 9.2 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 17.1 Seconds @ 82 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 129 Feet
  • EPA: 24 MPG City/ 36 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 31.5 MPG
  • Energy Impact 12.2 Barrels Oil/Yr:
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.7 Tons/Yr
2024 BMW X6

2024 BMW X6

BMW Improves The Original SUV Coupe

Episode 4337
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the BMW X6 arrived for 2008, coupe-like SUVs really weren’t even a thing. After all, isn’t a high, squared roof all but required to even be called an SUV? Well, forget that! Sloped roof utility vehicles surely are a thing now, and that’s mostly thanks to the X6, which is now in its third generation and ever more the trendsetter.

This 2024 BMW X6 may not qualify as all new, but the third generation of this Sports Activity Coupe has been thoroughly updated with increased power, better style, more standard content, and improved tech.

The X6 is, of course, the more stylish coupe-like version of BMW’s X5 midsize crossover, and they share many of the same updates. Exterior changes for this sloped roof utility include a revised face with slimmer headlights. And since so many people add the M Sport package to their X6s, BMW has now made it standard; it includes a big octagonal insert below the grill with large air intakes, exaggerated vent-style fender trim front and rear, side skirts, and lots of black accents. 20-inch wheels are also standard, 22s available.

2024 BMW X6 3/4 Front
2024 BMW X6 Roof
2024 BMW X6 Profile
2024 BMW X6 3/4 Rear
2024 BMW X6 Badge
2024 BMW X6 3/4 Front2024 BMW X6 Roof2024 BMW X6 Profile2024 BMW X6 3/4 Rear2024 BMW X6 Badge

Inside, the big news is a heavily revised dash with BMW’s latest curved display that includes a 12.3-inch driver info screen, and a 14.9-inch central display powered by iDrive 8. So, while there is still a central controller, you can use it as just a touchscreen. The dash is covered with new material. It adds an ambient light bar, and slimmer air vents. More standard content here in the base xDrive40i for ’24 includes Harmon Kardon audio and a panoramic moonroof. The M Sport package adds an M Sport steering wheel and aluminum trim, and some finely stitched and comfortable sport seats covered in BMW’s latest Sensafin vegan material.

The severely sloped roof does impede access to the rear seats somewhat, but there’s plenty of adult-size headroom and legroom once you get settled inside, along with dedicated climate controls. At 27.4 cubic-feet, cargo space is way less than the X5’s 33.9; but there’s still plenty of floorspace for luggage. You’re really just losing capacity for tall, bulky items. Max space with seats folded is a fine 59.6 cubic-feet.

The inline-six sounds powerful and delivered lots of low-end torque at our Mason Dixon test track.

Power for this xDrive40i comes from an upgraded 3.0-liter inline-six turbo engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology; output is now 375 horsepower, up 40; torque gains are more significant, an additional 51 lb-ft. to 383, as much as 398 when getting full electric assistance. The available V8 now gains 48-volt boost too, and gets a name change from M50i to M60i. Its horsepower rating actually stays the same though at 523, but there are upgraded turbos with improved airflow that quickens response. Both engines work with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

The inline-six sounds powerful and delivered lots of low-end torque at our Mason Dixon test track. So much so, even with all-wheel drive and grippy 22-inch tires, we were spinning up at the line. And even with that, we managed to hit 60 in just 4.4-seconds. Shifts were both fast and firm, helping us complete the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 miles-per-hour.

2024 BMW X6 Dashboard
2024 BMW X6 Front Seat
2024 BMW X6 Shifter
2024 BMW X6 Rear Seat
2024 BMW X6 Trunk
2024 BMW X6 Dashboard2024 BMW X6 Front Seat2024 BMW X6 Shifter2024 BMW X6 Rear Seat2024 BMW X6 Trunk

The X6 comes standard with the Adaptive M suspension with electromagnetically controlled dampers, which had it feeling quite spry through our handling course. There was very little body roll; and despite a numb feel, steering was quick and accurate. The wide footprint provides a very stable platform that seemed more than ready for whatever we threw at it.

There was great stability in our panic braking runs as well, along with an average stopping distance of just 96 feet from 60 miles-per-hour. Nice, firm pedal feel too. We expected all that great performance at the track but didn’t expect it to be delivered with a ride quite this smooth for the drive home. This split personality enabled by BMW’s comprehensive drive mode setup.

Pricing for this xDrive40i starts at $75,495 and that’s more than enough X6 for our money; if you absolutely need the M60i’s V8, you’ll have to pony up at least $95,295.

Coupe-styled SUVs are not for everyone, but if you’re okay with letting practicality take a bit of a backseat to style, you might as well get the original, as the 2024 BMW X6 is better than ever and continues to set the standard for stylish performance-oriented SUVs.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 3.0-liter inline-six turbo
  • Horsepower: 375
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft
  • EPA: 22 City | 26 Highway | 24 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.9 seconds at 108 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 96 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 24.6 MPG (Premium)