2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Episode 3011 , Episode 3028
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"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.



  • 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
2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined