We take a different approach to auto reviews here at MPGomatic.com … Our unique focus on fuel efficiency, driveability, usability, and in-cabin technology cuts to the chase with an unbiased approach. Concise auto review video segments put you behind the wheel, as they deliver the look, feel and sounds of each model. Corresponding articles provide detail on driving conditions and model specifics.
Remove the trademark grille and telltale badges from the 2011 Buick Regal CXL and you’d be hard-presssed to know what it is as you stroll up to it. Slip behind the wheel, and you might guess you’re in a European sport sedan … which, in fact, you are. Beneath the badges, the Regal is an Opel Insigna. While the engine might come from America (and the transmission from China), the Buick Regal is built in Russelsheim, Germany. Bottom line? This is the best handling Buick. Evah.
The 2011 Chevy Cruze ECO sedan is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in General Motors 2011 lineup, outside of the extended-range electric Chevy Volt. When equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, the Cruze ECO is capable of gas mileage that rivals many of the current hybrid cars on the market. The combination of a tiny turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, advanced aerodynamics, and an optimized manual gear set (with overdrive) deliver excellent real-world fuel economy, at a very attractive price point.
The 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is built to haul, in every sense of the word, with an optional 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine that delivers endless torque and solid fuel economy. B20 biodiesel compatibility allows the Silverado HD to run domestically produced fuel.
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is both futuristic and familiar, with a range-extended Voltec drivetrain designed to provide efficiency, as well as flexibility. Top off the battery overnight and you’ll have approximately 40 miles of pure electric range in the morning. If you should exceed the Volt’s range before recharging, a fuel-efficient gasoline-powered engine will kick in to provide electricity to power the electric motor.
The Ford Fiesta is a game-changing front-wheel drive (FWD) subcompact. Available as both a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback, the Fiesta goes to battle with the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and Nissan Versa and emerges victoriously. Simply put, the Fiesta sets the standard for fit, finish, ride, and handling in its class. Despite the car’s diminutive dimensions, the Fiesta doesn’t feel like a tiny car once you slip behind the wheel, with in-cabin amenities above and beyond what one would expect in a subcompact.
With the F-150 EcoBoost, Ford has wagered that America will accept a V6 engine in a full-size pickup truck. They haven’t just bet big, they’ve bet smart. The turbocharged, direct-injected EcoBoost engine rewrites the rules of the game.
Although the Ford Transit Connect has been around for nearly a decade in Europe, its entrance in America has opened up an entirely new market. The Transit Connect provides an impressive amount of cargo room along with a superior ride and maneuverability when compared to a conventional commercial van.
Though purists may be hard-pressed to call it a true sports car, the two-seat Honda CR-Z is the sportiest hybrid to hit the road in 2011. With a heritage that includes the Honda CR-X Si pocket rocket and ground-breaking Insight hybrid, the CR-Z has a twisty path to follow. While it’s not as fast as the CR-X Si nor as remarkably fuel-efficient as the original Insight, the CR-Z hybrid is an entertaining ride when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. If you like to run through the gears and must have a hybrid, the CR-Z is the only game in town.
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is the value play in a crowded category, from its 100,000 mile powertrain warranty through a range of features not commonly found in a compact car. With 40 miles per gallon (MPG) highway the new norm for compacts, it takes more than just mileage to compete in the segment.
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata wraps a remarkably fuel-efficient gasoline direct injected (GDI) 2.4-liter inline four with a host of technology in a head-turning California-bred design. The competition has been put at notice. Hyundai’s stylish sedan has leapt to the front of the pack.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most refined Grand Cherokee to date, with a beautifully executed interior, superior ride, and a base FlexFuel V6 engine. When run on domestic E85 fuel, the FlexFuel Grand Cherokee helps in the quest to eliminate our reliance on imported oil, without any sacrifice in comfort, delivering true 4×4 off-road capability in a luxury SUV.
The top-of-the-line 2011 Kia Sorento SX delivers a remarkable amount of bang for the buck. Competitors in the three-row crossover segment may have a tough time matching the Sportage SX feature-for-feature, without enduring the sticker bloat of option packages.
The aggressively-styled 2011 Kia Sportage stakes out a bold space in the highly competitive five-seat crossover market. Sharing its platform with the Hyundai Tuscon, the Sportage plays the design card, and trumps the competition with features for the dollar. This one is stuffed with all the goodies, in a quest to one-up the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The 2011 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost takes the big American luxury car to a new level. Although it lags behind the European turbo-diesels when it comes to fuel economy, the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine provides a remarkable rush of power and a glimpse of what’s to come. It’s time to bid adieu to the V8-powered luxury barge. The MKT EcoBoost is nothing less than an executive jet on wheels, with a luxurious ride for six or seven.
The luxurious 2011 Lincoln MKX is packed with safety features and technology, including the innovative MyLincoln Touch flat-screen display that dispenses with the need for a clutter of conventional buttons and knobs. The steering wheel’s dual five-way buttons and voice control allow the driver to take charge of the system without lifting a hand.
The mid-size 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedan shares a proven platform with the Ford Fusion Hybrid and adds an array of luxury features. Lincoln is looking to spur increased acceptance of hybrid technology in the mid-size luxury sedan market by offering the MKZ Hybrid at the same price as the non-hybrid MKZ sedan.
With the 2011 Mazda2, the experience adds up to more than the sum of the parts. While not a segment leader in either fuel-economy or straight-line performance, the Mazda2 delivers on both thrift and thrills. It’s more fuel-efficient than the official numbers might suggest and fun to toss about. With an enticingly low sticker price (starting at just over $14,000), it’s more slot car than shoe box.
Dollar-for-dollar, the 2011 Mazdaspeed3 delivers surprising levels of both performance and fuel efficiency. The official numbers fail to tell the true tale. To the unknowing, the Speed3 looks like a Mazda3, with cosmetic touches; it’s what’s under the skin that makes all the difference.
The 2011 Mercedes Benz E350 BlueTEC is unique among five-passenger luxury sedans, delivering an unmatched combination of fuel efficiency, European design, luxury, and endless torque. While smaller hybrids may best it for mileage in the city, the E350 BlueTEC was born to cruise the open road at speed in comfort, safety, and style.
The all-wheel-drive (AWD) version of the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi just might be the most attractively designed affordable sedan on the market for folks with a sense of style and the need to deal with adverse weather conditions. Although the Kizashi is clearly intended to appeal to those who appreciate a sporting ride, the Kizashi AWD is exclusively fitted with a CVT.
SUVs are particularly well-suited to clean diesel engines, with their gobs of torque and legendary fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, American auto manufacturers have been hesitant to commit to diesel SUVs, other than a handful of short-lived exceptions. The luxurious diesel-powered 2011 VW Touareg TDI hammers home the facts, with a cruising range born for the open road.