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2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i First Test Review: Not a Hatchback

With X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6 in showrooms, that conspicuous blank space in BMW’s X Series lineup has now been filled (rather obviously) with the X2, a vehicle BMW describes as a Sport Activity Coupe.

We regret to inform the automotive marketing cabal, but in our book, vehicles with four doors aren’t coupes, regardless of their roof lines. The EPA calls the 2018 BMW X2 a midsize car, and NHTSA calls it an SUV. The high seating position indeed feels like a premium compact SUV. But the way it drives certainly reminds us of a hatchback—and a rather good one.

Starting at $37,395 for a front-drive version, our fully kitted all-wheel-drive X2 xDrive28i (starting at $39,395) totaled $50,920 as tested. Before you spit your kombucha and say, “Not a chance I’d pay that for a tall BMW hatchback,” here’s a partial list of standard equipment on our test vehicle: all-wheel drive, remote entry, automatic wipers, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, a powered/programmable hatch lid, and LED head/fog/cornering/taillamps. Inside, you get a rearview camera, two-zone auto climate control, 10-way power front seats, and seven-speaker 205-watt audio with HD radio. And so on.

It’s not uncommon for press vehicles like this one to be loaded up so we can evaluate everything it has to offer. If you aren’t a fan of the Galvanic Gold metallic paint, your phone isn’t wireless chargeable, and you live in the Sun Belt and don’t need all-wheel drive, there’s $3,050 off the top right there. Let’s see what works and what doesn’t.

Following what’s become the auto industry’s best practice and worst-kept secret, the all-new X2 shares the same UKL2 architecture with, among others, BMW’s X1 and the Mini Countryman. (See also the architectural twins: Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 and Infiniti QX30S). The three BMW/Mini siblings share the same 105.1-inch wheelbase and have nearly the same track width, but what’s interesting is that the X2’s roof is actually 2.8 inches lower (3.2 inches with M Sport suspension) than the more traditionally styled X1 and 1.2–1.6 inches lower than the boxy Countryman. Although the X1 and Countryman do feel similar on the road, the X2 feels (and performs) separate and superior.

Despite similar scale and proportions, the X2 is also the sleekest-looking variant. Thin A-pillars mean forward visibility is excellent, but its short greenhouse does feel a little confining—a concession to the new design. There’s a narrowed view from the rearview mirror back through the abbreviated rear glass. Rear leg- and headroom are adequate, but for anyone taller than 6 feet, it will feel tight—especially when confronted by the knee-thumping hard plastic panels of the front seat backs.

The X2 offers 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats occupied, and folding down the near-flat 40/20/40 split rear seat backs ups that to 50.1 cubic feet. There’s also a false floor in the back that affords an additional 3.3 cubic feet beneath. To put all this in hatchback terms, one of our favorites, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, offers less volume with seats up (17.4 cubic feet) but more (53.7 cubic feet) with seats folded. Compared to crossovers, it’s a bit less than what you’d get with a subcompact Honda HR-V.

Performance

Like the X1 and Countryman, the X2 can be driven with BMW’s B48 2.0-liter direct-injected turbo-four through an eight-speed automatic. Depending on the U.S. application, the B48 engine makes from 181 horsepower (BMW 220i) to 255 horsepower (740e iPerformance). In the X2 xDrive28i, it makes 228 hp at 5,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,450 rpm. The EPA rates it for 21/31/25 mpg city/highway/combined. We didn’t perform our usual EQUA Real MPG testing, but the self-reported fuel economy seems to bear the EPA’s rating out. There are three drive modes (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport) and three transmission modes (Drive, Sport Drive, Manual).

At the drag strip, our X2 zipped to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, or a half second quicker than an identically powered (slightly heavier) X1 and a full second ahead of a Mini Cooper S Countryman All4. The X2 needed 14.9 seconds to reach the quarter mile at 92.2 mph. By comparison, a 2018 VW Golf GTI (DSG) needed 6.0 seconds to reach 60 mph and 14.5 to cover the quarter mile.

Funny thing is, despite their differing horsepower ratings (and different weights), the across-the-board acceleration of the X2 xDrive28i, X3 xDrive30i, and X4 xDrive28i vary by a 0.1 second or less. In all of these, however, turbo lag must be accepted, and drivers should be prepared. It’s the sort of thing one would notice when, say, timing a turn onto or across a busy boulevard. After applying the throttle at a dead stop, there is indeed a count of “one-thousand-one” before the turbo pressurizes.

Our X2 was comfort- and performance-enhanced with the $400 M Sport adjustable dampers (thus lowering it by 0.4 inch) and the $4,650 M SportX package (which includes 19-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R19 run-flat summer tires, a sport-tuned transmission, a sport-themed exterior package, gloss-black exterior window trim, power-folding mirrors, an intelligent key, an M steering wheel, sport front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, aluminum interior trim with gray chrome accents, a universal garage door opener, a powered panoramic moonroof with power sunshade, SiriusXM satellite radio with one year free, and an all-access subscription to BMW apps).

Those low-profile summer tires do add slight graininess and road noise to the otherwise supple and quiet real-world experience—but combined with the flat-cornering M Sport dampers, they also add to the X2’s performance. Nailing the firm brake pedal from 60 mph brought our X2 to a halt in just 111 feet (three times in a row); that’s 11–12 feet shorter than our previous X1, X3, or X4 tests. What’s more is that the X2’s best figure-eight time (25.9 seconds) and skidpad average lateral acceleration (0.92 g) undercut not only the X1, X3, and X4 (by 0.9–1.3 seconds and 0.07–0.11g) but also the VW GTI with its 26.1-second best lap and 0.91 g lateral average on the skidpad. It might look soft, but the X2 is a legit player.

So this wee hatchback—umm, sports activity vehicle—costs 50 grand. What would we cut to make it slightly less wallet busting? We’d definitely keep the options that make the X2 xDrive28i the hot-hatch performer that it is, but we could easily get along without the Premium package ($2,600), Harman Kardon audio ($875), parking sonar ($800), active safety systems ($700), the polarizing paint ($550), wireless phone charger, especially because an iPhone Plus doesn’t fit on the charger ($500), and M rear spoiler ($150). Scrap all that, and wince as you dump Apple CarPlay ($300): This hauls our X2’s price down to a more reasonable $44,445.

Although that’s still a big number for a top-tier hatchback, it’s hard to describe or assign a value to the sense that the X2 feels premium in a way that neither the X1 nor the Mini Countryman ever have. Just a mile behind the wheel had us saying, “Wow, this feels so different, so much better than I expected from the platform.” The steering is more sophisticated, the multitalented dampers are terrific, the interior packaging—though similar in layout to an X1—looks fresher and more upscale, and the exterior styling has won us over. (We’re big fans of the vintage BMW 3.0 CSL-inspired C-pillar roundel.)

Even non-car people went out of their way to ask questions about the X2. “Is that a new BMW?” they wondered. And in varying shades of breathlessness: “Do you like it?” It turns out the explanation is a rather complicated, “Yes.”

2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i
BASE PRICE $39,395
PRICE AS TESTED $50,920
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE 2.0L/228-hp/258-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,662 lb (58/42%)
WHEELBASE 105.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 172.2 x 71.8 x 59.7 in
0-60 MPH 6.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 14.9 sec @ 92.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 111 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.92 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.9 sec @ 0.68 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/31/25 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/109 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.79 lb/mile

The post 2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i First Test Review: Not a Hatchback appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2019 Chevrolet Malibu First Look: Staying Fresh to Fight Accord, Camry

Although Chevrolet is making a few mechanical changes to the newly refreshed Malibu, we’ll see mostly cosmetic updates when the midsize sedan arrives this fall. The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu features a freshened exterior design, improved technology, and a new trim level.

The Malibu receives a larger, more prominent grille for the 2019 model year. Now, a chrome bar splits the grille into two pieces, unlike on the old model, which had a body-colored bar. The chrome piece spills into the headlights, which themselves are also redesigned. In the rear, you’ll notice new taillights and a new valence that pushes the exhaust outlets toward the corners to accentuate the car’s width. A new RS model brings along special styling cues such as a black grille, black bowtie emblem, rear spoiler, 18-inch machined wheels, and dual-exhaust outlet. Expect this model to go for around $25,000, placing it between the middling LS and LT trims.

An 8-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet’s latest infotainment software is standard across the Malibu lineup, and a new 8-inch driver information display is available on the top Premier model. This trim also now comes standard with heated outboard rear seats. New wheel designs, as well as interior and exterior colors, are offered in the range. On the RS model, there are black cloth seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.

 

The Malibu retains its engine lineup for the new model year. A 1.5-liter turbo continues to make 163 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, but it’s now mated to a CVT instead of a six-speed automatic. Premier models soldier on with a nine-speed auto and 2.0-liter turbo-four churning out 250 hp and 260 lb-ft. And Chevrolet has no intention of getting rid of the hybrid. Its 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid system makes 182 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque.

With the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord completely redesigned for 2018, and an all-new 2019 Nissan Altima on the way, can these updates keep the Malibu competitive? We hope to get some seat time in the refreshed midsizer soon to find out.

The post 2019 Chevrolet Malibu First Look: Staying Fresh to Fight Accord, Camry appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2019 Chevrolet Cruze, Chevy Spark Get Midcycle Refresh

In addition to the updated Malibu, GM has unveiled refreshed versions of the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze and 2019 Chevrolet Spark, touting that the trio ushers in “the restyled face of Chevy cars.”

2019 Chevrolet Cruze

Like the Malibu, the Cruze gets a new grille and front fascia for 2019. The changes are subtle, but the upper and lower grilles are now wider with different horizontal slats. The headlights, though similar to last year’s lamps, have been redesigned with new LED piping. Chevy also added LED accents to the taillights on the Premier trim. The Cruze can still be had as either a sedan or hatchback, a body style Chevy says accounted for 20 percent of all Cruze sales in 2017, the hatch’s first full year of production.

Also new for 2019 is a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen running the latest Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system. LT and Premier models now get automatic climate control and remote start standard, and RS models receive black window trim, black emblems, and black 17-inch machined alloy wheels. New wheel designs are available across the lineup, and a new Umber interior color joins the list of available color schemes.

The Cruze’s turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 will carry over making the same 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, as will its available 1.6-liter turbodiesel I-4 that makes 137 hp and 240 lb-ft. The gas engine continues to be available paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel gets either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto.

2019 Chevrolet Spark

The Subcompact 2019 Chevrolet Spark’s face-lift is a bit more obvious compared to the Cruze, as the grille and lower front valance have been completely redesigned with a chrome frame that connects both intake openings. The headlights have also been upgraded with available projector-style lamps, while the available LED daytime running lights have been moved down. In back, the the Spark gets dual-element taillights to bring it in line with the rest of the refreshed Chevy car lineup.

The available Driver Confidence Package gains a new Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking feature that can automatically apply the brakes if a collision is imminent at speeds between 5-37 mph. Other new features include a standard Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two illuminated USB ports, and True White interior lighting. The 2019 Spark also gets new wheel designs and adds Orange Burst Metallic, Caribbean Blue Metallic, Raspberry, and Passion Fruit to its list of available colors. A 98-hp, 94-lb-ft naturally aspirated 1.4-liter I-4 continues to be the only engine option, paired to either a five-speed manual or CVT.

Both cars go on sale later this year, and pricing will be announced at a later date. Though the Cruze and Spark receive updates to keep them fresh for the next couple years, the Sonic subcompact may not be so lucky. The Wall Street Journal reports that GM will end production of the Sonic as early as this year due to U.S. consumer tastes shifting away from small cars toward SUVs and crossovers. Will the Cruze and Spark live to see another generation in this market? Only time will tell.

Source: GM, The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

 

The post 2019 Chevrolet Cruze, Chevy Spark Get Midcycle Refresh appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Adam Carolla’s 1972 BMW 3.0CS Race Car is Up for Grabs

Whipping vintage race cars in anger must be equal parts exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Sure, you’re using the cars for their intended purpose, but you also run the risk of obliterating a piece of history should you meet mechanical failure or overestimate the length of that straight. For this, the smart move is to pick up a car that is period-correct but was never an official “works” car.

If you want a classic BMW racer but don’t want to risk crashing a prized original BMW Motorsport example, the auctioneers over at Bring a Trailer have Adam Carolla’s 1972 BMW 3.0CS Group 2 car up for grabs. According to the listing, the car was converted to race-spec shortly after its initial purchase. It was campaigned under the Heinz-Jorgen Dahmen race team, and imported to the U.S. at a later date. Once in the States, the new owner had the Bimmer converted to Group 2 specification, which included the handsome extended wheel arches on the car today. In 2011, comedian and car nut Adam Carolla purchased the car.

Power comes from a more modern S38 3.5-liter inline-six ripped from either an E28 M5 or E24 M6. Carolla claims the power is somewhere around 400 hp, a mighty figure for a naturally aspirated six-cylinder. The sixer drives the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission.

Considering its racing history, this Group 2 should be welcomed at the majority of vintage racing events. Head over to Bring a Trailer to park this 1972 BMW 3.0CS Group 2 in your race fleet.

The post Adam Carolla’s 1972 BMW 3.0CS Race Car is Up for Grabs appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Here’s Why Chevrolet Silverado Medium-Duty Trucks Get the Camaro’s Flowtie

GM recently released its medium-duty Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD chassis cab trucks after an absence of nearly 10 years. One feature that many probably didn’t notice is the big flowtie right in the middle of the grille.

First introduced a few years ago on the Camaro Z/28, the flowtie was created out of necessity. Engineers wanted more airflow to the engine bay, so they removed the traditional bowtie’s gold fill (just leaving a chrome outline), resulting in lower engine coolant and oil temperatures during extended track usage. Currently, the Camaro ZL1 comes equipped with the flowtie.

During Camaro Z/28 testing, engineers noticed that the traditional bowtie would deflect air away from the radiator, potentially reducing the amount of engine cooling during extreme driving.

The medium-duty chassis cab trucks are powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 pumping out 350 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque, and like most turbodiesel engines, these units produce lots of heat. In order to provide the maximum amount of airflow and cooling, designers dove into the Camaro’s parts bin and utilized its famed flowtie.

“The flowtie is an elegant solution. And it’s going to work on the Silverado exactly the way it does on Camaro,” stated Design Manager Kevin O’Donnell, in a release.

Besides the flowtie, GM’s medium-duty trucks also get features found in the new 2019 Silverado 1500 including wireless cell phone charging, Bluetooth, a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, OnStar, Commercial Link, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

GM will begin production late this year and pricing will be available this summer.

Source: GM

The post Here’s Why Chevrolet Silverado Medium-Duty Trucks Get the Camaro’s Flowtie appeared first on Motor Trend.

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If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!

CAR CLUBS & REPAIR SHOPS:

Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We recently offered an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers - We Value Car Clubs and Repair Shops!