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Denver Clarkson Barry

Blog post   •   Nov 12, 2010 04:52 EST

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Powertrains and Performance

The XC90 3.2 comes with a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine rated for 235 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The XC90 V8 gets a 4.4-liter V8 good for 311 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. XC90 3.2 models come standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive (AWD) is available as an option. The AWD system is standard on the XC90 V8. Towing capacity for both models is respectable at approximately 5,000 pounds. In performance testing, we clocked an XC90 V8 Sport at 7.4 seconds in the 0-60-mph sprint, which is about average for a V8-powered luxury crossover. Fuel economy ratings are a bit below average for this class of vehicle: The XC90 3.2 FWD is rated at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined, while the 3.2 AWD's combined rating drops to 16 mpg. The V8 is rated at a subpar 13/19/15 mpg.

Driving Impressions

A re-engineered suspension with lightweight aluminum pieces and a new steering system make the 2009 Nissan Murano a willing and surprisingly communicative partner in daily driving. No doubt the combination of these chassis upgrades and a new predictive (not reactive) all-wheel-drive system (first introduced by the Nissan Rogue) contribute to the Murano's genuine agility and overall feel of predictability. And, contrary to what some might expect, the 20-inch wheels and tires standard on the LE trim don't degrade the ride either.

The 3.5-liter V6 provides plenty of power for almost all situations. Of special note is the revised CVT, which incorporates adaptive shift control software and boasts ratio changes 30 percent faster than before. As a result, the reactions of the CVT are so good that Nissan decided that it's unnecessary to offer a manual-shift mode with this CVT -- and we totally agree.

Denver Barry :In late 2000, the A3 range was revised with new headlights and rear light clusters, other minor cosmetic changes, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox, on the 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW) 1.8 Turbo and the brand new 130 PS (96 kW) 1.9 TDI. Audi's ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) traction-control and brake force distribution computer became standard equipment. Sadly the A3 was never offered with the most powerful 1.9TDI engine, the 150bhp unit offered in the VW Golf GTI and SEAT Leon FR.

Although the Audi A3 was replaced in Europe during 2003, the first generation model continues to be sold in developing countries. After production of the first generation model stopped in Brazil, the retail price increased from R$60,000(US$30,000) to R$100,000 (US$50,000).

Denver Barry Cars

2008 Hyundai Genesis Overview

Introduction

If ever an automaker deserved a "Most Improved" award, it would be Hyundai. Within the last decade or so, the Korean company has gone from building cars that were the butt of cruel jokes to competent vehicles that just might be the cause of some sleepless nights for Honda and Toyota executives.

Now that Hyundai has proven it can keep up with Japanese carmakers when it comes to producing high-quality and reliable small and midsize cars at value prices, the company has set its sights on the large luxury sedan market with the 2009 Hyundai Genesis.

The Genesis matches up pretty closely with the Chrysler 300 in terms of wheelbase and overall length, but the Hyundai's exterior styling is less dramatic. If anything, the Genesis resembles a cleaner interpretation of a Benz S-Class. A 290-horsepower V6 is the entry-level engine, but the bigger news is a 4.6-liter V8 pumping out an impressive 375 hp. Both engines send their power to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. A well-tuned suspension, a full complement of the latest luxury and safety features and a striking, high-quality cabin complete the package.

With badges removed, the Genesis could easily pass as a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz, although we doubt many brand-conscious folks would give a Hyundai a second glance. Still, anyone shopping in the $30K-$40K entry-level luxury sport sedan segment would be remiss if they didn't give the 2009 Hyundai Genesis serious consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10 is offered as either a two-seat coupe or a soft-top roadster. For the standard price of admission, you get enormous forged-aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires measuring 275/35R18 in front and 345/30R19 in back. Inside, the Viper comes with race-inspired seats, power-adjustable pedals, full power accessories, a tilting steering wheel, keyless entry and an in-dash six-disc CD changer mated to a seven-speaker, 300-watt audio system. Since the Viper is more go than show, cosmetic and convenience options are scarce. Racing stripes, paint and wheel options, instrument-panel trim, a two-tone interior, navigation and satellite radio are all that is offered.

The big performance-enhancing option for the Viper is the American Club Racer (ACR) package, which is only available for the coupe variant. Though street legal, the ACR is clearly intended for track use. The package adds carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, including a massive wing mounted high above the tail, a front splitter, fender-mounted dive planes and additional underbody treatments. All of this aero work results in a claimed 1,000 pounds of downforce at 150 mph. Lighter wheels shod with stickier tires (both slightly wider up front), lighter brake rotors, a stiffer suspension with 14-way-adjustable shocks and deleted foglamps round out the ACR package. In the end, the ACR weighs in 46 pounds lighter than the standard coupe.

In the spirit of "you can never go too far," the ACR package can be further enhanced with the Hard Core Package. Generally, one expects additional performance to cost more, but the Hard Core option is free -- primarily because the package removes options that are not track-essential. Deletions include the radio, speakers, amplifier, trunk upholstery, hood pad and tire inflator. Weight savings amounts to an additional 42 pounds -- not a whole lot, but every ounce counts on the track.

Denver Barry Trucks : Driving Impressions

There's no going wrong with any of the engines available in the 2009 BMW 3 Series. The naturally aspirated base engine is a little light on low-end torque, but it moves the car smartly once underway and provides laudable fuel economy on the highway. In the BMW tradition, this inline-6 is velvety-smooth from idle to redline, yet the tailpipes emit a purposeful bark under hard acceleration. For the power-hungry, the twin-turbo 335i is a riot, providing the kind of acceleration formerly associated with the high-performance M3. Meanwhile, the late-availability 335d should provide face-flattening torque off the line while using the least fuel of the bunch.

No matter which model you choose, the 3 Series' world-class suspension, steering and brakes will provide hours of entertainment on twisty two-lane byways. At the same time, the 3 Series is a wonderful long-distance cruiser, delivering both a supple ride and a hushed cabin. The 3 Series' long-running double act is truly extraordinary: It speaks the language of driving enthusiasts, yet its upscale image and comfortable interior give it unrivaled mass appeal.

Denver Barry Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Dodge Charger is a large sedan available in SE, SXT, R/T and SRT8 trim levels. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while the SXT and R/T are available with all-wheel drive. Standard equipment on the SE includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry, cruise control and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Stepping up to the SXT nets you a larger V6 engine, 18-inch wheels (AWD only), a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, foglamps, heated mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, a power driver seat and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with satellite radio. The SXT popular equipment groups adds 18-inch alloy wheels (RWD), automatic headlamps, a power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Charger R/T includes all the SXT popular equipment group items as standard and adds the big 5.7-liter V8.

The SXT and the R/T share much of the same optional equipment. The protection group adds Bluetooth, self-sealing tires and side airbags. A sunroof, a touchscreen stereo interface with 30 GB of digital music storage, a rear-seat entertainment system with Sirius Backseat TV, and a navigation system with real-time traffic (the last two items require the popular equipment group on the SXT) are also available. The SXT DUB Edition adds 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, DUB exterior badges, embroidered leather seats and a 13-speaker Kicker sound system.

The R/T popular equipment package adds 18-inch chrome clad wheels, a compass, a trip computer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a surround-sound audio system. Xenon headlights are a stand-alone option on the R/T. The road/track performance package includes 20-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, heated performance sport seats and Alcantara upholstery. Bluetooth can be added to this package. The Daytona package is identical to the road/track package, but it adds a higher-performance exhaust, a unique exterior paint color and Daytona graphics. Chrysler says it will release another high-performance package later in the 2009 model year that will further enhance the Charger's steering, suspension and brakes.

The SRT8 is equipped a lot like the R/T with the road/track package, but adds the bigger Hemi V8, high-performance brakes, a hood scoop, a limited-slip rear differential and different exterior trim. The SRT8 Super Bee package adds 20-inch ultra-bright wheels, bright yellow or orange paint and Super Bee graphics.

Denver Barry Inc 2008 Hyundai Genesis Overview

Introduction

If ever an automaker deserved a "Most Improved" award, it would be Hyundai. Within the last decade or so, the Korean company has gone from building cars that were the butt of cruel jokes to competent vehicles that just might be the cause of some sleepless nights for Honda and Toyota executives.

Now that Hyundai has proven it can keep up with Japanese carmakers when it comes to producing high-quality and reliable small and midsize cars at value prices, the company has set its sights on the large luxury sedan market with the 2009 Hyundai Genesis.

The Genesis matches up pretty closely with the Chrysler 300 in terms of wheelbase and overall length, but the Hyundai's exterior styling is less dramatic. If anything, the Genesis resembles a cleaner interpretation of a Benz S-Class. A 290-horsepower V6 is the entry-level engine, but the bigger news is a 4.6-liter V8 pumping out an impressive 375 hp. Both engines send their power to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. A well-tuned suspension, a full complement of the latest luxury and safety features and a striking, high-quality cabin complete the package.

With badges removed, the Genesis could easily pass as a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz, although we doubt many brand-conscious folks would give a Hyundai a second glance. Still, anyone shopping in the $30K-$40K entry-level luxury sport sedan segment would be remiss if they didn't give the 2009 Hyundai Genesis serious consideration.

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