Ouissam Youssef

Ouissam Youssef

Blog post   •   Oct 05, 2010 06:42 EDT

About Ouissam Youssef

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Hummer H3T is a midsize crew-cab pickup truck that's available in two trim levels: base and the more powerful Alpha. The base H3T features 16-inch steel wheels, full skid plates, air-conditioning, cruise control, OnStar telematics, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry, full power accessories and a six-speaker CD stereo with satellite radio. The Alpha adds the V8 engine, alloy wheels and embroidered headrests.

Two packages are available for the base H3T. The Adventure Package adds an off-road suspension, a shorter-geared transfer case for better hill-climbing and descending, front and rear locking differentials, 33-inch off-road tires and a Monsoon audio system with a six-CD changer. The Luxury Package comes with the Monsoon system, leather upholstery, power and heated front seats and oversized floor mats. The H3T Alpha's oddly named Alpha Leather Package has the features of the Luxury Package along with chrome wheels and exterior trim. Major options for both include a power sunroof, an in-dash six-CD changer, a navigation system and a rearview camera.

2009 Pontiac Vibe Vehicle Overview

Introduction

In the past, small wagons were practical and affordable and not much more. If you wanted driving excitement, you were pretty much out of luck. The Pontiac Vibe, however, was one of the first entries in a new class of tall, compact sport wagons to change all that. Sure, it had the practical parts covered via an elevated driving position, remarkable passenger room, a versatile cargo area and impressive fuel economy. But it also had sporty styling, respectable performance and a cool-looking interior.

Once again a semi-identical twin to the Toyota Matrix, the redesigned-for-2009 Pontiac Vibe shares the Toyota's interior and mechanical components -- a genealogy that promises long-term reliability and durability. Unlike the identical cabins (furnished by Toyota), the exterior styling is unique to each model, with the Pontiac retaining its trademark dual grille theme. Pontiac says the steering and suspension were also specifically tuned for the Vibe.

In addition to the new styling, the '09 Vibe (available in base, AWD and GT trims) brings a new engine for all but the base trim. Replacing the high-revving but ill-suited 1.8-liter engine in previous GTs is a torquey 2.4-liter four-cylinder. It's the same one that's used in the Toyota Camry and Scion xB and is perfect in the real world for cut-and-thrust city traffic and freeway merging. The previous base-level 1.8-liter inline-4 carries over, though it's been heavily updated to provide a bit more power. All-wheel drive is available again, as well.

Ouissam Youssef Owner :Powertrains and Performance

With the exception of the XRS, all 2009 Toyota Corollas are motivated by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 132 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. You can look forward to 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway EPA ratings with either transmission.

Selecting the Corolla XRS entitles you to a 2.4-liter engine good for 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy drops significantly, with a 22/30 rating for both transmissions.

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Powertrains and Performance

The Challenger SE is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 250 hp and 250 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission for the SE is a four-speed automatic. The R/T sports a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that makes 370 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a five-speed automatic, with a six-speed manual available -- with the latter gearbox, the 5.7 makes 5 more hp. The SRT8 comes with a 6.1-liter V8 packing 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, with transmission choices mirroring those of the R/T.

Dodge claims the R/T will rocket to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. We've timed an SRT8 with the automatic at 5.1 seconds to 60 and 13.2 seconds in the quarter-mile. Fuel mileage estimates range from 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the SE down to 13 city/18 highway for the SRT8.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the roomy cabin of the Traverse is an attractive layout in a two-tone color scheme with brushed aluminum and chrome trim. The instrument panel consists of dual gauges featuring bright white numbers on a black background that are simple and easy to read. One of our few complaints is that the audio and climate controls consist of too many small and similar-looking buttons and not enough knobs.

Depending on the configuration chosen, the Traverse seats either seven (with second-row captain's chairs) or eight (split-folding second-row bench seat) passengers in three rows. The first- and second-row seats are quite comfortable and supportive, and the split-folding third-row seat ? which is often a kids-only zone in traditional SUVs -- can accommodate adults in reasonable comfort. Maximum cargo capacity is a generous 117 cubic feet with second- and third-row seats folded down, and even with all three rows of seating in use, there are still a useful 24 cubic feet of luggage space.

Ouissam Youssef Benefit : Interior Design and Special Features

Thanks to some much-needed improvements last year, the Charger's cabin features materials of pleasing quality and simple controls. The styling is on the bland side, however. The seats are very comfy, and those included with the road/track package and in the SRT8 provide lots of snug lateral support. The Charger's large size and long wheelbase translate into a generously sized cabin with plenty of rear legroom. Unfortunately, the Charger's sloping roof line makes rear-seat access more challenging than in other sedans, and rear headroom is a bit less than normal as well. The trunk can hold 16 cubic feet of luggage, an average figure for a large sedan.

Driving Impressions

With an abundance of torque and rear-drive power reaching the asphalt, the V8-powered 2009 Dodge Charger R/T delivers grins and giggles in equal measure for enthusiasts who appreciate neck-snapping thrust as well as the extra utility of a four-door-sedan body style. However, most of that fun is had in a straight line, as even in SRT8 and R/T forms, the Charger's light and uncommunicative steering doesn't provide much confidence. With the Charger, you'll never forget you're piloting a large 2-ton sedan.

In terms of engines, the 3.5-liter V6 is a decent choice for those on a tight budget, but keep in mind that it's not particularly powerful or fuel-efficient. Considering the R/T's horsepower upgrades this year, it's now the obvious pick of the regular Charger litter. The SRT8 is still the top dog, but its much higher price is hard to justify considering the relatively minor increase in performance over the R/T.

Ouissam Youssef E-mail 2009 Bentley Brooklands Vehicle Overview

Introduction

When a company with the lineage and prestige of Bentley introduces a new model, car fanatics the world over take note. They're bound to get even more excited when the company's latest luxury coupe displays classic Bentley styling cues -- along with a radically sloping roof line -- on an improved version of the Azure chassis. However, only spoiled Hollywood celebrities -- or those fortunate few with disposable incomes to match -- can afford to place an order for the limited-edition 2009 Bentley Brooklands.

Bentley named its latest handcrafted luxury creation after a famed English prewar auto racing circuit, which was the world's first banked track. In keeping with Bentley's race-winning heritage, the Brooklands packs an engine that gives axle-twisting torque a whole new meaning. The 6.8-liter twin-turbo V8 comes from the Brooklands' stablemates, the Arnage and the Azure. But it's updated with quicker-spooling turbochargers, less restrictive intake and exhaust systems, a revised camshaft and recalibrated engine management. Official output is 530 hp and 774 pound-feet of torque. While that may seem like overkill, bear in mind that the V8 has some serious poundage to haul around .The Brooklands is more than 17 feet long -- enough to swallow a full-sized SUV whole -- and weighs almost 3 tons.

With a base price of $348,085, why would anyone buy a Brooklands instead of a decadent executive luxury car, say, or an ultra-high-performance sports car? The answer is that this Bentley makes a statement the others don't. It's a modern representation of that bygone automotive era when women wore long dresses and cars had skirts. Back then, affluent gentlemen desired a large, luxurious coupe that was supremely dignified, yet powerful enough to be the king of virtually any highway. Today, whether the driver wears a tailored suit to the boardroom or a tracksuit to the set of a hip-hop video, the Brooklands brings the same goods -- all one needs to do is come up with enough cash to match its stratospheric price tag.

Ouissam Youssef LLC Powertrains and Performance

The Challenger SE is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 250 hp and 250 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission for the SE is a four-speed automatic. The R/T sports a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that makes 370 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a five-speed automatic, with a six-speed manual available -- with the latter gearbox, the 5.7 makes 5 more hp. The SRT8 comes with a 6.1-liter V8 packing 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, with transmission choices mirroring those of the R/T.

Dodge claims the R/T will rocket to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. We've timed an SRT8 with the automatic at 5.1 seconds to 60 and 13.2 seconds in the quarter-mile. Fuel mileage estimates range from 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the SE down to 13 city/18 highway for the SRT8.

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