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News   •   Nov 12, 2010 04:50 EST

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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV is available in three trim levels: 2.5X, 2.5X Limited, 2.5XT and 2.5XT Limited. The Forester 2.5X is equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories and a four-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. The 2.5XT model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, roof rails, a sunroof, a tilt/telescoping steering column, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, reclining rear seats and a six-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer. The 2.5XT Limited throws in heated mirrors, automatic climate control, a power driver seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.

Optional for the 2.5X is the Premium Package, which adds 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a power sunroof and a reclining rear seatback. When equipped with the Premium package, the 2.5X is also eligible for one of two additional option packages. The all-weather package includes heated side mirrors, a wiper de-icer and heated front seats. Going with the 2.5X Limited gets you the all-weather package's equipment plus foglights, a power driver seat, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker CD audio system with a six-CD changer. There are no available options on the 2.5XT. The Forester 2.5X Limited and 2.5XT Limited, however, can be outfitted with a navigation system.

2009 Infiniti FX35 Vehicle Overview

Introduction

Five years after its debut, the midsize luxury SUV that Infiniti deemed the "Bionic Cheetah" has morphed into a slightly different animal. While the redesigned 2009 FX35 keeps many of its lean, catlike lines, it now features a longer nose, a restyled black chrome grille and chrome-plated side vents -- an aggressive, controversial look that has drawn both praise and criticism for resembling an aquatic creature (think shark, piranha, catfish) as much as a wild feline.

Underneath the new styling, the second-generation FX (the V8-powered FX50 is also new) rides on an updated platform whose basic architecture is shared with Infiniti's G35 and EX35, so the FX's nimble, carlike handling comes as no surprise. And while the engine underneath the hood of this voluptuous machine is the same size as the one in the previous generation, this year's 3.5-liter V6 cranks out an additional 28 horsepower, though torque output has dipped slightly. Power is sent to the rear wheels or an all-wheel-drive system via a new seven-speed automatic transmission.

Perhaps more significant is the number of technology features available in the 2009 FX35. It's replete with sensors and systems and doodads that could practically control the car on its own, from a new system dubbed Distance Control Assist (DCA), which helps to release the throttle and apply the brakes in heavy traffic, to Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), which can stop the car completely, then resume a preset speed. There's also a new hard-drive-based navigation system that can store music files, and a trick camera-based parking system as well.

The five-passenger 2009 FX35 starts at nearly $3,000 more than last year's model, and the packages that include the fanciest gadgets inflate the price tag considerably. Furthermore, the FX35's passenger space and cargo capacity are rather unimpressive. There are other options in this price range that serve up similarly luxurious accoutrements along with added utility. Both the Acura MDX and Cadillac SRX, for instance, offer more cargo space and seven-passenger seating. However, neither has the visual impact and performance capability of the Infiniti. Only BMW seems willing to target this niche, with its X6 xDrive 35i. It performs similarly, yet has seating for just four passengers and starts at about $10,000 more. For those who want a sporty and aggressively styled crossover with the latest and greatest in automotive technology, the 2009 Infiniti FX35 is a solid choice.