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News   •   Nov 26, 2010 05:57 EST

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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Pontiac G8 is a performance-oriented large sedan available in base, GT or GXP trim. Base models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, four-way power front sport seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a seven-speaker CD sound system with XM Satellite Radio and an auxiliary audio jack. G8 GTs add a 6.0-liter V8 engine, summer performance tires, a limited-slip rear differential, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a premium 11-speaker Blaupunkt sound system with a six-CD/MP3 changer. The tarmac-terrorizing GXP version boasts a Corvette-sourced V8 as well as a unique front fascia, an upgraded sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels.

Much of the GT's equipment can be had on the base model via the Comfort and Sound Package. A Premium Package is also available, featuring leather upholstery and six-way power heated front seats. A sunroof can be selected as a stand-alone option. A Sport Package available for the GT adds 19-inch alloy wheels with summer tires and a sport steering wheel.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is a large crossover SUV available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. Standard equipment on the LS includes 17-inch steel wheels, eight-passenger seating, split-folding second- and third-row bench seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, full power accessories, OnStar and a six-speaker CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

The midrange LT trim level actually comes with the choice of two packages: the moderate 1LT and the more upscale 2LT. The 1LT package offers 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear parking sensors and remote vehicle start. Select the 2LT package and get all that plus Bluetooth, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker Bose system, rear audio system controls, seven-passenger seating featuring second-row captain's chairs, a power liftgate and a rearview camera integrated into the rearview mirror. The Traverse LTZ improves upon the 2LT with 20-inch wheels, leather seating, heated and cooled power front seats with driver memory settings, a navigation system with real-time traffic and a rearview camera.

Many of the features on upper trim levels can be added to the lower ones via optional packages. Also available are dual sunroofs and a rear-seat entertainment system. Should you wish to take advantage of the Traverse's 5,200-pound towing capacity, a trailering package is available on all trim levels and includes a heavy-duty engine cooler and trailer hitch.

Denver Barry LTD :Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Acura RL is a midsize luxury sedan available in three trim levels: RL, RL Technology Package and the eloquently named RL Technology Package with CMBS. The base RL comes very well stocked, with 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, 10-way power and heated front seats with driver memory settings, leather upholstery, a sunroof, a keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system with a six-disc CD/DVD-audio changer, satellite radio and both a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Technology Package adds adaptive headlights, a rearview camera, a GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate-control system, AcuraLink real-time weather reporting, a navigation system (with real-time traffic and traffic rerouting capabilities), ventilated front seats and voice-command functionality for climate, audio and navigation functions. The CMBS package adds adaptive cruise control, real wood instrument-panel trim and Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System technology (hence its name).

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Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive BMW 328i and all-wheel-drive 328i xDrive are powered by a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 335i and 335i xDrive get a different 3.0-liter inline-6, this one twin-turbocharged to produce 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 335d will be powered by a twin-turbocharged diesel engine rated at 265 hp and a pavement-rippling 425 lb-ft of torque. All models come standard with a six-speed manual shifter, while a six-speed automatic is optional. Paddle shifters can be added to the latter.

In performance testing, we've spurred a 328i sedan with the manual transmission from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while the heavier convertible is a few tenths of a second slower. We've tested a variety of 335i sedans and coupes, and they consistently do the sprint in just a shade over 5 seconds.

Despite its potent power plants, the 3 Series remains relatively fuel-efficient. The 328i gets 17-18 mpg in the city, 25-28 mpg on the highway and 20-21 mpg combined, depending on the body style and drivetrain. The 335i with the automatic achieves 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The manual transmission or all-wheel drive will lower those numbers slightly. BMW estimates fuel economy for the 335d will be an impressive 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

In general, the Tiguan doesn't stray too far from the typical compact SUV design. It seats five, is offered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive and has nearly all of the latest convenience and safety features. But the Tiguan does offer a neatly tailored Euro design as well as the high-grade cabin treatment for which Volkswagen has become known. It also boasts composed handling and a comfortable ride.

These aspects help the Tiguan stand out a bit at the crossover party. But is it enough? Well, for people who have bought VW products in the past, the Tiguan will no doubt be a hit. And those who like to drive will find its Teutonic driving dynamics appealing.

But there are some downsides, including a price tag at least a few thousand above comparable vehicles and a smallish cargo capacity. As such, you might find models like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 to be more practical. There's also the Nissan Rogue, which is similar in concept to the Tiguan but less expensive. Still, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan could be a nice alternative for discerning consumers looking for a little spice in a mostly bland segment.

Denver Barry Solutions : 2009 Chevrolet Traverse Review

Introduction

It's no great secret that recent history has seen a decline in the sales and appeal of truck-based SUVs as family movers. Nonetheless, no matter how practical and easy to use a minivan is, there's just no getting around the minivan stigma for many people. Automakers have reacted to this trend with the crossover SUV, a vehicle that combines the family-focused functionality and car-based dynamics of a minivan with the outgoing appearance and personality of an SUV. With the introduction of the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, General Motors now has four such vehicles built on the same "Lambda" platform, the others being the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook.

Having so many similar vehicles available might seem like overkill, but the quality and thoughtfulness of design that all the Lambda crossovers share has made every one of them a strong segment contender thus far. The brand-new Traverse seems poised to do just as well, if not better. To help differentiate it from the General's other crossover offerings, the Traverse shares some styling cues with the new Malibu, including the distinctive mesh front grille, vaguely circular taillights and the lines of the dual-cockpit dash that extend onto the doors. Overall, the interior styling of the Traverse's cabin, while largely similar to the Acadia's and Outlook's due to parts-sharing, offers an edgier design without losing any mass appeal.

Denver Barry Automotive Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Volvo XC90 is a premium midsize crossover SUV that comes in two main trims: 3.2 and V8. The XC90 3.2 seats five and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, power child safety locks for the rear doors, cloth upholstery, wood interior trim, an eight-way power driver seat with memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player and auxiliary audio jack. The XC90 V8 adds restyled 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, a third-row seat for seven-passenger capacity, a self-leveling rear suspension, leather upholstery, a six-CD changer, a power front passenger seat, an integrated child booster seat in the second row, a separate rear air-conditioner, upgraded instrumentation and a sunroof.

Denver Barry Trucks Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive BMW 328i and all-wheel-drive 328i xDrive are powered by a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 335i and 335i xDrive get a different 3.0-liter inline-6, this one twin-turbocharged to produce 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 335d will be powered by a twin-turbocharged diesel engine rated at 265 hp and a pavement-rippling 425 lb-ft of torque. All models come standard with a six-speed manual shifter, while a six-speed automatic is optional. Paddle shifters can be added to the latter.

In performance testing, we've spurred a 328i sedan with the manual transmission from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while the heavier convertible is a few tenths of a second slower. We've tested a variety of 335i sedans and coupes, and they consistently do the sprint in just a shade over 5 seconds.

Despite its potent power plants, the 3 Series remains relatively fuel-efficient. The 328i gets 17-18 mpg in the city, 25-28 mpg on the highway and 20-21 mpg combined, depending on the body style and drivetrain. The 335i with the automatic achieves 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The manual transmission or all-wheel drive will lower those numbers slightly. BMW estimates fuel economy for the 335d will be an impressive 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

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