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Press Release   •   Nov 26, 2010 05:55 EST

Denver Barry Automobile

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.

Powertrains and Performance

The base engine is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 290 hp and 264 pound-feet of torque. The upgraded powertrain features a 4.6-liter V8 with 375 hp and 333 lb-ft. Those figures are with premium fuel; on regular, the numbers are 368 and 324, respectively. A six-speed automatic with manual shift capability sends the power to the rear wheels in both models.

For a big luxury sedan, the Genesis is quick -- we timed the butter-smooth V8 at just 5.9 seconds for the 0-60-mph sprint and 14 seconds flat for the quarter-mile. EPA fuel economy estimates for the V6 are 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined; V8 estimates were unavailable as of this writing.

Denver Barry Cars :Driving Impressions

At low speeds with the inline-5, there is sufficient punch to handle the cut and thrust of city driving. But when faced with freeway merging and inclines, the 2009 Hummer H3T grows winded, a result of its insufficient power for the vehicle's 4,900 pounds and bricklike aerodynamic efficiency. The H3T Alpha fares better. Throttle response is crisper with the V8 and it pulls harder through the midrange, but again, due to the considerable mass at hand, it's not the massive transformation one might expect.

Even though the H3T's longer wheelbase makes it less maneuverable on trails than the regular H3, it's still basically unstoppable when equipped with the Adventure Package. With 9.5 inches of ground clearance, loads of wheel travel, aggressive approach and departure angles, oversized all-terrain tires and standard skid plates, the H3T can pretty much go anywhere without taking damage. Given this off-road capability, the H3T performs admirably on pavement, with decent stability at speed. The ride is surprisingly smooth and belies the H3's tough-truck nature. But we would still advise you to steer clear of the H3T if you never intend to take it off the beaten path.

Denver Barry Automotive

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup available in multiple body styles and bed lengths. The regular cab seats a maximum of three people on its standard bench seat, and it can be had with either a 6-foot-4-inch bed or an 8-foot version. The extended cab ("Quad Cab") can seat up to six in two bench rows and comes only with the 6-foot-4 bed. The Ram's crew cab model expands rear-seat legroom even further, but is only available with a 5-foot-7-inch bed.

There are three trim levels. The base ST model (available in regular and extended cabs) comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl floor covering, air-conditioning, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, vinyl upholstery, a folding rear bench seat (extended cab only), a tilting steering column and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. Options include chrome-clad steel wheels, cruise control, a bedliner and satellite radio.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize family sedan available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the GLS includes 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated sideview mirrors, a tilt steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob (V6 only), a 60/40-split rear seatback and a six-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. Optional features include an eight-way power driver seat, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a trip computer.

The SE adds those items plus 17-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a tilt-telescoping steering column and leather/cloth upholstery. Optional features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a sunroof (also optional on GLS), a universal garage door opener and an upgraded stereo with six-CD changer and subwoofer.

The Sonata Limited has the SE's features plus 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, chrome exterior trim, full leather upholstery, two-level heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood-grain trim and a premium Infinity sound system. A touchscreen navigation system is optional on the Limited.

Denver Barry Inc : Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Dodge Durango is offered in several drivetrain combinations. The standard engine on the two-wheel-drive Durango SE and SLT models is a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 210 hp and 235 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic is standard. Optional on the SE 2WD and standard on the SE 4WD, SLT 4WD and all Limiteds is a 4.7-liter V8 making 303 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, attached to a five-speed auto. Although called 4WD, the 4.7 actually has a full-time all-wheel-drive system with no manual transfer case. Fuel economy with the V6 engine and 2WD is 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined, while the 4WD models with the 4.7-liter V8 rate 13 city/18 highway and 15 combined.

Optional on the SLT and Limited is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 good for 376 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed auto is standard. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but a 4WD system with electronic transfer case is optional. Equipped with cylinder deactivation technology, the big Hemi with 4WD manages to return 13 city/19 highway and 15 combined. Two-wheel drive improves the highway number by 1 mpg.

The Durango Limited HEV hybrid (4WD only) is powered by a "two-mode" hybrid system consisting of a Hemi V8 (345 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque), two electric motors (87 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque) and a "two-mode" transmission with variable ratios, which maximizes the gasoline and electric power plants. Estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

Denver Barry Solutions If this isn't enough, there's an additional model being added to the 2009 lineup: the ZR1. The ZR1 moniker was last seen from 1990-'95 (when it was spelled "ZR-1") and represented the ultimate in Corvette performance. The new ZR1 starts with a hand-assembled, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 638 hp and 604 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Corvette ever -- and one of the most powerful cars ever, period. Naturally, there are further modifications, such as a strengthened transmission, specialized wheels and tires, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, unique suspension tuning with adaptive dampers and additional carbon-fiber body panels for weight reduction.

Even if "all" the 2009 Corvette provided was performance equal to high-dollar exotics but at half the price, it would still be high on our list of recommended cars. But a surprising level of utility comes along for the ride, too. The Corvette offers a massive amount of luggage space and a user-friendly cockpit, along with enough ride compliance for daily-driving duty. There's also a convertible body style for those who want to catch more rays (or hear more from that voracious V8), and even fuel economy isn't too shabby -- a standard Corvette has an EPA highway estimate of 26 mpg, the same as an upscale Chevy Malibu.

Our quibbles with the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette are few, though they may be significant for those who expect world-class refinement at the Vette's elevated price point. Although the interior features a soft-touch dashboard material, it still looks rather plain and there are too many chintzy plastics. Nor can the Corvette provide the nimble and engaging handling offered by European sports cars, or the brutal effectiveness of Nissan's new GT-R. But for many shoppers in this segment, these will likely be minor issues. Put down the gold chains and don't worry about the scrunched noses -- the stereotypes are long gone for America's sports car.

Denver Barry Cars Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup available in multiple body styles and bed lengths. The regular cab seats a maximum of three people on its standard bench seat, and it can be had with either a 6-foot-4-inch bed or an 8-foot version. The extended cab ("Quad Cab") can seat up to six in two bench rows and comes only with the 6-foot-4 bed. The Ram's crew cab model expands rear-seat legroom even further, but is only available with a 5-foot-7-inch bed.

There are three trim levels. The base ST model (available in regular and extended cabs) comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl floor covering, air-conditioning, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, vinyl upholstery, a folding rear bench seat (extended cab only), a tilting steering column and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. Options include chrome-clad steel wheels, cruise control, a bedliner and satellite radio.

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