- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009


The 2009 Acura MDX luxury performance sport utility vehicle provides luxury, performance, technology and sophistication in one of the most stylish seven-passenger configurations available. MDX delivers maximum power and efficiency from its V-6 engine and, thanks to Acura’s exclusive super-handling all-wheel drive, also provides handling prowess normally associated only with luxury sports sedans.

For 2009, the MDX’s power rear tailgate feature is standard equipment with the Technology and Sport packages. The MDX also improves on its style with two new exterior colors for 2009 - Bali blue and mocha metallic.

Powering the MDX is a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque.

The MDX has distinctive exterior styling that builds on the themes embodied in recent Acura products. The bold grille is framed by xenon high-intensity-discharge front headlights, giving the MDX an unmistakable presence on the road.The MDX interior blends purposeful sport sedan intensity with the best elements of SUV utility. Soft leather, highly supportive front bucket seats and a driver-oriented cockpit make it clear the MDX is focused on the driver, without compromising passenger comfort.

Base model estimated mpg: 15 city/20 highway

Estimated starting price: $40,790


For 2009, the Acura RDX is equipped with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine incorporating a computer-controlled “intelligent” intake/exhaust valve actuation system that delivers enhanced performance across a broad powerband while still delivering superior fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. Rated output for the RDX engine is 240 horsepower with 260 foot-pounds of torque.

Acura’s exclusive super-handling all-wheel drive is standard on the RDX, helping it to maximize available traction while improving handling balance and responsiveness.

RDX exterior styling emphasizes the SUV’s sporty athleticism. Standard 18-inch wheels and tires, large wheel arches, aggressively raked body sides, steeply raked windscreen, and a short rear overhang generate an RDX with a taut and muscular presence.

Inside the RDX, the front seats feature a high outward visibility “eye point” that provides a confident field of view. The three-passenger rear seat has a 60/40 split-folding capability and, when folded flat, expands the load area and increases the total cargo volume to 60.6 cubic feet.

Base model estimated mpg: 17 city/22 highway

Estimated starting price: $33,695


The 2009 Acura RL combines added performance, improved technology, more aggressive styling and safety features to Acura’s premier sedan.

The 2009 RL furthers cutting-edge technology with the addition of new high-tech items including AcuraLink weather and Bluetooth audio.

The innovation built into the new 2009 RL begins with the most powerful engine ever offered in an Acura sedan. An all-new 3.7-liter V-6 engine develops 300 horsepower and 271 foot-pounds of torque. To handle the higher power of the 3.7-liter engine, a new version of the Sequential SportShift five-speed automatic transmission is fitted to the 2009 RL. Featuring new “smart” F1-style steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a new straight-gate console mounted gear selector, the RL driver now has more gear control.

The 2009 RL’s new exterior styling is not only more aggressive, but also delivers excellent aerodynamics and reduced rear lift at high speeds. To further enhance handling and ride comfort, the new RL retains a fully independent suspension system with front double-wishbone and rear multilink architecture.

Base model estimated mpg: 16 city/22 highway

Estimated starting price: $46,280


Boasting larger dimensions, optimized suspension, a new Sequential SportShift transmission, plus an available Technology package featuring a comprehensive array of navigation and communication aids, the 2009 TL offers more appeal than ever before.

Standard is a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 280 horsepower and 254 foot-pounds of torque that sends power to the front wheels through Acura’s sophisticated Sequential SportShift five-speed automatic transmission.

Serious performance-sedan devotees will choose the TL super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) to make winding roads their own. Its all-new 3.7-liter V-6 engine produces 305 horsepower and 273 foot-pounds of torque.

During spirited cornering, SH-AWD seamlessly distributes more torque to the outside rear wheel to create a “yaw moment” to help the TL turn in more quickly and precisely - while also continuously apportioning drivetrain torque front to rear and left to right. The result is a remarkably balanced and precise all-wheel-drive performance sedan that excels year-round.

Ride quality and passenger comfort benefit from the 2009 TL’s larger exterior dimensions.

Base model estimated mpg: 18 city/26 highway

Estimated starting price: $34,995


Engineered to reaffirm its place as a desirable and affordable entry point for the Acura sedan range, the all-new second-generation 2009 TSX is larger, more agile and more powerful.

With sharp-edged and athletic styling, a powerful, clean and efficient i-VTEC four-cylinder engine, and a choice of automatic or manual transmission, the 2009 TSX continues as a valuable asset to the Acura division.

Major advances in handling agility, safety features, emissions reduction, ride smoothness and quietness, and interior comfort and convenience features all contribute to the new TSX’s appeal.

Improved performance and cleaner emissions are the hallmarks of the 2009 TSX’s four-cylinder engine. Displacing 2.4 liters and producing 201 horsepower and 172 foot-pounds of torque, the new engine produces its useable power across a much wider rpm range, while newfound torque (an improvement of 8 foot-pounds) further strengthens the engine’s pulling power at middle rpm levels.

The 2009 TSX dramatically advances design themes with a broad new stance. With body-width increased 3 inches and wheel track dimensions up by 2.6 inches over the outgoing model, the TSX looks the part of a leading-edge sports sedan.

Base model estimated mpg: 20 city/28 highway

Estimated starting price: $28,960


The 2009 Audi A3 raises its sporty profile with a raft of improvements and an accentuated design. Innovative technologies such as the S tronic dual-clutch transmission and Audi magnetic ride, the suspension control system, make for even greater driving pleasure.

New visual details for the five-door A3 bring its stretched, sporty profile into the foreground. The front lid and fenders are more expressively styled, and the bumper and large single-frame radiator grille have been modified. A curved trim element in the headlamps known as the “wing” accentuates their technical perfection. Down the sides, the highlight features are exterior mirrors with integral turn indicators, new door handles and attractive wheels.

Inside the car, too, the designers fine-tuned the atmosphere of sporty elegance. Aluminum-look elements on the air vents, light switches and center console accentuate the premium character of the Audi A3. The switches and controls beneath the audio system have been given a new, modern look.

The 2009 A3 features the 2.0 TFSI with 200 horsepower, while the 3.2 quattro and its six cylinders muster 250 horsepower. The range of transmissions has been extended and become even more appealing. The 2.0 TFSI engine is supplied as standard with six-speed manual transmission, and the 3.2 is available exclusively with the S tronic dual-clutch transmission.

Base model estimated mpg: 21 city/30 highway

Estimated starting price: $26,920


The 2009 Audi TTS is the new top of the TT model line. Under its hood lies a 2.0-liter TFSI high-performance engine delivering a mighty 265 horsepower. This intense power propels the TTS coupe to 62 mph from a standstill in just 5.2 seconds. The Audi TTS is available as a 2-plus-2-seater coupe and as a roadster.

The TTS gives the driver two settings: “Standard” mode is designed for a well-balanced, comfortable ride. The “Sport” setting harnesses the sports suspension, which lowers the body by 0.39 inches to deliver dynamic handling.

Passengers are welcomed by deep-set sports seats trimmed in a mixture of leather and Alcantara, with silk nappa leather seat upholstery. The gray instrument panel and the multifunctional steering wheel add further styling touches.

The TTS roadster comes with an electro-hydraulic drive for the soft top, a power wind deflector and a load-through facility. The rear seats in the coupe have a split-folding design, allowing luggage capacity to be increased from 10.24 to 24.72 cubic feet.

The unveiling of the 2009 TTS marks an anniversary for Audi: It was 10 years ago that the TT coupe took to the road, swiftly acquiring the status of design icon.

Base model estimated mpg: 21 city/29 highway

Estimated starting price: $45,500

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