- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009

BMW 3 SERIES

The BMW 3 Series is the best-selling premium vehicle in the world. Updates for the 2009 sedan and sports wagon models include exterior-design freshening, refinement of interior design and functions, new and revised options, new generation of the iDrive control and display system, and an all-new turbodiesel engine in a new model - the 335d sedan.

The 2009 sedans are distinguished by a freshened design at the front, in profile and in the rear view; the new sport wagons receive the same front-end and profile updates, as well as most elements of the rearview changes.

At the rear, the bumper, taillights and (on the sedans) trunk lid are all newly shaped for a stronger emphasis on the 3’s sporty character. The taillights’ typical L-shape is now more in evidence, and new LED lighting sources illuminate the taillights and turn-signal lamps.

The new 335d sedan represents a significant step forward in combining high performance with high fuel efficiency. The 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged in-line six-cylinder diesel engine powering the 335d features new BMW BluePerformance emission-control technology. All other 3 Series models continue with their acclaimed 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder gasoline engines.

Base model estimated mpg: 18 city/28 highway

Estimated starting price: $33,600

BMW 6 SERIES

With a profile defined by voluptuous curves, few cars can provide the kind of instant recognition the BMW 6 Series coupe and convertible can.

In addition to their provocative silhouettes, the 650i coupe and convertible set the benchmark as exemplary drivers’ cars, combining performance, luxury and exclusivity in equal measure. With 360 horsepower routed through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the 650i coupe and convertible offer cutting-edge performance to complement their undiluted luxury.

Last year’s interior changes make the 6 Series coupe and convertible even more luxurious than before, with upgrades to the standard and optional leather. The convertible’s interior has leather with BMW’s new sun-reflective technology, which significantly reduces heat gain from sunlight.

A premium sound package includes a USB adapter for an iPod or MP3 player. And BMW’s leading-edge iDrive system features a row of “favorites” buttons, known as programmable memory keys, that can be used for anything from radio-station presets to preprogrammed destinations with the 6 Series standard navigation system.

Base model estimated mpg: 15 city/22 highway

Estimated starting price: $77,700

BUICK ENCLAVE

The 2009 Buick Enclave blends style and grace with elegance and precision, delivering room for as many as eight, plenty of space for cargo and better fuel economy than any eight-passenger sport utility vehicle.

The 2009 Buick Enclave, available in CX and CXL models with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, delivers more performance from a new 3.6-liter V-6 direct-injection engine. The engine delivers 288 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque. The Enclave can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Enclave’s second-row seats feature Smart Slide, which allows easy entry to the third row with the pull of one handle. The third row features a standard 60/40 split bench seat that can accommodate three adult passengers.

Enclave is the only crossover in its segment equipped with QuietTuning, Buick’s exclusive engineering process to reduce, block and absorb unwanted noise from entering the cabin.

Base model estimated mpg: 17 city/24 highway

Estimated starting price: $34,865

BUICK LACROSSE

The 2009 Buick LaCrosse delivers a higher level of safety and convenience features, making the LaCrosse an even better value for entry-luxury customer.

LaCrosse customers who frequently transport larger items can opt for the convenience of a split/folding rear seat design. Available as part of the Driver Confidence package, the split/folding rear seats allow longer items to be safely carried inside the vehicle.

Another convenience feature is the Bluetooth for hands-free phone interface; it’s available on all Buick LaCrosse models for 2009 and uses the OnStar 7.2 system’s voice recognition to interpret voice commands to dial phone numbers and name tags.

Two distinct engines power the 2009 LaCrosse lineup. LaCrosse CX and CXL models are propelled by the 3.8-liter V-6. This proven stalwart is rated at 200 horsepower and 230 foot-pounds of torque. Recent upgrades to the 3.8-liter result in quiet operation.

The LaCrosse Super is powered by the robust 5.3-liter V-8. Rated at 300 horsepower and 323 foot-pounds of torque, the V-8 uses GM’s active fuel management, an engine technology that seamlessly switches between four and eight cylinders to save fuel.

Base model estimated mpg: 17 city/28 highway

Estimated starting price: $25,590

BUICK LUCERNE

The Buick Lucerne delivers more of what customers demand from a premium full-size sedan: more technology as well as more comfort, convenience, safety and security features. Enhancements for 2009 include more standard content and a more powerful V-6 engine in CX and CXL models that can operate on E85 ethanol.

Powering Lucerne CX and CXL models is a more powerful 3.9-liter V-6 engine with 227 horsepower and 237 foot-pounds of torque. The 3.9-liter V-6 engine is also FlexFuel capable, meaning it can run on 100 percent gasoline, up to 85 percent ethanol or any variation of the two. This marks the first time the Buick Lucerne is available with an E85-capable power plant.

The ultimate Lucerne model carries Buick’s historic “Super” designation and is powered by a 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 engine that is rated at 292 horsepower and 288 foot-pounds of torque.

Buick Lucerne delivers an expanded list of standard equipment for 2009 with cornering lamps, six-way power passenger seat, heated power outside rearview mirrors, an extended-range key fob and 17-inch premium painted wheels.

More standard luxury features are found on the 2009 CXL model: eight-way heated driver and front-passenger seats, power lumbar adjustments, memory settings, heated leather steering wheel, outside rearview mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicator and 17-inch premium painted wheels.

Base model estimated mpg: 17 city/26 highway

Estimated starting price: $29,180

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