- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009


For 2009, the popular Jetta sedan - Volkswagen’s best-selling model - is available in four trim levels, including the pioneering, industry-first offering of clean diesel TDI models compliant in all 50 states.

Equipped with an all-new 2.0-liter clean-diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower and an impressive 236 foot-pounds of torque, the 2009 Jetta TDs truly offers a no-compromises alternative-fuel driving experience. The EPA estimates the Jetta TDI delivers an economical 29 mpg city, and 40 mpg highway. A $1,300 federal income tax credit delivers even more value to buyers due to its qualification for a tax credit.

Standard for 2009 on the Jetta S, SE and SEL models is the economical, yet powerful, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque. It is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or the available six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and sport mode.

Jetta comes with air conditioning, cruise control, a CD player, eight-way adjustable front seats with height, angle and lumbar support adjustments, and a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel.

With four trim levels and a host of options, Jetta can be tailored to meet the needs of individual owners with offerings such as V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; a multi-disc, in-dash CD player; 10-speaker premium audio system with MP3 playback; Sirius Satellite Radio; and a sunroof system.

Base model estimated mpg: 21 city/29 highway

Estimated starting price: $17,340


For the 2009 model year, the Touareg 2 is offered in two trim levels (VR6 FSI, and V-8 FSI) and makes available a state-of-the-art navigation system - the centerpiece of a new technology package offering - that combines a sophisticated radio with a precise touch-screen navigation system and easy-to-use map views through its 6.5-inch high-resolution wide-screen display.

Also new for 2009 is a safety package that incorporates adaptive cruise control with front scan and side scan lane-change-assist technologies. When the adaptive cruise control is activated, the Touareg 2 automatically brakes and accelerates within a range of speed previously set by the driver, reducing driver stress and improving driver comfort.

The 2009 Toureg 2 also offers a Lux Plus Package that bundles keyless access and keyless stop/start technologies - a feature that makes it easier than ever to simply get in the vehicle, press a button and drive - with a Dynaudio Sound System, featuring 10 speakers and 620 watts of power output.

Both engine offerings - a 3.6-liter VR6 or 4.2-liter V-8 - benefit from use of Volkswagen’s FSI fuel management system that produces more horsepower and torque for better performance while delivering more efficiency.

The 3.6-liter VR6 FSI is rated at 280 horsepower and delivers 265 foot-pounds of torque. The 4.2-liter V-8 FSI brings 350 horsepower and 324 foot-pounds of torque. Both power plants are mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Base model estimated mpg: 13 city/18 highway

Estimated starting price: $39,300


The Volvo C70 is a modern convertible with classic proportions, four comfortable seats and a three-piece retractable hardtop. The C70 can be transformed seamlessly from a coupe into a convertible.

With the touch of a button, the retractable hardtop folds away quickly and smoothly into the trunk. Apart from the flexibility offered by the retractable hardtop, it also makes for a quieter, more comfortable coupe. The large rear-window glass offers outstanding outward visibility and improves body rigidity.

For the 2009 model year, the C70’s sporty cabin receives aluminum inlays for the ultra-slim center control panel, door handle surrounds and gearshift knob. Those seeking to enhance the Scandinavian ambience can opt for the luxury of real wood with Nordic light oak inlays.

The C70 ups the ante in the technology department with a standard Bluetooth hands-free phone interface. And the optional Volvo 40 gig HDD-based navigation system with real-time traffic information gains an improved driver interface, extended points of interest and a bird’s-eye view map with detailed intersection and building footprints.

Driving pleasure excels in the C70 with its standard turbocharged T5 engine. Output for the 2.5-liter light-pressure turbo power plant is 227 horsepower with torque at 236 foot-pounds.

Base model estimated mpg: 18 city/27 highway

Estimated starting price: $39,800


The lineup of Volvo’s XC90 expands for 2009 with the addition of distinctive R-Design models.

Offered with a choice of 3.2-liter six-cylinder and 4.4-liter V-8, the R-Design benefits from larger wheels and tires, plus R-Design-tuned suspension and steering, which contribute to a more sporting look and athletic driving character.

The R-Design model adds 19-inch “Vulcanis” diamond-cut alloy wheels, R-Design grille, leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logo on the front seats, R-Design steering wheel, watch dial instruments and floor mats. The XC90 V-8 shares these enhancements while receiving standard 20-inch “Cratus” alloy wheels and R-Design split dual exhaust pipes.

Other changes for 2009 include a convenience package, featuring a blind-spot information system, power retractable rearview mirrors, rear park assist, interior air quality system and the enhanced Volvo Navigation System II with remote control and real-time traffic.

A technology package comprises xenon active-bending headlights with automatic level control, Sirius Satellite Radio and premium sound system with rear-seat headphone jacks and audio controls.

The 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine delivers 235 horsepower and 236 foot-pounds of torque. The high-tech 4.4-liter V-8 develops 311 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque.

Base model estimated mpg: 14 city/20 highway

Estimated starting price: $37,000

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