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Driving Impressions

Ride quality in the 2009 Audi TT is much
improved over the last generation.
Steering is precise, although some
drivers might find the rack devoid of
feel. For most drivers, the 3.2 Quattro
is a better choice, since it's faster
and its standard AWD can effectively
handle wet weather. But the 2.0 T is
still surprisingly enjoyable, especially
since it's now available with Quattro.
The 2.0's torquey engine puts less
weight over the front wheels and allows
the car to steer nimbly around corners.

Safety

Every 2009 Toyota Matrix comes with
antilock disc brakes, though the S and
XRS have larger discs all around. Also
standard are front-seat side airbags and
full-length side curtain airbags.
Stability control is included on the XRS
and optional on the lower trim levels.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the redesigned Matrix looks and
feels much like the original car, though
obviously updated. It continues to offer
a sportier ambience than the Corolla.
The driving position is vastly improved
in the '09 model, with credit going to
the new telescoping steering wheel and
increased seat-track travel. The
controls are laid out to ergonomic
near-perfection. In back, the tall, deep
bench is comfortable for children and
adults alike, and it folds completely
flat in 60/40 sections. The one change
that might disappoint some buyers is the
deletion of the in-floor, adjustable
cargo-track system, which Toyota says
most owners weren't using. In its place,
you'll find fixed tie-down points and
rubber inserts designed to keep cargo
from sliding around. There are 19.8
cubic feet of luggage capacity behind
the rear seats and a seats-down volume
of 61.5 cubes.

About US Online America Group :2009
Toyota Matrix Vehicle Overview

Introduction

Although Toyota has traditionally
marketed its Matrix as one of the
sporty, fun cars in its lineup, most
people have purchased this small
wagon/four-door hatchback for a very
different reason: practicality. The
first-generation Matrix had a backseat
large enough to fit three kids or a pair
of adults, and its perfectly flat,
plastic-coated load floor was suitable
for all manner of cargo. Being related
to the Corolla sedan also helped, as the
Matrix enjoyed above-average fuel
economy and a solid reputation for
reliability.

You can look forward to more of the same
in the fully redesigned 2009 Toyota
Matrix. A new, larger engine option
should attract the attention of buyers
looking for more performance, but
otherwise this is the highly rational
Toyota Matrix you've always known. As in
the past, the front-wheel-drive Matrix
is closely related to the Corolla,
itself also redesigned this year. The
Matrix is 3 inches taller, however, and
this provides extra headroom. Toyota
will continue to sell a base Matrix with
an economical 1.8-liter engine, but the
midrange S (replacing last year's XR)
and the high-line XRS trim levels get a
2.4-liter engine with significantly more
horsepower and torque. In addition,
buyers have the option of purchasing
all-wheel drive on the S model, which
upgrades to an independent
double-wishbone rear suspension (from
the standard torsion beam) to allow
packaging of the AWD system's rear
differential. The XRS has an independent
rear suspension as well, but in this
case, the objective is to improve
handling: This sportiest version of the
Matrix also has firmer springs and shock
absorbers and a front strut tower brace.

In spite of these upgrades, the 2009
Toyota Matrix still isn't as engaging to
drive as a Mazda 3 or the recently
introduced Mini Cooper Clubman. That's
not to say the Matrix isn't a capable
small wagon, though. Handling is stable
and secure, the ride is quiet and
refined and there's ample passing oomph
with the larger engine. These
attributes, along with its spacious and
ergonomic interior design, make it a
strong contender against rivals like the
Chevrolet HHR, Kia Spectra5/Rondo,
Saturn Astra, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen
Rabbit and Toyota's own Scion xB. Among
these four-door hatchbacks and wagons,
the Rabbit, Impreza and Astra may still
prove more appealing to shoppers who
like to drive, but for those resolutely
focused on practicality, the Matrix is
once again a very strong candidate.

About US Online America Group
Safety

All Sonatas come well-stocked with
antilock brakes, traction control,
stability control, front seat
side-impact airbags, full-length side
curtain airbags and active front head
restraints. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata
scored five out of five stars in the
National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration's front- and side-impact
tests. In Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety crash tests, the Sonata
earned a "Good" rating (the highest) for
frontal offset protection and an
"Acceptable" rating (second-highest) for
side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Hyundai interiors just keep getting
better and better. Soft, high-quality
plastics abound, switchgear is excellent
and the overall design is eye-pleasing.
The topsy-turvy ergonomics of the
outgoing design have been replaced with
stereo and climate controls placed high
atop the center stack, leaving room for
a spacious bin below. The Limited trim
level is particularly upscale, and is
certainly the most elegant environment
one can inhabit for less than $25,000.
As before, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata
boasts an especially spacious backseat
and a trunk that measures a class-best
16.3 cubic feet. If interior space and
perceived quality is a top priority,
it's hard to beat the Sonata.

2009 Jaguar XF Vehicle Overview

Introduction

There's a certain classy aspect to some
things British -- the understated
elegance of an English Tudor home, the
BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones or even just an
afternoon snack of tea and crumpets.
Then again, not all English entities are
quite so grand -- the Spice Girls or a
rush-hour ride on a packed Tube train,
anyone?

Thankfully, the 2009 Jaguar XF falls
into the former category, but it also
represents the legendary marque's new
direction. Mirroring modern Britain
itself, Jaguar now seeks to blend
tradition with the latest style and
technology. Before one goes on with the
new, though, they have to jettison the
old, and the midsize XF sedan replaces
the S-Type, a car that never quite
pushed all the right buttons. The
unloved X-Type is also being phased out,
leaving the XF to serve as both the
brand's entry-level model as well as a
key component for re-establishing
Jaguar's premium status with a younger
set of buyers.

The Jag XF rides on a stiff new
structure that shares some suspension
components with the sporty XK. Its
crouching stance is emphasized by a
coupelike roof line that sweeps to the
tail, fastback style. Some may argue
that in profile, the XF looks like the
Lexus GS series, and that the nose, with
its wide-awake headlights and squarish
grille, is somewhat quirky. But overall,
most would agree it's a handsome sedan
that impresses one more in the steel
than in photos.

As part of Jaguar's upscale push, you'll
only find a V8 under the hood. There's
nothing really new here, as the engines
and transmissions are shared with the
XK. Even so, 300 or 420 horsepower is
nothing to complain about, and Jaguar
claims that even the less potent engine
is able to shoot the XF to 60 mph in
just 6.2 seconds. The XF's suspension is
tuned slightly more for a plush ride
with respectable cornering ability than
for hardcore apex clipping, but still
easily qualifies for sport sedan status.

Of course, as a sport-oriented midsize
luxury sedan, the 2009 Jaguar XF is
entering a pretty tough segment. The
list of competitors is full of
luminaries, including the Audi A6, BMW 5
Series, Infiniti M45, Lexus GS 460 and
Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Even James Bond
would have a tough time infiltrating a
group like this. And most of these
models offer something the XF doesn't --
the option of all-wheel drive, an
advantage for those who have to deal
with slippery weather conditions.

It's a minor setback, however, and
overall we think the new Jaguar XF
stands proud in this segment, which is
something its dodgy predecessor never
could. It deserves a place on your "to
drive" list if you're considering a
luxury car. It's got the performance and
coddling features, and its undeniable
presence could very well make Jaguar
cool again.

US Online America Group Website :
Driving Impressions

The 2009 Volvo XC90 3.2 model provides
barely adequate acceleration, and it
doesn't sound particularly pleasant,
either. The V8 model's performance and
refinement are vastly superior, and its
fuel economy is only marginally worse.
Both XC90 models ride comfortably in
standard form, but don't expect them to
tackle corners with enthusiasm like the
Acura MDX or BMW X5. The R-Design models
are better suited to energetic driving,
what with their sport-tuned suspensions
and steering systems.

2008 Volkswagen Tiguan Vehicle Overview

US Online America Group Info 2009 Nissan
GT-R Vehicle Overview

Introduction

Technically, the 2009 Nissan GT-R isn't
a Skyline -- that distinction now
belongs to what we know as the Infiniti
G series, which is marketed as the
Nissan Skyline in Japan. But don't let
the official nomenclature fool you. From
its familiar twin-turbocharged engine
and all-wheel-drive layout to its
telltale circular taillights, there's no
mistaking the new Nissan for anything
but a modern-day Skyline GT-R.

The big deal for Americans is that the
2009 GT-R marks the first time this
legendary performance car will be
officially sold stateside. We also
happen to be getting the most ambitious
version yet. The great-granddaddy of the
new GT-R, the "Godzilla" R32 Skyline
GT-R produced from 1989-'93, was
designed to equal the performance of the
iconic Porsche 959. Nissan's benchmark
for the 2009 GT-R? The mighty Porsche
997-series 911 Turbo.

That's a tall order under any
circumstances, but Nissan's President
and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, sent the degree
of difficulty skyrocketing when he
agreed to green-light the GT-R project
on two conditions: first, the base price
had to be about $70,000; and second, the
car had to be profitable, i.e., not
merely an image-boosting "halo car" that
would be sold at a loss. Improbably, the
GT-R has succeeded on all counts.
Ghosn's conditions have been met, and we
can confirm that the 2009 Nissan GT-R is
indeed a match for its Bavarian
benchmark at the track. Never before has
such stratospheric factory performance
been available at such a reasonable
price; in fact, you'd have to look long
and hard to match the GT-R's performance
at any price.

Contact US Online America Group Safety

All Sonatas come well-stocked with
antilock brakes, traction control,
stability control, front seat
side-impact airbags, full-length side
curtain airbags and active front head
restraints. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata
scored five out of five stars in the
National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration's front- and side-impact
tests. In Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety crash tests, the Sonata
earned a "Good" rating (the highest) for
frontal offset protection and an
"Acceptable" rating (second-highest) for
side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Hyundai interiors just keep getting
better and better. Soft, high-quality
plastics abound, switchgear is excellent
and the overall design is eye-pleasing.
The topsy-turvy ergonomics of the
outgoing design have been replaced with
stereo and climate controls placed high
atop the center stack, leaving room for
a spacious bin below. The Limited trim
level is particularly upscale, and is
certainly the most elegant environment
one can inhabit for less than $25,000.
As before, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata
boasts an especially spacious backseat
and a trunk that measures a class-best
16.3 cubic feet. If interior space and
perceived quality is a top priority,
it's hard to beat the Sonata.

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