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US Online America Group News
Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the cabin, the 2009 Hyundai
Genesis 4.6 V8 is outfitted like a true
luxury sedan. Spacious, richly appointed
and fully decked out with a
comprehensive list of convenience
features, this Hyundai looks and feels
very much like a top-line Lexus. The
seats are as comfortable as they appear,
although they lack the kind of firm,
highly bolstered Germanic treatment a
sport sedan enthusiast might enjoy. The
instrument panel's white-on-black
electroluminescent gauges look like they
came straight out of a Lexus.

The soft curves of the sweeping
dashboard are complemented by an
elegantly adorned center stack with
numerous climate and audio controls,
many of which have more driver-friendly
counterparts either on the steering
wheel or by the multimedia controller on
the center console. Standard on the V8
model (and optional on the V6) is real
leather trim that adorns the dash and
door panels.

The trunk offers a capacity of 15.9
cubic feet, and although the rear seat
does not fold down, there is a
pass-through feature.

2009 Acura RL Vehicle Overview

Introduction

Almost two decades ago, a
golden-mulleted Andre Agassi (he wasn't
always bald, you know) used his bad-boy
tennis image to hawk Canon EOS Rebel
cameras. "Image is everything," a smug
Mr. Agassi said. This is a lesson
Acura's executives should have learned,
for around the same time, they decided
to rename their flagship sedan from
Legend to RL and (unknowingly) send it
down a path of increasing anonymity.

While image actually has little to do
with a tennis star's skills, it does
mean a great deal for the average luxury
sedan buyer. The first-generation Acura
RL was competent but bland to look at
and even less exciting to drive. The
second-generation RL that came out for
2005 was a step in the right direction,
thanks to a more sporting personality.
But even with a trick all-wheel-drive
system and wealth of high-tech features,
it was still seen more as a dour Pete
Sampras than a mullet-man Agassi.

US Online America Group Website
:Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive TSX is available
with one engine, a 2.4-liter inline-4
capable of 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of
torque (172 lb-ft with the manual).
Available transmissions are a six-speed
manual and a five-speed automatic
transmission with steering-wheel shift
paddles -- both are the same price. EPA
fuel economy with the automatic is 21
mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg
combined. The manual drops that to
21/28/23, respectively.

US Online America Group Info
Driving Impressions

The 2009 Audi Q7, with its sharp looks
and Quattro AWD system, is better suited
for navigating slippery pavement in
inclement weather than for tackling a
muddy trail. The Q7's size and weight
can make it feel a bit unwieldy around
town, but the available back-up camera
makes parking easier.

In terms of performance, acceleration
with the 3.6-liter V6 is noticeably
lacking and even the 350-hp V8 struggles
to get things moving. The six-speed
automatic transmission can also be jerky
and slow. Handling, on the other hand,
is much more enjoyable, especially with
the adaptive air suspension on the Q7's
4.2 model. The suspension's adjustable
settings enable the driver to switch
between a well-mannered cruiser and a
more dynamic people mover that's ready
to tackle curving mountain roads.

2009 Dodge Challenger Overview

Introduction

Thanks to the massive press coverage of
last year's Dodge Challenger rebirth,
you probably know as much about it as we
do. But in case you missed all those
headline road tests featuring the
burnt-orange car, here's the skinny.
Borrowing heavily from the styling of
the original 1970-'74 Challenger, the
reborn version sports similar lines and
proportions. But you needn't worry about
the 2009 Dodge Challenger merely being a
poser's visual link to the past -- it
can be had with Hemi V8 power,
rear-wheel drive and the right sound
burbling from its rectangular exhausts.

The Challenger is based on Chrysler's LX
platform, which is also used for the 300
and Charger sedans. Its wheelbase is 4
inches shorter than the Charger's,
though with a 2-ton curb weight, the
newer model is frighteningly similar to
its forebear in terms of sheer bulk. Of
course, the 2009 Challenger has features
that previous Mopar designers could
hardly have dreamed about, such as
stability control, side curtain airbags
and an available hard-drive-based
navigation system that can also store
music and video files. The new
Challenger also differs by being fairly
athletic and able to go around corners
without scraping the Goodyear lettering
off the tires.

US Online America Group Overview : 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 Packages 2009
Chrysler 300 Vehicle Overview

Introduction

The Chrysler 300 was a game-changing
vehicle for Detroit's sickly No. 3 brand
when it debuted in 2005. With
distinctive styling and Mercedes-sourced
underpinnings, the 300 was a
well-deserved hit that brought
rear-wheel drive back into the American
car buyer's mind after years in exile.
And with available V8 power, it was
plenty fast.

After significant interior and equipment
changes last year, the 2009 Chrysler 300
gets even more upgrades and additions.
Most notably, the 300C's 5.7-liter V8
gains variable valve timing, which
boosts horsepower by 19 (now 359).
Thanks to cylinder deactivation, fuel
consumption remains acceptable given the
ample amount of power available. The
available all-wheel-drive system has
also been upgraded with a specialized
active transfer case. This automatically
disconnects the front axle to improve
fuel economy on the highway by up to 1
mpg, while also providing the better
performance and handling afforded by
rear-wheel drive. Wheel slippage, low
temperatures or a certain number of
windshield wiper passes re-engage all
four wheels. The driver can also
manually manipulate the system.

We've always been fans of the Chrysler
300, and its continuous improvements
only make it more attractive. There are
certainly other full-size sedans to
consider, though which ones depend on
which 300 you're considering. The base
LX's engine is slow and inefficient, and
we advise passing on the trim level.
Compared to the 300 Touring and Limited,
the Ford Taurus offers more maximum
passenger and cargo space, while the
Toyota Avalon offers more luxury and
refinement. The high-performance 300C
and SRT8 versions have fewer rivals.
However, those seeking any 300 for its
rear-wheel-drive performance
capabilities should also take a good
look at the impressive Pontiac G8. That
said, the 2009 Chrysler 300 remains a
solid choice for a large sedan.

US Online America Group Prices Driving
Impressions

The 2009 Audi Q7, with its sharp looks
and Quattro AWD system, is better suited
for navigating slippery pavement in
inclement weather than for tackling a
muddy trail. The Q7's size and weight
can make it feel a bit unwieldy around
town, but the available back-up camera
makes parking easier.

In terms of performance, acceleration
with the 3.6-liter V6 is noticeably
lacking and even the 350-hp V8 struggles
to get things moving. The six-speed
automatic transmission can also be jerky
and slow. Handling, on the other hand,
is much more enjoyable, especially with
the adaptive air suspension on the Q7's
4.2 model. The suspension's adjustable
settings enable the driver to switch
between a well-mannered cruiser and a
more dynamic people mover that's ready
to tackle curving mountain roads.

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