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What's new from automakers for 2009 and beyond

Acura: Honda's luxury brand rolls out a new TL for 2009, the most powerful model yet. The smaller TSX is also new, larger, slightly less sporty. The flagship RL gets a mild makeover.

Audi: An all-new A4 is the big news this year, and it's bigger, heavier and considerably roomier and more luxurious. A new crossover called the Q5 is coming next spring, and the bigger Q7 gets optional diesel power.

BMW: Nothing as dramatic as the early rollout of the all-new 1-Series, sort of a downsized version of the 3-Series. We will see a new 7-Series flagship sedan in early 2009. Also, the X3 and X5 SUVs get an optional diesel.

Buick: No changes.

Cadillac: The new CTS-V gets a 556-horsepower V-8 engine. The Escalade gets a hybrid system; and the XLR gets a mild restyling.

Chevrolet: The Camaro will arrive in March as a 2010 model, with a 3.6-liter V-6 or a pair of V-8s. The Traverse sport-ute also is a big deal, as the company gets its version of the vehicle sold as the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. The Silverado pickup gets a hybrid version, offsetting the fire-breathing Corvette ZR-1. The plug-in Volt is coming in 2010.

Chrysler: The Hemi-powered Aspen SUV gets a hybrid system, technology shared with General Motors.

Dodge: The Challenger, introduced as a 2008 model but only with the 425-horsepower engine, gets milder SE V-6 and Hemi RT V-8 versions for 2009. The Durango gets the same hybrid hardware as its Chrysler Aspen stablemate. The Journey is an early 2009 model, a crossover based on the Sebring platform. The full-size Ram pickup also is new for 2009, with freshened styling.

Ford: Ford's F-150 is redesigned for 2009, with a revised all-V-8 powertrain, a new frame and freshened exterior styling. The Flex, an early 2009 model, is already finding favor for those who need minivan-like room, but prefer a crossover. The Mustang gets a glass roof option: Expect a redesign for 2010. The entry-level Fiesta is coming from Europe, probably not until 2010.

GMC: The full-size Sierra pickup gets a hybrid option that will give it an EPA-rated 22 mpg on the highway.

Honda: The bigger, more powerful 2009 Fit is already on the market, joining the redesigned, more powerful Pilot SUV. In a year, look for the Insight hybrid.

Hyundai: The Genesis sedan and coupe take direct aim at European imports, with a 290-horsepower V-6 or a 375-horsepower V-8, moving Hyundai into a segment of the market it has never tried to penetrate. The Sonata was restyled for 2009.

Infiniti: The V-6 FX35 and V-8 FX50 crossover SUVs have been completely redesigned, and again emphasize "sport" over "ute." The G37 coupe gets a convertible version.

Hummer: The H3 gets a pickup version called the H3T.

Jaguar: The XF replaces both S-Type and X-Type, with dynamic styling and V-8 power with either 300 or 420 horsepower.

Jeep: Not much new for 2009.

Kia: Kia gets a V-8 sport-ute, the Borrego, also offered with a V-6. It's strong, and seats seven. Optima gets a mild makeover; new Spectra next year.

Land Rover: LR3 loses its V-6 option, with a V-8 now standard.

Lexus: Quiet here, but a two-door version of the IS should arrive next year as a 2010 model.

Lincoln: The 2009 MKS gives Lincoln a solid entry into the luxury market at a price just shy of $40,000, more if you want all-wheel-drive.

Mazda: An all-new Mazda6 takes on Honda Accord and Toyota Camry: The "Miata" name returns to MX-5. Did we ever stop calling it the Miata?

Mercedes-Benz: The BlueTec diesel engine comes to several Mercedes SUV models. A new crossover SUV, the GLK, arrives just after the first of the year.

Mercury: Business as usual.

Mitsubishi: The Lancer Ralliart returns, more potent, with a 237-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The Eclipse and Galant get a mild makeover.

Mini: After the Clubman wagon arrived for 2008, not much new here, except the return of the John Cooper Works performance package.

Nissan: The flagship Maxima is new for 2009, sportier and more luxurious to help differentiate it from the cheaper Altima. The Murano was freshened as an early 2009 model. And look for the Cube, similar to the Scion xB, to join the lineup next year.

Pontiac: The G3, a Chevrolet Aveo in Pontiac trim, joins the lineup as an entry-level gas-sipper. We'll see a pickup version of the G8 next year — think of an El Camino. And the Solstice gets a coupe model. The Vibe has been on the market as a redesigned 2009 model for months.

Porsche: The 911 gets a freshening and two updated engines that offer more power. The Cayenne has already received a mid-level GTS version for 2009.

Saab: A Turbo X SportCombi joins the lineup as a 280-horsepower maximum carpool-mobile.

Saturn: The Vue gets a more sophisticated hybrid option.

Scion: No news here.

Smart: Or here.

Subaru: A new-for-2009 Forester is on the market, larger outside and roomier inside.

Suzuki: The company will offer its first pickup, the Equator, by the end of this year. The Grand Vitara gets a mild update: Gone is the four-cylinder, replaced with a choice of two V-6s. The small Swift will return, and look for a new, larger four-door sedan.

Toyota: The Venza is an all-new vehicle for 2009. Based on the Camry platform, it's sort of a wagon, sort of a crossover SUV with four-cylinder or V-6 power. The Corolla and Matrix are new for 2009, but have been on the streets since last spring.

Volkswagen: A sleek Passat CC may be the best-looking Volkswagen ever, similar to Mercedes-Benz CLS. The Tiguan, a small SUV, is on the market; coming soon is the Routan, a minivan built by Chrysler to VW specifications. Thrifty new diesel engines are en route for the Jetta, which gets a wagon version.

Volvo: XC60, a crossover SUV smaller than the XC70, arrives in the spring.

What's new from automakers for 2009 and beyond 11/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:41am]
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