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CarReview's Best Car Choices of 2009

Monday November 23rd, 2009 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: ggaillard

New Year 2009-2010 SignpostContributing editors: Greg Gaillard, Alex Kramer, Kurt Gensheimer, Derek Mau

Despite 2008′s desperate measures to help auto manufacturers hold on to business as usual, 2009 brought only radical change leaving many old business practices and brands behind.

We have been spectators in this year of turmoil and watched the industry struggle to reinvent itself.  Two of The Big Three went bankrupt; one emerged with a global partner, the other became lean and focused.  Diesels are now faster than their gasoline counterparts. Nine out of ten EPA mpg champs are hybrids. VW bought Porsche while Porsche was buying VW.  Overall sales were millions of units short of expectations. Manufacturers now pin their hopes on the Chinese market, while Americans pray that the Volt is half as good as it needs to be. Somehow, during all of this turmoil Kia became cool.  What was once unthinkable has happened.

Amidst the mayhem consumer conservatism has redefined value to mean more than MSRP, monthly payments and residuals. Cars had better be good at what they do or people won’t buy them. The industry must meet the new expectation of great cars and real innovation. Tricky marketing and trend analysis will not build the product portfolios of the future.

While the industry was being shaken to its core, 2009 was a banner year for new technologies and remarkable products.  Read on to find out which cars persevered as CarReview’s best choices of 2009

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Posted in Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, hybrid, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , || 3 Comments »


2009 BMW 750Li Review

Wednesday September 23rd, 2009 at 7:99 AM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Pros

  • Safety features
  • Roominess
  • Handling and comfort
  • Beautiful interior
  • Incredible acceleration
  • Outward visibility

Cons (not many but…)

  • It’s expensive
  • Fan noise from the A/C and seat coolers
  • Small side view mirrors
  • Fuel economy; averaged 13.5 mpg

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Posted in BMW, Expert Reviews |Tags:, , || 6 Comments »


2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d Review – Advanced diesel technology meets the luxury SUV

Thursday August 6th, 2009 at 2:88 PM
Posted by: AKramer

2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Dual-turbocharged 6 cylinder diesel engine = tons of torque
  • Impressive handling for a 5,100 pound SUV
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Well-appointed, spacious interior

Cons:

  • Annoying throttle lag, especially at low speeds
  • iDrive interface is still clumsy and confusing
  • Steep $68,000 sticker price

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Posted in BMW, Expert Reviews |Tags:, , , || 2 Comments »


2010 BMW 7-Series to Get New TwinPower Turbo Diesel and AWD

Monday July 13th, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: tonyb

BMW 740d

Looks like there’s plenty of changes in store for the upcoming 2010 BMW 7 Series. There will be a new straight-six diesel engine cranking out 306 horsepower in the 740d, and the 730d will get a BluePerformance technology pack, and an M Sport package will be available for the entire range, and finally, all-wheel drive will finally be available in 7 series models.

For now, all these diesel goodies will be Euro-only, but there’s no reason to keep them there. The new 740d will hit the showrooms of Europe this autumn, equipped with a revised version of BMW’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six diesel engine cranking out 306 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque at a low, low 1,500 rpm. The new mill should motivate this tank of a ride from zero to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds and tops out at an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. And it does all this while getting 34 mpg.

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Posted in BMW, Press and News |Tags:, || No Comments »


BMW Takes Over Lead from Lexus in Marquee Market

Thursday June 4th, 2009 at 7:66 AM
Posted by: m35man

BMW Roundel

It’s the Germans fighting the Japanese in the battle of the upscale cars. And as of right now, the Germans are winning! BMW has overtaken Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus to become the best-selling marquee nameplate in the United States this year to-date.

Lexus has held the top spot since 2000, according to Autodata Corp. But the once mega-popular brand is struggling now, with sales down 37.2 percent. Are former Lexus owners switching to BMW, or are Lexus owners saving money by downgrading to other non top-tier candidates? Evidently.

The last time the BMW brand was No. 1 in the United States for a full year was in 1997, when it also beat its archrival, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.

But Lexus should never be counted out. The carmaker recently launched the RX 350 SUV and will roll out a hybrid version next week. It will also be introducing its first designated Lexus gas-electric hybrid, the HS 250h, toward the end of the summer.

Posted in BMW, Lexus, Press and News |Tags:, , || No Comments »


Face-Off: Lexus IS-F versus BMW M3

Tuesday April 14th, 2009 at 9:44 AM
Posted by: Derek

Lexus IS-F vs. BMW M3

Dinan BMW M3
Lexus IS-F
Pros:

  • Smooth, high-revving V-8
  • Comfortable interior suited for spirited driving
  • Great handling
Pros:

  • Ripping V-8 power
  • Comfortable and well appointed interior
  • Good handling
Cons:

  • You have to pay extra to get the Dinan goodies
  • The “Powerdome” in the hood
  • A twin turbo would have been so cool
Cons:

  • Automatic transmission with too many gears
  • Jarring ride characteristics
  • Fast and Furious styling cues on the outside, bland on the inside

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Posted in BMW, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Lexus |Tags:, , , , || 19 Comments »


BMW Dinan M3 Coupe – Dangerous on all levels

Friday April 10th, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: Derek

2009 BMW Dinan M3 Coupe

Steve Dinan’s generosity is bigger than Mt. Rushmore. When we came up with the idea of pitting the IS-F against an M3, Dinan tried to connect us with BMW’s M brand manager. Due to our very short time frame, we were unable to procure an M3 sedan in time for the test. Instead, Dinan offered one his personal cars for the day so we could run our series of tests. Yowza! “Just bring it back in the same condition” was Steve’s only request. We nearly reached nirvana when we rolled out of the parking lot with two high-performance V-8 demons under our wings. Or was it because we inhaled too much exhaust fumes from these 400 horsepower brutes?

Read our comparison test to see how the sum of the parts improved a very good car into a great car — Face-off: Lexus IS-F versus BMW M3

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Posted in BMW, Tuner News |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »


BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo – SUV or Sedan?

Tuesday February 24th, 2009 at 6:22 AM
Posted by: goofshow

BMW 5-series GT concept

BMW is the ultimate driving machine. And I know this because it’s firmly stated on their press release. Still, it’s a darn fine ride. At the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, (my second favorite thing about Geneva; don’t ask me about my first) once again it was BMW Debutante Season, as the company unveiled to society its latest vehicle cultivated for the upper crust. In this case, their little-baby-daughter-ready-for-womanhood is the Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo.

The plot thickens. Here’s a twist in this sorted BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo tale: is the vehicle a sporty BMW Sedan or a modern SUV? To answer your question,……………IT’S BOTH!!!!! (Note all the exclamation points.)

Photographs and more details after the jump.

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Posted in BMW, Press and News |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »


Diesel Mini To America, Eventually

Tuesday February 17th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

MINI Cooper diesel

Even though BMW’s well loved Mini is selling well, and the all electric version is selling better than their expectations, Mini can’t get off the dime and bring the diesel version to these shores, even though it’s been available, and selling quite well in the Euro markets. Why? First off, it’s the diesel engine. The current diesel in the Cooper D isn’t deemed clean enough for U.S. emissions regulations. Initially Mini suggested a modified version of the Cooper D could make the trip to America, company spokesmen now say it might have to wait until the next-gen clean-burning diesel can be developed for the MINI.

Drat! But I can see the engineering conundrum that Mini, and by extension, BMW face. Sure, BMW has a whole bunch of really nice diesels, and all of the modern ones burn very clean, but all you have to do is look in the engine bay of a 5 series Beemer, and into the shoe box they use for the engine compartment in a Mini and you know there’s going to be fitment issues up the kazoo. And remember, diesels are bulky little mills to begin with.

Another problem facing the Mini D (And all other diesels in the U.S.) is the price of diesel fuel which, for reasons beyond me, is kept artificially high via taxation.

Mini has a rationalization about this, of course. They point out that the price difference between premium gasoline their vehicles require and ordinary diesel is actually quite a bit more manageable. Also folding into the personal auto balance sheet is the operating cost of the Mini D. Those little brutes get SIXTY miles per gallon according to tests run in the U.S. by Bosch, so even though the fuel is spendy, owning one overall is not.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

Posted in BMW, MINI, Press and News |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »


Jlevi Steetwerks BMW 335i project car – Enter the dragon

Thursday February 5th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: Derek


In June of 2008, the team at JleviSW.com embarked on a new project car – code name, “Red Dragon”. Keeping the aftermarket scene in mind, they chose to modify the extremely popular E92 335i, as it had significantly higher production numbers than the nascent E92 M3. Furthermore, having thoroughly enjoyed their VF Engineering Supercharged E46 328Ci, the team was simply unable to resist the temptation of a Twin-Turbo Inline 6, and immediately saw the immense potential of this tuner car. From the outset, the goal was clear: the company would showcase its expertise and product line in an effort to inspire customers, inviting them to share in every step of the process.

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Posted in BMW, Expert Reviews, Tuner News |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »


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