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Interior Design and Special Features

Along with the litany of standard and optional high-tech features, the 2009 Acura TL
features a thoroughly high-tech design. The center stack juts out in a waterfall fashion
toward the driver, which puts climate, audio and navigation controls right at hand. The
steering wheel also features a number of buttons for audio, cruise control, the trip
computer, Bluetooth and the Technology Package's large number of voice commands.
With either trim (and its subsequent LCD display), a direct iPod interface is standard and
one of the best available.

Interior quality and craftsmanship are quite good, but some may feel that it lacks the
luxurious, glossy wood ambiance of competitors like the Lexus ES 350, Cadillac CTS
and Hyundai Genesis. In particular, TLs without the Technology Package feature
cheaper-looking metallic trim and audio switchgear, which gives the cabin the impression
of belonging to a snazzied-up Honda Accord. On the flip side, the SH-AWD model's
available two-tone color scheme, higher-quality alloy trim and contrasting stitching are a
nice touch.

The TL's cabin is quite roomy, and drivers will appreciate the wide adjustment range for
the well-bolstered driver seat. The rear seat is spacious and offers enough headroom for
passengers more than 6 feet tall. Large flip-up headrests provide protection for occupants,
while clearing rear vision when nobody's back there. The trunk holds 13.1 cubic feet of
luggage, a bit less than typical for this class of car.

Finest Motors New Models Powertrains and Performance

A 3.5-liter V6 powers the 2009 Infiniti FX35. In this application, the familiar V6 makes
303 hp and 262 pound-feet of torque. Last year's five-speed automatic transmission has
been replaced by a seven-speed automatic with manual shift capability. Rear-wheel drive
is standard, though the FX35 offers an optional AWD system with a rear bias to preserve
its sporty handling capabilities.

Fuel economy is slightly improved over the old model; the 2009 FX35 AWD gets an
EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined, while rear-drive
models are rated at 16 mpg city/23 highway and 19 combined.

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Driving Impressions

The 2009 Honda Fit drives a lot like the previous model, only better. Like all
subcompacts, it's highly maneuverable and a great urban runabout. Where the Fit rises
above the rest is in the way it actually drives. Because of its approximately 2,500-pound
curb weight and wonderfully direct steering, the Fit feels light and nimble while
cornering. Going with the manual transmission takes full advantage of the Fit's engaging
personality, though the Fit Sport's available automatic with shift paddles is a viable

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