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The best vehicles of 2009

This article shared 5265 times since Wed Dec 23, 2009
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Each year, the editors of drive hundreds of new cars to find the best new vehicles .Rather than pick just one Car or Truck of the year, the editors shared their picks in various categories:

Best New Car of 2009:

—Joe Tralongo picks the Chevrolet Camaro: While some may debate whether the Camaro qualifies as a new car or a makeover, very few will deny the new Camaro is the hottest car on Chevrolet's lot! Not only does the Camaro score big on numerous levels, it has quickly become a much-needed halo car for an automaker still in dire straights. With power to spare, a design that leaves the Mustang and Challenger in the dust and a level of refinement that—well, I can be happy with two out of three—a nicely loaded SS version, even with the balky six-speed manual, is a thrill to drive and a true jaw-dropper.

—Nick Kurczewski selects the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Since when did Mercedes-Benz add all this sex appeal to the E-Class sedan and coupe? The 2010 E-Class is impressive for its high-tech features and incredible engine lineup. But it's the seductive shape—complete with sculpted sides and get-outta-the-way grill and headlights—that'll earn this beauty a prime spot in front of the club when you toss the keys to the valet. You can choose from the 268-horsepower E350, 382-horsepower E550 ( probably the best mix of power, price and prestige ) , or tire-melting 518-horsepower E63 AMG. There is even a fuel sipping diesel in the mix too.

—Casey Williams picks the Buick LaCrosse: Ten years from now, when we look back at the success Buick has become, we will point to the LaCrosse as the car that moved GM's storied brand back into the realm. Designed at GM's studios in Shanghai, engineered by the good Germans at Opel, and wearing six ventiports, this is a good car. An interior customized to the twelves, electronic suspension system, 280-HP 3.6-litre V6, and near-silent comfort for five make it great. Young or old, gay or straight, LaCrosse is a fab way to roll.

—Joe LaMuraglia chooses the Chevrolet Equinox: Picking the best new car is always a challenge. When considering this category, I think about now only how "good" a vehicle is but also its impact on the segment it competes in as well as the number of people it has the ability to touch. With that in mind, I chose the Chevrolet Equinox for Best New Car. It is light years ahead of the vehicle it replaces and as a player in the rapidly growing small crossover segment, it is not only competitive, it redefines what a non-luxury crossover should be. With that choice of a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine and FWD or AWD, the new Chevrolet Equinox hits a large sweet spot in the market and as a result has the ability to reintroduce Chevrolet to a large population.

Best Club Car of 2009:

—Joe Tralongo picks the 2010 Kia Soul: In the wake of Wall Street's melt down, living within your means has not only become fashionable, it's become a necessity. But a tiny paycheck doesn't have to put the kibosh on your good time, because for around $16K, you can still roll up to the club in a stylish little number called the Soul. iPod integration, Bluetooth for your cell phone and even speakers that match the beat of your music with pulsating red LED lighting are all features that belie this car's miniscule price point. Match the Alien Green paint to the black and sand Houndstooth cloth interior, and you're rolling in the modern day equivalent of your Grand Daddy's Cadillac Eldorado. Now that's Pimpin' Korean style.

—Nick Kurczewski picks the Bentley Continental Supersports: It's not often you can justify 621-horsepower with Earth-friendly credentials. The Continental Supersports is the most powerful Bentley road car, ever! That's saying quite a lot. Now as if that fun factoid wasn't enough, this $267,000 supercar also happens to be the first Bentley capable of running on clean-burning bio-fuels, such as E85 ethanol. Will anyone really buy this car for its green image? Absolutely not. But I still love it.

—Casey Williams goes for the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS: When the current Mercedes SL debuted in 2003, my partner and I cruised through Dallas' Oak Lawn area with the top down. A hot young homo shouted in his best Texas accent, "That shit is pimp!" That shit was indeed pimp. But, the new SLS with its chrome Lonestar grille, long hood, and short rear deck is even more pimp. When you and your guest pop open the gullwing doors at the valet stand, I promise red carpets. Nothing makes an entrance like this Mercedes-Benz.

—Joe LaMuraglia picks the 2010 Lincoln MKT: A club car to me is one that can fit you and your friends in comfort, blasts music to get the group in the mood and has looks to get attention when you pull up to the front of the line. The 2010 Lincoln MKT looks like nothing else on the road, features seating for six in limo-like comfort, an amazing THX stereo system and an optional refrigerator to keep certain beverages cold for the ride. Choose the Lincoln MKT with the twin-turbo EcoBoost engine—the 355 horsepower will outrun the paparazzi in no time!

Read about more selections ( including Best Date Car and Best Family Car ) at .

Auto news

—To Infiniti and beyond: Infiniti has tweaked its G37 Coupe and Sedan for next year, resulting in price changes, according to Automobile Magazine. 2010 G37 sedans have such updates as new headlamps and consoles with aluminum finishes. An entry-level G37 four-door will now sticker for $34,115, including $865 for destination, the same price as a base 2009 G37 sedan. The two-door G37 has fewer changes, but does receive similar interior enhancements. The base G37 coupe starts at $36,915, approximately $150 more than last year's model.

—Crime time: On Nov. 19, Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen ordered Xiangdong Yu to continued detention after Yu—an ex-Ford Motor Co. engineer charged with stealing trade secrets and attempting to take them to his native country, China—was considered a flight risk, according to . Yu was arrested at O'Hare Airport Oct. 14.

—Now "year" this: Great Autos of Yesteryear, an LGBT car group with more than 1,000 members based mostly in southern California, held its annual Charity Concours Car Show in Palm Springs Oct. 24. Proceeds benefited the Desert Outreach Foundation, Golden Rainbow Senior Center and the Desert AIDS Project, according to . More than 100 classic, exotic and special-interest cars—mostly from the 1920s through the 1980s—were present at the event. See for more information.

—Changing of the guard: The board of directors of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association ( CATA ) has named David Sloan to succeed Jerry Cizek as president of the dealer group following Cizek's retirement from the position he has held since 1988, according to a press release. The change takes place Jan. 1, 2010. The CATA, the nation's oldest and biggest metropolitan dealer association, has produced the annual Chicago Auto Show—now staged at McCormick Place—since 1935.

This article shared 5265 times since Wed Dec 23, 2009
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