It's Buyer's Choice In Imports

January 16, 1992|By Ken Parker | Ken Parker,Special to The Sun

Foreign car makers are offering vehicles to fit every niche in the hope of having something for everyone. This has led to a dizzying proliferation of models with wide choices in sizes, price levels and options.

Like the products of the American Big Three automakers, import cars are coming in two or more equipment levels, each with its own options.

With foreign cars, however, what you see is usually what you get. Dealers can seek a specific car, but they can't order a custom-built vehicle from the factory.

For the models below, FWD stands for front-wheel drive; RWD is rear-wheel drive and 4WD is 4-wheel drive. Alphabetically, here are the 1992 imports:

Acura

Integra: FWD, 4-seat subcompact hatchback coupe and sedan. 1.8-liter 4-cyl engine. Legend: FWD midsize 5-seat coupe and sedan. 3.2-liter V6 or 3.5-liter V6, both mounted longitudinally. 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. NSX: RWD 2-seat mid-engine sports coupe. 3.0-liter V6 engine mounted transversely. 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Vigor: New in '91 FWD 5-seat sedan. 2.5-liter inline 5-cycle engine.

Alfa Romeo

164: FWD compact 5-seat sedan. 3.0-liter V6 engine, 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. 4-wheel antilock disc brakes. Spider: RWD 2-seat sports convertible. 2.0-liter 4-cycle engine, 5-speed manual transmission.

Audi

80: FWD 5-seat compact sedan. 2.3-liter 5-cycle engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The Coupe Quattro has been discontinued. 100: FWD midsize 5-seat sedan offered in three equipment levels (100, 100S and 100CS). 2.8-liter V6 engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock disc brakes and driver air bag. An S4 model will replace the 200 Quattro early in 1992, when the '92 V8 Quattro will also be announced.

BMW

3 Series: Extensively redesigned, the 325i compact sedan is bigger and roomier than before. 2.5-liter inline 6-cycle engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock disc brakes. A coupe will be introduced early in 1992, as will new 2- and 4-door versions of the 4-cycle 318i.

5 Series: RWD midsize 5-seat sedan. 2.5-liter inline 6-cycle engine or 3.5-liter inline 6 with 2 or 4 valves per cycle. 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock brakes.

7 Series: RWD large 5-seat sedan. 3.5-liter inline 6 cycle engine or optional 5.0-liter V-12. Four-speed automatic transmission. Antilock brakes. 750iL has remote phone operation.

850i: RWD 5-seat luxury coupe. 5.0-liter V-12 engine, 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock brakes. Voice-activated phone dialing and phone controls.

Ferrari

348: RWD mid-engine 2-seat coupe and Targa (convertible with overhead bar). 3.4-liter V8 engine, 5-speed manual transmission.

Testarossa: RWD mid-engine 2-seat sports coupe. 5.0-liter V8, 5-speed manual transmission.

Honda

Accord: FWD 5-seat compact coupe, sedan and wagon. 2.2-liter 4-cycle engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Driver air bag.

Civic: FWD 4-seat subcompact, 2-door hatchback and 4-door sedan are bigger this year. Wagon has been discontinued.

CRX: New design predicted for spring is still 2-seat FWD, but with more power. Driver's air bag, antilock brakes on upscale model.

Prelude: FWD, 2+2 seating. Redesigned and re-equipped. S model has 2.2-liter 4-cycle engine, Si has 2.3-liter 4. 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. Variable assist power steering, 4-wheel disc brakes, driver's air bag, stereo cassette with power antenna.

Hyundai

Excel: Restyled inside and out. FWD subcompact 2-door hatchback and 4-door sedan, 4 seats. 1.5-liter 4-cycle engine, 5-speed manual transmission, 4-speed automatic.

Elantra: FWD subcompact 5-seat sedan 1.6-liter 4-cycle engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Sonata: FWD compact 5-seat sedan. 2.0-liter 4-cycle engine. 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.

Infiniti

G20: FWD subcompact 5-seat sedan. 2.0-liter 4-cycle engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. 4-wheel disc brakes.

M30 coupe and convertible: RWD 2+2 with 3.0-liter V6 engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.

Q45: RWD midsize 5-seat sedan. 4.5-liter V8 engine, 4-speed automatic transmission. 4-wheel antilock disc brakes.

Isuzu

Stylus: FWD 4-seat subcompact. 1.6-liter or 1.8-liter 4-cycle engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.

Jaguar

XJ6: Large RWD 5-seat sedan. 4.0-liter inline 6-cycle engine, 4-speed automatic transmission. 4-wheel antilock disc brakes.

XJ-S coupe and convertible: RWD luxury sports cars. Coupe has seating, convertible, 2 seats. 5.3-liter V-12 engine, 4-speed automatic.

Lexus

ES 300: FWD compact 5-seat luxury sedan. 3.0-liter V6, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, driver airbag.

LS 400: RWD midsize 5-seat luxury sedan. 4.0-liter V8 engine, 4-speed automatic transmission. 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, driver airbag.

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