NEW FOR 2009:

– All-wheel drive JLX model only
– Standard six-speed automatic transmission, body-colour bumpers and heated power mirrors

For 2009, the XL7 comes only in a single trim line with all-wheel drive; front-wheel drive only has been discontinued, along with the base JX trim line. The previous five-speed automatic transmission is replaced with a six-speed automatic.

The XL7 uses a 3.6-litre V6 with six-speed automatic with manual shift mode, and all-wheel drive. Seating is for seven passengers.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, rear heater/air conditioner, six-CD/MP3 Pioneer audio system with wheel-mounted controls and auxiliary input, cruise control, power sunroof, leather-wrapped wheel, floor mats, vanity mirrors, compass, heated leather seats, six-way power driver’s adjustment, fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40 split-folding second-row seats, 50/50 split-folding third-row seats, automatic headlamps, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, fixed intermittent rear wiper, privacy glass, fog lamps, roof rails, engine block heater, and tire pressure monitoring system.

Built alongside the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent, the XL7 shares about 20 per cent of its components with GM, primarily in the interior. Its strong and smooth engine is based on a Cadillac block, but is built in Japan.

The XL7 is pleasant to drive, with a confident stance, good performance and well-done brakes. The third row of seats is roomier than in many competitors, although it’s difficult to access, and is best primarily for children or for short trips. First- and second-row passengers enjoy good legroom and headroom, and all seats fold flat for a considerable cargo floor.

Connect with Autos.ca