BMW has long enjoyed success with its performance-oriented image. Iconic BMW vehicles have stayed at the forefront of the market by including large doses of advanced engine and driving control technologies. In spite of heavy criticism by the motoring press, the newer styling of BMW vehicles has connected with buyers, as shown by the strong sales of 3-series and 5-series models.

The most dramatic new BMW is the X6 crossover. The X6 skews the recipe for SUVs in the direction of a tall sedan. This five-door model is far from utilitarian with its aggressive roofline, seating for four and scant storage in the hatch. The X6 is offered with an inline-six cylinder and V8 engines, resulting in unusually (for BMW) verbose product names: XDrive35i and XDrive50i.

Like its German counterparts, BMW is introducing clean diesel technologies to the US market in 2009. Diesel engine models join the 3-Series and X5 lines. In addition to a diesel engine option, BMW's bread-and-butter 3-Series receives some minor styling tweaks to the front end.

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