‘Motor Trend’ Announces 2016 ‘Of the Year’ Finalists
Motor Trend magazine first debuted all the way back in 1949, and was the first ever publication to honor a vehicle as a “Car of the Year.” For those who are curious, that first recognition from the prestigious automotive magazine, was the Cadillac’s V8 engine the same year the magazine was first published. The early awards from Motor Trend weren’t aimed at a specific make and model, but rather the automotive manufacturer or division. Fast forward to over fifty years later, and Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award is widely recognized as the highest honor awarded in the entire auto industry. To say that automakers want this coveted title each year, is a massive understatement.
Not only do the winners of the Car of the Year award go on to use the honor in advertising campaigns throughout the rest of the year, they also go on to sell more vehicles, and experience an obvious spike in sales numbers. Motor Trend just released its list of finalists for their 2016 Car of the Year awards, and our favorite bowtie brand is on the list – several times. To say that Chevrolet car dealers across the country are excited about this is also, a massive understatement.
How Motor Trend Picks the Finalists
Since the publication first created this now-prestigious award, the categories have grown, right along with the amount of automotive segments in the current market. There are currently three categories for Motor Trend’s Car of the Year awards: Truck of the Year, Car of the Year, and SUV of the Year. Each category has a long list of worthy finalists, which the publication narrows down before picking the official winners.
In order for a vehicle to qualify for the coveted award, the car, truck, or SUV must be completely new, or “substantially upgraded” from the previous model year. In an attempt to keep the award from only going to super cars or luxury high-end models, Motor Trend only considers vehicles that have a starting MSRP of under $100,000. After a vehicle meets the most basic criteria, Motor Trend then subjects each model to a variety of tests, to ensure that the vehicle is up to their expected high standards. Check out a few of those criteria below:
- Skid-pad ratings
- Acceleration times
- Interior evaluation
- Normal road tests to test everyday drivability
- Fuel economy ratings
- Towing capacity for the Truck & SUV categories
After these tests are completed, the top vehicles from each category, go on to become finalists. Rather than the Motor Trend judges executing a simple comparison test, they evaluate teach vehicle on six different key categories. Check out the six different criteria that judges used to determine the Car of the Year winners for 2014:
- Design Advancement – Selection of materials, innovative vehicle packaging, well executed interior and exterior styling.
- Engineering Excellence – Clever packaging, dynamics issues, and manufacturing solutions; execution of vehicle concept; technology that both benefits the driver, and is cost-effective.
- Efficiency – Judges the fuel efficiency rating and carbon footprint, while keeping in mind the type of vehicle and its overall purpose.
- Safety – Active safety features that help the driver avoid a potential collision; secondary safety features that protect passengers when a collision does occur.
- Value – How competitive the pricing of the vehicle is, and the various trim levels offered, compared to other vehicles in the same segment.
- Performance of Intended Function – Rates how effectively the vehicle performs the job that its designers, engineers, and planners intended.
After their initial evaluation, the judges debate and make a final decision on the winner of that category.
2016 Car of the Year Finalists
Just this week, Motor Trend announced its finalists for all three of its competitive categories. Each one of those lists includes at least one Chevrolet model, which gives the Bowtie brand big hopes for what may come for its 2016 lineup.
Last year, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf took home the award for Car of the Year, but this year’s winner is still undecided. Check out this list of the 2016 Car of the Year finalists from Motor Trend magazine. The vehicles are listed in no particular order.
- 2016 Chevrolet Camaro – Featuring a new platform and an optional eight-speed automatic transmission
- 2016 Chevrolet Malibu – All new, and back on track for the latest model year
- 2016 Honda Civic
- 2016 Nissan Maxima
- 2016 Kia Optima
- 2016 BMW 340i
- 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S
- 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
- 2016 BMW 7-Series
- 2016 Scion iM
- 2016 Scion iA
- 2016 Volkswagen Jetta
- 2016 Audi TT
- 2016 Toyota Mirai
- 2016 Audi A6
2016 Truck of the Year Finalists
A smaller category than the Car of the Year, as the pickup truck segment is more specialized. The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado took home top honors in this category this year, and the bowtie brand is hoping to repeat history with the all-new diesel variant of the popular pickup. Ram did not make this list, and the trend for Truck of the Year for 2016 seems to be new diesel engine offerings. Let’s check out all of the contenders for the 2016 Truck of the Year award, by exploring each one below. Again, these models are not listed in any particular order.
- 2016 Chevrolet Colorado – Offering a diesel engine option for the first time, this midsize pickup is making big strides in its segment.
- 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – Completely restyled with expanded offerings such as a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
- 2016 Toyota Tacoma – New V6 engine option and restyled interior cabin.
- 2016 Nissan Titan XD – Another diesel finalist, this one is offering a 5.0-liter Turbodiesel V8.
- 2016 GMC Canyon – Again, a new diesel engine option for this model year.
- 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 – Updated for this model year, the Sierra also offers the eight-speed automatic transmission.
2016 SUV of the Year Finalists
One of the fastest growing, most popular segments in today’s automotive industry, the SUV is taking the world by storm. Whether compact, midsize, or fullsize – there is an SUV for every lifestyle, budget, and need. Motor Trend is sifting through the finalists, which includes a large list of premium, high-end names. Last year, the 2015 Honda CR-V took Motor Trend’s award home, but the 2016 honor is still up for grabs. Which one of the finalists below, will be taking it home?
- 2016 Chevrolet Trax
- 2016 BMW X6
- 2016 Nissan Murano
- 2016 Volvo XC90
- 2016 Lincoln MKX
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
- 2016 Honda Pilot
- 2016 Mazda CX-3
- 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport
- 2016 Kia Sorento
- 2016 Jeep Renegade
- 2016 Hyundai Tucson
- 2016 Honda HR-V
- 2016 Ford Explorer
- 2016 Ford Edge
- 2016 Fiat 50X
Which Vehicle Will Take Home the Top Honors?
Motor Trend magazine will be revealing the winner of each of the above categories on November 16. The publication stays tight-lipped until the official announcement of the winners, with not even the slightest clue as to who that winner will be.
As a Chevrolet car dealer, we here at Dan Cummins would like to believe that Chevrolet will take the top spot in all three categories – but the competition this year is stiff. Each entry and finalist deserves a spot on that list, and the professional judges at Motor Trend are the only people who can make the final decision on which vehicle wins out over all of the rest. The winner from each category will take home the coveted Golden Caliper trophy, which is rumored to be completely made-over for this year’s awards.
Until we find out for certain which make and model Motor Trend names as the 2016 Automobiles of the Year, we will sit, speculate, and keep our fingers crossed for our favorite bowtie-wearing models.