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Chevy Pulls a Two-Fer, Takes Motor Trend Awards with New Camaro, Colorado Models

Two surprise winners in a crowd full of competitors.

by on Nov.17, 2015

Chevy has scored a string of victories with the Camaro since it was brought back in 2009.

Chevrolet pulled off a double upset, taking both car and truck-of-the-year honors from Motor Trend magazine with its Camaro muscle car and Chevrolet Colorado pickup.

The twin endorsement by the widely quoted magazine means Chevrolet bested such serious competitors as Honda, whose  all-new Civic was seen by many as a Car-of-the-Year shoe-in, while the new Nissan Titan and the refreshed Toyota Tacoma were strong contenders for the Truck-of-the-Year title.

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“I couldn’t be more proud of this team that delivered the Camaro,” said Mark Reuss, the head of global product development for General Motors, as he accepted one of the two awards during the first-ever televised version of the Motor Trend awards.


Ram 1500 Wins Motor Trend Truck of the Year – Again

Chrysler’s big rig delivers body blow to new Chevy Silverado.

by on Dec.04, 2013

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

The full-size Ram 1500 pickup has been named Motor Trend Truck of the Year – a doubly significant victory not only considering all the tough competition this year but for the fact that the Ram is the first-ever back-to-back winner of the widely followed award.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  The magazine focused its attention this year on the new EcoDiesel V6 version of the Ram 1500, the market’s first light-duty pickup to offer a high-mileage oil-burner under the hood.

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“Not only did (the Ram diesel) withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V-6. With 420 pound-feet of torque and up to 28 ‘Real MPG’ highway, the EcoDiesel is a true game-changer,” said Motor Trend’s Editor-In-Chief Ed Loh.


CTS Captures Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award

Caddy one of five GM vehicles in the running for NACTOY.

by on Nov.07, 2013

Motor Trend announced today that the 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan is its Car of the Year for 2014. It's the second time the CTS has won the award.

For the second time since its introduction, the Cadillac CTS is Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. It captured the honor in 2008 as well.

Not only did it win for a second time in less than a decade, but also it beat out two other finalists – the much-hyped Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Mazda3 – as well as the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series, which did not make the finals, to do so.

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“It had to beat [Mercedes and BMW] on style, on performance, on comfort, and on quality. It has,” the magazine said. (more…)

MPG Picks “Vehicle of the Year” Finalists

Awards season gets underway.

by on Oct.07, 2011

The Fiat 500 is one of the finalists for the inaugural MPG Vehicle of the Year award.

Billing itself as the largest automotive media association in North America, MPG members have selected cars from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group as finalist for their first MPG Vehicle of the Year Award.  The presence of each of the domestics is significant considering California is the home of the imports, a market where you might go all day without seeing Detroit sheet metal.

The finalists for the new honor, which is certain to command broad attention, include the 2012 Audi A7, 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, 2012 Fiat 500, 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Hyundai Elantra. The Fiat 500 is sold by Chrysler across North America — and built at a Chrysler plant in Mexico.

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The five finalists for the “VOTY” were chosen by a panel of 18 MPG journalist members who drive and review new vehicles on a regular basis. All MPG journalist members will evaluate the final five vehicles and vote on the winner at the organization’s annual Track Day event in mid-October. The winner of the award will be announced during the LA auto show’s press days, next month.


Nissan Leaf Named European Car Of The Year

Key victory for new Nissan battery-electric vehicle.

by on Nov.29, 2010

The 2011 Nissan Leaf wins a key award.

After watching its top battery car competitor, the Chevrolet Volt, snag several key endorsements, the 2011 Nissan Leaf has landed a big one of its own.  The compact battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, has been named European Car of the Year, overcoming tough competition from an assortment of conventional and “green” products.

Leaf’s victory not only marks the first time a battery car has won the influential award but the first time an electric vehicle has simply made it into the final round, where Nissan’s entry was pitted against the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Opel Meriva, Citroen C3/DS3, Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max and Volvo S60.

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“This award recognizes the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling,” said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn as he accepted the annual award. “It also reflects Nissan’s standing as an innovative and exciting brand with a clear vision of the future of transportation, which we call sustainable mobility.”


Chevy Volt Three-Peats As Green Car Of The Year

GM’s battery electric took Motor Trend, Automobile honors earlier in the week.

by on Nov.18, 2010

GM Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick with the Chevy Volt he drove from Detroit for the L.A. Auto Show.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has pulled off its third big victory in less than a week, taking top honors as Green Car of the Year during a ceremony at the L.A. Auto Show.

The news comes just days after General Motors’ new plug-in hybrid was named both Motor Trend Car of the Year and Automobile magazine’s Automobile of the Year.  While such honors don’t always measure up, industry observers say Volt’s strong showing should make consumers take a closer look at the breakthrough vehicle.

Set to begin reaching the first buyers in the coming weeks, Volt pairs both an electric drivetrain and a conventional gasoline engine.  The vehicle is capable of getting between 25 and 50 miles per charge, depending on weather, driving patterns and other factors.  But unlike a pure battery-electric vehicle, the Chevy, which GM prefers to call an “extended-range electric vehicle,” or E-REV, can keep on going by switching to gasoline power when the batteries run down.

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The difference from a conventional hybrid is range and top speed, which can hit nearly 100 mph.  But there is a cost, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt priced at about $41,000 before the $7,500 federal tax credit.


2011 Chevrolet Volt Wins Twin Car of the Year Awards

Key endorsements for the plug-in which is also a strong contender for North American Car of the Year.

by on Nov.16, 2010

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is shown at the GM wind tunnel - along with the Motor Trend Car of the Year trophy.

The trophy wars are just getting underway, but the 2011 Chevrolet Volt has already landed two key victories, winning the high-profile designation of Motor Trend Car of the Year, as well as the Car of the Year award from rival Automobile magazine.

The awards are the latest kudos for General Motors plug-in hybrid, and help overcome some of the stigma that arose shortly after Volt formal launch, last month, when GM officials acknowledged they had misled the media about the technology used to drive the battery-based vehicle.

Originally billed as an “extended-range electric vehicle,” or E-REV, which always uses electric power to drive its wheels, it turns out that the Chevy Volt occasionally relies on a direct mechanical assist from its backup 1.4-liter gasoline engine.  Nonetheless, Motor Trend editors declared the 2011 model one of the most significant vehicles ever tested during the 61-year history of the magazine’s influential Car of the Year award.

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“The Volt has some of the most advanced engineering ever seen on an American production car,” declared MT Editor Angus McKenzie.  The magazine also suggested that while it originally expected “a science experiment,” the 2011 Chevrolet Volt was more like “a moon shot.”

Formal production of the Volt has just begun, with sales beginning before year-end.  Originally intended to deliver 40 miles on a charge of its 16 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries, Chevy has since revised its forecast, offering a range of 25 to 50 miles.

That reflects the fact that battery-powered vehicles are sensitive to a variety of environmental and personal driving factors.  An aggressive driver, stuck in Michigan traffic on a cold day, will likely see battery range drop to the lower factor, while someone cruising through the exurbs of Los Angeles, with minimal traffic and the climate control turned off, could get 50 miles.

Once the battery runs down, Volt is designed to keep running, unlike a pure battery-electric vehicle, the 1.4-liter I4 engine taking over.  The controversy arose over an engineering decision to let the internal combustion engine connect directly to the driveline under some demanding conditions, rather than solely act as an electric generator.

Nonetheless, reviews of the Volt – including those on (Click Here to read) have been almost universally enthusiastic.

While there were a number of key competitors considered for the Motor Trend and Automobile magazine awards, the most likely alternative was considered to be another new battery-based vehicle, the pure electric-powered 2011 Nissan Leaf.

Though GM and Nissan have insisted they are not direct competitors, each targeting a somewhat different kind of buyer, company insiders have occasionally taken shots at each other’s approach.  But they’ve also acknowledged that it’s in the industry’s best interest for both products to succeed if consumers are to begin accepting the nascent battery-electric offerings.

By some counts, there could be as many as three dozen plug-in hybrids, E-REVs and BEVs on the market by mid-decade. (Ford announces roll-out plants for the Focus Electric. Click Here for more.) A number of new offerings will, in fact, make their debut at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, including a battery-powered Toyota RAV4-EV.  (Click Here to learn more.)

The Leaf and Volt will likely face off again in less than two months when arguably one of the most widely-respected automotive awards is announced, the North American Car of The Year.  Both models are on the list of semi-finalists and an informal poll of the 50 jurors (editor’s note: including Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein) shows the two favored to be among the three finalists.  The NACOTY winner will be announced during the opening of the Detroit Auto Show, in January.

Ford Fusion Named Motor Trend Car of the Year

Will it take North American Car of the Year, as well?

by on Nov.17, 2009

The 2010 Ford Fusion was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year.  Can it also grab the crown in the upcoming North American Car of the Year?

The 2010 Ford Fusion was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year. Can it also grab the crown in the upcoming North American Car of the Year?

In a surprising move, Motor Trend magazine has named the Ford Fusion its Car of the Year, a decision that’s bound to give even more momentum to the first domestic midsize car in years giving serious challenge to import mainstays like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

The Fusion beat out a field of several dozen strong contenders, noted the magazine’s editor, Angus MacKenzie, including the new Chevrolet Camaro, which many expected to take the coveted annual award.

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The 2010 Fusion, said Ford President Mark Fields, during a ceremony at the company’s suburban Detroit headquarters, has “really done a lot for our image, and it’s done a lot for our sales and market share.”