The short list of candidates for the 2014 North American Car of the Year Award was just announced.
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A press release titled “F-150 wins Best Value Award” might seem pretty simple, but the eighth annual “Best Value in America” award isn’t quite as clear. Vinventric, the company bestowing the award, has the full story on its site. It seems that Ford did in fact win, but not to the extent the Ford press release might suggest.
In fact, Chevrolet won the award for “Best Value Truck Brand.” Meanwhile on the Ford press site, the release reads “F-150 beat out Chevrolet Silverado for the second year in a row.”
While Ford did actually win the half-ton segment, Chevrolet won overall and didn’t so much as bother to announce the victory on its site.
“Our awards take into account all costs involved with owning a vehicle, which enables consumers to understand automotive value and measure the impact that owning a specific vehicle will have on their financial situation,” stated David Wurster, President of Vincentric.
Among those costs, Vincentric considers depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs.
Things changed this year when the three finalists listed for the North American Truck of the Year Award were actually crossovers. In fact, the winner of the award was the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque which by all means hardly defines what we believe a truck is.
And thus a change to the name of the award has come. Starting with next year’s award, the North American Truck of the Year will now become the North American Truck/Utility of the Year. Not only will it now encompass SUVs and crossovers such as the Range Rover Evoque, but the word utility will also help make vehicles like the Ford F-Series Super Duty and the Dodge Ram 2500 HD more acceptable as they have become competent daily drivers.
Since its introduction as a 2009 model, the Ford F-150 in many respects has raised the benchmark when it comes to 1/2 ton full-size pickups. Incorporating many features that improved ride, handling, capability and practicality, the lineup received a major boost (literally) with new powertrains for the 2011 model year.
Collectively this has resulted, not only in maintaining the one-fifty’s position as sales leader in the segment, but also in a truck that consistently stands apart from the herd.
This is something Motor Trend magazine duly noted, during it’s annual truck of the year test for 2012 models. When all was said and done, the F-150 scored a solid lead over rival contenders, including Nissan’s new full-size van, the NV, the Ram HD Laramie Longhorn and Toyota Tacoma.
And a big part of that had to do with the truck’s 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost engine, which today, is accounting for around 40 percent of all F-150 sales in the US. Said Motor Trend‘s editor-in-chief Ed Loh of the EcoBoost. “It mastered every task we subjected it to, acing our instrumented tests at the proving grounds and swaying opinions during our real world evaluations.”
Upon the announcement of the 2012 MT Truck of the Year, Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas remarked, We are proud to receive this award and even more pleased that our F-150 customers have additional validation of their top choice.”
Ford’s F-150 has previously garnered Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors in 1997, 2004, and 2009.
During its annual Truck Rodeo in the city of San Antonio, the Texas Auto Writers’ Association, one of the largest such organizations in the country, declared two Chrysler products as winners in the SUV category.
For the Grand Cherokee, this represents the second year in a row that it has won the SUV of Texas title, the 57 journalists present at the rodeo deciding that among the vehicles tested in the category, the GC was the most worthy.
The award adds to a growing list of accolades, which currently makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee the most awarded SUV in history. Besides winning the SUV category overall, the new Overland Summit model also won the “Luxury SUV of Texas” accolade.
Mike Herzig, TAWA’s president declared that the “[Jeep Grand Cherokee] has once again demonstrated its superior levels of performance, quality, interior craftsmanship, and reliability that make it an award-winning SUV; Grand Cherokee is a tremendous value for consumers, and is clearly the ‘SUV of Texas.”
His words certainly seem to resonate with residents of the Lone Star State, for the current Grand Cherokee (introduced as a 2011 model), has seen sales increase by some 200 percent through September this year.
Besides the Grand Cherokee, another Jeep vehicle came home with an award, the 3.6-liter engined 2012 Wrangler Unlimited, which garnered “Mid-Size SUV of Texas” honors.
As for the Durango, it apparently made quite a splash at this year’s TAWA two-day evaluation, drawing favorable opinions for its seven-passenger seating, towing capability and more than 550 mile driving range among other things.
The 2012 Dodge Durango made quite an impression at this year’s TAWA Truck Rodeo,” said Mike Herzing, president of TAWA. “With its spacious and refined interior, impressive driving dynamics, and class-leading towing capability, it’s only fitting that the Dodge Durango is named the 2012 Full-Size SUV of Texas.”
Reid Bigland, the CEO of Dodge Brand, on hearing the news, remarked that, ”it’s always an honor when opinion-leading journalists recognize the tremendous capability, style and value we’re offering with our all-new lineup of Dodge vehicles. The Dodge Durango offers a true no-compromise solution, blending capability and refinement into one stylish SUV.”
At the annual Truck Rodeo in San Antonio, the Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA), declared that of the 48 vehicles evaluated among 57 members, the 2012 Ford F-150 was most deserving of the prestigious “Truck of Texas” award for 2012.
In other categories, the Ford Edge was named best Crossover Utility Vehicle of Texas, while Ford’s EcoBoost direct injection/turbo technology, available in both vehicles was named best overall vehicle feature.
In addition, the entire Ford truck line was also named “Best in Texas” for the 12 consecutive year, in recognition of best-in-class durability and capability.
“Texan consumers put their trust in TAWA’s automotive journalists,” stated the association’s president Mike Herzing. “After lining up vehicles from major auto manufacturers, our members determined Ford simply had the best trucks and crossover.” He also went to say that “ the real winners here are Texas’ truck buyers. Ford delivers the trucks that fit their lifestyles.”
Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, added, “these awards validate what our customers have been telling us about our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150, and we are honored by their recognition of the strength of our truck lineup as well as our crossovers and EcoBoost engines.”
The Automobile Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) has just released its list of contestants for this years competition, which will be held in the Niagara region of Ontario.
Last year the winner was the Chevrolet Cruze. Which will win this year? The results will be revealed at the Toronto International Auto Show in February 2012. The North American Car of the Year list was published earlier this year.
Hit the jump to see the full list: