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While Volkswagen was displaying their “new” Beetle R “concept” and freshened 2012 VW CC at the Los Angeles Auto Show, there was also a new Passat sitting there which we have seen even more than the other two cars. Old news we were thinking… until Angus MacKenzie from Motor Trend stepped on stage.
Taking most of the assembled media members aback, Angus announced that the 2012 Passat had been chosen as this year’s Car Of The Year. From the largest field ever in the award’s 60-odd years of existence, the guys at MT picked the Passat. If we challenged you to name the 35 or so cars that were in the running this year, chances are you might have forgotten the Passat. But as Mr. MacKenzie pointed out, the new Passat was the best at meeting the magazine’s six judging criteria. We don’t have anything against the Passat, mind you, but we have to say that this selection was a big surprise.
The Chevrolet Volt has won two major magazine awards, becoming Automobile Magazine’s Automobile Of The Year and Motor Trend’s Car Of The Year.
Automobile called the Volt a “game changer”, and said that the car endured more scrutiny than any entry in recent memory, even devoting a ten page article to the car.
The Volt’s win at Motor Trend was also cause for a bit more good-natured ribbing, as several people, mostly Volt detractors, pointed out some of the past stinkers that have won the award, such as the 2002 Ford Thunderbird, 1997 Chevrolet Malibu and 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser along with many other less than stellar products.
The Volt is certainly a high stakes product for GM, and based on our own test drive of the Volt, we’d say the accolades are justified. Whether the market agrees is another matter.