2016 North American Car & Truck/Utility of the Year announced; Honda Civic and Volvo XC90 take top honours

The annual North American International Auto Show at Detroit has just begun with the announcement of the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year award winners. These awards are significant as they represent the collective knowledge and opinion of more than 50 automotive journalists from all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, television, radio and websites. 2016 marks the twenty third year of these awards that have become the gold standard in the industry circles.

To qualify for this award, a car or truck/utility should either be all new or significantly revised from the previous model year. Its retail price should not exceed $100,000 and sales in North America should be not less than 5000 for cars and 2000 for trucks. From the several new vehicles that made it to the list, the jurors had selected three finalists each in cars and trucks. 

Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Civic and Mazda MX-5 Miata were the finalists that vied for the North American Car of the Year crown. Of these, it was the Honda that came out on top after the three cars were driven, tested and evaluated. The new tenth-generation Civic is said to be a quantum leap for Honda vis-a-vis the old model and one that's expected to bring the lost glory back to the Japanese brand. Let's not forget the previous-generation Civic was a rare blip in form for the popular nameplate and the new Civic attempts to correct it right from the word go. It looks sharp and edgy, boasts interiors that are miles ahead of its predecessor and gets a new turbocharged mill under the hood in addition to the free-revving i-VTEC engines on duty. Playing second fiddle to the Civic is the Chevrolet Malibu with the Mazda MX-5 Miata finishing a distant third.


* Honda Civic - 203 points
* Chevrolet Malibu - 181 points
* Mazda MX-5 Miata - 146 points


* 2015 - Volkswagen Golf/GTI
* 2014 - Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
* 2013 - Cadillac ATS
* 2012 - Hyundai Elantra
* 2011 - Chevrolet Volt  

Moving on to the trucks and utilities, Honda Pilot, Nissan Titan XD and Volvo XC90 were the three finalists from more than a dozen qualified new launches. In the end, it was the reborn XC90 that takes the honours this time around. The XC90 is stylish, sexy and elegant all at once. Even against its acclaimed German competitors, the XC90's interiors stand out for its premium feel and tech-laden feature set. Symbolizing Volvo's resurgence under their new ownership, the XC90 had a lot of expectations placed on its shoulders. Needless to say, it has come out in flying colors! That it decimated the other two vehicles vying for the crown by a whopping margin just underlines how good an automobile the XC90 is. Losing out to the Volvo but bunched closer together are the Honda Pilot and Nissan Titan XD, both competent products in their own right.


* Volvo XC90 - 310 points
* Honda Pilot - 111 points
* Mazda MX-5 Miata - 109 points


* 2015 - Ford F-150
* 2014 - Chevrolet Silverado
* 2013 - Ram 1500
* 2012 - Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
* 2011 - Ford Explorer

Kudos Honda and Volvo! Keep models such as these lined up in regular intervals.

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