By on January 6, 2012

Dave Barry once wrote that “Corporations have meetings because they cannot physically masturbate.” One might also say that auto magazines give meaningless awards because they cannot actually get the automakers’ proverbial todgers down their proverbial throats. Giving an award accomplishes pretty much the same thing, plus it sends the right message: we are perfectly compliant cogs in your public relations machine, and we celebrate your entire catalog of automobiles. The public ignores the awards, everybody is happy, the party continues.

Time for AutoWeek to get its knees dirty, and it turns out they are no choosier than a heroin addict occupying a bathroom stall at the Troubadour.

According to the press release,

To be eligible for Autoweek’s Best of the Best honors, a vehicle had to be completely or substantially new – minor facelifts or mechanical updates didn’t count – and available to the general public. The Best of the Best process begins each January, with models unavailable at the end of the calendar year eligible for the following year’s contest.

Calling the award “Best Of The Best” implies something amusing: that all new automobiles released in a particular year are already The Best. The best one of those? Why, that’s Best Of The Best. Of course.

This meaningless award was handed out to two PR departments automobiles: Audi A7 is The Best Car Of The Best Car, and the Range Rover Evoque is The Best Truck Of The Best Trucks. Only in fantasyland is a four-cylinder, transverse-engined, front-wheel-drive (in some markets) compact station wagon a truck. Welcome to fantasyland. Come on in, the free trips to Europe are fine.

Given world enough and time, TTAC would circulate the globe to find a consumer whose purchase decision was influenced by these awards, but honestly it would probably be easier, and more profitable, to find the lost city of Atlantis. If you do find yourself buying an Evoque or A7 as a consequence of the AutoWeek stamp of approval, please feel free to contact us so you can be lampooned featured in a future article.

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47 Comments on “AutoWeek Creates Meaningless “Best Truck” Award, Gives It To A Car...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I see platform, high-heeled shoes are in vogue.

    With regards compact to both SUV and CUV sold today – nearly all of them are really cars.

    Tahoes, Suburbans and Expeditions are trucks.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The only thing I hate more than giving cars and ‘trucks’ awards is the automaker than turning around and telling us they won them in their marketing.

    What’s that, Chevy? Yours is an award-winning lineup? Which award did the Impala win?

    Don’t get me started on GM touting all their Consumers Digest awards, hoping people will confuse “Digest” with “Reports.”

    If you had to pick ‘em, what would be TTAC’s “Truthiest Car (and/or Truck) of the Year?”

    One final aside: Posh Spice just looks like one of those women who is more comfortable in those ridiculous heels than something more sensible, like sneakers. And that just doesn’t sit right with me. Perhaps she’s an alien.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Things like this really make it seem awkward for similar magazines to lambaste their own/each other’s past award recipients. Citation, ’97 Malibu, Renault Alliance all CotYs? At least they’re cars…

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Ok so maybe not truck of the year, but maybe most influential and best car of the last 5 years. This car has a massive waiting list people are paying well over the odds to get one. If this isn’t world car of the year what on earth would be?

  • avatar
    mmdpg

    The model looks like she has 2 of the Best of the Best, although they may or may not be new or substantially upgraded for this year.

    • 0 avatar
      BigDaddyC

      mmdpg, you’re clearly not a dedicated follower of fashion – and celebrity – (and I don’t blame you) if you don’t recognise former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.

      But if you did, you’d know that her breasts are indeed surgically enhanced.

      In other words, they’re as fake as AutoWeek’s awards.

  • avatar
    jeanpierresarti

    When I was a lot younger the moment I realized that these auto mags are on the take as a car nut it hurt me as much as finding out Santa Claus was fake.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Egads! Couldn’t Land Rover find somebody more sexy than Victoria Beckham? Posh Spice leaves such a bad taste in my mouth…

    And given that JLR is owned by an Indian conglomerate, Tata could grab a hot Bollywood star instead who they could call Curry Spice!

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    In the strange, faraway land where I live (the South), trucks are used to do unusual things like haul building supplies and garbage and tow things like boats and trailers.

    So, to us a truck has to have a ladder frame and either rear or four wheel drive. Leaf spring suspension is a plus, because it handles the loads better. While this includes nearly all pickups, a Suburban is also a truck, while a Honda Piot is not.

    The Evoque is a car. Simple as that.

    • 0 avatar
      rem83

      You must live in a different part of the south from me. ’round these parts, most pickups are used for commuting with the occasional bit of hauling that could have been accomplished by a wagon. there are certainly exceptions – but they’re just that – exceptions, not the rule.

      oh, and a lot of people like to use dually diesels for drag racing.

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        You beat me to it. Also don’t forget the Richie Rich Rednecks still in high school tooling (an appropriate word) around in shiny new lifted, chipped diesels with soot belching out of the vertical exhausts that run through the bed.

      • 0 avatar

        It never fails to amaze me how some stereotypes are cool and others are not.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        That’s the essential nature of stereotypes my friend. At turns all-inclusively selective, or limitingly exclusive, yet often wrong when a limited and vague over-simplification of a population is used to describe the complex reality of the single individual (and vice-versa).

        Sometimes I wonder whether stereotypes feed prejudice, or the other way around…

  • avatar
    rem83

    While this is annoying, I’d have more of a problem with it if I thought people used cars and trucks for different purposes. I’m of the opinion that most true truck buyers simply use them as cars as that’s what my personal experiences have demonstrated.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Clearly just a marketing contest. These advertisements, err…I mean awards are intended to do nothing more than drive new vehicle sales, especially because only NEW or substantially new (whatever that means) vehicles are eligible for the award. My E46 sedan is a better truck than the Evoque.

    I want awards given and reviews written in absolutes not relatives.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      These advertisements, err…I mean awards are intended to do nothing more than drive new vehicle sales, especially because only NEW or substantially new (whatever that means) vehicles are eligible for the award.

      Media outlets need to attract eyeballs. And readers love to have lists.

      Best places to live!
      Sexiest people of the year!
      Best album of the year!
      Best actor!
      Best movie!

      I hope that you’re noticing a pattern. At times like this, Mr. Baruth needs to dismount his high horse and put himself in the shoes of a publisher. TTAC serves a niche that enjoys some combination of brooding and analysis; the buff books are peddling car porn, and the award editions give the readers what they want and the staffers some free loaner cars.

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Yes, I’ve noticed the pattern. I just generally dislike periodic “best of” awards. If I’m going out to buy a new car, I’m not just looking at the models released this year. Today’s “best of” may be crap compared to runners-up from yesterday or 2 years ago.

  • avatar

    automakers’ proverbial todgers

    One of the things that Jack Baruth shares with Wm F. Buckley is that when I read them, I have to look up words. Differently dictionaries, perhaps, but a similar phenomenon. Just what would my vocabulary be without words like “shocker” and “todger”?

  • avatar

    Best Of The Best

    The superlative of superlatives. Does their amp go to 11 too?

    Ad agencies must all have Department of Redundancy Departments.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Didn’t TTAC have a ‘most shittiest car’ award a few years back? Why not start that up, but add meaningful categories such as:

    shittiest dealer customer service story
    shittiest car magazine story
    shittiest car mag award – looks like this one is covered by AutoWeek.
    shittiest new car for sale
    most incompetent auto journalist
    worst handling new car
    worst engine in a new car – Yeah Ward’s, this is because of you.
    Car so bad no amount of depreciation is enough to buy it
    etc, etc, etc.

  • avatar
    Travis

    I was really considering emailing you about this, as seeing it on Autoweek was the final nail in the coffin for all the A7/Evoque love in the last quarter. Several automotive publications have just been pouring adoration on these two, topped off with loads of awards and a lack of specifics when it comes to what makes them such amazing vehicles. How big of a payout are these publications/journalists getting? What is it specifically about these two cars? Do you think Range Rover is trying to capture it’s ‘share’ of the New Car market instead of being firmly entrenched in the “people who can’t afford a Range Rover HSE buy one a year or two later because of incredible depreciation” market?

    *shrug*

    That’s what made most sense to me.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The most exciting distinguishing characteristic of the Audi A7 is the wood used on the center console. You read that right. Perhaps that’s why Audi decided they needed to buy it some ‘awards.’

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      The cars themselves are cool in their own ways. It’s the autoweek award that Jack points out as bogus. Best of the Best? Might as well call it “The Bestest Car!”

      Autoweek needs to be renamed Autoweak.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Before reading the article I thought, “What the heck is Victoria doing standing in front of a new Explorer?”

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    I’d love it if that broad gave me “head” trauma.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    “Time for AutoWeek to get its knees dirty, and it turns out they are no choosier than a heroin addict occupying a bathroom stall at the Troubadour.”

    I nearly wet myself, thanks for that! You’re right of course.. even tho I really like the A7, and maybe the Evoqge too, tho they are probably both being purchased by pouseurs…..

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      +1. The imagery in Jack’s writing! …

      Yes, I am attracted to the A7 as well. I like that the A7 is posing as a coupe, but is really a hatchback posing as a sedan. :)

      Just as well poseurs purchase it and help the economy a bit, because we know enthusiasts rarely buy!

  • avatar

    So if this is all such bull, why write a story about it for TTAC? Doesn’t that just make you the guy watching while standing on the toilet in the next stall over?

    Car magazine awards are meaningless crap, and this one is even more meaningless than most, plus Autoweek obviously made a bad choice for this irrelevant award, and somehow this is newsworthy enough that you felt the need to write about it?

  • avatar
    outback_ute

    I agree, “omg its not a bof truck” has been beat to death in the last month over many awards. I wonder why the publications have classified the Evoque etc as a truck, I expect the EPA does but is there a more “official” arbiter than that?


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