The Truth About Cars » COTY http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » COTY http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com NAIAS 2013: Cadillac ATS Is COTY, Ram 1500 Wins Truck Award http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/naias-2013-cadillac-ats-is-coty-ram-1500-wins-truck-award/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/naias-2013-cadillac-ats-is-coty-ram-1500-wins-truck-award/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 13:23:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=473631

No surprises here…the Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 are North American Car and Truck of the Year. Thank god it wasn’t the FR-S. Sergio Marchionne quipped that “we deserved to win” the truck award. And I don’t disagree with him. GM’s new full-sizers are going to have a tough battle ahead of them.

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Volkswagen Up! Is World Car Of The Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/volkswagen-up-is-world-car-of-the-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/volkswagen-up-is-world-car-of-the-year/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 18:15:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438591

The New York Auto Show is where the World Car Of The Year awards were announced, and the past few years have seen small, fuel-efficient cars take home the crown. The Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Golf and Mazda2 have won in the past few years, and 2012 is no different, with the Volkswagen Up! taking home the crown. The Up! beat the BMW 3-Series and Porsche 911 for the honors, but at least we’ll get a chance to buy those two (well, some of us…).

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Chevrolet Volt, Vauxhall/Opel Ampera Named 2012 European Car Of The Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/chevrolet-volt-vauxhallopel-ampera-named-2012-european-car-of-the-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/chevrolet-volt-vauxhallopel-ampera-named-2012-european-car-of-the-year/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 16:58:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433842

On the back of last year’s win for the Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall/Opel Ampera has won the 2012 European Car of the Year award, beating out the Citroen DS5, Fiat Panda, Ford Focus, Range Rover Evoque, Toyota Yaris and the Volkswagen Up!

The Volt/Ampera beat out the Volkswagen Up!, with the Focus ranking third. Two jurors from England’s CAR magazine explained their voting patterns (you can read them here and here). Juror Georg Kacher, who voted for the Evoque in first place, summarized his drawbacks for Volt/Ampera twins, stating that it was prevented from getting his first place vote because

 it commands a steep asking price, is no performance champ, and consumes too much fuel once the initial battery charge has been used up

I haven’t driven the Up!, but the Evoque and Focus are both fine cars in my opinion and could have easily taken the title. The Volt and Ampera will both be sold in Europe under different dealer channels and branding (Chevrolet being more downmarket and selling rebadged Daewoos relative to Vauxhall/Opel’s slightly more upscale positioning) and seeing the sales breakdown between the two will be a fun exercise once the two are on sale across the continent.

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Hyundai Elantra, Range Rover Evoque Win North American Car/Truck Of The Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/hyundai-elantra-range-rover-evoque-win-north-american-cartruck-of-the-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/hyundai-elantra-range-rover-evoque-win-north-american-cartruck-of-the-year/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 16:15:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424914

Jack has already expressed his displeasure with the Evoque being named winning another Truck of the Year, but his blood pressure won’t be rising just yet. The Evoque, along with the Hyundai Elantra, just took home the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

The nominees for the Car award included the Elantra, Ford Focus and VW Passat, while the truck award was composed solely of crossovers with the Evoque, Honda CR-V and BMW X3 nominated. The 30-vehicle shortlist can be viewed here. The truck category is devoid of any body-on-frame vehicle.

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Motor Trend’s Car Of The Year: As Relevant As You’d Expect http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/motor-trends-car-of-the-year-as-relevant-as-youd-expect/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/motor-trends-car-of-the-year-as-relevant-as-youd-expect/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 23:56:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=418762

Click here to view the embedded video.

Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award has been a lightning rod of criticism among automotive gadflies ever since… well, you decide. Corvair? Vega? Mustang II?  Every year, MT picks one “best” car from a market that serves a wide variety of needs, and every year, the autoblogosphere rushes to help the tottering “contest” collapse under the weight of its own pretense. This year, with Motor Trend picking Volkswagen’s new de-Euro’d Passat (a car that has received a decidedly mixed critical reception) for its highest honor, is it any wonder that the peanut gallery is frothing over the choice?

Jalopnik, the gaddiest of automotive gadflies, swung for the moon with their headline of “Golden Shower” superimposed atop a picture of Editor-In-Chief Angus Mackenzie. Mike Spinelli’s satirical rant, praising Motor Trend for giving the award to a car that has been watered-down and decontented for the American market, would be funny if there weren’t legions of people who earnestly believed the Passat could qualify as some kind of enthusiast vehicle beyond the mere fact that it was a Volkswagen, and therefore obscure to most consumers.

The previous Passats were great cars. I lobbied hard for my folks to buy a B6 Wagon in high school but they ended up going with a Hyundai Santa Fe. The inside of a Passat was, to quote a popular movie at the time “lined with rich mahogany and filled with leather [bound books]…” and the 2.0T engine provided a nice kick. The dealer even had a parts counter guy who offered to re-flash the ECU for another 40 horsepower and 90 lb-ft, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Otherwise, the Passats were just “meh” to drive. More fun than a CamCord to be certain, but eating diabetic candy is more fun than eating celery sticks.

But a rant like Jalopnik’s, as funny as it is, is just as disingenuous as Motor Trend’s award – it’s not really about the quality of the car or of Motor Trend’s journalism, but a sly bit of branding and status whoring, intending to position Jalopnik as a site of integrity, by the enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. We’ve seen this before with the Jeff Glucker hit-piece, in spite of the rampant XBOX whoring and other questionable tactics like misleading headlines that lead to single sentence posts. Motor Trend may have made a bad call, but trotting out the typical “enthusiasts are being ignored” canard is the wrong move when our target for attack has given the COTY award to illustrious candidates like the 2002 Ford Thunderbird and the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Spinelli asks rhetorically “Why would Motor Trend cater to the whims of “enthusiasts” over the marketplace?” Because, as we’ve established long ago, enthusiasts complain endlessly and buy seldom. Meanwhile, the new Jetta is setting sales records, despite it apparently being the enthusiast Antichrist on four wheels [Ed: to the point where Forbes calls it a "flop," despite its 27% bump in sales]

On to the next bête noire – Motor Trend brags about this year’s field of cars being one of the largest and most competitive, at 35. Looking at the field, I can see about, oh, 33 more worthy candidates (aside from the Fisker Karma, which is vaporware and looks like a kosher sausage that stayed in the frying pan too long). Why not the Ford Focus or the Chevrolet Sonic, two small cars that prove that American cars can beat the imports at their own game [Ed: Might this not have been the best year in history for MT to give a GM small car the honor, after so many embarrassments?]? Why not the Audi A7, which should win for no other reason than being heartbreakingly beautiful? Why not the Nissan LEAF for being a mass market EV that actually works?

If you ask me, the reason is because Motor Trend is out of touch with everything and everyone else outside of Planet Motor Trend, and has officially become irrelevant. They slam the Ford Explorer, but again, it seems to do just fine in the sales race. Their endless advertorial love affair with the CTS-V wagon “long term tester” is almost a parody of auto journalisms excesses. And don’t forget MacKenzie’s own piece for Subaru’s magazine (and MT) which detailed his all-expenses paid jaunt to the Australian Outback in – A Subaru Outback! More than anything else, this seems like MT is betting that the new Passat will sell well, rather than rewarding a manufacturer for a truly significant achievement. And who precisely learns what from that?

Ed described the new Passat to me as “A German Impala” and that’s a pretty apt, if uncharitable description. It’s a lot better than the “enthusiast” vanguard would have you believe, but there’s still something not quite right. It’s a little watered down, a little soft around the edges – just right for everyone else who isn’t totally immersed in the world of automotive trivia. And they’ve never bought a car based on an annual award anyways.

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Volt COTY: Korean Paper Calls B.S. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/volt-coty-korean-paper-calls-b-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/volt-coty-korean-paper-calls-b-s/#comments Mon, 17 Jan 2011 08:57:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=380771

„The naming of the Chevrolet Volt as the North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show last week is sparking some controversy,” reports the Chosun Ilbo from Korea. “The main reason for the skepticism is that the Volt has sold only some 300 units since its launch a month ago. It is the first time that a car with such limited sales has won the award.”

The real sales could be less. “A GM source at the motor show admitted that the Volt’s sales were refigured at the last minute for the award,” writes the paper. What really bothers them: ”Hyundai’s new Sonata, one of the finalists for this year’s award, has sold some 202,000 cars in the U.S. and Canada.”

Without outright saying it, the Chosun Ilbo calls shenanigans. Amongst the 21 contenders, there were 10 Asian and six European nameplates. When the field was whittled down to three contenders, left standing were the Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Chevrolet Volt. That the Volt won against all odds doesn’t surprise the paper: “The North American Car of the Year award recently has been disproportionately won by U.S. vehicles.”

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Audi A3 TDI Named Green Car Of The Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/audi-a3-tdi-named-green-car-of-the-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/audi-a3-tdi-named-green-car-of-the-year/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2009 18:07:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=337976 But it's white!

Today, on the last day of media access to the LA Auto show, the mystic powers that be continued VAGs green run by selecting the Audi A3 TDi as the 2010 Green Car of the Year (The Jetta TDi won last year). In the running this year were the Audi A3 TDI, Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Golf TDI. According to the LA Auto Show,

The Green Car of the Year® award is a program that honors environmental leadership in the automobile field and recognizes vehicles that are readily available to consumers during the award year. Green Car Journal/ editors perform an exhaustive review of vehicle models to identify the five finalists. The winner is ultimately decided by jurors such as Jay Leno, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Carroll Shelby, Matt Petersen of Global Green USA and the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, along with Green Car Journal editors.

Interesting then that this same bunch of car czars chose the Chevy Tahoe two years ago for getting 1 MPG better than the gasoline version. Anyone feeling some Volt love in 2011?

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Canadian Car Of The Year Kerfluffle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/canadian-car-of-the-year-kerfluffle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/canadian-car-of-the-year-kerfluffle/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2009 20:04:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=336913

Ah, car of the year (COTY) awards. The magical time of year when every magazine, website, and national auto journalist association decides that it has to make a definitive call on the best automobile that money can buy. And though nobody on the consumer end really takes these things seriously (when have you ever heard someone say they bought a car because it was (institution name here’s) COTY?), the folks in charge of these awards get incredibly intense about their mission. Take the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and its self-righteous rage at a Canadian journalist, Michael Banovsky, who had the gall to report that the Canadian COTY competition removes perfect scores (as revealed in the judge training webinar video above). The AJAC immediately demanded a retraction, clarifying what their video didn’t:

No votes were thrown out, but rather if any appear as a 10, they are “discounted” to 9.9 during tabulation by the international accounting firm of KPMG. This has been the practice for many years because, as any experienced automotive journalist knows, nothing is perfect, especially something as complex as a motor vehicle.

Banovsky’s response:

I encourage and appreciate debate about the much-respected Canadian Car of the Year (CCotY) competition, widely regarded as one of the most thorough vehicle evaluations in the world. However, I also demand complete public transparency with not only the voting process, but how votes are weighted, tabulated, and scored. Since Canadian vehicle manufacturers spend tens of thousands of dollars to enter models for consideration in the CCotY and the car buying public spends tens of thousands of dollars on purchases based on results of the competition, complete transparency is a must.

And he’s got a good point. In the video above, the AJAC claims that providing journalists with a free track day and OEMs with marketing fodder are only “secondary benefits” of the competition. The primary purpose is “to provide consumers with sound comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market… to assist them in making informed shopping and purchase decision.” But if that were truly the case, its judging criteria and complete competition data would be made publicly available, in which case judges would not have had their scores altered.

In reality though, informing good consumer choices has nothing to do with the Canadian, or any other, COTY competition. After all, how can the AJAC be so adamant that no car deserves a perfect 10 score, when the entire point of the exercise is to elevate a single vehicle across every segment, price point capability? Consumers buy different vehicles based on their individual needs, and suggesting that a single model should be perceived in a more favorable light regardless of ones’ individual needs is downright anti-consumer. Indeed, the very idea of awarding a single vehicle the title of “Car Of The Year” is undeniably a product of the industry-media complex. Hiding the “secondary benefits” of marketing fodder and a free journo trackday behind the veneer of consumer education is frankly, a bad joke. Though the Canadian COTY may not (as Autoguide suggested then retracted) be rigged, that doesn’t mean the CCOTY is in any way a meaningful competition. As such, who cares if they throw out perfect scores or not. If AJAC is serious about providing valuable consumer information, they would do well to heed Mr Banovsky’s critique, rather than blindly and defensively lashing out at him.

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Ford Fusion Named Motor Trend Car of the Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/ford-fusion-named-motor-trend-car-of-the-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/ford-fusion-named-motor-trend-car-of-the-year/#comments Tue, 17 Nov 2009 19:42:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=335926 (courtesy: Motor Trend)

The Ford Fusion is a perfectly competent yet utterly bland vehicle. It’s proof that American firms can compete in the mass-market vanilla sedan segment, but not because it does anything particularly well. Its strength is nothing more than an absence of the glaring issues that kept Detroit out of the Accord/Camry sweepstakes. Which is why Motor Trend doesn’t get overly carried away with the credibility-straining praise of the vehicle itself (with the requisite glaring exceptions, to wit: “the Fusion SE goes from mild-mannered commuter to worthy canyon charger”). So instead, the praise gets spread to the lineup as a whole: “the 2010 Ford Fusion’s impressive bandwidth as a model range was one of the many factors that helped it earn the 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year award,” we’re told. What this boils down to: you can get a hybrid powertrain in addition to four-pot and six-pot engines. In short, MT gave the Fusion COTY because it does everything a Camry does, but, crucially, it’s from Detroit. Well, Hermosillo, Mexico, actually. Still, its advertising budget still comes from Detroit, and that makes all the difference.

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