By on September 28, 2015

The all-new Volvo XC90

The preliminary list of semifinalists of the 2015 North American Car & Truck of the Year is out and oddly, Volkswagen didn’t make the list.

General Motors sports four car of the year nominees, including the Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Camaro, Malibu and Volt while Tesla’s Model X is up for Truck/Utility of the year. Automotive journalists — 57 of them, in fact — will vote on the cars in October.

The winners will be announced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Here is the list of nominees (our predictions) in no particular order — or perhaps alphabetical:

Car of the Year
BMW 7 Series (10 to 1 — The last BMW to win was Mini in 2003 and voting for BMW is like cheering for the Yankees.)
Cadillac CT6 (5 to 2 — Cadillac has won COTY once in its 23-year history, in 2012 for the ATS. If they chopper one of these over the testing ground in Michigan, they could significantly improve their odds.)
Chevrolet Camaro (3 to 2 — My odds-on favorite because Chevrolet gets a bunch of these awards because who-knows-why. Camaro has never won, surprisingly.)
Chevrolet Malibu (7 to 1 — Doubtful. Malibu last won in 2008, surprisingly.)
Chevrolet Volt (5 to 1 — I’m not sure how a car that’ll be sold in 1/5th of the country this year could be considered for car of the year.)
Honda Civic (3 to 1 — My dark-horse pick. If the award went to the automaker who surprised the most, Civic would have won the day it was announced. As it is, the Civic may win by splitting the GM vote anyway.)
Kia Optima (10 to 1 — Probably not.)
Mazda MX-5 Miata (5 to 2 — Unimaginable fun. Really hard to say that a two-seater sports car is Car of the Year for a continent that won’t buy many.)
Nissan Maxima (6 to 1 — Solid entry from Nissan. Points taken away for #4DSC hashtag.)
Toyota Prius (4 to 1 — Winner in 2004, the Prius may be left out thanks to the Volt/free gasoline in many parts of the U.S.)

Truck/Utility of the Year
Ford Edge (4 to 1 — Not as good looking as the Murano, but Nissan’s engine is ancient. It has a long climb.)
Honda HR-V (7 to 1 — Car will be a hit with millennials, average age of an automotive journalist is 1,273 years old. Don’t count on it.)
Honda Pilot (8 to 1 — School buses have never won truck/utility of the year, so it’s hard to imagine voters would pick the Pilot this year. The Transit Connect won truck/utility in 2010 so anything can happen, I guess.)
Hyundai Tucson (10 to 1 — See Optima, Kia.)
Jeep Renegade (12 to 1 — Long odds, lots of gears. However, the Renegade is a sneaky empty-nester ‘ute and considering the average age of an automotive journalist … )
Kia Sorento (6 to 1 — Did you know a Sorento could top out over $45,000? Now I’ve seen everything.)
Lexus RX (9 to 1 — If Lexus made available its 2-liter turbo in the RX, like they do in Europe, we may be talking. As is, probably not.)
Mazda CX-3 (5 to 1 — Mazda continues to have the best lineup that no one buys/everyone ignores. The CX-3 continues the tradition.)
Nissan Titan XD (5 to 2 — Genuinely interesting with diesel/mid-duty focus. Nissan Truck CEO Fred Diaz knows how to win these things from his Ram days.)
Tesla Model X (3 to 1 — Because Tesla! Really though, no one has driven one of these cars, and NACTOY says it omits exotics from its competition because of limited availability. I’m sure we could all walk on the lots and buy one of these things, right?)
Toyota Tacoma (3 to 1 — The mid-size truck leader is better with its 3.5-liter. Never mind the interior, the Tacoma is a very good truck.)
Volvo XC90 (3 to 2 — Journalists fell in love with this thing and Volvo is selling the hell out of them. Its auto pilot function under 30 mph could be the next step toward autonomous driving. My odds-on favorite.)

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114 Comments on “North American Car, Truck of the Year Semi-finalists Announced, Let’s Debate...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Car of the year:
    Civic

    Truck of the year:
    Let’s not debate and say we did.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    There are only two trucks or SUVs in that truck/utility category. Seriously can there just be a Crossover category and actual trucks be put in the truck category.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Some years there aren’t many trucks.

      I’d take a red F150 two door, no frills, for fun…but not for $30,000.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        2015 F-150 XL RCSB 4×2, 3.5 NA V6: $24,725 in my neck of the woods. Moving to the 5.0 (which would certainly be a lot of fun in a RCSB 4×2 pickup) brings it up to $26,320.

        Just for fun, the most expensive regular cab F-150 I could configure (3.5 EB, FX4, two-tone paint, HD Payload Package, etc.) was $46K.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, being in Colorado I’d want 4wd, but point taken.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Given that 4WD is a $4600 option, you’d be breaking $30K before rebates, so you were right.

            My dream truck (SuperCab/8′ bed XLT 4×4 3.5 EB HD Payload Package, towing mirrors, Blue Jeans w/ two-tone) would come out to $44K.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      I’ve forgotten this, but what exactly is the importance of such formal semantics.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Truck/utility needs to be redefined into two seperate categories, car based, and truck based. Who cross shops a Nissan Titan with a Volvo crossover. And who cross shops a 4Runner or a wrangler with a Honda HRV.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      @28, Hummer, et al.: The problem is that the traditional truck-based category has gotten so thin that there’s not always enough to have a new one every year. What all is there for BOF truck-based vehicles, anyway?

      Wrangler
      F-Series
      Expedition
      Silverado/Sierra
      Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade
      Colorado/Canyon
      Express/Savana
      Ram
      Tundra
      Sequoia
      Land Cruiser
      Tacoma
      4Runner
      Titan
      Armada
      Frontier
      NV Series

      Let me know what I missed.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Its not just BOF, I’d throw JGC into that category. Let’s toss in commercial vans too bc why the hell not.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          My original rationale was that was pushing the “truck” moniker too far. But the Transit, Transit Connect, ProMaster, ProMaster City, and NV200/City Express are all unibody, and they’re certainly not any less useful because of that.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            @ Kyree

            You got an E70 body X5?! As in you traded in your Sportwagen for one?!

            Talk about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire! What motivated this insanity if I may ask?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Nope. I still have the Golf SportWagen.

            The X5 was something I’d always wanted to do and it’s also a business vehicle. Fortunately, I have a long warranty because it’s been at the dealership three times, most recently to replace a failed iDrive screen at the ridiculous sum of $3,200.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Dang, well congrats on having a warranty then! I think BMW lost the plot with the E70s, a restyled E53 would be my pick. But then again I’d be extremely leery of any modern BMW out of warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You know, think about that – a failed screen and $3,200 on a four year old high-end BMW. Is that an acceptable failure rate?

            I had a GS with 110K miles and 12 years on the clock, and the touch screen was still functioning perfectly when I sold it.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Wait. If we let in JGC, then why not its cousin the GLE. And if GLE, why not X5, Q7, F-Pace…

          Draw a line and stick to it, I say.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t know if price is a factor in this or not, but one criteria could be true 4×4 and not this AWD crap. I’m not sure on the Mercedes, but I believe that nixes those other choices.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I completely forgot the European/lux brands.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I thought the X5 was a rugged 4×4 world-class SUV that happened to be a unibody, but now that I own one (2011 E70, previous generation), I’m not so sure. The new one doesn’t even come standard with AWD anymore. In all reality, it’s just a vehicle that’s heavy and wide for no good reason. It certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in the gravel let alone off-road, and I can’t really call it rugged so much as overweight. In fact, I christened mine “The Pig” today…since it likes to guzzle pricey premium fuel, too.

            Ditto for the X6, GLE-Class, Q7, Touareg, Grand Cherokee, Range Rover Sport and Cayenne. They’re just big, heavy RWD-based crossovers. The F-Pace is definitely on the softer side, closer to a wagon on stilts than a BOF SUV. But I think the term “SUV” has expanded to include these crossovers, even if (as with the GLE-Class Coupe, QX70 or X6, they offer *far* more sport than utility).

            So what I propose is that rather than getting into semantics and which SUVs are traditional and which aren’t, we lump everything that’s an SUV/crossover style into “Sport-Utility of the Year”. Yes, that means a Wrangler is going to be in the same category as a CX-3. But “crossover” was sort of always a marketing term anyway. I don’t see that any distinction needs to be made between RWD, BOF vehicles like the 4Runner and FWD, unibody vehicles like the Highlander. After all, we didn’t throw the Panther and B-body cars into their own category, even though they were BOF and not unibody.

            Then we put pickup trucks and true utility vehicles like the Transit, Transit Connect, Express, RAM ProMaster and NV-series into the Truck/Utility of the Year, and expand the candidates to take into consideration facelifts and major improvements. One of the automakers is always fiddling with at least one of the cars in this category, and redesigning another. Apparently, GM made some improvements on the 2016 Silverado and Sierra (because the one or two-year facelift is now A Thing).

            @28-Cars-Later—I’m not sure what you mean by AWD “crap”. In reality, even the simple Haldex-based systems on the Honda CR-V or Ford Escape are more useful to most people than the “rugged” part-time 4WD, which is to be exclusively used off the road and typically has you carrying around a bunch of useless weight. And full-time 4WD is available on a dwindling number of vehicles (like the Lexus GX, 4Runner Limited and certain versions of the Grand Cherokee). Besides, driver-oriented AWD systems like Acura’s SH-AWD and Audi’s Quattro are superb. So again, I don’t know what you mean…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            AWD as we know it has no place on a “truck”, IMO. Those luxury vehicles above qualify more as crossovers regardless of drivetrain orientation.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Funny you should mention AWD on trucks. It rained a week or two ago in San Diego. To understand the significance of this, imagine if a snownado hit your town during a hurricane while soot from a volcanic eruption blacked out the sun. My two pickup driving friends were both on their way to Pacific Beach from cities a couple hours distant, provided Brawley can be called a city. One friend’s brand new Sierra Denali has an ‘automatic 4WD’ setting, but the oddity of having water falling from the sky necessitated use of ‘4WD’ instead. Wouldn’t want to chance it, what with damp pavement and an interstate highway involved. The other friend was driving our shared Tundra. He stuck it in 4WD for the same reason. “It was running fine until I tried turning into the driveway.” “Then it just about died.” AWD may have no place on a truck, but there are lots of things in today’s trucks that have no place being there.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            But why does there even need to be a categorical distinction between an SUV and a crossover? That was always a marketing thing. I never even hear non-enthusiast people use the terms. My mom called her Nissan Murano an SUV, not a crossover. My neighbors, who have an Infiniti FX, Lincoln MKX and Volvo XC60 all call their vehicles SUVs, same as the guy behind me who has a mint 2004 Lexus GX. And the distinction between the two is getting to be trite and inspires holier-than-thou comments from people who drive “real” SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “But why does there even need to be a categorical distinction between an SUV and a crossover.”

            28 will not yield on this. BOF or it’s for hairdressers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            CJinSD – your story is amusing. I don’t feel the need to use 4×4 in my truck unless I actually need it i.e. mud, very soft ground, or deep snow.

            That must of been one nasty rain storm but 4×4 isn’t going to help much if your vehicle is hydroplaning. I’d rather find a safe place to pull off the road and sit it out.
            I got caught in a rainstorm like that this summer. My son pipes up, “Dad, can you see the car in front of us?”. Time to pull off.
            Worst one for me was a blizzard I got caught in. I chose to drive it out. It took 3 hours to cover what normally was a 30 minute drive. It took 3 days to open the highway.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            In the days when Expeditions and Tahoes first became wildly popular, you could always tell which ones belonged to first-time 4×4 owners because come the first snow or ice storm, they were the ones upside down in the ditch. 4×4 does not mean you brake any better, and you certainly can’t corner with an SUV if all you were used to up until then was a Taurus or Camry.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            @ CJ in SD,

            Brawley most certainly can NOT be called a city!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s a shame you’re disappointed with your X5 already, Kyree. Think you’d have been happier in a GX?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Kyree

            Because the crossover is not a truck, it is designed to usurp the “tough look” of a truck while offering a smoother ride, and lately gigantic impractical wheels. It is not an evolution of the SUV but rather a devolution of the type by offering the look and cost without the content. This is not a BOF vs unibody thing, this is the difference between the steak or just the sizzle.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            @CoreyDL—I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed. I probably would have been happier in a newer GX from a functional standpoint, but I’m not so sure I like the styling of it. I just enjoy poking fun at the thing.

            @28-Cars-Later—Oh, I don’t know about that. Some of them (Explorer, in particular, comes to mind) are styled after trucks, but it’s not like there are too many ways you can shape something that’s meant to seat seven or eight people without it starting to look like a BOF SUV. Others, like the HR-V or Murano, don’t look anything like trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “AWD as we know it has no place on a “truck”, IMO. Those luxury vehicles above qualify more as crossovers regardless of drivetrain orientation.”

            The ‘fulltime’ settings on certain vehicles (Jeep Selec-trac, Mitsubishi Super Select, Toyota multi-mode, my old Mazda) are incredibly useful IMO. Having all four wheels driven without a hard lock on power front/back is the best choice for slick highway driving or driving over patchy roads where there are dry patches mixed in with slush. “Locked in” 4H on the highway doesn’t give as good control IMO. The “auto” 4H setting is the biggest scam in my opinion, it is unpredictable and it ultimately can lead to transfer case failure. It simply uses the ABS wheel speed sensors to engage a truck’s 4H setting on the transfer case very quickly, but this is never instantaneous and the transition from 0% power to the front end to 50% power can actually catch a driver off guard. A full time system affords a constant power flow that changes fluidly.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          @CoreyDL Think about that $3K screen in the context of the article a few months ago about mandatory backup view screens regulations.

          All that remains is to make them mandatory on vehicle inspection, and it will no longer be an option to live without after the car is out of warranty.

          Which is, in effect, a hidden tax.

          The good side of this is that it will make it a sound economical decision to sink a larger amount of money into trying to keep my Panther in mint condition, rather than buying a “modern” auto.

          Backup screens are necessary only because (some)people are too careless or in too much of a hurry to look behind their cars, and take inventory of children and bicycles, before backing up.

          Welcome to another “advance” from the nanny state.

          I would just as soon have a $500 tablet or laptop I can take inside the house with me when I’m not driving, to do the other things an onboard screen could do, and check my six before I roll.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        You missed the Lexus GX and LX, as well as the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Don’t forget about the Infinit QX80 or Lincoln Navigator, either. The Land Rover Discovery 4/LR4 is a unibody/BOF hybrid. And has production of the Xterra ended yet?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Ninja edited the Land Cruiser and Sequioa, completely disregarded/forgot all the lux brands for no good reason. (Also the reason I forgot the Navigator, which is all the more embarrasing because Ford is “my brand”.) I left off the Xterra because it’s not coming back for ’16.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “I left off the Xterra because it’s not coming back for ’16.”

            Praise be. That thing should have exited in 2008.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Regardless if it’s thin, the vehicles are totally different than the unibody cars that replicate their height.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          In this case, mechanical differences (as important as they are to you and me) are trumped by the need to keep the playing field well-populated.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I don’t care about BOF vs unibody, personally. As long as I can jump a curb to get that perfect spot at the shopping mall (which a Carmy could do), I’m just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “that perfect spot at the shopping mall”

            I’m shocked, shocked, I say, that as much as you obviously care about your vehicles you apparently wish to snipe an open spot in the congested and hazardous parking area nearest the stores. That’s like joining in a slow-mo Running of the Bulls.

            I always choose the empty periphery and let the herd have the blind-backup and darting-rugrat near spots. A little walk is always a good thing, too.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Well, to be fair, Kyree just said “perfect”; he didn’t necessarily say “closest”.

            Having lived in a couple of the same regions of the country (I think), I can attest that, sometimes, the perfect spot is distant from the store, in an inconvenient part of the lot, but next to a tree that will provide increasing shade in the next hour or two.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Ah.. good point. Hadn’t considered his searing sunlight.

            We frown upon sunlight here, consider a single, blinding light source terrible design.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’d never jump a curb with a Carmy (hehe), you’d scrape the aggressive plastic to no end!

            I try and find spaces where I can have only one next door neighbor as opposed to two.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I was totally joking…haha. I don’t jump curbs. But as far as being really careful with my vehicles, no, not really. I try to avoid parking next to obvious hoopties and sometimes coupes (after I saw my friend accidentally bang the door of his brand-new 2015 Mustang into someone’s Tahoe). But they’re just cars. Dings and dents are normal parts of a car’s life. Hell, the Golf SportWagen was involved in a $7,000 accident within a month of me buying it.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Are you an automotive award bookie? Can I get a parlay involving both NACOTY and NATOTY?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Nissan Titan XD should get the “truck of the year” award for having the balls to put a Cummins V8 in a 1/2 ton pickup.

    This truck will hurt Ram in two ways;
    1. It will give consumers a choice if their primary purchase metric is a Cummins.
    2. If buyers want a diesel powered 1/2 ton that can actually function as a truck then they will have no choice but buy the Nissan. The Ram Ecodiesel has pathetic tow and haul ratings.

    The V8 Cummins and a shared Nissan/Ram truck was in the works when Fred Diaz was head of Ram trucks. He got the boot and now is at Nissan. I’m sure the Nissan XD is his axe ground from his exodus from Ram.

    I think right now any Euro-Diesel will be a tough sell in the USA post VW. Cummins gets a free pass being USA born and bred.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “2. If buyers want a diesel powered 1/2 ton that can actually function as a truck then they will have no choice but buy the Nissan”

      Sure.

      But how big is *that* segment, vs. the people who’d prefer a 3/4 or 1-ton?

      If you care about towing/hauling that much, why even look at a 1/2 ton that’s the same size as a 3/4 ton?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Sigivald – most HD trucks I see are 1 ton trucks. Even if you class both 3/4 and 1 ton together most personal use towers aren’t pulling more than 10k. One reason for that is more and more jurisdictions are requiring an additional “heavy camper RV” or “heavy tow” endorsement if 10k is exceeded.

        Both Ford and GM make 1/2 ton trucks that are rated to pull in that 10-12k range. GM’s 6.2 and 5.3 can be had in “max tow” configurations. Ford has a separate “max haul” and “max tow” package. “Max haul” is available with 5.0 or EB3.5. “Max Tow” only EB3.5.
        The problems I see are when people are confused by advertising and unscrupulous sales staff. The buyer assumes that a Limited F150 with 6 lug 22 inch rims can tow the same as a “max” F150 with 7 lug 17 inch LT tires. These types have completely maxed out the GCWR of the truck with the trailer even before they cram the cab with family and box full of camping gear.
        Another common issue that scares me is quite the opposite, a 400hp,800lb/ft diesel 1 ton HD towing an 6-8k trailer. The driver wails down the highway like he is empty. The trailer flails along behind the truck like a ribbon tied form an aerial.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Ironically (or maybe not), the HD Payload Package (the one you called “max haul”) can in some cases get a better tow rating than the Max Tow package. The heavier springs, thicker frame, heavier axles, etc. can help with both payload (hauling stuff in the bed, which you see very few F-150s doing) and towing (which you see almost every F-150 doing at some point).

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – If I had to replace my truck I’d go with either a F150 Crew 4×4 HD Payload or a Chevy with max tow. GM doesn’t list a HD cargo package. The F150 sits around 2,300 lb and GM is around 1,800-2,000lb.
            In my region I tend to see 1/2 tons used more for recreation than work which does mean more towing.
            Traditionally 1/2 tons just did not hold up as well to heavy use but several huge companies in my area have switched field operations staff over to 1/2 tons. The company my brother worked for 1st tried GMT900 1/2 tons and HD’s. The 1/2 tons were a disaster and now they have F150 HD’s which are basically a light 3/4 ton. They still use GM HD’s. Seems to be the best combination that they have tried.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The biggest thing to remember, if it came down to choosing, is that the heavier springs on the F-150 HD will make it ride stiffer than a normal F-150 (but still drive nicer than a Super Duty). When we got our ’98 F-250 light duty, the ride wasn’t an issue; even with it being a 4×4, it still rode nicer than the ’77 F-250 SuperCab it replaced.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      The Titan is an interesting move but its in a class of its own and IMO will not take many sales from the Ram Eco Diesel or the HD segment. The Titan/Cummins is somewhere in between a heavy half ton and a 3/4 ton, fuel mileage will likely be only marginally better than the gas engine options with the big premium price tag of the Cummins/Aisin which will put it in the neighborhood of HD pricing territory without the HD payload and tow ratings. It’s too much engine to even compete with the Eco Diesel in fuel economy, which is why most people are looking at a LD diesel pick up to begin with. It will be somewhat of a niche market.

      Not to mention, its still a Titan.

      • 0 avatar

        The eco diesel is more about mileage then any thing else. It would make sense for me as a daily driver hauler as I don’t currently tow much (3,000 lbs) but if I bought a truck I would like to be able to tow more and get a travel trailer in the future. It may still make sense but at a 5-7k tow rating I might as well use my durago to tow like I go now and keep my 22 mpg daily driver. I hear they are still selling well and I see quite a few of them here in CT (more then I see of the new F-150 for instance)but the new Half ton I see the most of here has to be the Tundra tied with the Silverdo

        The new titan looks interesting and I might have to check it out. It would be ideal for my inlaws as they currently max out their Tundra with their 5th wheel but they generally dislike the big 3 from prior car experince.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Exactly. People rag on the EcoDiesel for not having good payload, but they just don’t like that Ram is selling them exactly the pickup they need–one with no payload capacity, but a lot of interior space, a good ride, and 30 MPG highway.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      In my neck of the woods farmers use 3/4 and 1-ton trucks as DDs. To them, the stiff ride quality is acceptable, and they’re (probably) not gonna be drawn to a nicer-riding Titan XD if all they see is lower towing/payload numbers. The Cummins will sell a few, though.

      And it’s really a shame, because there’s nothing really wrong with the Titan XD or the concept of a heavy-half-ton. We had a heavy-half (an F-150 with 7-lug wheels) for 11 years and it did everything we asked it to do wonderfully. I just wonder if this niche market is big enough for the HD F-150 and the Titan XD. The EcoDiesel Ram will not be affected, IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Drzhivago138 – Initially I was excited about the Ecodiesel but it was a complete let down in every category except MPG. I don’t tend to tow much but I use my truck often enough that the paltry cargo ratings would be exceeded every time I left my driveway in the winter with my family on board. My gear box and contents weight around 500lbs.
        The best rated Ecodiesel Crew 6.4 box 4×4 is 1,151 lbs for the base tradesmen. Towing is 8,850 but a minimum 10% tongue weight means 266 lbs left of cargo capacity. Realistically a family of 4 will be around 550-600lbs. That means you can’t tow more than a 5,000lb trailer.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          1151? The chart I found says says the diesel crew cab/6’4″ payload is 1270 for the 4×4 (the lowest of any config) and 1480 for the 4×2. No distinction was given between trim levels. The max payload I found was in a RCLB or QC 4×2 gasser (1850).

          But the EcoDiesel payload numbers are still significantly lower than gassers, regardless of cab/bed config (even the HFE model). Is the EcoDiesel just one heavy mother of an engine?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Drzhivago138

            http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/towing_guide/

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Thanks. The one I found has a paragraph of disclaimers, including “Payload and Max Trailer Weights are ESTIMATED values”. That begs the question, *why* did Ram put it on their website to begin with?

            https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/towing_guide/pdf/2015_ram_1500_towing_charts.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – for some odd reason this site wouldn’t let me add onto my post with the Ram address.

            Ram only uses one chassis for all of their 1500’s so anything that adds weight drops capacity. The Ecodiesel must be heavy.

  • avatar

    I drove the XC90 to make an unprofessional video review about it – following the Cadillac SRX 2016 and the Mercedes GLE-AMG.

    I couldn’t even get comfortable in the GLE at all.

    XC90 blew me away and won me over to Volvo.

    I’ll be making an unprofessional video review of the P90D this week and the Model X when it visits my area.

    LUDICROUS.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    VW Golf won Motor Trend car of the year and it’s not even nominated for this list? WTF?

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      Edit: https://media.vw.com/release/915/

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I drive a Golf (wagon) so believe me, I love the Golf family…but I think we’re talking new-for-MY2016 vehicles. The Golf would have been eligible for MY2015, when it was new, which is how it won the *last* MT COTY.

        • 0 avatar
          Richard Chen

          As a consolation prize, Consumer Reports just gave the Golf Sportwagen a stratospheric score of 87.

          Yes, it was for the TDI.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Ha.

            Like I said, I love my Golf SportWagen, but I think the whole Golf family (as well as the Mazda3) has been extremely overhyped, because these cars are what journalists and certain enthusiasts like myself want, but they’re not what most people want. Honestly, an Elantra, Civic or Sentra is a better car if you look at what most people value…and I don’t think the autojournalists recognize that enough. The Golf isn’t *that* great, and it’s also overpriced. My car (TDI SEL) had an MSRP that was close to $33K (no, I did *not* pay that), and still lacks the parking assist package.

  • avatar

    THE XC90 offers so much at it’s sub -$60,000 price point, it makes me wonder why anyone would go German.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Most probably lease rather than buy, and the Germans can afford to lease their vehicles for less than the Chinese can. What’s the residual for a CUV with a science experiment for an engine from a dying brand that’s lost its identity?

  • avatar
    VoGo

    The Civic and the Volvo are the only 2 vehicles I could see myself buying. Maybe the Volt, if it fit my commute.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The COTY could be a complete toss-up, but I’d vote for the MX-5 “Miata” or Civic.

    T/UOTY? XC90, hands down.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “Cadillac CT6 (5 to 2 — Cadillac has won COTY once in its 23-year history, in 2012 for the ATS. If they chopper one of these over the testing ground in Michigan, they could significantly improve their odds.)”

    CT6 it shall be!

    If a 4 cylinder, 50k ATS with 1992 Pontiac Bonneville gauges, a ride quality worse than a 2005 Pontiac G6 (as well as fit/finish on par with it), a back seat smaller than a Chevy Cruze, and a consistent black dot of CR Reliability won COTY, then …

    … a 70k to 80k, 4 banger, longer version of the plunging-in-sales-perpetually CTS should be a shoe in!

    Can’t wait for the JdN, Melody Handbag Lee & pen boy Uwe Ellinghaus photo shoot!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Not on topic to your rant but, f*** GM and their horrible taillight design.

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Cole

      You hate the ATS, don’t you?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You don’t know the half of it. An ATS ran over his dog.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Every time I see an ATS, I see Cadillac’s goodwill, heritage & past glory squashed like a bug on the windshield of a Lexus LS460/LS430, Audi A8, Mercedes S Class, etc.

        • 0 avatar

          My second best laugh of the day so far!

          My favorite Caddy was the ’51.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Now, I know we’ve made amends, but I just don’t see where your unbridled hate for the ATS comes from, compared to the genuinely useless pieces of crap that Cadillac has made over the years: the Catera, the Cimarron, the original Escalade, the Allanté…

          I agree that the ATS is one of the last compact luxury cars I’d consider for multiple reasons (the least of which is that I can’t fit in the back of it and I’m 5’10”), but is it really *that* bad? I think you could come up with better Cadillacs to poke fun of. It’s easy.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Love you, bro. I’ll never make our difference over the ATS’s merits or lack thereof personal.

            Honestly, no exaggeration, the ATS is a $31,000 MSRP ($26,999 in real world) vehicle, and even that is not based on room, comfort, reliability or the level of quality of the vehicle, but because it is in a family of attempting-to-be-aspirational vehicles (that are failing).

            The ATS genuinely is the successor to the Pontiac G6.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Actually, the Allante was a joke in part for having its Pinin Farina bodies flown over on specially built Boeings, but it was also a joke for its anemic performance.

            But by the time they put a bit of HP under the hood, in the last year, the damage had been done.

            If they had ever put some serious motor in it coupled with decent suspension and handling, it could have competed with, for example, M-B two seaters.

            But I confess that if I had been at a point in my life at that time, I might have bought one of the last year models, as I seriously thought they might become collector items.

            I’m glad I was back in grad school at that time, otherwise I might have owned a fiasco. Last time I checked, a couple of years ago, the prices had fallen out the bottom.

            But I would have liked to see an Allante style vehicle with power and handling.

            As to the Cimarron, that was a crappy car…worked with a guy who had a two year old one that was literally falling apart worse than an old Chevy II an ex owned.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            @DeadWeight–Too bad Pontiac isn’t still around. The ATS probably *would’ve* been a Pontiac.

            @VolandoBajo–That said, a friend of mine bought a mint 1993 Cadillac Allante (indeed, the last year, and the only one with the bigger Northstar) for $6K and pretty much broke even on it a few years later. The car appeals to few people, but there is definitely a market of collectors who’ll pay dearly for it (the poor sods).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @Volando

            GM only leased those planes from Lufthansa, and they were retrofitted to carry the cars! I’m sure they went back in to regular use afterward (and probably still around today).

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @CoreyDL So GM saved a few bucks by only leasing the Boeings, but it was still a damsite more expensive than transatlantic maritime shipping.

            The only thing more absurd than what GM did would have been for them to revive the Concorde, and retrofit them for the Allante, in the mistaken belief that that would have added to the “leader of the pack” (al ante == to the front) image they were trying for, with gimmicks like airfreighting the bodies.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      What do you get when you run the ATS assembly line at anything even remotely approximating normal capacity?

      A $249/month lease special.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Okay, that’s a pretty good one.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        I don’t understand why I have a Reply button for some posts but not for others. Perhaps Mark can address that when and if he notices how annoying it can be.

        Having said that, I have picked the nearest Reply button past the post I wanted to reply to but could not.

        @Kyree Yes, the Allante was a nice try but ultimately a failed effort. The last year, which I had forgetten the number of, was clearly the best. But the fact that it had a Northstar, and the Northstar had a reputation for poor reliability, worked against it, even with more power.

        In a moment of who knows what, probably a midlife crisis moment that fortunately passed quickly, I had the totally insane idea that perhaps the Allante would become the next gullwing Mercedes, a truly unique departure from all that had come before it, and something that would over time come to be recognized as a truly unique and outstanding vehicle.

        Fortunately, I came to my senses before I went to a dealer who could sell me one.

        That, along with my brief toying with paying $25K for a 63 split window Vette that needed about $10K of work (the dealer’s estimate), and probably more, — those two times were my moments of greatest temporary insanity in a lifetime of automotive enthusiasm.

        In the case of the Vette, I went for a new 88 Thunderbird Supercoupe 302 V8, moonroof, dark blue leather, titanium metallic silver paint, etc., instead. In the case of the Allante, I decided to keep the Bird, rather than try to latch onto the Allante.

        I ended up getting close to 400K miles on the Bird before I traded it, when it came down to either putting a lot of money into it, or having money for my wife to finish her degree, and to have a nest egg since we had a new son. But of all the cars I have ever owned, the Bird is the one I wish I still had, even more than the 61 Jag Mk II 3.8, with all the old school stuff, wire wheels, BRG paint, real wood interior, etc, and Lucas electrics I actually got to work right.

        And when I think I almost went for a white elephant Cadillac instead, it reminds me to always think twice before I go off on what seems like a good idea at the time.

        I still think the Allante could have worked, if it weighed about 20% less, and had a really reliable big block motor, AND if it didn’t have all the overhead induced by each of them flying on the automotive equivalent of Air Force One.

        I’ve said it before, but will say it again, the Cadillacs that appeared over and over in The Godfather, mostly mid-seventies and earlier, I believe, were the last Cadillacs that truly lived up to the Cadillac name and earlier good reputation.

        But imagine a 300SL-like Cadillac that could have turned quarters in the low fourteens, and could handle. That would have been a truly unique vehicle. Unfortunately, you can’t drive what you can only imagine, and you can’t eat the sizzle, you have to have the steak.

        @DeadWeight, you did give me an idea. Cadillac might be able to pull their fat out of the fire with the ATS, IF they focused on leasing, and IF they offered a lower mileage rate for overage miles. That would remove the mechanical risk from the driver of the vehicle, and place it on GM. If they could keep them running, it could be a decent lease deal, even for those who would have to put a few miles on them.

        But I wouldn’t own one if it were given to me, if I had to keep it running. Don’t want to sink money into a losing proposition.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          It’s not just you, it’s the same for everyone: the reply button is only available 6 comments in. And the way comments are nested makes it difficult sometimes to tell who’s replying to whom. This is complicated by the fact that there’s no way to minimize comments.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Sometimes, I like to imagine an alternate world where the CT6 is an awesome car that I aspire to own.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hmmm… the last year foe the F5 Camaro and its going for a COTY award and the S550 Mustang supposedly redefined the segment this year??? Even if the S550 did I feel it will be a short lived one hit wonder.

    The 2016 Camaro is going to set the bar for the segment when it hits in terms for performance and dynamics albeit at a premium price but its still going to be a great deal when you add it up.

    Anyways good luck Camaro, GM has done a pretty good job on the car when you consider the ZL1, Z28, and 1LE cars.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The new Camaro still has poor visibility and only a slightly better interior (fit/finish and materials quality) than the poor current gen.

      Having said that, and given it’s built on the same chassis as the FAIL-ATS (at the same Cadillac assembly plant), if one insisted on a GM product (i.e. a masochist), the Camaro is a MUCH better choice than the ATS.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Car: Mazda MX5 or Honda Civic.

    SUV/CUV: Volvo XC90 …it’s a major improvement over it’s predecessor.

    Also, Volvo interior and seats are great.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I’m not sure why the Volt’s limited availability matters. Should they wait til next year? Then people will complain that it’s old news because it’s already been released for a year.

    I thought your odds against the H-RV were too steep, but I can’t argue with your reasoning.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    COTY – Honda Civic, but I don’t care one way or another.
    TOTY – XC90. This is better than any “truck” on the list hands down.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Those cars all leave me completely meh.

    Therefore Honda Civic

    Truck absolutely the XC90. I see no other winner here.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    Car of the year: Nissan Maxima. Pushes all the right buttons, daringly good looking design, really high end ultra styled materials, good performance, decent MPG, but has a CVT. Journalists do like this car though.

    Truck/utility: Tacoma or the XC90. Both vehicles get huge updates. But which one had the most profound update? The Volvo. It has style, an overwhelming sense of luxury, efficiency, and bubble-wrap levels of safety. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the Tacoma pulls out a win since the small pickup game has been severely neglected and the current Tacoma refresh is a good evolutionary upgrade on an already great pickup.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Fifty-seven journalists will decide? That’s a lot of bribes, no wonder car prices are so high.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      No doubt.

      A bunch of hacks will be owned, dined, SWAGGED, and pampered in the most insincere and hollow ways imaginable, in an attempt to influence a decision that likely won’t register a notable increase in real world sales even for the winners (look at the flop that is the 2012 COTY, to wit, the Cadillac fAilTS).

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