It’s that time of the year again, where we introduce our award-winning cars for the year. This year’s bunch of winners is a mix of old versus new, with everything from hybrid technologies to a resurrected classic brand. The categories cover many popular segments of the auto industry, and have shown themselves to be a cut above their competitors. Our categories are Sedan, Family Vehicle, Truck, SUV/Crossover, Performance/Sports Car, and Overall Car of the Year. We thought we’d give a little nod as to why we’ve chosen each.
For Sedan of the Year, we’ve chosen the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a brand making it’s triumphant return to the US market. They have been here for a few years now, importing exclusively sports-cars, but this is the first everyday sedan they are offering. The entry level 2.0-Liter Turbo is an excellent powerplant, churning out 280hp and returning excellent fuel mileage. Italian design drips from every panel and the interior is like a fine suit. But it’s the 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio model that stole our heart. Taking the most fun to drive sedan crown away from BMW, Audi and Mercedes is no small feat, especially with your first offering.
Family vehicles are all about practicality, and this year’s winner combines that with value and efficiency. The Kia Niro is a hard-to-categorize small family vehicle that is perfect for starting families that want to plug in to help limit fossil-fuel usage. A fully equipped plug-in hybrid for less than the base model of most others, it’s truly one of the best bargains out there.
Truck of the Year swings back toward the fun quotient, with the new Ford F-150 Raptor taking the crown. A powerful Ecoboost engine and new 10-speed automatic transmission combine with incredible suspension to dominate the off-road trails. The all-aluminum wonder also gives you incredible luxury on the inside.
The Performance/Sports Car of the Year goes to the newest version of a classic, the Mazda Miata. Adding a power-retractable fastback model is just another reason to love this pure, lightweight and nimble car.
For Car of the Year, it was a pretty easy choice. Aston Martin has created an instant classic, reinventing their brand with all the emotion of their older models combined with reliability and technology from their partnership with AMG. Fears that this would dilute the brand’s lineage were unfounded, as even the V8 powered DB11 that we’re awarding has it’s own unique sound and fury.
Technology is advancing at such a rate that each year brings new innovations and leaps of refinement. Each year, there’s more to like and our crop of 2017 winners is a perfect example of that. New technology combined with classic brands brings us the best of both worlds. Here’s to our winners!