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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
first the contenders:
By Motor Trend Editors
Photography by Brian Vance, Julia LaPalme, Jessica Germiller

ICONS AND SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

Significance. It's one of the three key criteria against which the contenders for Motor Trend's Car of the Year are judged. And as the competition assembled at the giant Hyundai-Kia California Proving Ground, 100 miles north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert, it was clear this year's 18-car field was laden with truly significant vehicles.

The Honda Accord and Chrysler/Dodge minivan twins represented all-new interpretations of high-volume, benchmark vehicles that virtually defined their respective categories. We had reworked icons, too-the second-generation Audi TT, Mini Cooper, Subaru Impreza WRX, and Scion xB. We had new cars with old nameplates that carried the collective hopes of an entire company-Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Taurus, and Mitsubishi Lancer. We had an all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, packed with technology and Teutonic swagger, and we had an all-new Audi coupe that may just be one of the most beautiful cars ever from Ingolstadt. And we had the best damn Cadillac in 50 years.

Picking a winner from this lot wasn't going to be easy. We'd spend five days at Hyundai-Kia's 4300-acre complex conducting detailed performance tests and drive evaluations while we kicked tires, poked under hoods, folded seats, looked at paint finish and panel fit, and checked interior gaps and margins. With the field narrowed to just eight finalists, we'd spend another two days driving each of those eight back to back on real world roads under real world conditions. And only then would the 13 judges sit down to vote on a winner.

It's an exhaustive-and at times exhausting-process. There are numerous copy-cat awards in this country; Motor Trend's Car of the Year dates back to 1949 and is the oldest in the world, but none has clearly stated criteria nor is backed by hands-on testing and analysis like ours. It works.

Motor Trend's Car of the Year is unique in other ways, too. Some of our rivals, perhaps desperate to schmooze as many of their advertisers as possible, give multiple awards, like Best Sedan between $25,000 and $25,999 or Best Sports Car You Can Drive Wearing a Tux. Not us. There is only one Car of the Year. That means, this year, 17 unhappy losers. Last year, it was 26. Further, the award is open only to new or significantly upgraded cars on sale from January 1 each year; you don't see our personal favorites recycled on these pages year after year.

You have the background. Now let's go find the winner.

THE CRITERIA

SUPERIORITY - Engineering excellence, advancement in design, utilization of resources and safety. Vehicle concept and execution are important, as are use of materials, packaging, dynamics, styling, and fuel consumption.

SIGNIFICANCE - How well does the vehicle do the job its maker intended it to do? And how does it impact or change its particular market segment, influence consumer perceptions, and transform product development trends.

VALUE - How does each vehicle compare against its direct rivals? A vehicle with a low sticker price might not be as good a value as a more expensive vehicle that delivers outstanding performance, quality, and functionality.
So, the car of the year award goes to...


The 2008 Cadillac CTS​

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
my name's not on the judges list though. :p

The Judges

Mike Floyd Online Editor
Jim Hall Grand Venutian
Allyson Harwood Associate Editor
Ron Kiino Senior Editor
Todd Lassa Detroit Editor
Edward Loh Senior Editor
Angus MacKenzie Editor-in-Chief
Frank Markus Technical Editor
Scott Mortara Road Test Editor
Kim Reynolds Technical Editor
Arthur St. Antoine Editor at Large
Matt Stone Executive Editor
Mark Williams Editor, Truck Trend
 

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no offense Mav, but after they named the Honda Ridgeline "Truck of the Year" a couple years back, I have absolutely no respect for Motor Trend. Its all about who paid em the most to market their new vehicle, not the best vehicle.
 

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The older CTS was niiiiiiice. Like the first year model that came out. And the CTS-V from that year was my top choice. If I could have gotten a brand new car that would have been the one. This is one though.... Dissapointing.
 

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You guys really owe it to yourselves to go check one out in person before you discount it. I'm by no means a GM nutswinger - I'm not even sure HOW I keep ending up with them - but the new CTS is, in all respects, an improvement on the outgoing model which was a fantastic car.

Just sayin'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I didn't like it either, till I saw it in person. It's stance is nice and aggressive and I was really impressed with it just by seeing it "face-to-face." I have yet to drive one though. :sad: soon...
 

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I think the new CTS is a nice improvement over the outgoing version. I never cared for the exterior as much, and thought the interior was way outclassed by the competitors. This new car is really nice all around. I'd consider one. Alas I'll probably be slagging around in the Blazer for another few years.
 

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The interior is more than 'a step up;' it's flat-out unbelievable that it came from the General.
 
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