Since everyone is coming out with their car of the year awards I figured why not have one here at Autoblog. While it seems Motor Trend thinks because they were the first publication to have a Car of the Year award that they own the concept. Autoblog will try to stick to its own core values as we evaluate the winners and losers of the year for ourselves and our readers.

Some rules.
1. The vehicle had to be part of the Autoblog Garage series in 2004. Unfortunately we?ve only been around since this summer so there are only 23 contestants. Next year we should have twice that number, at least.
2. This is a completely subjective contest. We will not use performance times etc. to decide the winner. Instead we will rely solely on my reviews (and faulty memory) from the week-long tests of each vehicle in the garage.

That?s it. We?ll begin in batches and pick three top candidates from Group 1, 2 and 3 and then narrow down the list from there until there is an undisputed #1.

Here are the cars and links for Group 1 (June-July 2004). I will post the four finalists later on this week and Groups 2 & 3 will be posted over the next two weeks. Also please note how the feature has evolved over the past six months. I hope it has gotten better.

 Group 1
  June-July 2004

Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible GT
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3-4, Day 5-7

Mazda 6s 5-door
Day 1, Day 2-4, Day 6

Dodge Neon SRT-4
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3-5, Day 7

Kia Spectra
Day 1, Day 2-3, Day 4-6

Mazda RX-8
Day 1, Day 2Day 3-4, Day 5

Chevy Equinox
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3-4, Day 5

VW Passat TDI Wagon
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3Day 4

Saturn Vue Red Line
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3-5, Day 6Day 7

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