• Dec 17, 2007

Last week after learning that General Motors is fielding four out of the six finalists for the 2008 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, we decided to let you loose on which two vehicles you thought would be driving home with with a trophy.

We can't say we're surprised with your choice of the Cadillac CTS as 2008 North American Car of the Year. We've driven it a number of times and each time further supports our hypothesis that the new CTS is simply the best car built by an American automaker and one of the best sport/luxury mid-size models in the world. Hence, we think nearly 50% of the vote is deserved.

The race for 2008 North American Truck of the Year, however, appears much closer, with the Buick Enclave narrowly beating out the new Mazda CX-9 in our unofficial poll, 38.3, or a difference of just 36 votes. While these two vehicles are both large CUVs with three rows of seating, we're pretty sure few will be cross shopping the Enclave that coddles with the CX-9 that goes Zoom.

Will our straw poll turn out to be accurate? We'll find out in January when the awards are officially handed out at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM builds a SUV / CUV that doesn't look like a box on wheels and everyone shockingly gasps in awe.

      Mazda builds a SUV that's stylish and fun-to-drive (relatively) and no one is surprised.

      Just sayin'
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mr. Oak, please get your facts right before posting any info. The CX9 went on sale in Feb. '07 while the Enclave has been available since May.
        Oh, and another thing. It's possible that the Mazda was not the target vehicle amongst the hoi polloi in the areas you happened to pass through during your road trip. I live in one of the largest cities in the US and happen to see at least one CX9 everyday. On the other hand, I can't remember the last time I saw an Enclave, on the rental lot at DFW perhaps?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Here is the arguement with Mazda's approach. The majority of us out here who likes to think of ourselves as the "Alpha Dogs" of the driving world, don't want a CUV/SUV or *UV. We want sports coupes and sports sedans. Hell we'll even tolerate a sports sedan based wagon.

        If I were in the market for a largish vehicle that could haul lots of people and stuff, the Buick would sit atop my list. Looks alone is not why everyone is raving about the Enclave.

        How many CX-9s did Mazda manage to move last month? I'm willing to bet not as many as Buick sold Enclaves, and that's not counting the 1,300+ folks on the waiting list.

        Just last month I did a 2,500 mile road trip. I saw exactly 3 CX-9s on my entire trip. Saw about 3 dozen Enclaves. Didn't realize until then, that they were selling so well. Mind you the CX-9 has been in the market place 3x as long as the Enclave.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Any FWD Transverse V6 Based Wagon, even with AWD is NOT A TRUCK!!
      Change the category name to utility vehicles if youre going to include "crossovers" with body on frame logitudinal v6 and v8 4x4 ( NOT AWD) TRUCKS
        • 7 Years Ago
        i know, none of those are trucks, what happened to a truck having an 8ft bed, and maybe a cap if you wanted your stuff dry.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Crossovers and light sport utilities are displacing the market that traditionals had held. The reason that consumers started buying (big) trucks in any number was the f_cked up incentive program known as CAFE that made it more profitable for an automaker to develop and produce and more cost-effective for a consumer to buy a truck than to do the same for a passenger car.

        The problem is that, while trucks are cheap, they're also unpleasant to drive and costly to operate compared to a
        passenger car. Hence the crossover: truck CAFE restrictions, but on a car chassis.

        Since crossovers essentially are filling the marketspace left by trucks (and COTY awards mean squat to commerical buyers), the magazines are allowing crossovers to qualify for the award. I mean, hey, if the government says they're trucks, who is Motor Trend to argue?

        Personally, I like CAFE, but the truck exemption is utter weaselism. If you need a truck to run your business, you already have tax exemptions for that. Otherwise, just buy a car and live with it. And if that car happens to weigh four thousand pounds then the manufacturer should get dinged for that.

        Unless the US takes the initiative and raises gas prices (which is _highly unlikely_, given what cowards US politicians are), scrapping the truck and flexfuel exemptions would restore some of the incentive to actually make efficient cars, rather than allow companies to arbitrarily reclassify their poor performing vehicles.

        CAFE's truck exemption is like creating a separate class for out-of-shape people at the Olympics.
      • 7 Years Ago
      IMHO, the enclave should have gone to Cadillac to replace SRX and Buick should be relegated as the "fleet brand."

      Hey GM, if in Lutz's words Buick's supposed to be the "American Lexus at a lower price point" then what's Cadillac? .....the American Lexus that overpriced? or the American BMW? or the American Mercedes?

        • 7 Years Ago
        American BMW. Lexus is for old folks and that is a fact.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The CTS is the American 5 series while the CTS-V is the American RS4. The STS is an American Hyundai.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, technically, wouldn't the BMW X5, and the Z4 be eligible for this list because they are built in South Carolina?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Biggest suprise is GM taking the top 2 spots. Add to that the Malibu beating the accord. WOW has the automotive world has changed in such a short time."

      Nothing has changed, these awards mean nothing at all. The mere fact that the tahoe is shortlisted proves the cluelessness of the people involved. There are many good cars out there that should have made it. I guess GM is better than anyone else at greasing palms. Why are these awards meaningless? Well when the Accord outsells the Malibu by a wide margin you'll know why.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is the most unbiased auto selection process available because each journalist votes independently of their respective magazines. The journalists gain no benefit in this respect. This award has no home other than in the winning automakers awards room.

        You may be confusing this award with Motor Trend and their award which is usually bought and paid for through advertising dollars. A launch year of a new car means that is where the big advertising budgets from the automakers spending focus will be. They will drop that award on whoever plans to spend the big dollars as this also promotes their magazines brand name in many of the ads.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Why are you comparing cars to the Tahoe? How could those two categories by any similar? The GMT 900 twins are some of the best in the business and add the fact that the two mode gets killer mileage, the Tahoe is a winner, unless you can't open your eyes and see it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I would probably barf at an Accord after being in a new CTS. How is this for meaningless?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Truck? The only one of those thats even close is the tahoe hybrid. The definition of "truck" to some people seems to have taken a turn in a different direction. When I think truck, I think REAR OR FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, NOT WRONG WHEEL DRIVE. Call it awd if you want but its still transversely mounted. I think of a truck as a vehicle with a BOX, thats a good starting point.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Truck, in a traditional sense, yes. but for the average consumer, any *large* vehicle thats not a minivan with competent cargo capacity/towing capacity should be loosely classified as a truck. Call me nuts, but heres my two examples

        1) Toyota highlander (2007-back model)- base 4 cylinder, weak payload=not a truck

        2) GMC Acadia 3.6L V6 275hp, 4500 lbs towing capacity=truck
        -even though it doesn't have a boxed frame or rwd, i know.
        GOOD IN SNOW with front or all wheel drive

        3) Ford Explorer=truck, but less capable/less room than Acadia. 210hp V6, stock towing =3500 lbs WITH a fully boxed frame, rwd
        CRAPPY IN SNOW with rwd

        In other words, for 98% of the people in the market for a vehicle like this, the Acadia does the job.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I voted for the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid - the technology is worth my vote. The Enclave is sweet and the CX-9 is nice, but they are just normal crossovers. The Tahoe allows for the same functionality with the addition of towing capacity and exceptional fuel economy. I don't care that it is the only truck by the definition of being body-on-frame like some have argued here. They all compete in the classic sense of being a two box design made to haul families and stuff. I believe the journalists who vote on this will also see it this way IMHO.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Biggest suprise is GM taking the top 2 spots. Add to that the Malibu beating the accord. WOW has the automotive world has changed in such a short time.

      I've driven the Enclave, Malibu and sat in the rest. Five of the six deserve the praise. One deserves to be put into an accordian.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Buick took the extra time to get this right before bringing it to market.

      The reality is, the Enclave and the CX-9 are only competitors because of configuration. Both being big 3 row seat crossovers. The comparison really ends there.

      If you like the Mazda's "sporty" interpretation and possibly cost, you'll buy the Mazda. 2/3rds of America's drivers will prefer the Buick's civility. In the long run, it will outsell the CX-9, Outlook and possibly the Acadia. GM is already throttling back Outlook production, to build more Enclaves.

      Also, this really spells doom for the mini-van market. Chrysler really screwed up by killing the Pacifica, instead of redoing it. Chrysler, nix those ugly mini-vans here is your template for your 2nd gen Pacifica.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I`d take a Grand Caravan over any crossover. Once inside a Caravan you`ll realise in room and practicality it easily beats the crossover fad.
        Chrysler should stick with their flagship. Slidding doors with kids are a Godsend in parking lots.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good news, even though the Camry is far superior!
      • 7 Years Ago
      2008 NORTH AMERICAN CAR OF THE YEAR:
      TOYOTA AVALON.

      guys tell me what ya think!
        • 7 Years Ago
        LOL, I'd rather not afford an Avalon.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Edmunds just added a CX-9 to their long-term fleet and the introduction for it is all about Enclave comparison. They make a good case for why the vehicles are competitors.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I doubt the Enclave will win since neither the Acadia nor the Outlook won.
      I hope the Tahoe wins since its the only truck.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't think the Outlook and Acadia were not in last years judging. I think they were considered in this pool.

        Anyway. The Buick is a supprior vehicle on looks alone.
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