Last year, we were surprised by Motor Week's choice for its 2007 "Best Of The Year" , the Honda Fit. This year, we were simply shocked that its choice for 2008 is the Scion xB. It's not that the xB is a bad car, it's that there are so many better choices. In fact, peruse the list below of winners in other categories. Almost any of the other cars on the list would be a better choice, save for the Sebring Convertible and possibly the minivans. Lexus makes fine vehicles, but its LS 600h L does not belong on a "Best Dream Machine" list.
- Best Small Car - Scion xB
- Best Family Sedan - Honda Accord
- Best Minivan - Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country
- Best Convertible - Chrysler Sebring Convertible
- Best Luxury Sedan - Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Best Sport Sedan - Cadillac CTS
- Best Sport Coupe - Infiniti G37
- Best Performance Car - Volkswagen R32
- Best Small Utility - Nissan Rogue
- Best Large Utility - Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
- Best Crossover Utility - Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook
- Best Pickup Truck - Ford F-Series Super Duty
- Best Eco-Friendly - Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid/GMC Yukon Hybrid
- Best Dream Machine - Audi R8/Bentley Continental GT Speed/Lexus LS 600h L
We can agree with a few of the choices, like the Audi R8, the Cadillac CTS and even the R32, although the new Evolution or STi might have been a better choice. These types of lists are never easy, but MotorWeek seems to have gone out of its way to make this one irrelevant.
MotorWeek Honors Scion xB as 2008 Drivers' Choice "Best of the Year"
Scion xB's versatility and value appeal to the young and young at heart;
GM recognized for pioneering technology giving full size vehicles functionality and fuel efficiency
Chicago, IL – Delivering the perfect mix of fun, fuel efficiency and usefulness the Scion xB eclipsed the
competition to capture MotorWeek's coveted "Best of the Year" 2008 Drivers' Choice Award. The honor was
announced today at the Chicago Auto Show. Without abandoning its roots as a funky, compact urban utility
vehicle, the xB offers more versatility, more power, unique customization options, a thrifty sticker price and
frugality at the pump. MotorWeek's Drivers' Choice Awards have been presented since 1983, and are among
the auto industry's most prestigious honors.
"Our Scion owners asked for a bigger and better 'box' and we responded with the 2008 xB," said Jack Hollis,
Scion vice president. "We're flattered MotorWeek finds the xB just as appealing as our Scion enthusiasts and
has named the xB 'Best of the Year.' "
"Scion has made an interesting first concept into a great second generation car," said John Davis, MotorWeek
host and executive producer. "With the xB, Scion has broadened its appeal to every intelligent consumer out
there. It's amazingly roomy, stylish, fuel efficient and entertaining to drive. A compact this versatile should be
in everyone's garage. The Scion xB is a smart choice, a great value and a fun one too. It appeals to the
young, and the young at heart."
Recognized as the best overall among winners in 14 categories, the xB is the first Scion to win a Drivers'
Choice Award. Scion, a marque of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., began its national rollout of vehicles in
2004. The entire winners' list will be featured on a special MotorWeek episode airing on PBS beginning
February 9 (check local listings) and on cable's SPEED beginning February 11. The Drivers' Choice Awards
and MotorWeek are nationally sponsored by Cars.com, Valvoline and Goodyear.
GM's Tahoe and Yukon won "Best Large Utility," but also proved bigger can be better -- and greener -- by
also taking top honors as "Best Eco-Friendly" for their new hybrid models. It is the first time in MotorWeek
history that a large utility has won in both categories. "GM should be commended for putting hybrid systems
where they belong, in the biggest vehicles that use the most fuel," said Davis. "GM's two-mode hybrid system
improves fuel economy by up to 30%, without compromising performance or utility."
GM also swept the "Best Crossover Utility" category with newcomer Buick Enclave and repeat winners GMC
Acadia and Saturn Outlook, demonstrating that domestic automakers still dominate the large vehicle market.
MotorWeek also recognized GM's successful efforts to take on the Europeans. With its power, sharp styling
and amazing interior quality, the Cadillac CTS captured the title of "Best Sport Sedan."
Import brands maintained their supremacy in the family and luxury car segments. MotorWeek awarded first
place honors to the Honda Accord as "Best Family Sedan," the Nissan Rogue as "Best Small Utility," and the
Scion xB as "Best Small Car". Mercedes-Benz's redesigned C-Class did not disappoint, taking the "Best
Luxury Sedan" category. A trio of rare import brands won as "Best Dream Machine," Audi R8, Bentley
Continental GT Speed and Lexus LS 600h L.
Capturing the essence of the Drivers' Choice Awards, the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan
shared top honors as "Best Minivan." "With a new seating system, more entertainment options and more
space, they've got everything a minivan should have, plus a couple of things that are unexpected. That's what
we're looking for with these awards," said Davis.
The annual MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards are unique for their consumer focus and represent the
definitive list of best automotive picks for a range of lifestyles. This year, a team of 15 judges, comprised of
the writers, producers and staff of MotorWeek evaluated more than 150 cars and trucks. Decisions are based
on performance, technology, practicality and dollar value. The resulting 14 categories reflect the most popular
vehicle segments, and the winners represent what MotorWeek considers to be the best in each class.
Drivers' Choice Awards Individual Categories:
1. Best Small Car - Scion xB
2. Best Family Sedan - Honda Accord
3. Best Minivan - Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country
4. Best Convertible - Chrysler Sebring Convertible
5. Best Luxury Sedan - Mercedes-Benz C-Class
6. Best Sport Sedan - Cadillac CTS
7. Best Sport Coupe - Infiniti G37
8. Best Performance Car - Volkswagen R32
9. Best Small Utility - Nissan Rogue
10. Best Large Utility - Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
11. Best Crossover Utility - Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook
12. Best Pickup Truck - Ford F-Series Super Duty
13. Best Eco-Friendly - Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid/GMC Yukon Hybrid
14. Best Dream Machine - Audi R8/Bentley Continental GT Speed/Lexus LS 600h L
MotorWeek, the original television automotive magazine series, is one of the nation's leading sources for
automotive industry news, new car information and driving entertainment. The award-winning series, seen
nationwide on PBS, PBS HD, SPEED and V-me, is sponsored by Cars.com, Valvoline and Goodyear. The
weekly series is produced by Maryland Public Television. For more information on MotorWeek and the
Drivers' Choice Awards, visit www.pbs.org/motorweek.