• Sep 17th 2008 at 12:57PM
  • 66
The 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is looming ever closer, which means the process to choose the 2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year has begun. The organization behind the very prestigious awards has trotted out the list of semi-finalists for both awards, which includes 26 vehicles total with 14 contenders for COTY and 12 for TOTY.
The defining line between each category has been muddled this year by a bunch of crossovers that could be considered either car or truck, though most were placed in the Truck category except for the new Toyota Venza. There are also two diesel-powered models being considered: the VW Jetta TDI and Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec.

The jury that decides the winners is comprised entirely of automotive journalists, two of which are part of the Autoblog family: John McElroy who writes a weekly editorial called Autoline on Autoblog and Gary Witzenburg who writes a weekly editorial called At Witz' End on AutoblogGreen.

While the 2009 TOTY award is likely to go to either the new Dodge Ram or Ford F-150, this year's coveted COTY award will be the most hotly contested one in recent memory. Seriously, which one would you choose? The giant-slaying GT-R? The class-busting Genesis? The Hail Mary pass XF? The techno starship MKS? The Grade-A retro Challenger? You get the idea. Vote for which vehicle you'd like to win in each category below in our straw polls.

2009 Car of the Year
Audi A4 979 (5.5%)
BMW 1 Series 985 (5.5%)
Cadillac CTS-V 2018 (11.3%)
Dodge Challenger 2591 (14.6%)
Ford Flex 502 (2.8%)
Honda Fit 775 (4.4%)
Hyundai Genesis 1563 (8.8%)
Jaguar XF 648 (3.6%)
Lincoln MKS 363 (2.0%)
Mazda6 545 (3.1%)
Nissan GT-R 4637 (26.1%)
Pontiac G8 1233 (6.9%)
Toyota Venza 225 (1.3%)
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 726 (4.1%)

2009 Truck of the Year
BMW X6 2088 (14.5%)
Chevrolet Traverse 1352 (9.4%)
Dodge Ram 2002 (13.9%)
Ford F-150 1918 (13.4%)
Honda Pilot 508 (3.5%)
Infiniti FX35/50 1207 (8.4%)
Kia Borrego 389 (2.7%)
Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec 1030 (7.2%)
Nissan Murano 463 (3.2%)
Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid 724 (5.0%)
Subaru Forester 1645 (11.5%)
Volkswagen Tiguan 1028 (7.2%)

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I vote for the Fit...Why? It is the only one I could responsibly afford. The best votes a manufacturer could ever hope for are the ones you cast with your dollars!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why is the Ford Flex a "car" and the Chevy Traverse is a "truck"? I believe they compete for the same buyers, people looking for a 7 passenger vehicle that isn't a minivan or SUV.

      Correct me if they are not in the same class, competing against one another.

      • 7 Years Ago
      My vote goes for the Genesis, but I can also see GTR winning. As far as the CTS-V goes, I don't think it would win, but I did vote for the CTS when it was a COTY candidate.

      My knowledge of SUVs/Trucks is not that great but I was still a bit shocked that the X6 is leading AB's poll.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Genesis. No question. GT-R? It's just a fast car, there will be faster cars next year and the year after that.

      It's not every year that a car company elevates themselves from 2nd rate to top tier (in the US at least), and Hyundai is doing that with the Genesis.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Keep drinking the cool-aid. Let's at least find positive reviews and get some test-drives in before we declare that unproven snoozer a "top-tier" car.

        If big engines and RWD were all it took to make the best car, I'd be driving an F-150 sports car...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Isn't the ZR1 the standard in sportscars these days? GT-R didnt hold any of it's performance crowns for long.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have to agree. The GT-R is a tremendous achievement and has shaken up the world of supercars, from the Chevy to Porsche, but it's insignificant to the average consumer. The Genesis promises to shake up the luxury market just the same, and is much more relevant.

        Cheezewiz, just about every major automotive has already driven the Genesis--even Autoblog, months ago. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/06/27/first-drive-2009-hyundai-genesis/
        • 7 Years Ago
        you know that most people will choose the GT-R strictly because its an icon and a new standard in the sports car ring. I like the Genesis just because it may show some luxury sedans what a rear drive car can do for a company (Honda/Acura, are you listening?).

        Saying that, I chose the Cadillac CTS-V. For a company like GM to make a marvel of a car, it shows potential if they just try. If only they put that engine in the XLR-V...
        • 7 Years Ago
        "GT-R didnt hold any of it's performance crowns for long."

        The GT-R didn't really hold any crowns at all. It did run a blazing 'ring lap, but not besting the Zonda or Carrera GT. The ZR1 beat the GT-R and both the Zonda and the Carrera GT. Then, recently, the ZR1 was bested by the Viper ACR.

        On a side note, I picked the V. In my opinion the vast improvement in every aspect over the previous CTS-V. Not just that, but it is a perfect GM demonstrator. It says simply and elegantly that GM is capable of miracles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No CX9 yet the other crossovers are on there like the yawnbox Pilot? Fail.

      The GTR? Yawn. That's too easy. A fast car where the computer does all the work and still get whipped by primitive brainless American muscle.

      COTY: Genesis for value and potentially game changing market disruptor, Fit for timeliness and practicality.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They have to be recently redesigned. the CX9 was redesigned 2 years ago. It's not completely new.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey Ian, learn to pitch before you comment on cars.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I voted X6 just as a joke. I can't believe anyone else did for real.

      I also voted G8. It's just so much better and more Pontiac DNA-ish than anything they've put out for years I had to give them props.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I picked the jag xf because its a car that could save a great company and put jag right back at the top of its class
        • 7 Years Ago
        Exactly my reasoning for the same choice. Or +1 if you prefer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It was a tough choice. For two door, I'd say the XR-1. For four door..it's tough. You have the CTS-V, the Genesis and the XF. I choose the XF. While technically, the Genesis may be a great car, but it doesn't really have the character the other two have. I mean, they totally copied Mercedes/BMW on it. Now, XF or CTS-V. Pretty impressed with both, considering both companies are going through a pretty rough time...however, the XF just seems more edgy and I like the design more.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, COTY competition is tough this year. The truck market, not so much.. The new A4 is very impressive and shames it's bavarian competition, but on the other hand the Genesis is an incredible step forward for Hyundai and almost reminds me of the early 90s Acura Legend. The CTS-V and GT-R are pretty and fast but thats been done before and there'll be something prettier and faster next year. Based solely on the 'i didnt see that coming' factor, I've gotta lean towards the Genesis.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wheres the Tundra for 09 TOTY?????????????
      • 7 Years Ago
      GT-R? C'mon ya gotta be realistic. Sure it's an amazing car, but that price...You'll be lucky if you see maybe one or two on the road in your lifetime.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I did happen to see a red GTR on the highway...it looked OK, but in my opinion, my friend's Infinity G35 Coupe is a better looking car than the GTR.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I chose the Hyundai Genesis and the Dodge Ram. I chose them based off of vehicles that are changing the game. Genesis because it offers unparalleled luxury and goodies for a price that is unheard of, and not only that it is a pretty swell car for the money.

      The Dodge Ram because it is bringing innovations to the large truck segment that should have been implemented decades ago. Others will have to either follow it or do it even better.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I hate to argue but what great innovations does the Ram have, integrated storage in the bedrail? I bought a $100 toneau cover and a $20 plastic footlocker that gets the same thing done and I get to keep the full width of the bed which, to me, is more important. The rear coil springs, not needed on a working truck (which is where this segment is headed as few who don't need a truck are buying them anymore).

        Meanwhile, the F150 has side and tailgate steps, a cargo locking system, nav screen computer, and RFID tags/tracking system for equipment so the business owner can track where their tools are on the jobsite. Seems to me like Dodge was designing for the casual truck owner and Ford was designing to the work truck owners. In this economy, I think the F150 is more relevant as a truck.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The new coil link suspension does not sacrifice any of the capabilities, (by the way they are used in Trains and Semis hmmmm...) the new RamBox is a good thing it only fills in the the space by the wheel wells and the space in between the 2 wheel wells is still the same! now people well have places to put all the extra small stuff that gets in the way, which a real "worker" has alot of, trust me I know. and the Ram also has computer navigation systems, pretty much all vehicles do. the ram also has a rear cam to make it easier to hook up a trailer, which a ford doesn't. And fords step on the tailgate isn't needed, any regular person can get in the back no problem, unless you are like 80 years old which will be the only people that will want that.
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