Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Chevy Corvette ZR1
After what we're sure are thousands of miles driven and some undoubtedly heated round table debates, Automobile Magazine has chosen its 2009 All-Stars. The ten winners were chosen based upon attributes that include design, driving enjoyment, performance and value, with vehicles taken from a wide range of segments. This year's winners range from the econobox Honda Fit to the Audi R8, with the spaciously rectilinear Ford Flex somewhere in between. The Chevrolet Malibu was one of four vehicles to make the list for the second straight year, joined by the Corvette (this year in ZR1 trim), Volkswagen GTI and the trophy darling BMW 3-Series. With it's nod from Automobile, Jaguar's XF continues to bring home the hardware, with one tester calling it the best Jaguar sedan he's ever driven (not a stretch in our book). Other winners included the Porsche 911 and the stonking Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.
Just like with Car and Driver's 10 Best list, the Nissan GT-R didn't make Automobile's All-Stars team – an interesting ommission considering that it was recently crowned their Automobile of the Year. (Note: no price cap got in the way of victory this time). In fact, the only Japanese model to make the cut was the Fit, while the Germans took home five spots. In all, we'd call the All-Stars a solid list, but we're more interested in hearing what you think. What's missing and what vehicle(s) need the boot?
Related Gallery2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec 15, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- VLKAY | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- AUTOMOBILE Magazine, America's leading automotive lifestyle publication and part of Source Interlink Media, LLC, a subsidiary of media and marketing services company Source Interlink Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SORC), today announced the winners of its 2009 AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars Awards.
"This year's list is one of the broadest we have compiled. Our 2008 Automobile of the Year Audi R8 is joined by stalwarts such as the BMW 3-series, newcomers like the Ford Flex, and repeat winners Chevy Malibu and Volkswagen GTI," said Jean Jennings, president and editor-in-chief of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. "These ten cars are the year's fastest, most exhilarating, ingenious, awe-inspiring, accomplished, and compelling cars available in the U.S."
Each year, the editors of AUTOMOBILE Magazine convene to test, evaluate, and debate the performance, significance, and pure enthusiast appeal of the cars that make the biggest impact. Award winners will be featured in the February 2009 issue of AUTOMOBILE Magazine, available on newsstands January 6, 2009.
AUTOMOBILE Magazine's 2009 All-Stars, with editorial assessments, are:
Audi R8 - AUTOMOBILE Magazine calls the R8 the kind of iconic sports car that comes around once or twice a decade. Dramatic inside and out, the R8 is wide, low, and purposeful--it is a luxury grand tourer as much as it is a pure sports car.
BMW 3-series - Don't stop the presses: the BMW 3-series and M3 get another All-Stars award (its fourteenth, to be exact). Isn't this deja vu? As always, the competition for the 3-series keeps getting fiercer, and, as usual, critics say the latest, greatest M3 is a bit too refined. But BMW's masterpiece of all-things-to-all-people engineering remains more fun than anything that's more practical and more practical than anything that's more fun.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - AUTOMOBILE Magazine editors found that few words have the ability to adequately convey the rush provided by the most powerful Corvette ever. The world has produced faster cars, but few offer the same combination of sound, speed, and exhilaration. 60 mph comes in first gear (in 3.7 seconds) and 91 mph in second.
Chevrolet Malibu - There is no need to assemble a laundry list of the Malibu's strengths versus its many competitors. Drive one, and it is clear why AUTOMOBILE Magazine named it an All-Stars winner two years in a row. The Malibu is the quiet American on this year's All-Stars list: a sedan with crisp handling, commutative steering, a properly tuned ride, and an overall feeling of quality.
Ford Flex - With seven-passenger capacity and generous proportions, the Flex is a vehicle that defies conventional wisdom. AUTOMOBILE Magazine was taken by the Flex's exterior design, which is thoroughly modern while harking back to the glory days of U.S. automakers, and a cabin that is a masterpiece of ergonomic engineering and chock-full of high-tech features. The Flex concentrates on refinement and emphasizes style while being as practical as a minivan.
Honda Fit - More than three decades after the original Honda Civic gave Americans a whole new notion of space utilization, the Honda Fit has come along to amaze a new generation. The new model's extra polish elevates the small-car experience with hidden features, a sleeker exterior, a smoother gearbox, and a nicer cabin.
Jaguar XF - What one AUTOMOBILE Magazine editor calls "the best Jaguar sedan I have ever driven" is a beautiful, composed, powerful, and lush car. The XF is impressively quick and refined. Driving it is not just about going fast; it is smooth, refined and comfortable for driver and passengers alike when being pressed to deliver its full potential.
Porsche 911 - From its birth in 1964 to the arrival of an improved edition last year, the Porsche 911 has been a rare island of tranquility amid the automotive industry's seas of turmoil. The fortified sixth-generation 911 is gutsier and quicker accelerating, yet it squeezes an additional mpg or three from every gallon of premium. Breadth of character is another of the 911's endearing traits. Rear or all-wheel drive, coupe or convertible, outfitted for grand touring or track days, there is a 911 for every purpose.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG - Mercedes-Benz's mind-set for its AMG cars is to offer insane power in a package that skews towards luxury. The C63 AMG makes the leap to the All-Stars list because it sacrifices the posh-performance DNA of Mercedes Benz in its quest to be a better driver's car. Other cars in the AMG portfolio are faster, but this one is the most fun.
Volkswagen GTI - With a new version of the GTI due in the U.S. in September, AUTOMOBILE Magazine applauds this return-to-its-roots VW with yet another All-Stars award. During its three-year run, the GTI's performance, comfort, and functionality kept it out front in the race to be the best sporty compact car and also made it the 2007 Automobile of the Year.
Criteria and Evaluation
The AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars are chosen by the AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE staff, its worldwide bureau chiefs, and its contributors, following an intensive test drive of the year's most innovative and important new cars. Vehicles considered for the All-Stars awards combine the following traits:
-- Redefines an existing category or creates a new market segment
-- Provides excellent value and performance for the money
-- Exhibits an exceptional design
-- Offers pure driving enjoyment
After a 1000-mile road trip, winners are determined by a round-table discussion that results in a vote for the ten winners. The award decisions are not made through an instrumented test process.
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