When Motor Trend picks its favorite sport utility vehicle, the winner will have bragging rights for an entire year. And we'll know all about it, because the victorious company behind the winning crossover or SUV will shout it from the rooftops (and in print, TV and web advertisements) about their shiny golden award. We can argue all day long about whether many of the nominees can be legitimately be considered sport/utlility vehicles, but either way, this year, there are 11 vehicles up for consideration, with pedigrees ranging from a single traditional body-on-frame SUV to a brace of competent and efficient family haulers and richly appointed luxury crossovers.
As Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Angus McKenzie points out on the magazine's blog, there is only one traditional SUV on the list, and it takes the size and shape of the Toyota 4Runner. The rest of the vehicles are crossovers, with seven of the 11 candidates sporting luxury badging, three coming from General Motors and one stablemate to last year's SUV of the year, the Subaru Outback. When choosing the SUV of the year, MT says it looks at packaging, presentation and intended function, along with obvious criteria like aesthetics and performance. Hit the jump to look over the candidates for the award, click below to check out our high-res gallery, or head over to Motor Trend for more details.