• Oct 14th 2009 at 10:28AM
  • 39
Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year nominees - Click above to view high-res gallery

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.

Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC60
  • Cadillac SRX
  • Mercedes-Benz GLK
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Lincoln MKT
  • Lexus RX
  • Audi Q5
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • GMC Terrain
  • Acura ZDX

[Source: Motor Trend]

Motor Trend 2009 Sport/Utility of the Year nominees

Toyota 4Runner
Lexus RX
Lincoln MKT
Acura ZDX
Mercedes GLK
Cadillac SRX
GMC Terrain
Audi Q5
Subaru Outback
Chevrolet Equinox
Volvo XC60

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I voted with my wallet for the Q5 last month, and could not be happier...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Three contenders standout:

      Subaru Outback -- It is the new definition of what a SUV has to be carlike handling , utility, true AWD and offroad capability.

      Toyota 4Runner -- because it is the real deal in the traditional sense of an SUV

      Acura ZDX -- its a "sport coupe" first in the SUV segment.

      • 5 Years Ago
      This depends entirely on what the editors think of the state of the economy. The Subie Forester won last year due to price considerations, so the new Outback could win for the same reasons.

      I'm thinking Audi or Volvo though, as they're small luxury utes compared to the larger luxury utes pushed on us for years.

      Audi Q5 tdi anyone?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Besides being cheap, the Forester was also a standout car in the cheap class.

        The Outback is average at best in a strong class. An eyesore with mediocre powertrains.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes. Audi needs to step up and bring the Q5 3.0TDi over, and the A5 3.0TDi. now. The engine is already humming along in the T-reg and Q7, so there aren't any federalizing hurdles to be overcome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What do you mean shouldn't be called SUV. Suburban Utility Vehicle. I don't see where
      the prob...wait...what,...oh.. Sport Utility Vehicle, Oh I see. well yeah, No. Shouldn't be called Suv any more. Full frame or not.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When are we going to admit that "SUV" has become a completely arbitrary and meaningless designation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lets replace it with: Agricultural-based Vehicle of the Year award.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      My vote is on the Equinox, as I expect it to upset the apple cart the most. SRX is second bid. While I like a couple of others, and may like them better, I see these two as the biggest game changers and thats really what the xOTY is SUPPOSED to be about.

      My guess is a lot of it has to do with advertising dollars, which GM may still turn out the winner.

      personally, i think it needs to be renamed 'jacked up wagon of the year' but thats just me, and then where do you put an abomination like the zdx (and mcelroy wants to pick on US mftrs for letter combos?)
        • 5 Years Ago
        The ZDX is no where near an abomination. Don't know where you got that idea. So what it's not practical like people want it to be. It's sexy and fast, like a sports car almost. And sports cars aren't practical either. Hope it or the Crosstour or MKT win. Maybe Equinox also.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, sports cars are impractical. But they're good at what they do. Acura ZDX? Not so much. It's a tall and fat station wagon. Same goes for everything else on this list, except maybe the Outback (it's just a tall station wagon) and the 4Runner. SUVs are not supposed to be fast. They are not supposed to drive like cars. They're supposed to be able to go over and through anything and pull things. SUV "performance" shouldn't be measured in 0-60 times, but in off-road ability.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If by "game changer" you mean an SUV that is barely better than the outgoing Vue, then yeah, I suppose the Equinox is a game changer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        At least it's "ZDX". "RDX" is also the name of a high explosive. Yikes!

      • 5 Years Ago
      Why the hell is that Acura there?! The rest seem fine. A toss between the Q5 and Equinox.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Equinox because it will have the most impact.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 4Runner.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am a declared fan of the Volvo XC60, it's amazing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        except for the nav system and the ugly interior, yes I agree.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dont know why everyone still talks about reliability and Audi...I am on my second A4 and in the past 6 years I have not had a single problem with them.

        By contrast, my 07 Aura has seen the dealer 6 times in 2 years for problems....tie rods, squeeky seats, warped rotors etc...

        Its been a long time since the 90's people....give it up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Clippy - some day i'll understand why audi reliability is vastly different in north america than it is in the rest of the world... some day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Zamafir "some day i'll understand why audi reliability is vastly different in north america than it is in the rest of the world... some day. "

        I live 10km from the VW plant, which produces both VWs and Audis. Rebadging is understatement. And the workers are far from hard-working and keen to details. More like "let's put this quickly together and go for a smoke", it's not our car anyway. The amount of stuff that is being stolen and carried out of the factory premises is also interesting. Best quality Q7 and Touareg parts on sale outside for a fraction of retail price or being handed to worker's friends, dodgy parts being put into the manufactured cars. Fuel pumps, wishbones and turbos (still, even after so many years) are the number one parts that dealers are ordering as they are plagued with malfunctions. Not mentioning the tacky interior of Audis, which looks good on the outside, but is terrible once taken apart. List can go on. A8 and R8 are the only "luxury" models in the whole Audi range, because at least some attention is paid while building them. Rest of the line-up is mediocre at best. Demographics of European buyers says a lot - wannabe managers, posseurs and people who pretend to be important despite being nobody usually drive Passat or A4/A6 in cheap trim. Most successful managers tend to be loyal to Mercedes despite its controversial styling. Government officials and various mafia thugs prefer BMWs (not a compliment either but hey...). Individuals with special taste go for Jags or Maserati Quattroportes. Considering car theft - BMWs and Mercedes are usually stolen and delivered as they are to the "customer", VWs and Audis are taken apart and sold for parts (seems like demand for spare parts is high, and no, they are not put back together at the detsination). Did i say that VW, Audi and Skoda belong to the most stolen cars in Central and Eastern Europe?

        I don't blame you for being a VW/Audi fanboy. Personally i like R32, legendary RS2, S8 and R8. But the brand would be far from luxurious if it wasn't for their top models. But i guess Americans buy anything that has certain badge attached to it, be it BMW, Audi or MB.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the interior of the xc60 is very nice, seen some Q5s on the road lately and they are much better looking in person than in pictures unfortunately my experience as well as that of friends is that Audi's are nothing but endless problems. That aside I would say this is a race between the Q5 and the xc60, the Q5 takes fun to drive SUV to the next level while Volvo takes SUV safety to the next, we'll see.
        • 5 Years Ago
        XC60 has the integrated and proper working city safety... If you care for your life the XC60 is the better buy, (not saying the q5 is unsafe)... As the rest of the points go, it would be a q5 win..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seeing as the 4runner is the only SUV on the list it wins.
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