• Nov 1, 2010
Popular Mechanics' Top 10 Cars for 2011 – Click above for high-res image gallery

As 2010 draws to a close, it's time for different publications to start dishing out the numerous "car of the year" awards that highlight the best and brightest offerings for each new model year. The folks at Popular Mechanics have just released their Top 10 Cars for 2011, with American manufacturers (Ford, specifically) taking away the vast majority of top honors. Add General Motors and Chrysler to the mix, and the Big Three account for six of the ten vehicles on Popular Mechanics' list.

Ford's Mustang, Fiesta and F-250 Super Duty were all recognized as class-leaders for the 2011 model year. Across town, the new Cadillac CTS Coupe and Chevrolet Volt were given a hat tip from the editors, as was the Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of parent company Chrysler's big comebacks for the year 2011. The remaining awards were given to the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Sienna, Lotus Evora and Infiniti M, all of which are fantastic cars in their own rights.

To see which cars were honored for each category, you can scroll through our image gallery of the winners, or hit the jump to read the official press release. Look for the full story in Popular Mechanics' December issue, which hits newsstands on November 12.

Photos copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: Popular Mechanics]
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Detroit's Big Three Take Home Majority of Awards

NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2010) – Popular Mechanics today revealed the recipients of its Automotive Excellence Awards, the Top 10 Cars for 2011. Chosen by the magazine's expert editorial team, these awards recognize the best in automotive design, execution and technology for 2011 model year vehicles in ten specific categories.

"This was a year of resurgence for the auto industry in general, and that was very apparent from the quality, performance and innovation we saw in the new models," said Larry Webster, automotive editor, Popular Mechanics. "This year's Top Ten truly represent the best of the best; we are especially excited to note that Detroit's Big Three automakers have come back in a big way and snapped up a majority of this year's wins."

Popular Mechanics' Top Ten Cars for 2011 are:

- Performance: Ford Mustang
- Design: Cadillac CTS Coupe
- Value: Hyundai Sonata
- Fuel Efficiency: Ford Fiesta
- Versatility: Toyota Sienna
- Fun to Drive: Lotus Evora
- Off-Road Ability: Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Technical Innovation: Chevrolet Volt
- Luxury: Infiniti M37/M56
- Workhorse: Ford F-250 Super Duty

Each year, to determine the winners of the Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards, PM's editors drive more than 100 of the newest cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles, amassing well over 100,000 miles in the process. Through their experiences on extended test drives around the world, instrumented comparison tests and longer-term evaluations, the auto team nominates a list of vehicles in each category. Those selections are put to a vote and the top vote-getters in each category win an Automotive Excellence Award. The auto team is led by automotive editor Larry Webster, West-coast editor Ben Stewart, and senior automotive editor Mike Allen, the magazine's contributing editors, and editor-in-chief James Meigs.

Full coverage of the Popular Mechanics' Top 10 Cars of 2011 can be found in the December issue of Popular Mechanics, on newsstands November 12, 2010 and online at http://www.popularmechanics.com/top10cars2011.


Popular Mechanics (www.popularmechanics.com) is a magazine that helps readers master the modern world. In addition to providing hands-on coverage of personal technology, cars and home improvement, PM reports in depth on the science and technology behind major issues -- including such stories as disaster planning, hydrogen fuel and other energy alternatives, military expenditures, and digital privacy. Each month, nearly 9 million readers turn for advice and news to the magazine's editors and contributors, including the likes of Jay Leno, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Tom Jones, and roboticist Daniel H. Wilson. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Popular Mechanics publishes nine editions around the world. Popular Mechanics is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) and one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies with interests in magazines, newspapers, digital media, business media and television. As one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, Hearst Magazines publishes nearly 200 editions around the world, including 14 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom, published through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst Magazines is a leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation (ABC June 2010) and reaches 73 million adults (Spring, 2010 MRI).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      6 domestics,4 imports.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Supposedly in a couple of years Hyundai will have the highest domestic content of anybody building cars in the US, domestic or import.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Fiesta isn't an American product - never has been.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know the Sonata is "Domestically" built, the Feista is imported...

        I'd love to see the engineering/design/and domestic content on this list.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice list.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where's the Saab?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice list, good to see the Infiniti M on there. The interior of that car is really gorgeous...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed, nice choice on the cars they chose overall.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You have Audi Q5, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW M3, Ford Mustang, Lamborghini Murcielago, Ford Edge, Cadillac SRX, Mercedes-Benz E-Class on the list for this year, although Ford Mustang is my personal favorite coz it provides live axle in an affordable sports car. As they are going IRS next generation, but I'm tired of people saying that a live axle CAN'T handle well. Fact is, as long as you know what you're doing you can make a live axle plenty nimble in the twisties. You just have to know what you are doing, then actually do it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While PM isn't exactly a bastion of automotive journalism, I am rather surprised that the Japanese won only 2.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup, nothing really good out there this year from Japan, except from Nissan. The Infiniti M37/M56 is a better car IMO than the latest 5-Series which suffers from terrible steering. It has completely lost everything that made it a great drivers car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's as simple as the fact that awards are usually given to new models. All the winners are either new for 2011 or got such huge upgrades that they're basically new (i.e. Mustang and it's new motors). Which makes almost all these award lists pretty silly anyway-it's basically a list of the cars that just got redesigned.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why would you be surprised? Outside Japan, Honda's been selling mediocre cars that hinge on their former reputation. Toyota, Subaru and Mazda haven't updated their lineup in ages and Mitsu's dead. The only possible candidate is Nissan, really (and the Toyota Sienna).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your right, I take that back... I was more referring to quantity (since they are not a car-mag) than anyhthing else. It just seems that most of the car-related stuff they have seem s"rushed" simply because they cover so many other topics.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Re: Subaru. The oldest model in Subaru's line up is the Tribeca, which was redesigned in 06-07, The Impreza was new in 08, and will be changed shortly, the Forester was new in 09, and the Legacy and Outback were new in '10. 4 years is not 'ages'.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Japan's release cycles tend to be relative to one-another, not to the domestics.

        This is a domestic push-out year. Next year the Mustang won't be updated and the Volt won't be new.

        It's not like they are saying the Mustang is the best performing car in the world, nor the CTS the best design ever made.

        Don't get me wrong, a lot of nice cars on the list. I just don't extract from this that domestics make 60% of the worlds good cars from a one-year rollout sampling.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Apparently Popular Mechanics didn't get permission from "Con"sumer "Im"ports before publishing this list, somebody's going to have to stay after school.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz. I disagree. PM has always had a great deal of automotive content and competent writers, unlike some of the hacks that consider themselves auto journalists nowadays. For example, Jim Dunne was a long-time Popular Mechanics editor

        Whenever you see a spy photo on AB, think of Jim Dunne, who pioneered auto spy photography. There's an area at GM's Milford proving grounds called the Jim Dunne Memorial Spy Fence. There'd be no Brenda Priddy, et al. without Jim Dunne. He was the Detroit editor of Popular Mechanics for over 20 years and a respected auto journalist for years before and after that. He was a pioneer of the automotive testing format used by every publication.

        Joe Oldham, Managing Editor of PM from 1981-2004, has been a well-known muscle car enthusiast and writer since the 60s. He's still at it and most recently wrote the review of the 2011 Mustang GT for Edmunds.

        In addition, they have long-term tests of cars, automotive how-tos and and a Q&A column each month.

        IMO, PM earned the right to be called a bastion of automotive journalism even before you were born.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford certainly has a had a great year alright!
      • 4 Years Ago
      "American manufacturers (Ford, specifically) taking away the vast majority of top honors" -- Ford nabbed three of ten, the Americans six of ten. These numbers do not a vast majority make.

      I know you kids have a lot of column-inches to fill, but dial back the hyperbole.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Grabber Blue 5.0 is pure eye candy.

      So what were the other 9 cars?
        • 4 Years Ago
        agree on the Grabber Blue 5.0

      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, I'm shocked. That's the first time I've seen an non-automotive publication put together such a good list.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Infiniti M FTW
      • 4 Years Ago
      so 6/10 is a vast majority? If you say so. I'm just glad to see US makers being competitive and winning with solid offerings.
      Now here's to hoping for the build quality being strong 5-10 years out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You'd be surprised how much of the US spec Fiesta was engineered in the US. Not to mention the re-sourcing of suppliers from European companies to US/Canada suppliers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        by all means, list the specific components designed in the USA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yippie, let's wrap ourselves in an American Flag and be proud. Especially with the great new examples from Ford like the Fiesta. Designed overseas, built in Mexico...And don't forget to be proud of the bankrupt GM with Holden based CTS...

        • 4 Years Ago
        Some of you people make me sick with your stupidity and d-bagness.

        Just sayin'.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "You'd be surprised how much of the US spec Fiesta was engineered in the US."

        That's simply the federalisation process to convert the car from UNECE to FMVSS compliance. Same thing happened with the original Focus. Ford has always used a multitude of parts suppliers for different markets, although that has now been rationalised. Nevertheless, the Fiesta is a wholly Ford of Europe product.
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