• Nov 10, 2010
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sportswagon – Click above for high-res image gallery

Have you prepared your Car of the Year bingo board? The end of 2010 is upon us and this means two things: 1) We are a step closer to fulfilling the Mayan's end of the world prophecy, and 2) Automotive publications, both in print and online, are beginning to share their "Best of" vehicle picks.

Automobile Magazine has just announced finalists for its own 2011 Automobile of the Year award. Grab your markers, check your cards and see if you have any of the following vehicles in play:
Taking a page from Motor Trend, Automobile will be announcing its winner by means of its Facebook page. The lucky vehicle will be announced November 16th at noon EST, but in the meantime, you can read why each vehicle made the cut in the press release after the jump.

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Automobile]

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Winner Announced in Live Facebook Reveal Nov. 16

Ann Arbor, Mich. (November 9, 2010) – AUTOMOBILE Magazine, America's leading automotive lifestyle publication, announced the finalists for the 2011 AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year. Today's announcement will be followed one week later, on Tuesday, November 16, by a simultaneous live reveal of the winner on both Facebook and the brand's website. During the live, interactive announcement at 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, for the first time ever, fans will be given the opportunity to chat live with AUTOMOBILE Magazine's editors regarding their choice of winner and the criteria that led them to the decision.

Contenders for this year's award represent a diverse mix of what the automotive industry is currently offering consumers. In fact, for the first time in AUTOMOBILE Magazine's history, electric cars are included in the running, alongside traditional gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
Audi A8
The redesign of Audi's range-topping sedan doesn't take a dramatic leap, but then, it didn't have to. The A8 was already among the most advanced machines in its rarefied class. The new eight-speed automatic transmission, all-LED headlamps, and unique touch-pad driver interface just put more icing on the cake.
BMW 5-series
BMW's much-admired mid-size sedan has been treated to a handsome redesign for 2011, but changes run more than skin deep. The new turbocharged six-cylinder and eight-speed automatic, in particular, combine sport-sedan performance with surprising efficiency.
Buick Regal
The Opel-based Regal is the smallest Buick entry in recent years. With a European-tuned chassis and an engine lineup of normally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinders, it should go a long way toward redefining Buick.
Cadillac CTS-V Coupe/Sport Wagon
Cadillac's Nürburgring-worthy CTS-V was already available as a sedan, but it makes an all-the-more compelling package in the dramatically styled coupe and wagon. We love the message here: (lots of) power to even more people!
Chevrolet Volt
General Motors' long-anticipated and much-talked-about moon-shot vehicle is finally here, and it's on time and very good. The degree to which the Volt's extended-range electric powertrain portends the future can be debated, but plenty of manufacturers are readying similar systems. GM just happens to be the first.
Ford Fiesta
For years we've agitated for Ford to bring its highly regarded European small cars to America, and the Fiesta is the first to finally arrive. The Fiesta's 40-mpg EPA highway rating may not surprise anyone, but the rich equipment levels almost certainly will.
Hyundai Sonata
Nothing better exemplifies Hyundai's recent ascension than the new Sonata, which rises to the very top of the brutally competitive mid-size-sedan segment. A recently added turbocharged model is a more efficient but no less satisfying substitute for the traditional V-6 offering.
Jaguar XJ
At long last, the big Jaguar sedan looks as modern outside as it is inside. An advanced, aluminum-intensive construction helps make this big cat as lithe as it is luxurious-and it is very luxurious indeed.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Its huge-volume-selling days may be behind it, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee remains a very important vehicle for Chrysler. This all-new version was developed during a tumultuous time, but you'd never know it from the highly polished result.
Nissan Leaf
Nissan is making a huge bet on electric propulsion with the Leaf, the first-ever mass-market EV in the United States. The EV-only Leaf certainly looks like a new-age machine, inside and out. It also promises to be a major milestone.

"Announcing the 2011 AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year on Facebook gives us an opportunity to interact live with our readers about some of our biggest stories of the year," said Jean Jennings, President and Editor-in-Chief of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. "Having this sort of instant communication with our readers is special. Facebook offers a new level of direct access for our readers and fans to experience content from AUTOMOBILE Magazine not afforded through the website alone."

Finalists for the 2011 AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year are determined by a primary ballot vote of the senior editorial staff and contributing writers of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. In addition to matters like practicality, affordability, packaging, and fuel economy, editors consider what the cars signify for both the manufacturer and the automotive industry when selecting the candidates and, ultimately, the winner of the award.

"The AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year is a car that is groundbreaking and establishes new standards in design, performance, engineering, and/or technology. The Automobile of the Year is an enthusiast's car," said Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. "Essentially, we are looking for a car with a story."

The winner of the 2011 AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year will be announced on Facebook November 16, 2010, at 12:00 PM Eastern, along with the Design, Man, and Technology of the Year. The editorial staff of the magazine will be available to chat about the winners with Facebook users from the brand's fan page, live from its headquarters in Michigan.

The AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year celebrates its 22nd year with the 2011 awards. Winners have varied in price point over the years to include everything from their least expensive winner, the 1994 Dodge/Plymouth Neon selling at the time for $9500 to the most expensive winner the 2008 Audi R8 priced at $110,000.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will have to wait and watch to see who wins.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Fiesta is old hat in the rest of the world. So's the Buick (Opel).

      Both the Fiesta and Buick (Opel) are 2008 releases in Europe. To give either of those two the top prize is just another reason for auto companies to continue to keep us a year-or-two behind Europe ... and we look like we're happy about it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sonata, Fiesta and Grand Cherokee are the only ones on the list that IMO, truly stand out. Each of them have done/will do great things for their respective manufacturers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I gotta say this is the first time I've seen a list like this where I agree with every vehicle on there. I dunno which I would choose... It's a toss up betweeen the Volt, Fiesta, Leaf, and CTS-V Wagon, for me.
        • 4 Years Ago

        For me, its the Sonata- for the way it has absolutely changed the game in the pivotal mid-size sedan arena. Hyundai is a major player now in this area

        Fiesta for making B-segments cars desirable and affordable. That might trump the Sonata.

        Volt and Leaf for their forward thinking technologies get honorable mentions but neither is going to revolutionize the car-buying paradigm. Volt might long term.

        • 4 Years Ago
        While it's not my most coveted on the list (that would go to the CTS), I kinda hope the Sonata wins. Almost solely for the fact that they completely destroyed stereotypes with that one. And it's an awesome car. Girlfriend almost signed a lease the other day on one (went with used car instead... couldn't justify a lease agreement).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd have to rule out the 5-series, Regal, and CTS-V off the bat. Having driven a new 535i and experienced the very un-BMW-like handling, I just think the 5 has lost its way. The CTS-V is fun, but what's the big deal about stuffing a huge fuel thirsty V-8 into an aging platform? That just doesn't rank high on the innovation scale. And while the Regal may be a giant leap forward for Buick, it is not a class leader considering its weight and fuel economy.

        I'm sure the Volt will win, but my vote goes to the A8.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think CTS is the first car that I would choose the wagon body waaay ahead of its sedan or coupe cousins, that's one hot wagon!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've always believed COTY winners tend to be picked from a range of attributes, not solely innovation. And in many such contests, this is certainly the case. The car has to be a significant improvement in so many areas of peoples' day to day living with their motor car. In America, out of the list above there's only one car which has moved the game forward significantly enough - the new Hyundai Sonata. A capacious family car with a blend of superb power output and fuel economy from even its base engine has caused ripples throughout the entire segment. And its build quality is second to none. My vote goes to the Sonata.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "How is the Sonata a "game changer"??"

        Take the E-segment sedan market in America - throw in 200bhp and 35mpg at highway speeds from a 4-pot engine in a vehicle which starts at $19K. The ante has well and truly been upped - and the sales prove this beyond doubt - a 45% increase in market share year of year in this segment for the company. These are the elements Mr & Mrs 2.4 children are interested in - safety, reliability, power, economy. The Sonata doesn't excel in any one category, but as a blend of all it's moved the game on considerably for what matters to the average American motorist. In just the same way as the CR-Z has in Japan in terms of the parameters which matter to the Japanese.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "How is the Sonata a "game changer"??"

        The Sonata has upped the ante in the American E-segment considerably. For $19K and up - depending on the number of toys - you get 35mpg at highway speeds, along with 200bhp at your disposal, a state of the art safety rating, and a machine which is as well built as any of Japanese competition known for being leaders of this particular market segment. Mr & Mrs average 2.4 children wants safety, reliability, power and economy, and while the Sonata doesn't excel in any one area per se, its overal blend pushes the game forward considerably. As a result, the company has witnessed a 45% increase in market share in this segment alone. These are the factors upon which COTY awards should be based - ultimately cars have to be lived with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sooo, according to GM, who is going to actually buy a CTS-V wagon? Anyone seen one ever?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I would buy one if I had the money for it. The problem is that the Caddy, along with wagons from the likes of BMW and Mercedes, are out of the price range for a large majority of car shoppers in this country.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well . . . If the internets is to be believed, there are tens of thousands of wagon lovers in the USA who would buy a wagon if only automakers would make them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The same people that used to buy 5-series wagons (which I believe don't even exist anymore) and Audi and Volvo wagons or Saab hatches.

        An upscale clientele that doesn't want some enormous SUV.

        What exactly is tough to "get" about this?
        It's not going to sell in enormous volumes... then again, it was never meant to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I saw one in the neighborhood the other day - pearl white. That CTS-V wagon is very nice, a real sleeper.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think that the Regal will win, but with some major taint from the current GS disappointment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      OK, wagons aren't for everyone, but take note BMW. While the 5 series made it onto this list, the 5 GT did not! Image how well the 5 series wagon could do for those of us who don't want the 5 GT mini-van.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The CTS-V wagon is so popular. GM should make a CTS non-V wagon to cash in on all the interest generated.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've got a 2011 Ford Fiesta (gunmetal gray), and although most of my driving is on the highway, I can average as much as 43mpg on an entire tank! Add in the SYNC system, a low-luxury level of refinement and fun-to-drive factor...and there you have COTY!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can anyone sing: "Sonata"?
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