The Colorado beat a tough group of finalists to earn the nod this year, including its GMC Canyon sibling. The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra also made this year's list. The Nissan Titan XD and latest Toyota Tacoma rounded out the challengers. A model had to shine in six criteria to earn the title: advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, efficiency, value, and performance of intended function.
Like it did with the Camaro, Motor Trend posted a story online that explained the rationale for picking the Colorado again. They praised the diesel profusely and lauded the whole platform as quite a capable hauler.
This year's Motor Trend SUV of the Year honor went to the Volvo XC90. The Swedish 'ute had to win against an initial group of 16 candidates that the magazine eventually whittled down to finalists that consisted of the Honda Pilot, Lincoln MKX, the combined Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and GLE Coupe, and Nissan Murano. "Seven-passenger people movers aren't supposed to drive like this," senior features editor Jonny Lieberman said about the Volvo in the announcement of the champions. The Honda CR-V won last year.
In the explanation online, the judges applauded the XC90's new modular platform, and they loved both the T6 twin-charged engine and T8 hybrid version. The SUV's key enamored the writers, too.
Car of the Year, Truck of the Year, SUV of the Year, and Person of the Year announced during live ceremony and webcast in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, for the first time in the brand's 66-year history, MOTOR TREND announced winners of the Golden Calipers for Car of the Year, Truck of the Year, SUV of the Year, and Person of the Year at a red-carpet gala in front of an audience of industry insiders and celebrity guests. The awards show was also streamed live on the MOTOR TREND Channel on YouTube, with 3.5 million subscribers the world's largest automotive video channel, and on MOTOR TREND OnDemand, the brand's new subscription video on demand (SVOD) channel. A replay of the event broadcast is available for free at motortrendondemand.com.
"What an amazing evening! We made history tonight with our announcements of Car, Truck, SUV, and Person of the Year," says Edward Loh, editor-in-chief of MOTOR TREND. "We are honored to present these coveted awards to the well-deserving winners."
All vehicular "Of the Year" contenders were selected by MOTOR TREND judges and evaluated against six key criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, efficiency, value, and performance of intended function. The Person of the Year was chosen from MOTOR TREND's annual Power List of the automotive industry's 50 most influential people.
The awards in detail:
2016 MOTOR TREND Car of the Year Winner: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro
Fifteen all-new or significantly updated cars were eligible for MOTOR TREND'S 2016 Car of the Year award. After a week of instrumented testing at Hyundai's California Proving Grounds, seven finalists were selected: Audi TT, BMW 7 Series, Chevrolet Camaro, Honda Civic, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz GT S, and Toyota Mirai. These vehicles were then subjected to hundreds of miles of real-world road loops before MOTOR TREND's nine judges voted the all-new Chevrolet Camaro the 2016 MOTOR TREND Car of the Year.
Based on General Motor's stellar Alpha platform architecture, the completely redesigned sixth-generation Camaro is sharper looking inside and out and has the latest in technology, including Apple CarPlay and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. It's a car built for driving enthusiasts, one that is hundreds of pounds lighter than the previous generation and available with a new, high-tech, turbocharged 275-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a sporty, yet fuel-efficient 335-horsepower V-6, or a blistering 455-horsepower V-8.
"Our 2016 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Camaro, is one of the finest driving vehicles in the world at any price," said Loh, "though its price is well within reach of the average consumer."
2016 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year Winner: 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
After a week of on-road and off-road evaluation, plus instrumented testing with payloads and trailers attached, MOTOR TREND judges named the Chevrolet Colorado the 2016 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year for the second year in a row. The 2016 Colorado stood out from a field of six finalists for its effortless performance in every towing, payload, and driving test MOTOR TREND's judges threw its way. Even when loaded with hundreds of pounds of payload, towing thousands of pounds, or climbing steep grades, the Colorado felt calm and relaxed.
For 2016 Colorado features an optional class-exclusive 2.8-liter inline-four Duramax diesel, which gives it best-in-class towing of 7,700 pounds and phenomenal fuel economy; 31 mpg highway according to the EPA test cycle.
"Our Truck of the Year is not only stylish and capable on-road and off, it recorded the highest fuel economy numbers we've ever seen, when equipped with its class-exclusive diesel engine," said Jason Cammisa, senior features editor and presenter of the award.
2016 MOTOR TREND SUV of the Year Winner: Volvo XC90
For the first time ever, there were more SUVs in contention for SUV of the Year than cars for Car of the Year, a fact that speaks to the caliber of this year's competition. After days of on-road and off-road evaluation, our judges pared a field of 16 all-new or significantly updated SUVs to five finalists. Longer drive loops and closer inspection confirmed the 2016 MOTOR TREND SUV of the Year to be the Volvo XC90.
The XC90 impressed with its all-new chassis and powerful, yet efficient, gasoline and hybrid powertrains. MOTOR TREND judges also gave the XC90 high marks for its stunning exterior and interior design and full complement of high-technology entertainment and safety features.
"The Volvo XC90 is one of the most handsome SUVs on the road," said Jonny Lieberman, MOTOR TREND senior features editor, SUV of the Year judge, and presenter of the award. "And it's as capable off-road as it is a delight to drive on-road; seven-passenger people movers aren't supposed to drive like this."
2016 MOTOR TREND Person of the Year Winner: Thomas Doll, Subaru of America President and Chief Operating Officer
Since his start at Subaru in 1982, Doll has transformed the Subaru brand from a once-quirky car company to a now mainstream lifestyle choice, amplifying Subaru's focus on affordable, well-equipped, and quietly capable symmetrical all-wheel-drive cars and crossovers.
Under Doll's leadership, Subaru of America is entering its eighth year of consecutive record sales and has tripled its U.S. sales since 2007. Subaru of America is expected to reach close to 600,000 sales in 2015, with only a lack of inventory preventing the company from selling more. Doll has led the company from 19th in industry sales to the top 10, now outselling brands such as VW, Mazda, BMW, and Buick.
"By any measure, the business Tom Doll leads is an outstanding success," said Angus MacKenzie, MOTOR TREND editor-at-large and chief content officer for TEN: The Enthusiast Network. "And he is the person whose unique vision and quiet leadership made it happen."
Complete details on the contenders, finalists, and winners can be found at MOTOR TREND's newly redesigned website, www.motortrend.com. Visit MOTOR TREND's media asset site at press.motortrend.com for downloadable PR materials including press releases, logos, B-roll video, and photos for Car, Truck, SUV and Person of the Year awards.
About MOTOR TREND
MOTOR TREND®, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was founded in 1949 and is internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in the automotive category. The MOTOR TREND brand is composed of MOTOR TREND magazine; the award-winning website MotorTrend.com; Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video on-demand service, Motor Trend Auto Shows; Motor Trend Audio; Motor Trend en Espanol; Motor Trend India; and the renowned Motor Trend Car of the Year, SUV of the Year, Truck of the Year, and Best Driver's Car awards programs.
About Motor Trend OnDemand
Motor Trend OnDemand is the world's premier automotive SVOD platform with a combination of exclusive domestic and international motorsport coverage, an extensive automotive-themed television and film library, and MOTOR TREND original programming series hits such as Roadkill, Head 2 Head, and Ignition. With more than 1,000 hours of streaming video, Motor Trend OnDemand is available on desktop, mobile, tablet, gaming consoles, connected televisions, and set-top devices, such as Apple TV and Roku.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world's premier network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video on-demand service, the world's largest automotive VOD channel, and the world's largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.