In case you somehow hadn't noticed(?!), it's not only deer and turkey season, it's also automotive award season. And here's yet another trophy for those keeping track of all of them. CNET.com wants you to help decide their 2006 Tech Car of the Year Award winner. They've done the hard work and weeded out the really big turkeys to give you a list of some real dears.
In early voting, the Lexus LS460 L, with its 19-speaker sound system, live traffic GPS and self-parking system is leading the other nine contenders. So what's it gonna be for you? Acura's RDX with voice commands? Audi's adaptive-suspension-equipped Q7? BMW's 335i with its adaptive cruise control and iDrive? Or are you more a Cadillac guy, voting for the Escalade with OnStar?
See the other five contestants after the jump.
CNET's other five choices for 2006 Tech Car of the Year are:
6. Jaguar XK Coupe with 525-watt Alpine stereo and adaptive cruise control
7. Lexus GS450h motivated by an advanced hybrid power train.
8. Mercedes S550 gets into big money with options like an infrared night vision and radar-assisted cruise control.
9. Camry Hybrid brags about something Toyota calls a plasmacluster air purifier.
10. Nissan G35 Coupe's voice-command system and Bluetooth phone integration got it an invitation to this party.
Here are the criteria the contenders must have met before CNET put them in their top 10:
Cabin electronics (including dashboard technology: stereo, GPS or other navigation, Bluetooth cell phone integration): Does the car have a full array, with no major component missing? Are the electronics easy to operate and intuitive? Do they contribute to or distract from the overall utility of the car?
Performance (including power train and road-holding technologies): Does the engine use something more advanced than simple cam-controlled valves? Is it a hybrid? ABS should be present, but does the car also have traction control or more advanced anti-wheel slip technology? Do all these components make it pleasurable to drive?
Safety (including crash prevention technology, such as road-holding, and post-crash protection technology): Does the car have a full array of airbags? Does it have a vehicle stability program, traction control, and all-wheel drive? Are there advanced systems such as lane departure warnings?