The magazine has echoed other outlets, naming a Volkswagen hatchback and a small pickup from General Motors as its Best of the Best. Unlike Motor Trend, which handed out its golden calipers to the Chevrolet Colorado and Volkswagen Golf range, Autoweek doled out its awards to the Colorado's twin, the GMC Canyon, while singling out the hottest version of the Golf, the GTI.
"This is the best hot-hatch on the American market – and it may be the best car you can buy for less than $30K," one AW staffer said in the publication's article on the feature. Other staffers praised the absolute value provided by the GTI and the overall fun factor.
The Canyon, meanwhile, was saluted for being "the perfect size," not to mention its excellent build quality, feature-rich cabin and overall practicality. "It's truly a truck in the most honest sense of the word," Autoweek wrote of the Canyon.
Scroll down for the full press release on the announcement from Autoweek, which includes comments from both Volkswagen and GMC. And then head over and read AW's full feature on the awards.
Volkswagen Golf GTI and GMC Canyon signal a strong year for design, performance and value
DETROIT, Dec. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Autoweek named the Volkswagen Golf GTI as its Best of the Best/Car for 2015, beating a group of finalists that includes the Alfa Romeo 4C, Ford Mustang and Mercedes-Benz C-class; and the GMC Canyon as its Best of the Best/Truck for 2015, besting the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan.
Autoweek evaluates every new or significantly updated model throughout the year and begins to identify the standouts. Performance, economy, fit and finish, design, value, significance to the auto industry and personal taste all combine to define the Best of the Best. Four cars and four trucks make the grade, and Autoweek editors put them through rigorous road-handling tests at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. This is where a vehicle transcends the numbers and shows if design, performance and pure driving passion meld into an Autoweek Best of the Best pick.
The GTI is in its seventh generation, but the 2015 model has set a new standard for value, practicality and performance. It's an incredibly fun car to drive-Autoweek couldn't keep its editors out of it.
VW's improved 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine powers the GTI. Featuring a choice of two great gearboxes, the GTI is an approachable, practical performance car-it satisfies on every level. And the new chassis makes it a blast to drive on the track or the street.
The handling is simply superb, with the rear end happily stepping into safe, controllable oversteer. It's a car any driver can have fun with.
The GTI was also a standout because its price, build quality and utility make it a flexible ride and a great value.
Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America, commented, "Our team is very excited to be named the Autoweek Best of the Best/Car for 2015. It's an honor to receive this award from a publication whose readership has the same kind of passion about driving and performance as we have at Volkswagen, exemplified by cars like the Golf GTI."
The GMC Canyon offers something many thought they'd never see again-a smaller pickup big on utility, usability and refinement.
It has just over a 1,600-pound payload and 7,000 pounds of towing ability, making it practical for most worksites, though it's quiet and comfortable enough to please commuters.
The truck's rugged looks and available off-road equipment make it perfect for those with hobbies taking them into the wild but who might not want to drive a full-size pickup truck during the work week.
"We've felt all along that the all-new Canyon would appeal to a wide range of customers looking for pickup capabilities with a high level of refinement and connectivity. This recognition from such a respected publication provides key external validation for the team," said Duncan Aldred, vice president sales, service and marketing for Buick-GMC.
This year's field-featuring an all-new Mustang, a budget-priced carbon-fiber supercar and a German crossover that drives like a German sports car-goes down as one of the strongest ever; but only the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and 2015 GMC Canyon have risen to the top to be named Autoweek's Best of the Best.
Two versions of a video news release and images are available for download here. Full coverage of the 2015 Best of the Best awards can be found at autoweek.com/best or in the Dec. 22 issue of the magazine; also look for #autoweekbest on Twitter.
The Autoweek Media Group delivers automotive information and insight to car buyers and enthusiasts across multiple platforms, from print, online and mobile to video and television. Its team of car experts shares opinion, insight, news and data that guide buyers and enthusiasts in their automotive quests.
Autoweek is the nation's only fortnightly enthusiast car magazine that for more than 50 years has tested new vehicles, reported the latest car news and trends, and covered auto racing in all its forms. At autoweek.com, breaking news and fresh content is delivered 24/7.
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Autoweek Media Group is owned by Crain Communications Inc, publisher of leading industry trade publications Advertising Age and Automotive News, among others, and is based in Detroit, Mich.