2016 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards
Popular Mechanics’ Automotive Excellence Awards put the emphasis squarely on how well a vehicle works and what tech it offers customers.
This year’s winning models largely offer big performance, opulent luxury, or some combination of both. If you want to read the magazine’s reasons for choosing each one, the story is online now. For those that prefer holding something physical, the list also appears in the May issue on April 19.
Car of the Year
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro’s trophy case must be getting crowded. After winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award, Popular Mechanics also bestows the same the honor on Chevy’s coupe.
It’s not hard to understand why the sixth-gen Camaro receives so much praise. The lighter model feels more agile from behind the wheel, and there’re a bevy of options available.
Ranging from the turbocharged four-cylinder all the way to the supercharged ZL1, there’s performance for any customer's desire.
Chevrolet Camaro Information
Ram's vast pickup lineup takes Popular Mechanics' award for Best Truck.
The magazine praises the brand's "striver" mentality of using technology to fight the well-established competitors at Chevrolet and Ford. You shouldn't look past their looks, though. Recent models like the Rebel and latest Power Wagon appear ready for a brawl, and customers might enjoy the aggressive look.
Ram 1500 Information
Best Sports Car
Ford and Chevy's pony cars are locked in a decades-long battle for supremacy, and Popular Mechanics finds things to like about them both this year.
The Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R takes the publication's award for Best Sports Car. Boasting the standard GT350's 5.2-liter V8 with 526 horsepower, the R sheds a further 130 pounds from the regular version with the Track Pack. The result is a sublime machine.
Ford Mustang Information
The 2016 Volvo XC90 scores as Popular Mechanics' Best SUV, and it's another vehicle with a bevy of honors in the past few months - chief among them 2016 North American Truck/Utility of the Year.
Volvo has a lot to be proud of. The new XC90's new design is wonderfully modern. It's also quite green because about a fifth of customers worldwide are opting for the T8 plug-in hybrid.
Volvo XC90 Information
Honda focused on improving the Accord's tech for 2016, and Popular Mechanics apparently liked the model enough to name it Best Sedan.
The upgrades to the latest Accord let buyers get amenities that aren't so common in cars in this price segment. For example, the top Touring trim has full LED headlights, which look fantastic. Even lower models have a seven-inch infotainment display that now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Honda Accord Information
The Land Rover Range Rover Td6 wins Popular Mechanics' award for Best Diesel thanks to the SUV's ability to show American consumers that diesel doesn't have to be a dirty word.
With 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, customers still have plenty of grunt. When driving a Range Rover Sport with the diesel last year, we found the mill quiet but still eager to pull, too.
Land Rover Range Rover Information
Popular Mechanics hands its Best Electric award to the Tesla Model S.
The EV maker constantly updates its models with expanded tech, like Autopilot, or improved powertrains. The latest refresh gives the sedan a completely different face, an upgraded charger, and an available HEPA filtration system. The best continues to get better.