The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means two things in the automotive industry: Car show season, and awards season. One is about the promise of the future, and one is about judging the brand new. Today, let's take a look at the potential winners of one of the most coveted awards around.
Journalists from all over will soon cast their votes for the 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year, and this year the field is particularly deep. There are brand new models hitting the market for the first time, some of them blurring the lines between traditional segments and others promising to really shake up the industry. There are also new versions of some of the most iconic vehicles ever made. Who do you think should win?
When it comes to cars, this year's crop projects the trend toward building cars that are a little bit of everything. Cars these days need to be the most luxurious, most athletic and most fuel efficient they've ever been. There's also no telling how certain judges will determine their vote, so the winner will have to cover all bases. A few quickly jump out as frontrunners.
Only the 2015 Acura TLX is a brand new vehicle in this group, and while its positive reviews thus far bode well for its chances, it faces stiff competition. Among the top challengers are the revamped 2015 Chrysler 200 with a new eye toward luxury and value, the 2015 Ford Mustang with a new independent rear suspension, and the 2015 Honda Fit that took a fantastic vehicle and improved every part of it.
There are also strong contenders in the new Audi A3 and Mercedes C-Class, the Hyundai Sonata and Genesis, the Toyota Camry and the Volkswagen Golf.
The other category offers such a rich and diverse mixture of vehicles that it's no longer called Truck of the Year. It's now called the 2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year, and has been expanded to the point that the Mercedes-Benz GLA that rides on a C-Class chassis could ostensibly boast 2015 Truck of the Year in ads by December. What a world.
The GLA, frankly, will have a tough time in this field, however. The immediate front-runner has to be the 2015 Ford F-150 and its game-changing aluminum body, though there are still many questions surrounding its durability. Strong competition could come from the return of the mid-sized Chevrolet Colorado, though like the F-150, many journalists have not had much time behind the wheel.
Other likely standouts include the punchy Porsche Macan and the go-anywhere Subaru Outback. Especially in this category, it's difficult to predict what features journalists will value most, so we'll just have to see whether the classy Lincoln MKC or versatile Toyota Highlander have left enough of an impression to leapfrog their way to the front. The rest of the list is comprised of the Audi Q3, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Edge, GMC Canyon, Lexus NX and Nissan Murano.
Winners should be announced sometime in November. Who would get your vote for Car and Truck of the Year?