Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) December 16, 2009
“The level of excellence found during our annual All-Stars competition was at an all-time high and the competition was strong, despite the auto industry coming off its worst year in recent history. Repeat winners Ford Flex and Jaguar XF are joined by the updated classic Chevy Camaro, the sleek Audi S4, and the eco-friendly Ford Fusion Hybrid,” said Jean Jennings, president and editor-in-chief of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. “We whittled down a list of thirty- nine finalists to the ten All-Stars. The end results produced a list of true standouts, spanning a wide range of the automotive spectrum.”
Each year, the editors of AUTOMOBILE Magazine convene to test, evaluate, and debate the performance, significance, and pure enthusiast appeal of the cars that make the biggest impact. Award winners will be featured in the February 2010 issue of AUTOMOBILE Magazine, available on newsstands on January 5, 2010.
AUTOMOBILE Magazine’s 2010 All-Stars, with editorial assessments, are:
Jaguar XF/XFR – The 2009 Jaguar XF earned an All-Star award for its balance of power, athleticism, and refinement. So when the XF received significant improvements for 2010, including three new V-8 engines, AUTOMOBILE Magazine rewarded Jaguar for making a good thing even better. The XF/XFR is both a sports car and a luxury touring sedan, and its uncompromising practicality and refreshed performance establish the Jaguar XF as an All-Star.
Audi S4 – Cheaper than the car it replaces, the sure-footed, all-wheel-drive Audi S4 takes everything AUTOMOBILE Magazine likes about the Audi A4 on which it’s based – comfort, safety, and solid build quality – and cranks it up. Its fiery V-6 is impressive, pulling to its 7,000 rpm redline like there’s no tomorrow. Compared with the previous model, the S4 sheds half a second in the 0 to 60 mph run (5.2 seconds with a six speed manual) while managing to increase fuel economy. Quicker, cleaner, thriftier, cheaper. Sold.
Chevrolet Camaro – 2009 wasn’t a good year for General Motors, but amid all the turmoil there have been glimmers of hope. One need look no further than the brash, beautiful Chevrolet Camaro – if one can be found on dealer lots, that is – for proof that GM can build great cars. In fact, AUTOMOBILE Magazine gladly names the reborn Camaro as one of its favorite rides for 2010. With its old-school charm, the Camaro is a smashing sales success and, now, an All-Star.
BMW 335d – The BMW 335d is the most important car this year to get lost in the crowd. While the 335i and the M3 always show up in comparison tests, the 335d is an outlier – because, really, what would be comparable to it? Going from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds, the 335d is game for hard driving, but its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged diesel six-cylinder also returns subcompact-like fuel economy. There is no other car that combines performance and fuel economy at this level.
Dodge Ram 1500 – When a new pickup truck has the fortitude to question established practices, it deserves to be recognized. The new half ton Dodge Ram is that truck. Dodge engineers created a vehicle that works smarter, drives quieter, uses less fuel, and secures cargo storage better. The Ram sets the standard by living up to the radical idea that the cabin of a $40,000 truck should be as nice as that of a $40,000 car.
Ford Flex – As an All-Star last year, AUTOMOBILE Magazine referred to the 2009 Ford Flex as a “class act among people movers.” For 2010, Ford has equipped the Flex with its much anticipated EcoBoost engine, thereby addressing the Flex’s only weakness – power – and effectively transforming it from a well rounded family hauler into a large sport wagon. The Flex is unique in a market brimming with compromised, look alike utility vehicles and is one of the best-handling full-size crossovers on the market.
BMW Z4 – The previous Z4 was a little rough and tough, a little unsophisticated, and undeniably masculine. BMW took a good look at its customers’ needs and traded racetrack readiness for everyday elegance – and the Bimmer is better for it. The interior is a marvel of simplicity and elegance, the sheetmetal is at once sexy, sultry, and supremely muscular, and 60 mph can be yours in five to six seconds, depending on the powertrain combination you choose. In every way, the BMW Z4 is a better car and a deserving 2010 AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star.
Ford Fusion Hybrid – It’s just a car, an ordinary everyday family driver, nothing special. Except that it is very special indeed. Quietly, Ford has put a car on the road that essentially enlists Toyota hybrid technology but uses it more cleverly than the originating company did. It is not a performance machine, but neither does it feel hobbled or inadequate for daily driving. Perhaps the best thing about it is that, apart from the LCD color screens, you might never know you’re driving a hybrid. Its very ordinariness is what makes it an AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star.
Mazda 3 – The Mazda 3 and its feisty Mazdaspeed 3 alter ego are so tickled with themselves that they greet the world with a fender-to-fender grin. With three engines and five trim levels, the 3 accounts for nearly half of Mazda’s U.S. sales. The 2010 version brings a stiffer unibody, firmer suspension, tauter steering, revised seats, and a larger engine. In a car world gone mad with obsessive levels of poise and refinement, the Mazdaspeed 3 – AUTOMOBILE Magazine’s favorite 3 – is a refreshing throwback to the days of half-baked fun.
Porsche Boxster/Cayman– According to AUTOMOBILE Magazine, the Porsche Boxster roadster and its hardtop sibling, the Cayman, are as close as a car company can get to the perfect everyday sports car. It fits like a glove and drives like a dream. It’s powerful enough to get in trouble, but agile enough to get out of it. The brakes produce stopping power that can stretch a neck better than any chiropractor. With fully optioned models climbing to $70K and beyond, the Boxster/Cayman isn’t cheap, but buying one will allow you to achieve sports car nirvana.
Criteria and Evaluation
The AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars are chosen by the AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE staff, its worldwide bureau chiefs, and its contributors, following an intensive test drive of the year’s most innovative and important new cars. Vehicles considered for the All-Stars awards combine the following traits:
- Redefines an existing category or creates a new market segment
- Provides excellent value and performance for the money
- Exhibits an exceptional design
- Offers pure driving enjoyment
Winners are determined by a round-table discussion that results in a vote for the ten winners. The award decisions are not made through an instrumented test process.
About AUTOMOBILE Magazine
AUTOMOBILE Magazine (http://www.automobilemag.com), part of Source Interlink Media LLC, has a circulation of 550,000 and a total readership of 4.3 million. Recipient of more editorial awards than any other major automotive publication, AUTOMOBILE Magazine is designed to appeal to the interests of passionate automotive enthusiasts. Its diverse editorial mix includes behind-the-wheel experiences in the world’s most fascinating cars, as well as personalities, travel destinations, automotive art, vintage cars and industry trends. Source Interlink Media LLC is a subsidiary of Source Interlink Companies, Inc., a recognized provider of targeted media and marketing services, a leading U.S. distributor of home entertainment products and services and one of the largest publishers of magazines and online content for enthusiast audiences.
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