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Autobytel – Editors’ Choice Awards

  • November 30, 2006
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Autobytel, a lead-generating company for auto dealers has just released their “Editors’ Choice Awards”. This is another of those awards that you wonder what the validity is? First, it is for NEW Vehicles only – not all available vehicles. Unlike the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards and Ideal Vehicle Awards released each summer, Autobytel’s award does not factor consumer input into the equation. In fact, AutoPacific’s awards are purely based on consumer ratings. Autobytel’s award is just their own opinion and internal calculations as near as we can tell. WITHOUT DATA, IT’S ONLY OPINION!
Here is their press release with some VehicleVoice commentary…
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— Autobytel’s Editors Name the BMW 3 Series Coupe Car of the Year
— Toyota Tundra is Truck of the Year and Most Improved Vehicle

— Shhh … The Best-Kept Secret for ’07 is the Suzuki SX4
Autobytel Inc. which provides millions of car shoppers with expert vehicle information on its popular auto research and buying sites, today announced its 4th annual Editors’ Choice Awards, a listing of the best new 2007 vehicles on the market according to Autobytel’s team of veteran automotive editors. Some of this year’s big winners include the Toyota Tundra (Truck of the Year and Most Improved Vehicle), the Toyota Camry Hybrid (Hybrid of the Year), and the BMW 3 Series Coupe – Autobytel Editors’ Choice for Car of the Year.
In addition to selecting their top choices in specific vehicle categories, Autobytel’s editors also provide their top recommendations for buyers with specific vehicle priorities – including fuel-efficiency, family/teen driving, affordability, style, and just plain fun. In keeping with the buyer-focused, “real world” spirit of the Awards, consideration was limited to vehicles with base prices lower than $75,000.
“Over the past several months, we’ve evaluated and reported on a wide range of vehicles – from Korean economy cars to high-dollar European sedans and everything in between,” noted Managing Editor Brian Chee. “After all that ‘seat time,’ we’ve come to at least two solid conclusions: 1) buyers have an amazing array of choices in an increasing number of categories; and 2) despite improvements across the board, certain 2007 vehicles definitely outshine the competition in terms of comfort, design, quality, performance, or overall value. These are the cars, trucks, and SUVs we deem most worthy of car shoppers’ consideration, and hence, earn their spot among Autobytel’s 2007 Editors’ Choice Awards winners.”

And the Winners Are …

2007 Car of the Year – BMW 3 Series Coupe – An emotional choice, the stunning BMW 3 Series Coupe is utterly composed at any velocity, possesses a svelte arc of a body that’s the best example yet of BMW’s modern design language, and contains space for four in a cabin equal parts luxury and business. Regardless of engine choice, the 3 Coupe is fun to drive, and is an outright blast equipped with the 335i’s turbocharged engine. No car outclasses its competition like this one, making it our choice for Car of the Year.
2007 Truck of the Year and Most Improved Vehicle – Toyota Tundra – Toyota takes aim at the full size truck market with the big new Tundra, thanks to its functional and innovative interior, powertrain choices and more. The Tundra simply out-muscles and outthinks the competition when it comes to what truck buyers want most.
SUV of the Year – Hyundai Santa Fe – Our unanimous choice for midsize SUV was also our run-away winner for SUV of the Year, and it makes clear sense: It’s not often when a vehicle comes around that’s virtually flawless. From the grown-up new design to the near-luxury interior with room for seven – and the cool blue-lit cupholders – the Santa Fe is an excellent purchase.
Best Family Car – Honda Odyssey – After reviewing the list of sedans, SUVs, and minivans with top-notch safety scores and a base price under $30,000, selecting the Honda Odyssey as the best family car for 2007 was easy. Safe, comfortable, thoughtfully designed, and available with a range of impressive features, there’s an Odyssey to fit the needs of almost any family.
Best Car for Teen Drivers – Honda Civic – Teens want to drive something sporty that won’t embarrass them, and parents want teenagers to drive something safe and inexpensive. The Honda Civic meets all those criteria better than anything on the market today. Fun to drive, a performance tuner favorite, loaded with safety equipment, and boasting excellent crash-test scores, the Honda Civic is also known for near-bulletproof reliability.
Most Stylish New Car for 2007 – Saturn Sky – Proof positive that GM’s Saturn division is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, exemplified by the Aura sedan, the new Outlook SUV, and the Pontiac Solstice-based Sky roadster. By sculpting this Most Stylish New Car for 2007, Saturn designers chiseled away the old stereotype that domestics can’t do style.
Best Kept Secret for 2007 – Suzuki SX4 – Suzuki, maker of last year’s “Best Kept Secret” (the Grand Vitara) is at it again with the new SX4 hatchback. It’s the least expensive car on the market that comes with standard all-wheel drive, but chances are you haven’t heard about it. That’s too bad, because this frisky little five-door is a nice piece of work and a compelling alternative to the status quo – especially in northern climates. Small car shoppers who battle bad weather would be wise to drop by the local Suzuki dealer for a test drive in the impressive SX4.

Winners in additional categories
2007 Hybrid of the Year – Toyota Camry Hybrid
Best New Minivan – Hyundai Entourage
Best New Small Car – Nissan Versa
Best New Midsize Car – Toyota Camry
Best New Luxury Car Under $40,000 – Lexus ES 350
Best New Luxury Car Under $75,000 – Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Best New Convertible Under $75,000 – Volkswagen Eos
Best New Performance Car Under $40,000 – Volkswagen GTI
Best New Performance Car Under $75,000 – BMW Z4 M Coupe
Best New Small SUV – Honda CR-V
Best New Midsize SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe
Best New Large SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe
Best New Luxury SUV – Acura MDX
Best Non-Hybrid for the Environment – Honda Civic
Most Fun New Car for 2007 – BMW 3 Series Coupe
Each Autobytel editor voted for the vehicle they’d most recommend to buyers in each Award category, with winners determined by a simple majority. Vehicles that were not driven by at least one staff member prior to final voting on Nov. 17, 2006 were disqualified, as were those that went on sale before Feb. 1, 2006 or will go on sale after Feb. 1, 2007. (Contenders for the Best Non-Hybrid for the Environment, Best Family Car, and Best Car for Teen Drivers awards were not limited by sales dates or model year.)

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