The 2006 North American Car of the Year is the Honda Civic. The result of voting by a jury of forty nine unbiased automotive journalists, the award is extensively thought-about the most prestigious of its sort.
“Lots of automotive awards are given out annually,” New Car Check Drive editor Mitch McCullough informed a big group of reporters gathered to cowl the announcement at the North American Worldwide Auto Present in Detroit.
“Some of these awards use the phrase ‘car of the yr’ and a few of them have panels of jurors,” McCullough stated. “However the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards are totally different. Somewhat than coming from a single media group, these two awards are determined by forty nine unbiased automotive journalists. These jurors, as we name them, symbolize the best automotive journalists from print, radio, tv,
and the web, each in Canada and the United States.”
McCullough, one of the forty nine jurors, was chosen to open the envelope and announce the winner, a scene considerably reminiscent of the Academy Awards that was broadcast on greater than 112 tv stations and revealed in lots of of newspapers throughout America.
“I’m actually honored they let me make the announcement,” McCullough stated. McCullough has served as the editor of New Car Check Drive for almost 10 years.
The award covers the complete Civic line, from the $14,560 DX sedan to the nicely-outfitted $18,260 EX, up by way of the coupes to the sporty Si, in addition to the tremendous-clear, miserly Civic Hybrid.
“The Civic acquired my prime vote for a number of causes,” McCullough stated. “For starters, it’s very reasonably priced.
“As all the time, there was some controversy surrounding the profitable car,” he stated. “Think about getting forty nine automotive journalists to agree on one thing, a lot much less members of the media who weren’t on the jury. Some of my colleagues from the fanatic magazines groused that the BMW three Collection didn’t win the award. I perceive their level of view. The 325i and 330i are terrific sports activities sedans. I’d be joyful to drive one each day and wouldn’t hesitate to advocate one to anybody purchasing for a sports activities sedan in its price range. However they range from about $31,000 for a 325i to about $37,000 for a 330i. That’s an enormous distinction in month-to-month funds: $360 a month for a 5-yr mortgage for a Civic EX sedan vs. almost $600 a month for a BMW 325i. That’s half of the purpose individuals purchase 3 times as many Civics as three Collection BMWs.”
Honda bought about 308,000 Civics in 2005 in contrast with about 107,000 BMW three Collection automobiles. The BMW three Collection completed fifth in the voting. Ending behind the Civic in descending order have been the Ford Fusion, Pontiac Solstice, and Hyundai Sonata, all inexpensive automobiles than the BMW.
“One other interesting facet of the Civic is that it’s out there in a broad range of fashions,” McCullough stated. “Whether or not you need a cheap, fuel-environment friendly, dependable, snug sedan for the day by day commute or a scorching coupe that may win autocrosses or the environmentally pleasant Hybrid, there’s a car for you.” The Civic Hybrid is rated 50/50 Metropolis/Freeway miles per gallon.
“Third and most necessary, the Civic is an outstanding product.”
“Nearly as good a job as Honda has achieved in designing 4 distinct fashions of the new 2006 Civic, it’s achieved a fair higher job of delivering 4, distinct driving experiences,” wrote Tom Lankard in his review of the Civic lineup for New Car Check Drive.
“The LX sedan is the most snug and assured Civic we’ve pushed,” Lankard wrote. “Experience was strong however snug, with much less street noise and wind whistle anticipated for the class. Shifts have been clean . . . brake really feel was strong, steering response sure. The Si’s six-velocity guide was a delight of precision. The view out the entrance of the new Civics, with the expansive windshield, low cowl and sloping hood, is unparalleled in the class.”
“Three many years in the past the world of small automobiles was ceaselessly modified when the unique Civic was first launched, stated John Rettie, a NACOTY juror and a correspondent for New Car Check Drive. “Comparable automobiles from different corporations caught up and even surpassed the Civic in the eyes of many. Now, Honda has rejuvenated the Civic line with a variety of progressive fashions that may attraction to a large range of consumers.”
The all-new 2006 Ford Fusion was a strong runner-up in the voting and McCullough stated the Fusion was his No. 2 selection as properly.
“The Ford Fusion is a midsize sedan that’s nicely engineered and competitively priced,” he stated. “I discovered each the 4-cylinder and V6 fashions fulfilling automobiles to drive. I hope to see Ford obtain success with that car.”
Media retailers the jurors characterize embrace USA At the moment, the Chicago Tribune, the Plain Supplier, the San Jose Mercury Information, the Boston Globe, Car and Driver, Street & Monitor, Fashionable Mechanics, Fortune, AutoWeek, Automotive Information, MotorWeek, Autoline Detroit, and New Car Check Drive, a number one Web content material supplier of car reviews. This makes it unattainable for anybody to considerably affect the end result.
The North American Car of the Year award is designed to acknowledge the most excellent automobiles of the yr based mostly on many elements, together with innovation, design, safety, dealing with, driver satisfaction and worth. To be eligible automobiles have to be “all new” or “considerably modified” from the earlier mannequin.
Dozens of new 2006 car have been eligible. The jurors whittled the subject right down to 14 automobiles in early October, then forged their votes December 5. Steve Laughman, a companion at accounting agency Deloitte & Touche in Detroit, tallied the votes. He stored them secret till handing a sealed envelope to McCullough January 9 at the North American Worldwide Auto Present at Cobo Corridor in Detroit.
In an unprecedented sweep, Honda additionally gained the 2006 North American Truck of the Year with its progressive Ridgeline pickup. (See associated story at NewCarTestDrive.com.)
With the Civic, Japanese automakers have gained the award 3 times in the previous thirteen years. American automobiles have earned the award six occasions and European automakers have gained 4 occasions.
The 2005 North American Car of the Year was the Chrysler 300.