The Honda Ridgeline is the 2006 North American Truck of the Year, extensively thought-about the most prestigious award of its sort.
Whereas most product awards come from a single media group, the North American Truck of the Year is the result of voting by a jury of 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,” New Automotive Check Drive editor Mitch McCullough advised a big group of reporters gathered to cowl the announcement at the 2006 North American Worldwide Auto Present in Detroit.
McCullough, one of the forty nine jurors, was chosen to open the envelope and announce the winner.
Many jurors cited revolutionary features as the purpose they voted for the Ridgeline. “It’s the most progressive pickup truck bought in America,” McCullough stated.
The Ridgeline features a singular construction that unifies its cab, cargo mattress and body. Its tailgate drops like a standard pickup’s but in addition swings open like a door, and a panel in the mattress opens like a trunk. “It drives like a car-based mostly crossover utility, with a clean journey and sharp dealing with,” McCullough stated, “and its cabin is snug and handy. It’s so carlike that I typically should look down at the emblem on the steering wheel to remind myself I’m driving a pickup.”
Media retailers the jurors symbolize embrace USA As we speak, the Chicago Tribune, the Plain Supplier, the San Jose Mercury Information, the Boston Globe, Automotive and Driver, Street & Monitor, Well-liked Mechanics, Fortune, AutoWeek, Automotive Information, MotorWeek, Autoline Detroit, and New Automotive Check Drive, a number one Web content material supplier of car reviews. The truth that the jurors work for various media retailers makes it unattainable for anybody to considerably affect the consequence.
The North American Truck 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.
The Ridgeline gained the award by a large margin, with the Ford Explorer and Nissan Xterra almost tied for second place. Final yr, the Ford Escape Hybrid gained the award.
“The selection of the Ridgeline as North American Truck of the Year was not with out controversy,” McCullough stated. “The Ridgeline is taken into account expensive by many observers and hasn’t bought all that properly. However most of us felt that its innovation and product excellence outweighed that. The brand new Explorer and the new Xterra are excellent sport utilities, however are largely evolutionary in design.”
In the previous 12 years, home automakers have gained North American Truck of the Year eight occasions. Japanese automakers have gained 3 times and European automakers have gained twice.
In an unprecedented sweep, Honda additionally gained the 2006 North American Automotive of the Year with its Civic lineup. (See associated story at NewCarTestDrive.com.)