At the Detroit Auto Show this morning, the winners of the prestigious North American Car of the Year and North American Truck/Utility of the Year awards have been announced. They are the 2015 Volkswagen Golf and 2015 Ford F-150.
The results are sure to prove controversial, as they almost always do, but we have to admit that they’re not at all surprising.
In the car category, the Golf beat out strong contenders such as the Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis. The iconic German hatch is now in its seventh generation and has under its belt close to a dozen additional accolades including the Best Car To Buy 2015 award from our sister site Green Car Reports.
“Volkswagen is thrilled to start 2015 with the Golf and Golf GTI taking home the incredible North American Car of the Year title,” VW’s U.S. chief Michael Horn said in a statement. “This award highlights our achievements and hard work in the past year, and we are confident that the Golf family will continue to pave the way for the brand in the year ahead.”
The last time VW won the award was back in 1999 with the New Beetle.
2015 Ford F-150Enlarge Photo
In the truck and utility category, giving the title to F-150 was almost a no-brainer for judges. The vehicle, which beat out the Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC in the final round of voting, has introduced many firsts for its segment, including new fuel-efficient engines and an aluminum body that has helped the truck shed around 700 pounds compared to the previous generation.
“Ford is honored to be named the best among such a strong field of competitors,” Ford chief for The Americas, Joe Hinrichs, said in a statement. “Ford employees and customers have a lot to be proud of with the innovative and award-winning F-150.”
This was the eighth time a Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] vehicle has won the North American Truck/Utility of the Year title.
The awards, now in their 22nd year, recognize vehicles based on a number of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. The winners are picked after extensive testing by a panel of judges, which this year had 57 members.
To be eligible, a vehicle must have been substantially changed from the previous generation and must be available for sale in the U.S. and Canada shortly after the announcement ceremony, which takes place each year at the Detroit Auto Show. The vehicles must also be popular sellers, which means many niche products like those from the exotic brands are ruled out. Last year’s winners were both from Chevrolet: the Corvette Stingray and Silverado 1500.