Two automakers are celebrating awards this week.
Both models are repeat winners, with the Civic winning the best car award in 2006 and the XC90 winning Truck of the Year in 2003. It was the third time since the awards were launched in 1993 that domestic automakers were shut out from the awards.
The winners were chosen by a jury of 53 automotive journalists from a group of three finalists in each category. A vehicle must be redesigned or substantially changed in order to be eligible for the award. Vehicles are judged on several categories including innovation, design, safety, handling, comfort and driver satisfaction.
Judges are given 10 points in each category, which they can disperse how they see fit among the three finalists. The winners are selected in a third elimination stage. The three finalists in each category are chosen from a list of 10 cars and 12 pickups in December.
NORTH AMERICAN CAR OF THE YEAR
The Civic beat out the Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Civic received 203 votes, edging out the Malibu’s 181 points and the MX-5 Miata’s 146 votes.
Honda kicked off its ad campaign for the new Civic last week, and the automaker says the award will help bolster the company’s case to consumers.
NORTH AMERICAN TRUCK OF THE YEAR
The XC90, with 310 votes, handily beat out the Honda Pilot’s 111 votes and the Nissan Titan XD’s 109 votes.
“It makes us extremely proud,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo Car USA CEO. “The XC90 reflects everything that is about to come out in the next four years for Volvo Car Corp.”
The XC90 was the first complete vehicle to emerge under the ownership of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. The company has invested $11 billion to produce a wide range of new products and platforms.
The BMW 7 series, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Volt, Kia Optima, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Prius were the other cars on the shortlist.
The remaining trucks, crossovers and SUVs on the shortlist were the Ford Edge, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tuscon, Jeep Renegade, Kia Sorento, Lexus RX, Mazda CX-3, Tesla Model X and the Toyota Tacoma.
Honda’s win gives Japanese automakers four wins at the awards since their debut in 1993. Honda swept the awards with the Civic and Ridgeline in 2006, while Land Rover and Hyundai won in 2012. European automakers, including Volvo, have won six times. Domestic automakers have won the award 12 times, while Hyundai, a Korean automaker, has won twice.
The Volkswagen Golf and the Ford F-150 won the 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.