For the first time ever, four of Motor Trend’s yearly awards were given out at a single event. Hosted by Adam Carolla, the event was held at a YouTube space in Los Angeles, and four awards were given to Motor Trend’s choice for Car of the Year, SUV of the Year, Truck of the Year, and Person of the Year.
Out of a field of 26 contenders, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro took home the prized Motor Trend COTY calipers. The team at MT described their initial doubt as to whether a pony car, let alone a new Camaro, could possibly be in the running for the best car of 2016. The Camaro proceeded to obliterate all of their expectations, with the GM’s newest pony car taking top scores in all six of their categories.
The judges praised the Camaro’s flawless Alpha architecture, citing a 200 pound diet over the previous generation that made a world of difference. New powertrains, including a new turbocharged four-cylinder and revised V-6 put down plenty of power where it counts, for not a whole ton of money. No longer simply considered a straight-line bruiser, the 2016 Camaro stunned Motor Trend with its capability and superb mechanical and visual design.
No vehicle embodied the idea of world-class design and excellence in engineering quite like the 2016 Volvo XC90, and Motor Trend honors this momentous achievement with the 2016 SUV of the Year award. Volvo, rejuvenated with a lifeline from Chinese parent company Geely, hedged quite a few bets on the success of their new XC90 SUV. Every aspect of the Swedish bruiser was redesigned from the ground up, and was created with the goal in mind to move upmarket to compete with the likes of the three German luxury manufacturers. The attention to detail has paid off, and Motor Trend took notice, with the judges supremely impressed with the exquisite craftsmanship and forward-thinking design put into the 2016 Volvo XC90.
It’s always tough to justify awarding the same vehicle for two years in a row with top honors, as it might seem to outsiders as the easy way out. However, with a new efficient and butter-smooth diesel four-cylinder engine, crossover-like agility and mannerisms, and a swiss-army-knife character, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado is the 2016 Truck of the Year. The field saw the arrival of newcomers from Nissan and Toyota, with the new Nissan Titan XD and the updated Toyota Tacoma, but the Colorado had a stronger identity, and established itself as the clear winner in its class.
A first for Motor Trend, the new Person of the Year award was given to the lead figure at the top of the yearly “Power List” of key individuals shaping the automotive landscape. Thomas Doll, the President of Subaru of America, took home the calipers. He has carefully guided the idiosyncratic Japanese brand into something of a lifestyle, and not just means of transportation. The direction has been a success, and Subaru now enjoys extremely strong sales in the U.S. marketplace.