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Auto Show:  2011 Chicago Auto Show

Chevrolet Volt is Named "Best of the Year" - Chicago Auto Show

February 2011 author photo


February 10, 2011

As a product of Maryland Public Television, MotorWeek is in its thirtieth season of evaluating new cars and trucks. In any given year, some 150 vehicles pass within its editorial vista, providing the MotorWeek staff with one of the best-informed perspectives on what’s available – and what’s really well executed – within the U.S. automotive market. Putting that perspective into a quick reference tool consumers can use is the program’s Drivers’ Choice Award, given annually at the Chicago Auto Show.

This year, the MotorWeek staff chose Chevrolet’s Volt as its Drivers’ Choice “Best of the Year.” This, of course, isn’t the first accolade thrown the Volt’s way, and from the sound of the buzz emanating from both under its hood and from Chevy’s PR machinery, it won’t be the last.

“The Volt is the car all electrics and advanced electric hybrids will have to beat,” said MotorWeek host John Davis. “The Volt takes the idea of an electric car from fantasy to total practicality, combining the latest gas-saving technologies for an uncompromising driving experience.” The Volt not only took the overall win, but was also recognized by the MotorWeek staff as “Best Eco-Friendly.” And in a show touting horsepower from – among others – Shelby, Hyundai and Dodge, the Volt’s selection was – both figuratively and literally – a breath of fresh air.

Among the winners in twelve sub-categories, several stand out. The Hyundai Sonata (Best Family Sedan) has won recognition from any number of outlets; conversely, the reception accorded VW’s new Jetta (Best Small Car) by most automotive outlets has been decidedly more mixed. While BMW’s 5-Series gets the nod for “Best Sport Sedan” the Infiniti M won for “Best Luxury Sedan.” Chrysler swept the large utility category with – presumably – a tie: Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, which sits on a lengthened Jeep platform.

Finally, the “Best Dream Machine” was oversubscribed (these guys must sleep a lot!), with Audi’s R8, Alfa’s 8C Spider and Bentley’s Continental Supersports convertible sharing the cup.

DAVID BOLDT began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.

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Chevrolet Volt is Named "Best of the Year" - Chicago Auto Show - Autotrader