The Automobile Magazine Automobile of the Year is a car that is groundbreaking, that establishes new standards in design, or performance, or engineering, or technology, or some combination thereof. It is an enthusiast's car. It is not necessarily exotic, or expensive, or high-powered; but any car that can provide some of the same pleasure to the enthusiast driver as exotic, expensive, and high-powered cars do, but at an accessible price, is of particular interest to us as we choose our Automobile of the Year. Our least expensive AOY was the 1994 Chrysler Neon ($9500). Our most expensive was the 2008 Audi R8 ($109,700).
The Automobile of the Year might also represent a breakthrough for its manufacturer, or for the automotive culture from which it comes. When we consider candidates for the award, we are looking not only for cars that inspire us, but cars that we think will resonate in the marketplace. We take matters like practicality, affordability, packaging, and fuel economy into consideration, for sure, but when forced to choose, we give more weight to entertainment value and driving pleasure. In total, we are looking for a car with a story.
2011 Automobile of the Year finalists, in alphabetical order. They were chosen after a primary ballot vote of the senior editorial staff and contributing writers.
We are revealing our 2011 Automobile of the year on Facebook November 16th at noon Eastern and our editors will be chatting live from noon until 2:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. All you have to do is like us on Facebook to be the first to know!