Judging of 2009 Motor Trend Car of the Year
Come behind the scenes to see what the judges really had to say about the 10 finalists for Motor Trend's 2009 Car Of The Year.
Learn about the 2009 Motor Trend Car Of The Year - The Judging
Angus Mackenzie: So we’ve reached the end of the second phase of judging for the
2009 Motor Trend car of the Year. Each judge has driven each of
the finalist around the 25-mile road loop here. This loop includes
city straights, two-lane black top and freeway. So all that’s left is
to discuss, debate and decide the 2009 Motor Trend car of the
Male: In a lot of ways, it's not an advancement, a significant
advancement over the previous car. It's a good car and also it's
tough to position this as a real luxury car to me. It's sure unlikely.
It’s a nice driving car but kind of like go for front wheel drive
handling and then it kind of falls off the map. It doesn’t change the
needle at all.
Male: I don’t think this one pulls ahead of the Mercedes or the BMW in
nearly any front. I do love what they do with this 2.0 liter turbo
engine. It's a lot more fun to drive with some of the V6s and
returns pretty good mileage. It pushed the engine a little bit further
back than it used to be. I don’t feel as much of that pendulum
effect but a nice piece, luxurious, nice looking but in class
superiority, not this time.
Angus Mackenzie: The styling is a very subjective thing but I'm struggling to find
anyone among us who actually really thinks this thing is good
Male: I think they’re trying to deal with the -- you know, this is a vinyl
type of car, the old accurate he outblended into the landscape
tediously and it's an over reaction. It's like well, give them some
styling and it's not styling but it's different and stands out.
Male: They avoided polarizing styling by eliminating the --
Male: I really appreciate the very small size of it. That you know, the tidy
dimension makes it feel very tossable, -- seemed much bigger in
this car that they didn’t some of the other ones. And performance
wise, pretty much at this kind of price point or below, you have to
be blowing to put up with an Evo or an STI to get this kind of
performance. So this is like a grown up Evo or something like that.
Male: I like the styling and the two plus two seating. This reminds me of
a modern kind of four door hard job.
Male: If my guess that it will be easier to sell of a $40,000.00 and looks
like this than it was to sell a $40,000.00 -- so the significances that
they’re taking another swing at $40,000.00 Passat and it's probably
I like that they’ll be more successful.
Male: But it’s still a VW Badge and again the European curse of the
Angus Mackenzie: This size vehicles is popular in Europe and Asia for very logical
reasons to have small roads, gas is very high, twice the price of this
year. So these cars make a lot of sense, I'm just wondering whether
a B cars is actually relevant for the United States. Does it make
sense here or would -- I kept wondering how good this car would
be if I was on a Honda Civic platform. Just shave it, just a little bit
more width a little bit more shoulder in. It would have hit a sweeter
spot in the market.
Male: Being a much better Mazda6 is good but that doesn’t necessarily
move you to where you need to define the segment and that’s were
this car is, it’s a very, very good mid sized car. But it's not yet a car
that redefines a segment.
Male: Well that’s kind of there too, I was underwhelmed at first at the
proving ground but out here I was very impressed but I just -- I
can't say for sure that it's better than a Camry SE V6.
Male: At the test track, I was a little unimpressed compared to my
expectations. A little bit more impressed driving it here but the big
reaction I have is just basically emotional. I like to look at this car,
I like how it feels, it feels very solid. It's just a car that just touches
me emotionally and I like it a lot.
Male: I enjoy the Genesis, I think it's a good vehicle but for a lot of the
vehicles that they come out with over the last five years, it seems
to be a shot of the targets, sometimes they get close, sometimes
they don’t get close. This is clearly an attempt to do something as
far as the strategy that they’ve been doing for the last couple of
years. Offer something that does as well or maybe just a tiny bit
better than other vehicles in the segment for $6,000.00 or
$7,000.00 or $8,000 or less. And sometimes that’s going to work
and sometimes it's not.
Male: Yeah I think what really got to me, we’re all blown away about the
GT-R at the test track. I mean the number’s outrageous. The
performance when you're pushing it really, really hard. It's just
breathtaking but I wasn’t ready to put it to the very top of my list
until I came out here and drove it in the real world and I felt all of
a sudden that the car shows that it can really do anything you
wanted to do. You could cruise in this car. I can live with it more
than I thought I could, and on the winding road, it was perfectly
happy. I didn’t feel like I was being beat up and yet the speeds
we’re going were probably 10 miles an hour faster than anything
It really is remarkably well-rounded and something I didn’t quite
expect from the very outset for a car that has numbers as high as
Male: To me at normal driving speeds and it's boring. It's a trilling car at
the limit and boring at normal speeds. I think it's extremely
unattractive and I think it's a generation of the car. We were talking
about this yesterday where some of the younger folks, they think of
video games you know they think, I love the video game, I love
For me I don’t have that background with driving cars with video
games. I have a background of driving in neat, beautiful old cars
and to me this is not a neat, beautiful modern car.
Angus Mackenzie: Well it's been one of the highest quality fuels for Motor Trend car
of the year judging that we've had in years but the debate and the
discussion is over. So now it's time to vote and decide the 2009
Motor Trend car of the year.
We do have a winner and I think reflecting the quality of the fuel,
you should know, four cars received primary votes which I think is
most that we've had ever. But the winner is the Nissan GT-R.
Judging of 2009 Motor Trend Car of the Year
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