Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 win car, truck of year
A very American North American Car and Truck of the Year
Apparently it's a good year to be an American automaker. Early last December a jury of 49 automotive journalists from the US and Canada chose from 11 cars and 10 trucks and SUVs to settle on three finalists in each category, and now that herd has been culled to two victors.
Cutting out both the Ford C-MAX and the Mazda CX-5, the Ram 1500 won North American Truck of the Year 2013. The brand's Fred Diaz was on hand for an emotional acceptance of the honor, citing Ram's emergence from an economic downturn three years ago.
"What a difference three years makes," he said. He's right: Ram threw everything it could at the truck and it has paid off. The Ram 1500 is the first full-size pickup to feature an 8-speed transmission, which helps both fuel economy and driving comfort, as does its Pentastar V6 engine.
Defeating the Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord, the Cadillac ATS took the North American Car of the Year prize this year, thanks to its modern styling and downsized engine offerings. The car can be had with a choice of three engines and, importantly for any automotive journalist, a 6-speed manual transmission.
This is the 20th year of the North American Car and Truck of the Year, and the resulting awards seem to be more and more coveted as the years pass. As opposed to an accolade from any individual media source, a NACTOY victory gives an automaker an across-the-board trophy that gives it additional credence.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.
Must-See on MSN
GoDodge and Chrysler!! I have six of them in my driveway and garage right now. Two have over 320K miles on them and are still going. Love my Charger - 110K miles and 0 problems.
I took the 3.5 litre V6 engine out of the '94 Concorde to overhaul it at 311K (pulled it because of leaking seals). I found NO wear anywhere - camshafts, crankshaft, cylinder bores, etc. I put it all back together with new gaskets and seals and it's still going today.
s good to see US automakers winning awards again. Now we see there is good quality and engineering back home.
Congrats to Fiat for turning Chrysler around and helping us bring an American icon back altough the Ram company is 53% owned by a foreign country on it's way to owning 75%. The Caddy ATS has a starting price of 33,095. That's 12,000 more than Honda Accord and Ford Fusion. Shouldn't the ATS be competing in the luxury sedan category instead of against the Accord and Fusion?