BY GERRY MILES
It’s been more than 16 years since Chevy’s Corvette was coveted here and a lucky seven since its Silverado pickup drew separate honors. Today they both shared the winner’s platform as North American Car and Truck of the Year winners, respectively at the Detroit Auto Show.
“Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand’s more than 100-year history,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “The Corvette and Silverado truly embody the passion, commitment and focus that is driving us to deliver the most expressive designs, innovative technologies and engaging performance in every vehicle that wears the bowtie,”
The Corvette received 211 points topping the Mazda3 with 185 points and the Cadillac CTS with 94 points. The Silverado received 219 points to the Jeep Cherokee with 174 points and the Acura MDX with 97 points.
It’s hardly a shock that the Corvette, arguably one of the most recognizable cars in the world and an icon for sports cars compared to the Mazda3 and Caddy CTS. With rave reviews on its performance and handling, it was a foregone conclusion to this auto watcher and many more.
The new Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque from a 6.2L V-8 engine – and 460 horsepower /465 lb-ft with the available performance exhaust system – enabling models with the available Z51 Performance Package to sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.
The Mazda3 is a very nice new car that’s nothing like its past. That it received nearly twice as many points as the CTS shows how far it’s come and how plebian the Caddy name is.
Caddy, which makes nice, sportive sedans, has vehicles that sport homogenous shapes and styles that could bear the badge of any import maker. They no longer have a distinctive shape that proclaims it is a Cadillac: they instead rely on a wide-gnarly garish grille with the wreathed logo as its sole calling card.
Forty-nine automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The Silverado has upped the truck’s image and its sibling GMC offering, with an optional 5.3-Liter, 355 hp, EcoTec3 V-8 for confident towing and hauling that switches to four cylinders to save fuel during light-load driving. With an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, Silverado offers the best fuel economy of any V-8 pickup.
I’m not surprised the Acura dipped to third place because it looks like so many other hi-lux, comfy crossover models with leather interiors. Yawn.
I had high hopes and after having driven the Jeep Cherokee that it could win based upon its ability to change its styling and hold on to the basic motoring tenets off-road as found in the winning Grand Cherokee in its younger offering. It can do everything big brother does just as well without yielding any rock-crawling ability. The polarizing style is another issue … but you don’t see it from inside where you’re safe and warm.