The past 12 months featured a lot of ups and downs for the auto industry. But at least two vehicles have much to celebrate, as Autoweek magazine recently named its "Best of the Best" for the year. To honor the top vehicles from a given model year, the publication examines performance, design, value, fuel economy and significance to the auto industry for each machine. The latest winners excel in all categories.
Car of the Year
Autoweek selected the Volkswagen Golf GTI
as its Car of the Year. Although the 2015 version of the Golf GTI is its seventh iteration, the magazine claims that it's the best one yet. This version boasts plenty of power thanks to the Golf's improved engine and two gearboxes, and the publication also noted that the car's handling is especially impressive.
Not only did the judges enjoy driving the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but they also appreciated its price tag, which was relatively low considering the finished product. That allowed the Golf to beat out fellow finalists like the Alfa Romeo 4C, Ford Mustang and Mercedes-Benz C-class.
The magazine didn't even touch on some of the hidden perks of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Unlike some of the competitors, the Golf may offer easier and more affordable vehicle maintenance
. Luxury vehicles might require specialized parts or higher-grade gasoline, while the Volkswagen caters more toward everyday drivers.
Truck of the Year
Not to be outdone, the GMC Canyon was picked as the Truck of the Year
. While the Canyon may not be as popular as some of its counterparts on the market - the Ram and Ford F-series continue to dominate in the public's eyes - it earned major points from Autoweek's judges.
The Canyon stood out thanks to its capabilities. It is a smaller pickup, but it still offers up to 7,000 pounds of towing ability and a payload capacity of 1,600 pounds. Drivers can also take full advantage of off-road equipment. That way, they get all of the perks of a larger truck while also enjoying the fuel efficiency and easier upkeep associated with the smaller size.
"We've felt all along that the all-new Canyon would appeal to a wide range of customers looking for pickup capabilities with a high level of refinement and connectivity. This recognition from such a respected publication provides key external validation for the team," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of sales, service and marketing for Buick-GMC.