Tag: Car of the Year
Volkswagen continually shows how good they are at creating dependable and desirable vehicles and that has been especially prominent this year thanks to two impressive awards that already belong to the brand. First Volkswagen received the 2015 North American Car of the Year award thanks to the versatile Golf. Now the brand brought home another major win receiving the Car of the Year award at the Geneva Motor Show for a completely different vehicle, the Passat. This is impressive for two different reasons. The first, that it’s very hard to win each of these awards, let alone get them both in the same year, and second VW managed to earn them with two different models showing that they create quality vehicles all throughout their lineup.
Choosing the Top Vehicle
Making the decision was not a simple matter and a lot of thought and effort went into determining the top car from among the seven different options that were considered. A total of 58 judges from 22 countries were present and each of them drove around all of the vehicles. Spending time in all the different cars gives the judges a real look at what they’re like in the real world. It’s easy to pick a vehicle by looking at a list of specifications, but when you actually climb inside a vehicle there is more of a connection involved. Getting to know the vehicles, the judges can rely on their instincts as well as all of those specifications to make the best decision, and all of that work and deliberation went into choosing the 2015 Passat as the car of the year.
Why the Passat?
While there is no clear reason behind the Passat winning the top spot, there are plenty of positives that different journalists brought up when asked about their decision. According to some of them the Passat benefits from a spacious and comfortable interior that’s enjoyable to sit in. It makes use of high quality materials that give it more of a luxury feel than a cheap budget car feel. The vehicle also comes with some nice new innovations that make it enjoyable to own, such as the Trailer Assist. Finally the Passat has enough safety features to make it stand out from the different options.
An Impressive Record
Over the past six years Volkswagen has managed to win the Car of the Year award three times, which is an impressive achievement on its own without all of the other awards the automaker has also brought in. With two top awards already under its belt, Volkswagen is having a very good year and showing off what it really means to be an exceptional automaker.
Henrik Fisker and the Fisker Automotive Team are definitely taking home quite the list of awards this year–and their pile might just be complete with the latest accolade. The UK’s immensely popular Top Gear TV show host James May has just named the Fisker Karma his “Car of the Year” and Top Gear Magazine named the extended range vehicle “Luxury Car of the Year”–an award that has previously been graced upon high-end vehicles as the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe, the Jaguar XJ and the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe.
One of the biggest fans of the Fisker Karma is one of the brightest stars in Hollywood himself, Leonardo DiCaprio. So fitting is the Karma with DiCaprio’s lifestyle and beliefs, it would be tempting to say that he was the inspiration for the Karma. It would also be the truth. Henrik Fisher says that seeing Leo get out of a Prius at the Oscars in 2007 gave him the idea for starting Fisker Automotive. “He [DiCaprio] could have bought any car in the world,” he says. “And I remember seeing that on television and thinking to myself, you know, when you’ve got a guy who could buy any Ferrari or Rolls-Royce and he’s buying a Prius, you know something is changing dramatically.”
Since Leo ordered his Karma, there have been a number of updates and tests made on the vehicle. Top of this list the exhaust system. One of only two blemishes on the concept Karma’s record was the fact that the generator would butt in at the most inappropriate moments, like a loudmouth drunk at a cocktail party. One moment, you’re sitting in the cabin mesmerized but the quiet hum and the Karma’s sophistication, then, mid-bend, the shocking sound of flatulent elephants fill the cabin, shocking you out from the spell. But that’s all fixed now, thanks to a new resonator in the exhaust, known in-house by the very technical term, The Pizza Box, and some remapped software that controls when the 20W battery pack is charged. All that is audible now are a few soft clicks and whirrs as the drivetrain goes about its business, just as it should be.
The other key change is to the steering weight, which was perfect once the car got going but rather too heavy at parking speed. Some reprogramming of the steering pump has completely solved this, so now the Karma is as easy to park as it is to fling through a corner. Both these updates have been made to Leo’s silver car. DiCaprio is an environmentalist and a strong supporter of animal rights. One of his latest Tweets restated his support for the end of the ivory trade. This explains his choice of the Eco-Chic interior in his Fisker. It’s the top-of-the-line that features no leather, just textiles and reclaimed wood. All the while, managing to look, feel, and smell premium without any cow peel in it at all.
In response to the awards, Henrik Fisker said, “It is fantastic news that the Karma has won two awards from Top Gear. We realize that we are at the beginning of our journey and awards like this remind us we are on the right road–building enticing green cars that people actually want to own.” Fisker added that he was especially excited that this was a European award for an American-made car, “it’s a triumph that American engineers have designed and engineered this ground breaking car at our global headquarters in Anaheim, CA and that there is now a new American car option that is bold, beautiful, smart and environmentally responsible.”