Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Chevy Volt: Motor Trend Car of the Year

chevy_volt.top.jpgThe car enthusiast magazine gives General Motors' plug-in car its top honor. By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Motor Trend Magazine has named General Motors' Chevrolet Volt its "Car of the Year."

The magazine's editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie, called the award one of "the most significant" Car of the Year awards in the magazine's history. Motor Trend has been published since 1949.

The Chevrolet Volt, which is just entering commercial production this month, is a plug-in car that can drive for about 40 miles on battery power before a gasoline engine kicks in to generate electricity for further driving.

"The more we think about the Volt, the more convinced we are this vehicle represents a real breakthrough," said Mackenzie.

The Volt offers the lower cost and greater efficiency of purely electric operation, MacKenzie said, while providing the flexibility and long driving range American consumers have come to expect from their cars.

The Volt has been the subject of much controversy, in large part because it started development as a project of "Old GM" but is emerging just as a new, post-bankruptcy General Motors prepares to sell some of the government's majority ownership stake in the company.

"As a result, a lot of the sound and fury that has surrounded the Volt's launch has tended to obscure a simple truth: This automobile is a game-changer," Motor Trend said in a story about the award.

The award was presented at a ceremony inside GM's wind tunnel at the automaker's technical and design center near Detroit.

Motor Trend, one of the most influential automotive enthusiast magazines in the United States, also gives out SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year awards. The SUV of the Year was announced earlier with the award going to the Porsche Cayenne. The Truck of the Year will be announced in December.

To be considered, a vehicle had to be a totally new model or be significantly changed for the 2011 model year. Vehicles were judged on six different criteria: design, engineering, efficiency, safety, value and how well the vehicle fulfills its intended function.

The cars were put through track tests by Motor Trends editors. Then cars that were not eliminated in the track testing process were put through additional road tests.

Over several days of testing, the Volt returned overall fuel economy of 72.9 miles per gallon in Motor Trend's testing. Even if drivers went 80 miles between charging the battery, Motor Trend reported, the Volt would still be much cheaper to operate than ordinary hybrid cars, according to the magazine's test.

Past winners of the award have included the Chrysler 300 in 2005, Toyota Prius in 2004 and the Ford Taurus in 1986. To top of page

Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,745.98 -5.41 -0.03%
Nasdaq 5,128.79 17.05 0.33%
S&P 500 2,108.63 0.06 0.00%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.01 -0.48%
Data as of 7:24am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 95.21 -1.78 -1.84%
Bank of America Corp... 18.13 -0.03 -0.17%
Microsoft Corp 46.88 0.59 1.27%
Whole Foods Market I... 36.08 -4.74 -11.61%
Ford Motor Co 15.10 -0.11 -0.72%
Data as of Jul 30
Sponsors

Sections

Loosening state restrictions have given gun silencer sales a boost. Silencers are now legal in 41 states, compared to 37 four years ago. Also some gun makers are making it easy to attach them. More

Beijing has just won the 2022 Winter Olympics but the competition was weak after many rivals dropped out due to concerns about the costs and lack of economic benefits. More

With iOS 9, Apple's latest mobile operating system that will launch in the fall, the iPhone is officially "all growns up." More

Fast-food chains that operate in more than 30 locations nationwide are the sole target of a new rule in New York to hike their minimum wage to $15. But consumers and small business owners, as well as some employees, may be the ones to pay the price. More

You can't blame it on the economy anymore. More Millennials now have jobs, but are still living at home. More