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November 05, 2014

Road & Travel Announces Top 5 Finalists for 2015 ICOTY

Road & Travel Magazine Announces Top 5 Finalists for 2015 International Car of the Year

Road & Travel Magazine Announces Top 5 Finalists for
          2015 International Car of the Year

Los Angeles, CA – November 4, 2014 - Road & Travel  Magazine (RTM) is proud to announce its top 5 finalists for the 2015  International Car of the Year (ICOTY). Listed alphabetically, they are the BMW i3;  Hyundai Genesis; Kia K900; Kia Soul EV; and the Mazda Mazda6.

The mission of the ICOTY Award is to put emphasis on the  emotional connection between car and consumer in addition to how well  automakers achieve that goal through the marketing of their vehicles directly to  consumers through international and national campaigns. [Click here for full release]

February 17, 2014

Toyota Corolla Wins 2014 Most Earth Aware Car of the Year

2014 Toyota Corolla Eco Wins 2014 Earth, Wind & Power Car of the Year - Most Earth Aware

Toyota Corolla Eco Named

2014 Earth, Wind & Power "Most Earth Aware Car of the Year"

Earth, Wind & Power Awards - Most Earth Friendly Car of the Year
sponsored by

Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 2013 International Car of the Year Awards - Presented by Road & Travel Magazine

Review by Martha Hindes | Press Release

As we watched a profusion of college students jog, skate, bicycle and schmooze their way past our Minneapolis hotel, we realized we were in for an education on what is important to those on the cusp of an environmentally challenging world. They were the kind, in their early 20s to maybe mid-30s it seemed, in plaid sneakers, cutoffs in cold weather and eyes glued to a smart phone screen. Just the type, we thought, who would be woed and won by a point-in-life auto like the resoundingly revised 2014 Toyota Corolla.   We had come to the largest of Minnesota's Twin Cities to find out why Toyota considered its revised compact car so important as the automaker kicked off the 11th generation of this staple. After all, the Corolla has dominated the world of compact autos in all corners of the globe for decades. It virtually launched the small car industry in the U.S. when seeming block-long domestic gas guzzlers dominated American roads. And it has spawned a wealth of imitators seeking to dethrone it from its lofty perch ever since. 

It didn't take long to realize that not only was the Corolla a breath of fresh air visually, but in driving credentials as well. But it also pointed out how the auto is aiding in preserving the fresh air we breathe and protecting our planet by diminishing the factors that add pollutants to the atmosphere. And its achievement of reaching a lofty 40 miles per gallon mileage with an internal combustion engine heart rather than with a highly sophisticated and costly hybrid, clean diesel or more elaborate technology tells us there really still is life in yesterday's engine type when it's tamed and tweaked to accommodate tomorrow’s vehicles.   With those gold star elements plus pricing that has not gone ballistic, it didn't take long to determine the 2014 Corolla was an uncompromising champion to be recognized. And so, it was name Earth, Wind & Power’s Most Earth Aware Car of the Year for 2014. 

2014 Toyota Corolla Named 2014 Most Earth Aware Car of the Year by Road & Travel Magazine
Presenting the 2014 Most Earth Aware Car of the Year award to Bill Fay, Group VP & GM Toyota Division U.S., are Courtney Caldwell, editor, Road & Travel Magazine; and Mike Martini, president Bridgestone OE Americas, and EWP award sponsor.

In accepting the award, Bill Fay, Group Vice President and General Manager - Toyota Division, cited the company's long-time commitment to good fuel economy. "For the past 47 years, Toyota has prioritized outstanding fuel economy for the Corolla.  It’s this attention to detail that has enabled our company to sell a record 40 million Corollas worldwide," he said.   “With the new, 11th generation Corolla, we’ve illustrated that 40 miles per gallon can be achieved through excellent design and engineering. We are truly humbled and appreciative that Corolla has been named the 2014 Earth, Wind & Power Car of the Year. This award validates the efforts of our team to make Corolla the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class.” [Full story]

February 10, 2014

2014 Audi Q5 Wins Most Earth Aware SUV of the Year

2014 Audi Q5 Diesel Named 6th Annual Earth, Wind & Power SUV of the Year - Most Earth Aware

2014 Audi Q5 Named

2014 Earth, Wind & Power's

~ Most Earth Aware - SUV of the Year ~

Earth, Wind & Power Awards - Most Earth Friendly Car of the Year

sponsored by

Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 2013 International Car of the Year Awards - Presented by Road & Travel Magazine

Review by Martha Hindes | Press Release

We were smitten at first sight of the sassy, sporty 2014 Audi turbo-diesel when it showed up at our doorstep. Our test model was Glacier White Metallic and sported a large "TDI" on each front door for a sophisticated, no-nonsense announcement of its capabilities. So much for not blowing one's own horn.

A flared front end with sultry headlamp "eyes," anchored by those famed four interlocking grille hoops sniffing down the road balances the trim tush in the rear and announces in no uncertain terms this is a coveted Audi.

For those who need to transport five in luxurious comfort, the Q5 could be an ideal choice. The priciest of the fuel conscious versions (which seems like a no-brainer) is the hybrid Q5 that uses a 2.0-liter 245-horsepower inline four engine paired with an electric motor for a combined 245-horsepower and 254-lb. ft. of torque. It clocks in with a $51,300 base price, earning EPA ratings of 24 city/30 highway miles.

Those high ticket items point out what every wannabe Audi owner certainly knows—that no matter how environmentally conscious one might be in choosing a vehicle, when you're paying premium prices you expect to get premium perks out of the deal.

So what can the Q5 offer in the way of amenities, both in driving manners and the way it strokes the owner on the upmarket side?

Once inside, besides keyless start, there's leather (luscious Milano leather when fitted with comfort seats), aluminum and all-natural walnut trim and a heated/cooled cup holder to ensure drinks are kept at optimal temperature. Driving at night is a kick even if the only reason is to see the glow of red from all those buttons and controls that jump to life when activated.

The hybrid version gets Audi's Bang & Olufsen 505-watt premium Sound System with 14 speakers as standard equipment. "Audi connect" can mate with as many as eight wireless devices at one time.


And the TDI gets something that's becoming a vanishing breed in many vehicles as precious interior space is diverted for heavy battery storage and a bit more cargo space. That's an actual compact space saver spare tire, designed for temporary use.

A Q5 biggie is "quattro" drive on all versions. That's Audi talk for its permanent all-wheel-drive system, and a clear indication this is a go almost anywhere vehicle when driving conditions get tough, such as during a Northern midwinter blizzard or blazing through pools of water on rain slicked roads. All Q5 power plants mate to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic for smooth, supple handling and a stingier need for fuel in the process.

We can attest to the punch the diesel fuel-drinking TDI can deliver when rubber meets the road. It rates at an even feistier 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds.

Mark Del Rosso, executive vice president and COO Audi America accepts Most Earth Aware SUV of the Year Award from Mike Martini, president Bridgestone OE America and Courtney Caldwell, editor in chief, Road & Travel Magazine
Presenting the 2014 Most Earth Aware SUV of the Year award to Mark Del Rosso, EVP & COO, Audi America, are Courtney Caldwell, editor, Road & Travel Magazine; and Mike Martini, president Bridgestone OE Americas, and EWP award sponsor.

Audi calls the Q5 "sporty and sophisticated, spacious and functional." We agree. Its green attributes and the strength of its Audi character were pointed out by Mark Del Rosso, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Audi of America. “In addition to its excellent fuel economy, the Audi Q5 combines the sportiness of a sedan with a variable interior and many practical solutions for everyday and recreational use. With 2013 year to date sales up 40.8% compared to 2012, it’s clear that consumers are continuing to respond positively to the Audi Q5’s sportiness and sophistication, spaciousness and functionality.”

“We are honored to accept the Earth, Wind & Power Award for Most Earth Aware SUV of the year, which recognizes the environmental friendliness and fuel economy of the Audi Q5.” said Del Rosso.

[Full story]

February 03, 2014

Chevy Silverado Wins 2014 International Truck of the Year

RTM Names Chevrolet Silverado 2014 International Truck of the Year

Chevrolet Silverado Named

2014 International Truck of the Year

by Road & Travel Magazine

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel Magazine

sponsored by

Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 2013 International Car of the Year Awards - Presented by Road & Travel Magazine

Review by Martha Hindes | Press Release

When we climbed into the cabin of Chevrolet's newly redesigned 2014 Silverado pickup truck we felt like Mary Barra must have felt upon learning she'd just been named CEO of Chevrolet's parent company, General Motors. We were on top of the world.

At first it was obviously a vehicle meant to do a tough job. We had no doubts about its capability. Then all the plusses that have been incorporated began to catch our attention: The i-Pad sized anchor slot centered in the console just below the instrument panel designed to hold our tablet at a good viewing angle. That location let it sit directly in front of a band of power and data ports—dual 12-volt outlets, a three-prong 120-volt outlet, a flip-up tab hiding three USB ports (not to mention two additional data ports inside a large console bin.)

Envision some woman at a job site scanning architectural specifications, with her tablet easily providing every detail as needed, this is a vehicle that took a lot of thinking. And considering Barra's previous iteration heading up GM's design efforts we suspect she had something to do with the thoughtfulness that went into it.

How vehicles relate to both men and women is one of the key factors Road & Travel Magazine (RTM) looks at when choosing the best truck of the year. We consider the Silverado a thinking person's pickup, anticipating what's needed and providing just the right solution. That makes driving a pleasure instead of a chore. And it's one of the reasons we choose the Silverado as Road & Travel's "International Truck of the Year" winner for 2014.

2014 Chevy Silverado named 2014 International Truck of the Year - Presented by Road & Travel Magazine editor Courtney Caldwell, and ICOTY sponsor, Mike Martini, president Bridgestone OE Americas in Detroit
Presenting the 2014 International Truck of the Year for the Chevrolet Silverado are Courtney Caldwell, editor, Road & Travel Magazine; and Mike Martini, president Bridgestone OE Americas, and ICOTY's 18th annual award sponsor.

RTM editor Courtney Caldwell noted that Chevy's win comes on the 18th Anniversary of the ICOTY awards as well as RTM's 25th anniversary. She cited overall styling, new and more comfortable interior and improved miles per gallon among high points. Its appeal for women as well as men was highlighted in Chevy's groundbreaking commercial as seen here on You Tube, "Her Horse - A Woman and Her Truck," said Caldwell. "Chevy has achieved a remarkable milestone... marketing the Silverado with both genders in mind, those who are active, athletic, rugged, independent and confident. And, as in the case of the 'Her Horse' commercial, a woman of many faces and many hats, and accomplishing this without a hint of 'chick flick' in one frame."

[Full Story]

January 28, 2014

Kia Cadenza Wins 2014 International Car of the Year

2014 International Car of the Year - 2014 Kia Cadenza

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary
Road & Travel Magazine Names

2014 KIA Cadenza

2014 International Car of the Year

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel Magazine

sponsored by

Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 2013 International Car of the Year Awards - Presented by Road & Travel Magazine

Review by Martha Hindes | Press Release

The Cadenza is Kia's new, full-sized flagship sedan meant to carry the mantel of emerging luxury for the brand. And somehow the company has learned in a short time what on occasion has taken some contenders decades to understand, whether solely U.S.-based or from faraway places: Consumers want upscale, but they aren't necessarily willing to hock the house to get it. The Cadenza gives orchestra seating style and quality at second balcony pricing.

The Cadenza, for Kia, could be considered a watershed model designed to put a crowning touch on the widely diversified offering of vehicles from the energetic South Korean company. With deliberation and determination those have evolved in a short time from barely noticeable bargain hunters' entries on the auto scene when it first hit American shores to a full-fledged stable of prime specimens.

The appearance of the Cadenza on 2014 shopping lists of luxury-conscious consumers confirms its claim it finally has filled the lineup's vacant "want it all" entry upmarket slot with notable success. And the car that has done it is appealing to a wide spectrum of style and quality-conscious drivers, rather than being limited to a narrow band of gear-head or specialty-car enthusiasts. This is an auto a discerning vehicle owner can embrace with pride.

And those are just some of the reasons the Kia Cadenza has earned top honors as RTM’s 2014 International Car of the Year.

Michael Sprague, EVP Communications, Kia Motors America, accepts award for 2014 International Car of the Year for the Kia Cadenza"The Kia Cadenza wins in this category for a variety of reasons, including Kia's remarkable effort to emerge in the entry-lux category," said RTM editor, Courtney Caldwell. "Overall, the car is beautiful and affordable, making upscale style and performance attainable by mid-America. We applaud Kia's rapid rise from underdog to unbelievable!"

On its 25th anniversary, Road & Travel Magazine editors were proud to announce that the Kia Cadenza won its 2014 International Car of the Year Award. “Kia, now celebrating its 20th anniversary in the U.S. market, is among the first to clearly market their products across gender lines in a way that is appealing to both sexes with marketing campaigns that reflect consumer lifestyles of today, not as they were in the 50s,” said Caldwell. [Full story]

 

 

January 27, 2013

Ford C-MAX Hybrid Wins 2013 International Truck of the Year

2013 Ford C-MAX Named International Truck of the Year by Road & Travel Magazine

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel Magazine

Ford C-MAX Hybrid
Road Test Review by Martha Hindes

“Delightfully practical.” That was the initial reaction from a casual car browser at a Midwestern Ford dealership after getting up close and personal with Ford's new 2013 C-MAX hybrid-only, multi-utility vehicle. “I loved all the technology,” was the quick follow-up. It was a potential shopping trip on a whim after being inundated with glowing reports of the advantages of owning a hybrid vehicle from a foreign automaker that had been getting lots of attention. The browser, instead, was looking for something American, something to get excited about, something to spur the interest. He got it.

If two words can sum up a reaction to a new kid on the block with a unique perspective, we think “delightfully practical” nailed it. After all, creating something that can be all things for all people usually can seem like an exercise in frustration at best. When the idea is applied to a vehicle, it's even more demanding, since underneath the eye candy appeal outside and pampering comfort inside is the necessity that it will do the duty of a vehicle – transporting its precious cargo with enthusiasm, purpose, practicality, safety and fun without sullying its surroundings. And the front-drive C-MAX, despite its more diminutive scale than the standard sport utility or crossover utility vehicles that are predominant now on American roadways, is judged as a truck. You just don't realize all its talents at first test.

But peel back the layers, like you would an onion skin, and there's surprise after delightful surprise waiting for those who check it out– from its fuel-stingy hybrid underpinnings that can let it get an astounding 47 miles to a gallon of gas to its available high tech gadgets including the ability to park itself or pop open the trunk gate with the wave of a foot. That's before even considering the lush
sound capabilities from just about any favorite device one brings that can mate with the C-MAX for concert venue excitement. Those are among reasons the C-MAX dominated voting in the 2013 International Truck of the Year competition, and won the whole enchilada in the process. And which we, at Road & Travel Magazine, announce with unabridged pleasure. After all, we consider this truly a multi-activity vehicle or MAV (Ford's term). Maybe Maximum Utility Vehicle or MUV would work in acronym land as well. After all, Ford alluded to that in naming it C-MAX. Read full review...

January 25, 2013

2013 International Truck of the Year

2013 Ford C-MAX Named International Truck of the Year by Road & Travel Magazine

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel Magazine


Road Test Review by Martha Hindes

“Delightfully practical.” That was the initial reaction from a casual car browser at a Midwestern Ford dealership after getting up close and personal with Ford's new 2013 C-MAX hybrid-only, multi-utility vehicle. “I loved all the technology,” was the quick follow-up. It was a potential shopping trip on a whim after being inundated with glowing reports of the advantages of owning a hybrid vehicle from a foreign automaker that had been getting lots of attention. The browser, instead, was looking for something American, something to get excited about, something to spur the interest. He got it.

If two words can sum up a reaction to a new kid on the block with a unique perspective, we think “delightfully practical” nailed it. After all, creating something that can be all things for all people usually can seem like an exercise in frustration at best. When the idea is applied to a vehicle, it's even more demanding, since underneath the eye candy appeal outside and pampering comfort inside is the necessity that it will do the duty of a vehicle – transporting its precious cargo with enthusiasm, purpose, practicality, safety and fun without sullying its surroundings. And the front-drive C-MAX, despite its more diminutive scale than the standard sport utility or crossover utility vehicles that are predominant now on American roadways, is judged as a truck. You just don't realize all its talents at first test.

But peel back the layers, like you would an onion skin, and there's surprise after delightful surprise waiting for those who check it out– from its fuel-stingy hybrid underpinnings that can let it get an astounding 47 miles to a gallon of gas to its available high tech gadgets including the ability to park itself or pop open the trunk gate with the wave of a foot. That's before even considering the lush
sound capabilities from just about any favorite device one brings that can mate with the C-MAX for concert venue excitement. Those are among reasons the C-MAX dominated voting in the 2013 International Truck of the Year competition, and won the whole enchilada in the process. And which we, at Road & Travel Magazine, announce with unabridged pleasure. After all, we consider this truly a multi-activity vehicle or MAV (Ford's term). Maybe Maximum Utility Vehicle or MUV would work in acronym land as well. After all, Ford alluded to that in naming it C-MAX. To continue the review, click here.

January 14, 2013

Kia Optima Named 2013 International Car of the Year

  Kia-optima-awards-lead-photo
 Kia Optima Named 2013 International Car of the Year
by Road & Travel Magazine

Road & Travel Magazine announced today the winner of its 2013 International Car of the Year, the Kia Optima.

The trophy for the 2013 Kia Optima was presented to Michael Sprague, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kia Motors. Presenters included Courtney Caldwell, Editor-in-Chief, Road & Travel Magazine and ICOTY founder; and Mike Martini, president Bridgestone America OE.

“With its sleek design and fun-to-drive performance, the Optima continues to be a sales leader for the brand, “said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Receiving this prestigious award will help carry the Optima’s momentum forward into 2013 and further cement its position at the top of its class.”

"ICOTY celebrates its 17th year in 2013, however it will be the first year that eligibility for vehicle consideration evolved from 'must be brand new models to 'new or existing models with significant changes in design and/or technology, as well as standing out as the most emotionally compelling vehicle among consumers," said Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY founder and producer.

"We would like to thank Bridgestone Tire for sponsoring the 2013 International Car of the Year Awards," said Courtney Caldwell. Their continued annual support has allowed us to honor automakers for vehicles that not only relate to consumer lifestyles and connect on an emotional level, it has provided RTM with the opportunity to elevate awareness on how people feel about their cars, and thus help revolutionize, the way automakers and their agencies market and advertise cars to consumers. [Read full press release]


 

June 25, 2012

2012 Sedan Buyer's Guide - Most Dependable Cars

RTM's 2012 Sedan Buyer's Guide written by Martha Hindes

by Martha Hindes

Mom, dad and apple pie. A day at the  ballpark. A long, luxurious trip. Courting a business client in comfortable style. Think of driving a sedan and those are some of the things that might come to mind. For this is one middle-of-the-road vehicle that can capably fulfill so many functions it can defy being categorized. It's the family hauler that keeps siblings safely stowed in the back seat, with ample room to wriggle on a long trip.

It's the cushy carrier that can ferry a potential client to lunch in appropriate style for serious business talk. It has cozied up to uncountable fast food windows for a  family meal on the fly. You know the drill: shake, burger, fries and maybe a slice of prepackaged pie after a winning ballgame or a busy day at work. It's about as mainstream and dependable as any set of wheels can get.

To read about Road & Travel Magazine's Top 10 sedan picks for 2012, AND to find out which one won the 2012 International Sedan of the Year, click here.

January 30, 2012

Ford Motor Company Wins Most Earth Friendly Automaker

2012 Earth Angel Award - Most Earth Friendly Automaker - Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company Receives
5th Annual EARTH ANGEL AWARD
as Most Earth Friendy Automaker

by Martha Hindes

Going green has become a way of life at Ford Motor Company. From company President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally to those who tend to company property and grounds, protecting the environment is a primary responsibility on a daily basis.

Those familiar with buildings near company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan can see some of that commitment first hand, where fields of air purifying flowers bloom during summer months and a nearby production facility wears a "green" roof of plants to help purify and recycle runoff water used there.

Ford was one of the earliest companies to recognize the need for an environmentally sustainable way of doing business and to begin that transformation to achieve it. That commitment has become reflected in every Ford facility, in the materials used in production and in the atmosphere it encourages throughout the company.

In the 12th annual Ford Sustainability Report Ford put out last June, it cited progress in improving fuel economy and safety and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and water use among its sustainable operations.

"Since 2000, our manufacturing facilities worldwide have reduced overall energy use by 40 percent, decreased CO2 emissions by 49 percent and cut water use by 62 percent," said Mulally in presenting the report. Full story.