MotorTrend’s Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year winners are finally here! If you want to know what the hottest and best new cars are, or which new or significantly updated SUV or truck is worth your money, you’re in the right place. No one tests cars, trucks, and SUVs as exhaustively and thoughtfully as MotorTrend.
- 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year: Chevrolet Corvette
- 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year: KIA Telluride
- 2020 MotorTrend Truck of the Year: RAM Heavy Duty
LaFontaine Automotive Group is proud to offer our customer’s all three of these best-in-class brands and vehicles. Visit FamilyDeal.com for details or stop into any of our conveniently located Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM dealerships in Clinton, Saline, Lansing and Fenton, KIA dealerships in Dearborn and Ann Arbor, and Chevrolet dealership in Dexter.
Car of the Year
MotorTrend’s 33 Car of the Year contenders were delivered to the Hyundai Motor Group California Proving Ground in California City, where MotorTrend’s test team conducted the usual 0-60, 60-0, quarter-mile, figure-eight, and accident-avoidance maneuvers over the course of a week. Then its judges spent two days driving every eligible vehicle on multiple proving ground test areas (winding road, high-speed oval, and numerous intentionally distressed road surfaces) before culling the list to their finalists. The following two days consisted of real-world testing the finalists on our 27.6-mile road loop surrounding nearby Tehachapi.
SUV of the Year
The SUV testing and judging process functions a lot like Car of the Year, except it’s hosted at Honda Proving Center of California in Cantil and incorporates an off-road course that simulates driving in inclement climes. This year’s off-road portion added offset moguls that each of MotorTrend’s 41 vehicles would climb and descend to test their all-wheel-drive systems. After a week of testing and two days of judging at the proving ground, they took their finalists to Tehachapi to test them on our road loop—which incorporates the stop-start slog of city driving, a steep grade, a twisting back road, battered secondary roads, several railroad crossings, and of course an open highway run spent dodging an endless procession of big rigs.
Truck of the Year
Truck saw some extensive changes designed to better mimic how pickups are used. Testing officially started at MotorTrend’s local test track in Fontana, where they payload-tested their midsize and half-ton pickup contenders using stacks of 100-pound horse mats. MotorTrend’s midsizers were tested with 1,000 pounds in their beds, and MotorTrend’s half-tons got 1,500 pounds. Heavy-duty trucks, with their higher payload capacities, were excluded this year.
MotorTrend then convoyed to Kingman, Arizona, and evaluated its 12 contenders on their 21.5-mile road loop. The next couple days were spent at FCA’s Arizona Proving Ground. The test team would gather data on their trucks while empty and while towing a trailer weighing about three-quarters of each pickup’s max-tow capacity. Meanwhile, the rest of the judges towed the same trailers through the proving ground and evaluated each unladen truck on an off-road course. After the proving ground, MotorTrend wrapped up its program in Bullhead City, using the 5.8-mile, 5.2 percent average grade Davis Dam pass to evaluate how each truck handles three-quarters of its max tow capacity in the real world. With all the data in hand, MotorTrend would be able to pick our winners.
The Chevrolet Corvette is the 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year
Chevrolet rolls out a mid-engine masterpiece on its first attempt
Sometimes, a car comes along that leaves the automotive landscape different than before. In today’s Silicon Valley parlance, we’d be tempted to term such a car a “disrupter.” The last car to so radically shift the car world was the Tesla Model S, MotorTrend’s 2013 Car of the Year.
This time around, the 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Corvette, fully scrambles the order of things. Simply put, never before has so much four-wheeled exoticism been attainable for so little money. Or I should say, so much good exoticism.
Chevrolet Performance did not phone in the first-ever production mid-engine Corvette. It dialed it, massaged it, honed it, crafted the new ‘Vette to the point of the nearly impossible. The eighth-generation car will bring people into dealerships who previously would never have come in. The mid-engine Corvette is a game changer, an inflection point, and a reminder that when Americans truly set our minds to a task, look out. For soon you’ll be standing on the moon—or driving the sports car equivalent thereof.
More details on MotorTrend’s evaluation of the Corvette can be found here.
The Kia Telluride is the 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year
History Made: Kia joins the premier league
The Kia Telluride’s achievement as winner of MotorTrend’s 2020 SUV of the Year award is more inevitability than incongruity.
It’s been a long time coming for a company that was founded in 1944 and for decades has lived with the backhanded compliment of building “cheap and cheerful” transportation for buyers on a budget.
But this award is the deserved recognition that today’s Korean auto industry has evolved to possess the skill and talent to design, engineer, and manufacture world-class vehicles—ones able to best their mainstream Japanese, European, and American rivals in terms of style, dynamics, refinement, and build quality.
Manufactured in West Point, Georgia, the Telluride is a Kia built in America for Americans: a comfortable and roomy three-row SUV that’s perfectly pitched at the heart of a highly competitive segment that includes products from Chevy, Dodge, and Ford, as well as Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, and Volkswagen.
More details on MotorTrend’s evaluation of the KIA Telluride can be found here.
The Ram Heavy Duty is the 2020 MotorTrend Truck of the Year
Put Up or Shut Up: Ram’s new Heavy Duty shows what happens when you stop chasing big rig truck numbers
The easiest job in the automotive industry has to be marketing pickup trucks. We’re all familiar with the ads: An oversized dually slams through a concrete wall, a voice actor in his best movie trailer baritone introduces the “all-new, more capable” Brodozer 4500 as the camera pans back showing the truck towing the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet.
This approach to advertising has trapped pickup engineers into a vicious cycle of chasing max tow and payload numbers—frankly, to the point that the added performance and capability is of little use to the average buyer. After all, once your combined truck and trailer weighs more than 26,001 pounds, legally you should be carrying a commercial driver’s license.
So what happens if you take the mad men out of the driver’s seat and let the engineers and designers focus on performance, capability, and versatility, the things that real truck buyers both want and need? You get MotorTrend’s 2020 Truck of the Year, the Ram Heavy Duty.
More details on MotorTrend’s evaluation of the RAM Heavy Duty can be found here.