Chicago—January 3, 2007—The votes have been tallied and the winners of the first annual Cars.com Lifestyle Awards are: Family Car of the Year - 2007 Honda Odyssey; Work Car of the Year - 2007 Dodge Ram; Play Car of the Year - 2007 Volvo C70; and the most Eco-Friendly Car of the Year - 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Developed to recognize vehicles best suited for the lifestyle needs of today's car buyers, the awards punctuate the launch of Cars.com's Lifestyle Buying Guide. This new site feature helps shoppers to identify the right car based on their personal lifestyle needs, whether they are looking to purchase a new car for a growing family, a ride for weekend fun or a set of wheels that can withstand the rigors of a long commute. The guide features expert picks from Cars.com's editors, based on their experiences in dozens of test drives and their evaluation of criteria most important to shoppers in each respective lifestyle category. Using the guide's search tool, shoppers can also retrieve a complete list of all available new cars that meet their needs based on their customized lifestyle criteria.
"The Lifestyle Buying Guide and the Cars.com Lifestyle Awards are unique in that they let shoppers search for cars across categories, comparing everything from trucks and SUVs to minivans and sedans to identify the vehicle that best meets their needs," said Cars.com managing editor Patrick Olsen."With so many choices on today's market and more special features and options to consider, many consumers don't know whether they want an SUV, crossover vehicle or sedan. Cars.com is providing the tools they need to cross-shop the SUV against the minivan against the wagon."
About the 2007 Cars.com Lifestyle Awards Winners:
Family Car of the Year - 2007 Honda Odyssey: The Honda Odyssey has all the qualities that make a vehicle ideal for large families. There's room for up to eight people, plenty of luggage space, entertainment options for the kids, top crash-test ratings and the best gas mileage among large minivans when the 3.5-liter V-6 is equipped with available cylinder deactivation technology. Even though the Odyssey commands a bit of a price premium compared to its competitors, its refined performance and stand-out handling make it a winner on multiple fronts.
Work Car of the Year - 2007 Dodge Ram: Choices are important when selecting a pickup truck that's going to be used for work, and there are plenty to make when choosing a Dodge Ram. The Ram is offered in three duty ratings and can have a selection of cabs, cargo boxes and drivetrains to suit your work requirements. What's more, the Ram's predicted reliability is above average, and it scored well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing. There are formidable challengers on the way in the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tundra, but right now the Ram's the one to beat.
Play Car of the Year - 2007 Volvo C70 Is there a better retractable hardtop on the market today? Definitely not for $39,000. Top up, the C70 acts like a quiet coupe. A push of a button later, the hardtop retracts into the trunk and you have wind in your hair. Leave it to Volvo to make something sexy and fun, like a convertible, practical. Besides the numerous safety features and solid ride, the trunk is easily accessible and holds quite a bit of cargo with the top down.
Eco-Friendly Car of the Year - 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid: The Camry Hybrid's impressive real-world gas mileage and low pollutant and CO2 emissions are sure to win over environmentally conscious car buyers, and the well-integrated hybrid system will make you forget how much technology is at work each time you accelerate or brake. The spacious cabin has high-grade materials, comfortable front seats and an optional touch-screen navigation system that's easy to use. Side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard, and the Camry Hybrid received the highest overall rating - Good - in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests. For those wary of a hybrid's additional components, Toyota covers them with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.
In addition to the overall award winners, Cars.com is recognizing winners in a number of sub-categories. Winners include:
* Best New Car for Small Families - 2007 Honda Accord
* Best Deal for Small Families - 2007 Hyundai Sonata
* Best New Car for Big Families - 2007 Honda Odyssey
* Best Deal for Big Families - 2007 Kia Sedona
* Best New Car for First-Time Drivers - 2007 Honda Civic
* Best Deal for First-Time Drivers - 2007 Honda Fit
* Best New Car for Empty Nesters - 2007 Jaguar XK
* Best Deal for Empty Nesters - 2007 Mazda MX-5
* Best New Car for Commuters - 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid
* Best Deal for Commuters - 2007 Mazda3
* Best New Car for Hard Workers - 2007 Dodge Ram
* Best Deal for Hard Workers - 2007 Dodge Caravan (Cargo Version)
* Best New Car for Sun Lovers - 2007 Volvo C70
* Best Deal for Sun Lovers - 2007 Ford Mustang
* Best New Car for Off Roaders - 2007 Land Rover Range Rover
* Best Deal for Off Roaders - 2007 Nissan Xterra
* Best New Car for The Towing Crowd - 2007 Chevrolet Suburban
* Best Deal for The Towing Crowd - 2007 Dodge Ram
* Best New Car for Weekend Athletes - 2007 Subaru Outback
* Best Deal for Weekend Athletes - 2007 Hyundai Tucson
About the Cars.com Life Style Awards:
Launched to recognize new vehicles that best suit the lifestyles of today's car shoppers, the Cars.com Lifestyle Awards acknowledge the best cars across a number of categories that car shoppers can identify with based on their personal vehicle needs.
Award winners were selected by Cars.com's expert reviewers and editorial staff from the field of editor's picks in the Cars.com Lifestyle Buying Guide.
All vehicles in this guide first had to be selected as Cars.com Best Bets, meaning they were among the model year's best offerings in their vehicle segment. From there, the team tapped into knowledge drawn from their time with the cars to decide which vehicle best met the criteria and intent of the lifestyle category at hand. For Small Families, for example, safety was a paramount concern, along with seating. In choosing the Best Deal for each lifestyle category, the reviewers looked at which cars offered the best bang for the buck. To view comprehensive awards criteria, visit Cars.com. Additionally, behind the scenes insight into the award selection process and inside debate can be found on Cars.com's blog, KickingTires.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their websites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 2 million vehicles from 13,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of car shoppers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).