Motor Trend is a well-heeled automotive publication. Its reviewers are experts. They take their jobs seriously and they recently selected the 2014 Subaru Forester as the 2014 sport utility vehicle of the year. Really?
Anyone who lives in mountainous areas knows Subaru’s strengths. Its all-wheel drive system is the best in the auto industry. And if you’re a dog person or dog family, Subaru always gets top honors for its design consideration to animal comfort and safety.
Still, the Subaru got top honors over Acura, BMW and Land Rover, among others.
The editors begin their decision process with a statement:
“What makes an SUV? Ask 10 people and you’ll get 11 answers, as no doubt some will change their minds midway through the explanation.”
That’s an astute comment and likely true. The publication’s nine judges then used a two-step process to narrow the original list of 22 vehicles, representing 13 nameplates. The process of elimination included basics like handling and visibility to more specific assessments like design advancement to performance of intended function. The editors also drove each vehicle on a 35-mile road circuit through small towns, on highways, sweeping country roads and on a five-mile dirt course.
The original field was reduced to 12 vehicles, from which the Forester prevailed.
The 12 final contenders:
Acura MDX, Buick Encore, BMW X1, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Range Rover, Mini Cooper S Paceman, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4.
The editors filmed a nealrly 50-minute video discussing the contenders and the selection of the Subara Forester.
To read the article, visit: Motor Trend/Subaru
To watch the video, visit: Motor Trend/Subaru Video