It's once again that time of year where Motor Trend and Truck Trend staff roll up their sleeves and bare down as they get their hands on the eleven SUVs that qualify for Motor Trend's "2008 Sport Utility Vehicle of the Year".
This year's field has once more shown the automotive industry is constantly changing, as over-sized SUVs are shrinking in size but are growing with more convenient and luxury features. Luxury features such as built-in navigation, third-row seating, over-sized sunroofs, and touch-button rear hatch closing are becoming more of a standard feature as to a dealer option.
Just like years' past, the vehicles selected for testing have to have dramatic changes or be a totally new vehicle altogether. Face-lifts and tummy-tucks don't qualify. Motor Trend looks for vehicles that have almost entirely new bodies, engines, suspensions, chassis, and redesigned interiors to qualify for testing (give or take). Vehicles also have had to go on sale in the 12 months from November 1 each year. If the vehicle doesn't make this dead line, it may participate in the next year to fallow. Qualifying contenders are invited to be part of the testing and have the option to opt out if they wish.
Click below to check out more photos of the 11 Contenders in this year testing:
1. Buick Enclave - Photos - Read More!
2. Hyundai Veracruz - Photos - Read More!
3. Jeep Liberty - Photos - Read More!
4. Jeep Patriot - Photos - Read More!
5. Land Rover LR2 - Photos - Read More!
6. Mazda CX9 - Photos - Read More!
7. Nissan Rogue - Photos - Read More!
8. Saturn Vue - Photos - Read More!
9. Subaru Tribeca - Photos - Read More!
10. Toyota Highlander
11. Toyota Land Cruiser
According to Motor Trend:
Each SUOTY contender is evaluated against three simple criteria:
We look at engineering excellence, advancement in design, utilization of resources, and safety. Vehicle concept and execution are important, as are use of materials, packaging, dynamics, styling, and fuel consumption.
Does the vehicle do the job its maker intended it to do? This includes how it may impact or change its particular market segment, influence consumer perceptions, and transform product-development trends.
How does each vehicle compare against its direct rivals? A vehicle with a low sticker price might not be as good a value as a more expensive vehicle that delivers outstanding performance, quality, and functionality.
So who will hold the title of Motor Trend's 2008 SUV of the Year? For now you can take a look at the list of contenders and wait to see if you guessed right!
Read more at MotorTrend.com!