Today, Autoweek named the Volkswagen Golf GTI as its Best of the Best/Car for 2015, beating a group of finalists that includes the Alfa Romeo 4C, Ford Mustang and Mercedes-Benz C-class; and the GMC Canyon as its Best of the Best/Truck for 2015, besting the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan.
Autoweek evaluates every new or significantly updated model throughout the year and begins to identify the standouts. Performance, economy, fit and finish, design, value, significance to the auto industry and personal taste all combine to define the Best of the Best. Four cars and four trucks make the grade, and Autoweek editors put them through rigorous road-handling tests at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.
The GTI is in its seventh generation, but the 2015 model has set a new standard for value, practicality and performance. It’s an incredibly fun car to drive—Autoweek couldn’t keep its editors out of it.
VW’s improved 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine powers the GTI. Featuring a choice of two great gearboxes, the GTI is an approachable, practical performance car—it satisfies on every level. And the new chassis makes it a blast to drive on the track or the street.
The handling is simply superb, with the rear end happily stepping into safe, controllable oversteer. It’s a car any driver can have fun with.
The GTI was also a standout because its price, build quality and utility make it a flexible ride and a great value.
Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America, commented, “Our team is very excited to be named the Autoweek Best of the Best/Car for 2015. It’s an honor to receive this award from a publication whose readership has the same kind of passion about driving and performance as we have at Volkswagen, exemplified by cars like the Golf GTI.”
It has just over a 1,600-pound payload and 7,000 pounds of towing ability, making it practical for most worksites, though it’s quiet and comfortable enough to please commuters.
The truck’s rugged looks and available off-road equipment make it perfect for those with hobbies taking them into the wild but who might not want to drive a full-size pickup truck during the work week.
“We’ve felt all along that the all-new Canyon would appeal to a wide range of customers looking for pickup capabilities with a high level of refinement and connectivity. This recognition from such a respected publication provides key external validation for the team,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president sales, service and marketing for Buick-GMC.
This year’s field—featuring an all-new Mustang, a budget-priced carbon-fiber supercar and a German crossover that drives like a German sports car—goes down as one of the strongest ever; but only the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and 2015 GMC Canyon have risen to the top to be named Autoweek’s Best of the Best.
Full coverage of the 2015 Best of the Best awards can be found at autoweek.com/best or in the Dec. 22 issue of the magazine; also look for #autoweekbest on Twitter.