With the winner set to be revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Cars.com announced which models were in the running for the “Best of 2012” awards.
This year’s nominees are the Audi A7, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Veloster, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Subaru Impreza and Volkswagen Passat.
Commenting on the units nominated for the Cars.com Best of the Year Awards, editor in chief Patrick Olsen noted, "Above all, our Best of the Year awards celebrate value, innovation and competitiveness in the auto industry.
"The level of innovation among our nominees ranges from being truly unique to shaking up an entire segment of cars,” he added.
The company noted that its reviewers have spent hours behind the wheels of the six nominees in an effort to pick the single "Best of 2012" new model, which will be unveiled Jan. 10.
Olsen said picking one out of the list of six wasn’t an easy task.
"Picking a winner from this elite group was difficult," Olsen said. "Despite its stiff competition, we feel confident that our selection represents the best on the road today."
Cars.com also offered the following commentary on the chosen new models:
—Audi A7: “Not only do Cars.com's editors think the A7's styling is different than anything else on the market, they also think the hatchback offers practicality not often seen in a sports car. Combined with handling and comfort that are 'near perfect,' the A7 should be on the list of anyone looking for a stunning, sporty car.”
—Hyundai Accent: “Right now U.S. car shoppers are looking for practical, affordable and efficient cars. As a result, new 'pedestrian' subcompacts keep popping up on the market. Cars.com editors think the Accent is anything but pedestrian, offering 40 mpg, a shockingly roomy interior and affordable features usually reserved for more expensive, larger vehicles. In spite of stiff competition, these factors make the Accent a new class leader. “
—Hyundai Veloster: “A four-seat hatchback with somewhat eccentric styling might not seem like the obvious choice this year. However, the plethora of standard tech features for the cost, sturdiness on the road and overall appeal make the Veloster one of this year's stand-outs.”
—Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: “Any vehicle that looks like nothing the Cars.com team has ever seen before is sure to make an impression, and the Evoque made a great one. Its looks aren't the only reason it made the list: The Evoque has a more comfortable ride than others in its class, a competitive base price and plenty of power.”
—Subaru Impreza: “While improving significantly upon its previous generation doesn't guarantee any car a nomination, the Impreza's changes moved it from lower on the list of compacts to the very top in a segment, offering some of the best options our editors have ever seen. It's also the most affordable all-wheel-drive car on the market.”
—Volkswagen Passat: “Once a fringe player in the competitive family sedan segment, the Passat is another example of a redesign elevating an entire segment. With a huge interior, a high-quality cabin, composed driving dynamics and a low cost, the Passat is poised to overtake long-standing family sedan leaders and challenge the entire segment to improve.”