AutoJudge Awards Presented at 2017 SEMA Show
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 31, 2017—The AutoJudge Awards for Automobiles, SUVs, and Pickup Trucks celebrate their twelfth anniversary at this year’s SEMA show. Sponsored by the Texas Automotive Media Association (TAMA) the award began as an alternative to the multitude of automotive awards distributed at various car shows and other events.
The Awards Presentation takes place Monday, October 30, at 1:30 pm in the Media Center, Room S220.
"AutoJudge was conceived twelve years ago and is the first national award of the incoming auto show season," said Texas Automotive Media Association President Marlon Hanson. "It is announced at the largest automotive and aftermarket event in the country, SEMA. Selecting the very best gets more difficult every year."
2017 AutoJudge Winners
Alternative Powertrain: Nissan Leaf
Compact Vehicle: Mazda Miata MX-5
Family Car: Toyota Camry
Full Size Sedan: Chrysler 300
Luxury Car: Genesis G90
Van/Wagon: Chrysler Pacifica
Full Size Truck: RAM 1500
Mid Size Truck: Honda Ridgeline
Compact SUV: Nissan Rogue
Full-Size SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Sports Car: Dodge Challenger
SUV of the Year: Volvo XC90
Truck of the Year: RAM 1500
Car of the Year: Genesis G90
Woman’s Choice: Volvo XC60
Due to the sheer number of vehicles available, a knowledgeable panel of judges pre-selects a narrow group of vehicles for consideration. The judges are seasoned journalists, specializing in the automotive industry.
"AutoJudge panelists spend the entire year test driving vehicles. This gives them immeasurable experience, placing them in a unique position to provide their knowledge to consumers," said Hanson. "We often test drive vehicles before they reach dealers so we can provide input to the manufacturers on changes we believe should be done to make the vehicle more appealing to consumers."
The categories have generally been similar each year, although automotive categories vary as newly designed products are introduced.
The 2017 Judges panel for AutoJudge included: Sue Mead, Kristin Barclay, Art Gould, Greg Morrison, Alan Gell, Marlon Hanson, Mike Herzing, Dave Stall, Mike Marrs, Tabatha Chovanetz, Jim Meachen, Bob Kocher, Rita Cook, Harold Gunn, Kimatni Rawlins, BJ Killeen and Steve Wheeler.
Many of them own or collect older model cars as well as test driving many new vehicles each month. They attend auto shows throughout the world as well as visiting “ride-and-drive” launch programs where the newest models are unveiled. Several are long-time and highly experienced mechanics meaning they have knowledge of the vehicles from more than a cosmetic viewpoint.
Bottom line—they “know” cars. Unlike the populace at large, they have opinions based on driving most, and probably all, of the vehicles under consideration.