The editorial team at Popular Mechanics tested over 100 vehicles and logged over 100,000 miles in order to name their top ten categorized picks for the 2009 automotive model year. The 2009 HUMMER H3T Alpha took the top prize for “Off-Road Ability” in this year’s Automotive Excellence Awards.
“Our Automotive Excellence Awards honor the newest cars and trucks in the industry today,” said James Meigs, editor-in-chief, Popular Mechanics. “Our automotive team spends months with hands-on testing and research before honoring vehicles with our award. This year we are proud to recognize the ten best and brightest vehicles ever produced.”
Here’s what the Popular Mechanics team had to say about the H3T:
When we first heard that Hummer’s new H3T comes with the option of Eaton electronic locking differentials in each axle, we got excited. Locking differentials allow true four-wheel drive. And during a recent test in Moab, Utah, those differentials, part of the Alpha’s off-road package, really proved their worth. Locked in 4×4 low, we slowly made our way through a stony maze of crumbly sandstone vertical drops and steep climbs. Thanks to the Hummer’s stout drivetrain, the whole experience was surprisingly effortless. But there are plenty of features that make this truck a versatile tool on pavement, too. The 5-ft-long bed has 35.7 cu ft of cargo volume. And thanks to the Alpha’s V8 torque, the H3T can tow 5900 pounds. As capable as the H3T is in the dirt, it’s that pickup bed, roomy interior and nearly full-size-pickup-truck towing capacity that will draw in the mainstream haulers. But when it’s time for some 4×4 recreation, those lockers are there if you need them.
Complete release after the jump.
Vehicles and Technologies Recognized in Ten Categories
NEW YORK, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ — POPULAR MECHANICS, the trusted men’s magazine reaching 9 million readers each month, today announced the winners of the 2009 POPULAR MECHANICS Automotive Excellence Awards. Chosen by the magazine’s expert editorial team, these awards recognize the best in automotive design, execution and technology for 2009 model year vehicles in ten specific categories.
“Our Automotive Excellence Awards honor the newest cars and trucks in the industry today,” said James Meigs, editor-in-chief, POPULAR MECHANICS. “Our automotive team spends months with hands-on testing and research before honoring vehicles with our award. This year we are proud to recognize the ten best and brightest vehicles ever produced.”
The recipients of the fourth annual POPULAR MECHANICS Automotive Excellence Awards:
— Design: Dodge Challenger
— Value: Honda Fit
— Fuel Efficiency: VW Jetta TDI
— Performance: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
— Versatility: Ford Flex
— Fun to Drive: BMW 135i
— Off-Road Ability: Hummer H3T Alpha
— Technical Innovation: Cadillac Escalade With Platinum HID Headlights
— Luxury: Jaguar XF
— Workhorse: Ford F-150
Each year, to determine the winners of the POPULAR MECHANICS Automotive Excellence Awards, PM’s editors drive more than 100 of the newest cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles, amassing well over 100,000 miles in the process. Through their experiences on extended test drives around the world, instrumented comparison tests and longer-term evaluations, the auto team nominates a list of vehicles in each category. Those selections are put to a vote and the top recipients in each category win an Automotive Excellence Award. The auto team is led by Automotive Editor Ben Stewart, working with Senior Automotive Editor Mike Allen, Detroit Editor Larry Webster and Editor-in-Chief James Meigs.
Full coverage of the 2009 POPULAR MECHANICS Automotive Excellence Awards winners can be found in the December issue of POPULAR MECHANICS, on newsstands November 11, 2008 and online at http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars2009.