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ROAD & TRAVEL's 2004 International Car of the Year Awards

Presented with the flair of the Academy Awards, ROAD & TRAVEL magazine presents its annual ICOTY awards to honor 10 new vehicles in 10 categories in the new model year. Nominees include American-sold vehicles manufactured by American, British, German, Japanese, Korean and Swedish automakers. Categories awarded are:

Car of the Year    Truck of the Year
Luxury Most Respected
Sedan Most Dependable
Entry Level Most Spirited
Sports Car Most Sex Appeal
Pickup Truck Most Athletic
SUV Most Resourceful
Minivan/Life Stage Most Compatible
Crossover/Sport Wagon Most Versatile

The RTM awards, launched in 1997, became the first awards to honor new vehicles from a theme that reflected lifestyle, and the emotionally compelling experience consumers have during car buying and ownership. The ICOTY categories reflect a particular stage or mindset in one's life, representing how cars make us feel. "It's not about camshafts and chrome, or zero to sixty," says RTM editor-in-chief Courtney Caldwell. "It's about the emotional connection and relationships people have with their cars. It's about lifestyle and life stages."

In order to achieve an outcome of a balanced perspective on voting that reflects all consumers, not just one gender, RTM engages a diverse group of 12 men and women renowned automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada in the voting process. This jury of respected writers represents such publications as the Robb Report, Detroit Free Press, Automotive News, The Washington Post, MSN Autos, Auto Week, and Autoline Detroit.

The ICOTY awards, televised by CBS Detroit as a one hour special, and VIP reception attracts more than 600 industry executives, political figures, community leaders, and media, garnering significant press coverage as the kickoff event of press week on the eve prior to the NAIAS.

Criteria: Each car must be a brand new model entry, or if an existing model, have significant changes in design and/or technology. Winners are selected by RTM judges by meeting at least 7 of 12 criteria including: appealing to women & men, head turning ability, ergonomically friendly, style, affordability, performance, practical, grocery getting potential, safe & dependable, proud to be seen in, fun factor, and very cool.

After reviewing all contenders RTM's reputable jury then votes for their favorites based on the criteria.

The top three finalists in each category receive honorable mention during the presentation but the award goes to the one in each category which receives the majority of votes.

Votes are officially tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates to ensure the utmost credibility and validity of each win.

The RTM awards continue to expand in recognition as one of the most prestigious events produced by a magazine in the automotive industry. The awards are highly regarded and used by automakers in newspaper and magazine ads, outdoor billboards and television infomercials. RTM awards have received mention by winners in People, Forbes, US News, Home and Garden, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsweek, to name a few.

For 2005 sponsorship information please click here.