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2005 9th Annual International Car of the Year Awards
by Martha Hindes

Car of the Year - 2005 Chrysler 300C
For nearly a decade, ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine has set the tone for automotive perfection with its Car of the Year award. To win, an auto has to possess a blend of thrilling performance, a sense of passion, drop dead good looks and an innate feel that this one is a winner. For 2005 International Car of the Year, our choice is a natural. For overflowing those most challenging requirements, we herald the Chrysler 300C.

Nothing can compare to the raw thrust of the reborn legendary Hemi powerhouse, underneath a bold-lined, contemporary classic wrapping filled with opulent amenities. The thrill of native born rear drive-based performance merges into a dominating feel of own-the-road power. A distinctive exhaust sound reveals the presence of the commanding 5.7-liter V-8, riding on 18-inch wheels with self-sealing tires. It cruises in roomy, ultra-lush style, pampering with elegantly crafted leather and walnut, adjustable pedals, purified air and state-of-the-art safety systems. Pulse-pounding Boston Acoustics premium sound is the heart of the most advanced entertainment, communications and navigation systems.

Fulfilling such high expectations won't be costly as the premium luxury autos it challenges. The low base price is in the eye-opening $33,000 range. The 340 HP Hemi's power management system that idles four cylinders when unneeded keeps performance and mileage in balance.

Honorable Mentions:

Cadillac STS
The chiseled good looks of the new STS, Cadillac's first rear-drive-based luxury performance sedan in a quarter-century, resecures American automotive royalty firmly to its pedestal. Going from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds, then refining individual driving dynamics sets it squarely in the driver's seat. Cadillac proves again its formula of fun behind the wheel in a high quality, luxury ensemble is a welcome evolution that's here to stay.

Ford Mustang
Clean, sculpted lines on the all-new chassis of Ford's next generation classic don't whisper Mustang. They shout it. Ford calls this version, "eye magnet." The 300 horses that pound under the hood from 4.6-liter V-8 power, give stallion kick to this long-lived pony car in GT version. A runner-up in our sexy sports car of the year category, we welcome it back for its near best showing in the Car-of-the-Year field.

Car of the Year
Chrysler 300C

Truck of the Year
Hummer H2 SUT

Most Sex Appeal/Sports Car
Chevy Corvette

Most Spirited/Entry-Level
MINI Cooper Convertible

Most Compatible/Minivan
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Versatile/Crossover
Dodge Magnum
Most Respected/Luxury Car
Jaguar XJ LWB
Most Athletic/Pickup Truck
Ford F-250 Superduty

Most Resourceful/SUV
Land Rover LR3

2005 ICOTY Awards Links