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

Crossover/Sport Wagon of the Year - 2005 Dodge Magnum
Split personalities rule in the world of the crossover, where not one but a lot of a good things make the sum greater than the total of all the parts. It shines with a nebula glow, not a single star brilliance. At its best, it can adapt to a myriad of uses without losing its distinctive countenance. Our winners' choice for Crossover - Most Versatile is one of the most intriguing designs to sparkle in the newest and youthful category called crossovers. By itself, Dodge Magnum simply won't be ignored. Its low slung profile and battle stance, with windows narrowed like eyes squinted with determination, stand head and shoulders above a crowd. Hear it snarl at a standstill, especially when a fuel-conserving 5.8-liter Hemi V-8 under the hood strains to be unleashed.

It's a bold look, as if chipped from granite, with rear or AWD-powered, tow capable performance in reserve. But in true crossover fashion, Magnum can be tamed by its talent for versatility, with flexible room for a snowboard, a party of five, a stack of flat-loaded lumber or even a massive 27-inch TV when the tailgate jaw is opened. That stylish interior is blanketed by a galaxy of high tech performance and safety features, even self-sealing tires for drivers who can't resist burning up the road.

Honorable Mentions:

Ford Freestyle
With "style" in its name and flexibility in its attitude, Ford's Freestyle crossover deserves recognition at the winner's podium. Three versions serve refinement topped with attitude and a "just right" tiered view of the road from theater type seating with ample headroom for as many as seven. Frustrated rearward riders can actually see where they're going, not just headrests ahead. Athletic all-wheel-drive agility adds play for the driver, too.

Malibu Maxx
Multi-function to the max (we couldn't resist that) highlights this front-drive Malibu wagon's claim to noteworthy status. A continental-inspired look adds a punch to this five-door five-seater as it takes on a crowded small-vehicle field but leaves the ho-hum factor at home, especially when it's riding on the Maxx's 3.5 liter, V-6 powerplant. The split rear seat slides forward (to keep kid seats closer to parental law) or rearward for more toe wiggle room. Unique storage fixtures add flexibility when there's cargo in the hold.

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