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

Pickup of the Year - 2005 Ford F-250 Superduty
In the world of pickup trucks, super is the ultimate word. It squashes the lowly compact, makes the half-ton tremble in fear. It can leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Dream on.) But you get the idea. While super-sizing, of course, is up-sizing, "super duty" means so much more.

It was only natural that Ford's highly-acclaimed F-150 pickup would have a winning Texas longhorn-caliber brother, the thunder-voiced sibling that can terminate a "better-than-you-are" schoolyard fight in one word. Picture that foundation in a luxury wrapping and you have the definition for the "Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty." This five-series thunderbolt-on-wheels hunkers down over Ford's new Triton 3-valve V-8, and V-10 petrol monsters, or the 6.0 liter 32-valve Power Stroke V-8 Turbo Diesel that pumps 362 hp and 457 lb.-ft. of torque. (Wow! What a mouthful.)

Off-road or in responsive, precision tight turns, it's not just tweeked, it's ratcheted up with a new 4X4 Twin Coil Monobeam suspension. With 5,800 pounds of anything on its properly-fitted back (or 17,000 lbs. hauled behind), we think Ford's self-proclaimed "Beast of Burden" is an apt description. If that doesn't generate visions of mahogany-toned touches and sunset-hued, handsome leather interior, then you're in for a surprise. Depending on trim level, it's there. Ford calls its effortless performance "another walk in the woods." Yeah, like Paul Bunyan's Great Lake-sized legendary footprint created just another pond.

Honorable Mentions:

Dodge Dakota
Dodge boxes in the small box (AKA compact pickup truck) with a fully-boxed frame and the only V-8 in class. Translated, that means this all-new, slightly larger-than-midsize pickup has the same solid workhorse underpinnings of a full-size version. (Applause, please.) Its longer nose adds more safety "crush space" should the unthinkable accident ever occur. And there's more inside stretch room as well. Real adults can comfortably ride in the Quad Cab version's rear seat.

Toyota Tacoma
If you think there isn't a midsize Tacoma pickup to meet your fancy, think again. There are a whopping 18 (count 'em) models of Toyota's all-new pickup, with three cab types to choose from. While less-than-fullsize has never been the biggest draw in the segment, Toyota execs think variety is bound to spice up more than a few wish lists. We agree. At work or play, they all offer expanded size, muscle, styling and reputation to the mix.

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