sort of like the great looking kid next door who always seems
to have a few bruises or a bandaged knee. A lot more rough
and tumble than his (or her) peers, but not as brute-force
bold as big bro at home. Make no mistake. To win ICOTY's coveted
honors, the vehicle named International Truck of the Year
simply had to blow away the competition. This year, the big
and definitely bold Hummer H3 follows in its family
treadmarks by taking top prize.
Here's a vehicle as self asssured as any that ever scaled a mountaintop to survey all the terrain it could conquor. ("Climbed" is the operative word here, since H3 can literally lumber up a flight of steps or traverse a log-filled bog with barely a flinch before cruising its owner to a five-star restaurant while blending, size-wise, smoothly into the flow of traffic.) This is Hummer a bit down-sized, but definitely a good size. Rather than the wide-shouldered slam-bang of larger H2 and H2 SUT siblings, it roared out the gate intent on delivering a wider swath of functionality.
With H3 you get variety. Like the
first-ever available manual trans in a Hummer brand vehicle.
Riding a powerful, technically-tweaked Vortec 3500 inline
five-cylinder engine, it delivers a surprising peak fuel
economy of 20 miles per gallon, despite the 220-horsepower
it generates. Here's a handsome hunk that followed in H3
HUT's year-ago footsteps by winning it all in 2006. Not
a bad family trait. How does one spell D-Y-N-A-S-T-Y?
surprisingly sassy, with supply-size dynamics in ample
tow. Honda's Odyssey nudged many would-be winners
off the finalists' stand as contender for ICOTY's
'06 Truck-of-the-Year honors. In coming so close,
thanks to inventive design, crashworthy safety credentials
and ingenious intelligent attractions, it proves that
even the familiar, friendly and
ever compatible minivan can knock the socks off the
generally macho categories of contenders. These are
reasons we honor it here.
There's nothing average about carving out one's own
special niche. But then, no one's accused Honda's
eye-arresting new Ridgeline pickup truck of being
average. A combo of new attitudes, reflected in design,
construction, solid V-6 power and multi-purpose use,
make it a worthy runner-up for '06 ICOTY Truck-of-the-Year.
Clever hiding places, a smartly sculpted appearance,
and useful yet functional tricks like a drop/swing
rear gate show its determination to follow in no other
vehicle's tire tracks.