Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share
2006 ICOTY Vehicle Nominees
by Martha Hindes

Truck of the Year - 2005 HUMMER H3
It's 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?

Honorable Mentions:

Honda Odyssey
Secure, 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.

Honda Ridgeline
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.

Most Sex Appeal/Sports Car
Pontiac Solstice

Most Spirited/Entry-Level
Audi A3

Most Compatible/Minivan
Honda Odyssey

Most Versatile/Crossover
Dodge Magnum SRT 8
Most Respected/Luxury Car
Mercedes-Benz CLS500

Most Resourceful/SUV
Ford Explorer / Range Rover Sport

2006 ICOTY Awards Links