Despite the renewed popularity of American-made cars in 2011, foreign automakers took home top honors at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Hyundai captured Car of the Year honors for the second time since 2009 when its luxury Genesis won. For 2012, the Hyundai Elantra took the title, beating out the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Passat. “Sporty, yet sensible. Luxurious, yet affordable. Spunky, yet safe,” said Jayne O’Donnell of USA Today, one of the judges. The Elantra is a series of paradoxes, and every one is another argument for the latest impressive entry in the Hyundai lineup.”
In the SUV of the Year category, the Range Rover Evoque, which had also won Motor Trend’s 2012 SUV of the Year award, topped the competition in Detroit for its combination of performance and fuel efficiency. “Range Rover successfully charts a new direction for the venerable SUV trailblazer with a fresh design and advanced thinking about environmental issues,” said Fortune magazine’s Alex Taylor, one of the judges. The Evoque is made at Indian automaker Tata’s UK-based facility.
Powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and with a six-speed automatic transmission, the Evoque beat out Honda’s CR-V and BMW’s X3 SUVs.