2009 Car of the Year: Hyundai Genesis

Luxury Hyundai takes prestigious award as the 2009 Detroit Auto Show kicks off. F-150 wins for trucks.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com

2009_hyundai_genesis.03.jpg
Hyundai Genesis
ford_f150.03.jpg
Ford F-150
Photos
Detroit Auto Show: What's new Detroit Auto Show: What's new Detroit Auto Show: What's new
An industry in crisis rolls out its latest weapons as some of the industry's biggest names fight for survival.

Find your next Car


DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- The Hyundai Genesis won the prestigious Car of the Year Award Sunday at the start of media preview days for the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. The redesigned Ford F-150 won the Truck of the Year award.

To be eligible for the top prize, a vehicle had to be all-new, completely redesigned or "substantially changed," and available to customers during calendar year 2008.

From among those vehicles, a jury of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada narrowed the list down to three cars and three trucks that were eligible for the final award.

The three finalists for Car of the Year this year were the Genesis, Ford Flex, and Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The Jetta is powered by a diesel engine.

The nominees for truck of the year were the F-150, Dodge Ram and Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC. Like the Jetta TDI, the ML320 BlueTEC is a diesel-powered version of the Mercedes SUV.

Genesis a jump

The Hyundai Genesis represents a big leap for Korea-based Hyundai. The sedan is part of Hyundai's attempt to reach upscale drivers while still maintaining the brand's roots with low-cost economy models such as the Accent.

With prices starting at about $32,000 for V6-powered versions, the Genesis looks and drives much like a Mercedes-Benz or Lexus. While it has the size of one of those brands' top-of-the-line cars, though, it's similar to one of their smaller entry-level models.

Hyundai executives considered starting a totally new brand, as Toyota did with Lexus and Honda with Acura, but decided instead that it made sense to create new models under the Hyundai name.

Hyundai has sold large luxury cars overseas for quite some time, but this was the brand's first attempt to launch such a car in the United States.

F-150 top truck

The Ford F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle of any kind in America for the last 27 years. It managed that in 2008 despite truck sales that were depressed by high gas prices early in the year and by the overall economic crisis.

The redesigned 2009 model features the new, angular flat-nosed look of Ford trucks. A new Chassis was designed with a lighter weight for better fuel economy. The new F-150 also boasts safety improvements. It won a Top Safety Pick Award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Like the other Detroit automakers, General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) and Chrysler, Ford (F, Fortune 500) has been working to shift its focus to cars, although trucks remain a mainstay. At this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford is also unveiling the 2010 Ford Taurus, a car that will attempt to win back more car buyers. Of the three U.S. automakers, Ford has been the only one not to request federal funding to stave off bankruptcy.

But winning the North American Car or Truck of the Year Award doesn't always mean a huge leap in sales. Last year's winner, the Chevrolet Malibu, was a huge success for General Motors. But the year before, GM's Saturn Aura, a car very similar to the Malibu, won the award but was been considered a sales disappointment. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
Don't give my job to Staples Hundreds of U.S. Postal Service workers protested against experimental mini post offices at Staples. Here's why some Washington, D.C. workers don't like the deal. More
Tools to make your money grow You've started saving and built a financial base. Time for a few new strategies and tools to get your money to grow even more. From real estate to IRAs, here are some tips. More
Ready to start saving? Here's how to do it right When you are just starting out or finally starting to get serious about saving, the basics will get you far. Here are more than a dozen tips that will help you lay the base for building your net worth. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.