Every neighborhood has one. The guy with the monstrous SUV and a driveway covered in ice. No matter how shiny their brand new snow-blower is (they usually have a snowblower), when the white stuff starts to accumulate, they hop in their Suburban, step on the gas, and let the 4-wheel drive do the rest. The machine specifically designed to clear driveways never even gets primed — why let your hands freeze pushing that contraption around when your SUV isn’t even really stuck?
The next time you find yourself leafing through your copy of Wikipedia, take a close look at some of the antique car pages. The early days of the automobile were undoubtedly exciting, but change was actually very slow for individual makes and models. The car synonymous with brass era automobiles, the Ford Model T, ran its course for 19 years with hardly any cosmetic changes. Beyond some tweaks to the hood, cowl, and fenders, a ‘27 Model T can be easily confused with a model 10 years older. Think of it as the Porsche 911 design philosophy.
Anyone can give out a Car of the Year award these days. In fact, the list of COTY awards seems to grow every year. There’s the old stalwart, the Motor Trend Car of the Year, but there’s also the North American Car and Truck of the Year, the World Car of the Year, and now the Popular Mechanics Car of the Year. Perhaps there should be an equally prestigious “tgriffith Car of the Year.”
Maybe there will be.
With such a wide variety of awards, it’s pretty hard to label the one true Car of the Year. In this era of “everyone’s a winner,” every car has some chance of winning some kind of award.
Motor Trend, though, seems to have nailed this year’s choice.
You can cling to hope all you want, but the fact remains that the new Ford Ranger won’t be sold in the United States. Ford’s reasoning is that its new compact pickup is too close in size to the F-150, and buyers should just opt for that truck.
That reasoning doesn’t make sense, though. Ford has 5 crossovers/SUVs and 5 different cars, so by its own logic shouldn’t have a Fusion, because it offers the Taurus. And it shouldn’t have the Escape, because it has the Explorer. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yet for some reason, when it comes to trucks, that’s the thinking that has prevailed.