Happy Thanksgiving! This Year’s Biggest Automotive Turkey Is…

2012 Volkswagen Passat

Is the Car of the Year a turkey?

Over 45 million turkeys are being savored on American dinner plates today.

Americans love turkey. We love dousing it in gravy, we love it with mashed potatoes, we love it with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Someone has even invented tofu that “tastes” like turkey to satisfy the three people in America who crave the flavor but don’t want the guilt.

Turkey makes us happy. Turkeys make us sleep well. So why did the term “turkey” come to describe something that fails to meet expectations? Who knows. But when a car is labeled as the “Biggest Turkey of the Year,” you can bet it isn’t going to be good.

Keep reading for a look at the vehicle winning this year’s dubious honor.

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VW Passat Wins Motor Trend Car of the Year Award

2012 Volkswagen Passat

The lack of media applause was deafening as the 2012 Volkswagen Passat took the still-prestigious Motor Trend Car of the Year Award. In fact, some people, like Jalopnik’s Mike Spinelli, got downright nasty about it. Other venues simply put down the award as disingenuous and irrelevant.

In a way, it’s fun to read these guys, who try to establish themselves (maybe we all do) as truth-tellers in a world of false values, corporatism and special pleading for unspecial cars. The enthusiasts vs. the whorish media.

These are rhetorical games—not to sell cars but to attract readers.

So, if you read Motor Trend’s story about why and how it picked the Passat, there is a sense throughout that its selection team saw the car as a series of fair compromises—which of course all constructors of mass-market cars must make.

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