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.