Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Open Road Car of the Year

This is the time of year Motor Trend and Car & Driver publish their Car of the Year or 10 Best Cars awards. But my pick for the Open Road is not on their list--it's the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T.

Why did I pick the Challenger? It's the one new model I've seen that invokes a positive emotional response in just about everyone who sees it. But it also is practical, with room for five, a large trunk, and decent gas mileage. Finally, it is at home cruising down Main Street or out on the open road. Simply put, it is the one car this year that has the total package and makes a statement about the joy of motoring.

The Dodge Challenger is this year's "it" car. The "gotta have it" factor hasn't worn off and the car is still selling at sticker price. Chrysler's marketing team has also done a clever job of discretely placing a black Challenger in several TV shows like "Deep Blue" and "NCIS".

After being blasted for poor quality products, a lack of product offerings, accepting bailout money, and going through a messy divorce with Daimler that makes Jon and Kate's look equanimous, Chrysler deserves a hit. They knocked this one out of the park.

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