The 2015 calendar year is coming to a close, which means it’s TopSpeed’s award season. This year, we are set to crown three winners – a car, truck, and performance vehicle of the year. We’ve put together what we feel is a fair set of criteria to narrow the field of contenders and then to judge each accordingly – not against each other, but against the criteria.

In the coming weeks, TopSpeed will publish each editor’s top five picks for each of the three categories. Once all of our editors have given their submissions, we will assign points to for first through fifth place, with each vehicle racking up points between all the staff. At that point, we will crown the winners.

But before I get ahead of myself in explaining things, we’ve got to lay the ground rules. We are only considering vehicles that were available for purchase during the 2015 calendar year. This includes both the 2015 and early 2016 model years, but only if they were on sale between January 1 and December 31 of 2015. What’s more, vehicles will only be considered if they are all-new or have undergone a significant update or refresh.

So let’s take a look at the criteria. Keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading for more information


1. Design: Exterior and interior design that raises the bar; fit and finish
2. Engineering: Engine, transmission, and drivetrain components; advancement in technology, packaging, manufacturing, and consumer friendliness.
3. Efficiency: Relatively low fuel consumption among its segment competitors
4. Safety: Includes both active and passive safety system; crash avoidance and survivability
5. Value: Competitive price with smart trim and option choices compared to its segment
6. Execution of Intended function: Does the vehicle carry out its intended role set forth by its automaker
7. Enrichment Factor: Will the vehicle enrich the life of its owner, either by its driving dynamics, styling, practicality, or other key point?

Each of our editors will choose five entries for each of the three categories: car, truck, and performance vehicle. Each contender will be ranked from first choice to fifth choice based on the editor’s perception of how well the each vehicle stands against the seven-point criteria.

The best part for you, the reader, is each editor will have their own article to list their top picks and argue their reasoning. Once each of our writers have said their piece, we will assign points to each place finisher.

Much like the old F1 scale, each editor’s first choice will receive 10 points, the second choice six points, the third choice four points, the fourth choice three points, and the fifth choice two points. Simply put, a vehicle will win its category if it scores the most points.

Stay Tuned

Stick around as TopSpeed’s editors name their top picks for each category and then tally the points. We will announce the winners of each category on January 4, 2016.

What’s your picks? Let us know in the comments what vehicle you would nominate in each of the three categories.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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