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1999 Car of the Year Winners
The Auto Channel is pleased to present the twelve winning vehicles
of its 1999 Golden Tachometer Awards. The Golden Tachometer Awards,
or Goldies, are being presented to those cars and trucks that TACH's
editorial staff believes are the best of the year. Due to an abundance
of 'early release' model-year 2000 vehicles, which began arriving in
December 1998, The Auto Channel decided to accept nominations for all
models that were released on or before May 15, 1999.
All of The Auto Channel's correspondents and contributing editors
were polled for their opinions. The final results represent the
vehicles with the highest votes in each of the twelve respective
classification categories: Luxury; Coupe; Convertible; Sedan; Compact;
Truck; Sport Utility; Minivan; Wagon; Sportscar; Fantasy; and Best Overall.
Judgement criteria included price, design, comfort, handling, performance,
technological advancement, brand positioning, and overall value. Vehicle
price (MSRP) played a major role in the decision making process. With the
exception of one category, The Auto Channel tried to limit the nominees to
vehicles that are easily accessible to the average consumer.
Below is the list of 1999 Goldie winners with links to vehicle information,
reviews, photographs, and streaming video clips. To view the video clips you
will need the Windows Media Player, which can be downloaded without charge by
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2000 Mercedes S-Class -
Stylishly svelte and safe, the all-new Mercedes S-Class sets new standards
for the luxury class. A technological wonderland, the S-Class exemplifies
intelligence, elegance, and indulgence. Competitively priced and comfortable
enough to lull our scrupulous European Bureau Chief to sleep, the S-Class was
our unanimous pick for 1999 Luxury Vehicle-of-the-Year.
Mazda Miata -
Celebrating its 10th birthday, the 1999 Miata MX-5 receives a facelift worthy
of note. Refined and racy, the new Miata packs a big punch into a tiny car.
With itís top down the MX-5 is the epitome of a convertible, displaying a
premium combination of value and performance.
Lexus RX300 -
Whether towing a boat to the mountains, or valet parking at a posh party, the
RX300 affords its driver unparalleled flexibility. Described as "a tall,
luxurious, all-weather station wagon with lots of ground clearance," by TACH
writers Matt and Bob Hagin, the Lexus RX300 delivers exemplary versatility
and reliability at a reasonable price.
2000 Audi TT -
A fashion dream-plate: the Audi TT exudes style, sportiness, and safety. A
driverís dream: the TT fuses a retro look with sports car handling. As TACH
writer Carey Russ states, the TT is a "responsive joy to drive anywhere."
Mitsubishi Galant -
"Prettier and faster", boasts TACH writer Tom Tully, the 1999 Mitsubishi
Galant impressed all who drove it. In a market where utilitarian practicality
all too often takes precedence over style and performance, the Galant provides
an exciting alternative. Sporty, stylish, and price competitive, the Galant
justifies every accolade given, including our Goldie for Sedan-of-the-Year.
Honda Odyssey -
With a plethora of standard features, the second generation Honda Odyssey is
the safest minivan in town, and The Auto Channelís Minivan-of-the-Year. So
"logical, you'd think it was designed on Vulcan...." states Editor-in-Chief,
Mark Fulmer, the Odyssey is competitively priced, stylishly practical, and
1999 Volvo V70 AWD -
Able to climb the tallest mountain, cross the swiftest stream, and protect
all occupants from the most frightening of accidents, the 1999 V70 does it
in style. Sporting a signature Volvo body design, the V70 is an all-purpose
vehicle with exceptional ride, unparalleled safety features, abundant creature
comforts, and a very fair price.
GMC Sierra -
Large and in charge. The Sierraís "numerous new technical features give all
more towing and hauling power, more passenger and cargo room, and more comfort
amenities than earlier versions", proclaimed TACH's Carey Russ. A new and
more efficient engine makes for better gas mileage; a stiffer frame provides
a quieter sturdy ride; and standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes affords
safer, quicker stopping ability. Whether driving through the city or hauling
horses, the 1999 Sierra provides its occupants with superior comfort, safety,
reliability, and overall value.
BMW M Coupe -
"Designed by true enthusiasts for true enthusiasts" touts European Bureau
Chief, Andrew Frankl. The M-Coupe is the one of the most uniquely styled
vehicles on the road today. It is uncompromisingly fast, aggressive, and
stylish. Its performance on the test-track was the clincher in winning our
highly competitive 1999 Golden Tachometer Sportscar-of-the-Year award.
Volkswagen Jetta -
Cute and compact, the redesigned Jetta is fast, fun, and fashionable. As
exciting to drive, as it is to look at, the 1999 Jetta is the most practical
eye-candy on the market! Its ultra-chic design houses a myriad of standard
features, a surprisingly spacious interior, and an engine that hauls. The
Jetta is both fun and practical. Our Compact-of-the-Year will have no
problems finding the drivers it so much wants.
For best Fantasy vehicle, the award goes to the USS Voyager's Delta Flyer.
Star Trek's Delta Flyer
Truly testing imaginations and creativity, the TACH team of journalists
offered many ernstwhile nominees. However, none were as fanciful as the
Flyer. For those not familiar with the Delta Flyer, this 50's influenced
speedster can frequently be seen in the Star Trek Voyager television series.
"What made this vehicle outshine the competition, in my mind, was the use of
enhanced Borg technology, " declares Mark Fulmer, TACHís Editor-in-Chief.
Sleek, stylish, and sexy...the all new S80...a Volvo? The S80 flaunts curves
worthy of a pin-up calendar. Itís equipped with a powerful engine, a wealth
of creature comforts, and a price tag significantly less than its competitors'.
More passive and active safety features than any other vehicle on the market,
make the S80 Volvoís "safest car ever," and The Auto Channelís choice for
Best Overall Car-of-the-Year for 1999!