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 clicking on the WMP button. Please follow the installation instructions..
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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.
- Acura TL
- Lexus GS 400
- 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.
- Mercedes CLK
- 1999 Mercedes Running Footage 28.8k 56k or 200k Part 1 Part 2
- Review by Andrew Frankl
- Review by Tom Hagin
- Mercedes Photo Gallery
- Volvo C70
- 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.
- Isuzu Rodeo
- Mercedes M430
- 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."
- North American Introduction
- Review by Carey Russ
- Jaguar XJR
- Honda Accord
- 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.
- BMW 3-Series
- Volkswagen Passat
- 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 impressively fast.
- Oldsmobile Silhouette
- Nissan Quest
- 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.
- Subaru Legacy Outback
- 1999 Subaru Running Footage 28.8k, 56k or 200k
- Review by Larry Weitzman
- Nightly Automotive Report Review
- Audio Review by Mark Fulmer
- Subaru Photo Gallery
- Audi A4 Avant 1.8T
- 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.
- Ford F-Series
- Toyota Tacoma
- 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.
- Porsche 911 Carrera 4
- 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Running Footage 28.8k, 56k or 200k
- Review by Andrew Frankl
- Review by Nick Hromiak
- North American Introduction
- Auto Show Photographs
- Porsche Photo Gallery
- Chevrolet Corvette
- 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.
- Mazda Protege
- Hyundai Sonata
Best Fantasy Vehicle
Delta Flyer- For best Fantasy vehicle, the award goes to the USS Voyager's Delta Flyer.
Volvo S80- 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!