Motor Trend selects its SUV of the Year

The award season for the automotive industry has finally arrived, and one of the first major accolades was given out by Motor Trend Magazine. The publication recently set out to name the SUV of the Year, evaluating an array of redesigned vehicles to judge which is the best in the segment. 

Motor Trend selected the winner of its Sport/Utility of the Year based on performance in six categories, including design advancement, engineering excellence, performance of intended function, efficiency, safety and value. Only models that had been significantly made over for the model year were eligible for the prize. After all was said and done, the 2014 Subaru Forester managed to set itself apart from the pack and claim the top spot in the rankings for the second year. 

"The 2014 Subaru Forester beat a highly competitive field of SUVs because it met our award's six criteria," said Ed Loh, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend. "Smart design, thoughtful engineering and a compelling performance on road and off were the keys to the Forester's win. Our editors were particularly impressed by the powerful yet efficient turbocharged engines, the intelligent and sporty CVT transmission and the excellent visibility and interior package found within the Forester." 

Although the Subaru Forester was the top finisher in the three rounds of testing, there were several other finalists that may be a better option for drivers who want an off-road vehicle. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the finalists, along with the Dodge Durango and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

All three of these automobiles boast an impressive resume of off-roading features and can be altered to include amenities that drivers want. They also performed well in the dirt-track section of Motor Trend's testing, emphasizing the fact that they could be serviceable as an off-road vehicle in addition to supporting smooth everyday driving.