February 26, 2004

AAA names annual Auto Guide Winners

Orlando, Florida – The American Automobile Association has selected 13 vehicles as best in their class, naming them the 2004 AAA Auto Guide winners. The sporty new Chrysler Crossfire has been named AAA’s “Cool Car” of the year.

Twelve categories are based on vehicle cost and type, while one, the Cool Car category, is based on unique characteristics and styling. AAA’s team of evaluators chose the Chrysler Crossfire as the Cool Car for 2004 because it combines “striking design with exceptionally satisfying performance that is sure to make any driving enthusiast smile.”

Other winning 2004 models are:

  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class (over $50,000)

  • Lexus LS 430 ($40,000-$50,000)
  • BMW 5 Series ($35,000-$40,000)
  • Audi A6 ($30,000-$35,000)
  • Infiniti G35 ($25,000-$30,000)
  • Toyota Avalon ($20,000-$25,000)
  • Honda Accord ($15,000-$20,000)
  • Mazda3 (under $15,000)
  • Lexus GX 470 (SUV over $30,000)
  • Nissan Murano (SUV under $30,000)
  • Honda Odyssey (Minivan)
  • Ford F-150 (Truck)

While the overall testing is objective, there are two components of the judging process that are intrinsically subjective: value and what AAA calls the “Wow Factor.” The “Wow Factor” reflects a vehicle’s head-turning, excitement-generating potential.

“When you buy a car there’s an emotional component,” said Jim MacPherson, reviewer and project editor for AAA Auto Guide: 2004 New Cars and Trucks. “Do you feel the car is a logical extension of you?

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