Chevrolet Bolt EV wins 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year

Melissa Burden, The Detroit News

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV took home Motor Trend magazine’s coveted Car of the Year honors Monday during an awards ceremony in Los Angeles ahead of the L.A. Auto Show.

The highly anticipated Bolt, which is due in showrooms by the end of the year, offers an estimated 238 miles of all electric range with a price tag of less than $30,000, minus a federal income tax rebate. The Motor Trend award is the first major award for the Bolt EV.

From left, Alan Batey, General Motors President North America and Global Chevrolet Brand Chief; Pamela Fletcher, GM Executive Chief Engineer for Electrified Vehicles; and Josh Tavel, Bolt EV Chief Engineer, celebrate receiving the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award  on Monday in Los Angeles.

Motor Trend Editor-In-Chief Ed Loh said the Bolt is a “breakthrough statement,” and “all without burning a single drop of gasoline.”

“I can promise you there will be a party tonight,” GM North America President Alan Batey said. “We’re absolutely thrilled, we’re humbled.”

The Motor Trend staff annually reviews all new or significantly refreshed vehicles. They are driven and tested for advancing design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance.

The magazine reviewed 23 new or significantly refreshed vehicles for Car of the Year and narrowed that to nine finalists and three podium finishers: the Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica and Volvo S90. Other finalists included the Audi A4, Cadillac CT6, Genesis G90, Jaguar XE, Porsche 911 and Tesla Model S 60/75.

Compact SUVs are the stars at LA Auto Show

Motor Trend also named the Mercedes-Benz GLC as its 2017 SUV of the Year, and the 2017 Ford Super Duty as its Truck of the Year.

“We are honored to win this year’s Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award as it underscores how the all-new 2017 Ford Super Dutys are the toughest, smartest and most capable trucks we’ve ever built,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas, said in a statement. “For 39 consecutive years, Ford F-Series has been America’s favorite truck, and now Motor Trend has given one of our F-Series top honors for the fifth time.”

Loh in a statement said the Super Duty met and exceeded criteria and was the leader in towing, capability and power.

There were 19 contenders for SUV of the Year, which was narrowed to six finalists including the Audi Q7, GMC Acadia All Terrain, Jaguar F-Pace, Mazda CX-9, GLC Class and Tesla Model S. Motor Trend announced three podium finishers: the Q7, F-Pace and GLC, which Motor Trend said won for hitting on every note.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevy Bolt’s charging challenge

Truck of the Year finalists also included the Ford F-150 and Honda Ridgeline .

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was named 2017 Person of the Year.

Motor Trend Detroit Editor Alisa Priddle said Musk was the most talked about person in the auto industry for the year. She said Musk is pushing the boundaries of technology and design, and speaks with transparency and is reinventing the way vehicles are made and sold.

Last year, the Chevrolet Camaro was named 2016 Car of the Year and the Chevrolet Colorado took home Truck of the Year honors in 2015 and 2016.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319