Inter-American Federation of Automotive Journalists Make Their Picks
The Inter-American Federation of Automotive Journalists, or Federación Interamericana de Periodistas del Automóvil (FIPA), today announced its annual Car of the Americas and SUV of the Americas awards at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.
The 2013 Car of the Americas is the Hyundai Elantra GT, a 5-door hatchback based on Europe’s Hyundai i30 model. Though the Elantra GT carries the same Fluidic Sculpture design elements as the Elantra Coupe and Elantra Sedan, the GT actually rides on a shorter wheelbase and is equipped with a different interior when compared to the coupe and sedan models, making it a different car wearing the same name as its adopted siblings.
The Elantra GT is equipped with a 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine and a choice between a manual and an automatic transmission. Buyers choose color, one of three option packages, and any dealer accessories. Load the Elantra GT with everything – a panoramic sunroof, leather, automatic climate control, passive entry with push-button ignition, a navigation system, a reversing camera, and everything the dealer can throw at it – and you’re rolling off the showroom floor for $26,495.
The 2013 SUV of the Americas is the Mazda CX-5, which this week was also the runner-up in the North American Truck/Utility of the Year contest, and which was named the Autobytel Crossover of the Year. The Mazda CX-5 is a compact 5-passenger crossover suv designed to be both fuel efficient and fun to drive. A complaint about the CX-5 is that it’s not particularly fast, but Mazda aims to rectify that in 2014 with the addition of a more powerful engine.
Mazda offers the 2013 CX-5 in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels with a choice between front- and all-wheel drive. A manual gearbox is available only on the Sport model with front-wheel drive; all other CX-5s have an automatic. Choose the Grand Touring AWD and check every option box, and a CX-5 will cost $31,785.
According to FIPA, “the criteria for the Car and SUV of the Year awards include models that represent a true contribution to the development of the automotive industry in terms of technology, care of the environment, safety and economy.” A panel of automotive journalists residing in North, Central, and South America selects the vehicles.