The Criteria

Sport/utility of the year is not a comparison test. It's open only to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months to January 1, 2009. We're looking for the pick of each year's crop of new SUVs, not to revisit vehicles that have been on sale for the past five years.

Each SUOTY contender is evaluated against three criteria:

1. SUPERIORITY.
We look at engineering excellence, advancement in design, utilization of resources, and safety. Vehicle concept and execution are important, as are use of materials, packaging, dynamics, styling, and fuel consumption.

2. SIGNIFICANCE.
How well does the vehicle do the job its maker intended it to do? And how does it affect or change its particular market segment, influence consumer perceptions, and transform product development trends?

3. VALUE.
How a vehicle compares against its direct rivals. A vehicle with a low sticker price might not be as good a value as a more expensive vehicle that delivers outstanding performance, quality, and functionality.

THE JUDGES


MIKE FLOYD
Online Editor

RON KIINO
Senior Editor

TODD LASSA
Detroit Editor

EDWARD LOH
Senior Editor

ANGUS MACKENZIE
Editor-in-Chief

FRANK MARKUS
Technical Director

SCOTT MORTARA
Road Test Editor

KIM REYNOLDS
Technical Editor

ARTHUR ST. ANTOINE
Editor at Large

MATT STONE
Executive Editor

MARK WILLIAMS
Editor, Truck Trend