Variance

AAA Names Its Top Car Picks for 2006

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Variance    0

AAA Names Its Top Car Picks for 2006: Fuel-Efficient Hybrid SUV Gets a ''Green'' Thumbs Up and Corvette Named Cool

BURNSVILLE, Minn.--March 8, 2006--AAA, one of the nation's leading consumer organizations for "all things automotive," has selected its top cars for 2006 in 13 distinct categories, including "Cool Car of the Year."

They are:

Category             Car                      EPA Miles Per Gallon
--------             ---                      --------------------
                                           ((a)estimated city/highway)
Under   - $15,000    Mazda 3                        25/35
$15,000 - $20,000    Honda Accord Sedan             26/34
$20,000 - $25,000    Dodge Charger                  19/27
$25,000 - $30,000    Toyota Avalon                  22/31
$30,000 - $35,000    BMW 3 Series                   20/30
$35,000 - $40,000    Volvo S80                      21/30
$40,000 - $50,000    Infiniti M35/M45               17/25
$50,000 +            Jaguar XJ8L                    18/27
SUV  $30,000-        Ford Escape Hybrid             36/29
SUV  $30,000+        Mercedes-Benz M-Class          16/20
Minivan              Honda Odyssey                  18/28
Pick Up Truck        Honda Ridgeline                16/21
Cool Car             Chevrolet Corvette Z06         16/26

(a) EPA estimated miles per gallon. Actual mileage may vary based on an individual's personal driving habits and road conditions.

"From fuel-saving hybrids to sporty, high performance vehicles, those looking to purchase a new vehicle in 2006 will be pleasantly surprised to see they have many makes and models from which to choose from," says John Nielsen, director, AAA Auto Buying and Auto Repair Network." The difficult decision consumers may face now is how to narrow their selection to just one."

To read the full reviews for each of the vehicles selected, please visit the "On the Road" section found at www.aaaexchange.com .

Every year, AAA takes a comprehensive look at more than 200 vehicles and then judges them according to many criteria's like their ride and performance, braking, handling, passenger and cargo space, value, and fuel economy.

To help you narrow your automotive search, let your fingers take you to AAA Automaker®. This exclusive application, which can also be found under the "On the Road" section in the AAA Exchange Web site, allows users to research hundreds of vehicles with a few clicks, compare vehicles side-by-side, build their own vehicles, and save their research. Using the most comprehensive vehicle data, AAA Automaker® helps users make an educated decision about the best vehicle for their lifestyle and budget.

As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 49 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

AAA (www.aaa.com) offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 48 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA Minnesota/Iowa is part of The Auto Club Group, with 4.1 million members in eight Midwest states.

Link: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/03/08/000028.html

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Variance    0

I have to say the s80 and XJ are a bit of a suprise to see on a "top pick" list. Jaguar rarely gets any serious respeect (though they deserve some) and the S80 I thought was never really taken seriously by the general public.

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Chevy Ryan    0

I'm surprised the Ford Fusion didn't make the list, since AAA sponsors Mark Martin's Fusion in NASCAR. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

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siegen    20

I'm surprised the Ford Fusion didn't make the list, since AAA sponsors Mark Martin's Fusion in NASCAR. :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

And beat the Accord? Never! :P

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FAPTurbo    1,073

Fridgeline this, Fridgeline that. It seems every reviewer just can't get enough of the Ridgeline... Even though sales are subpar (understatement)

But then again, what else were they supposed to select? The 5-Cylinder Colorado?! :P

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siegen    20

It seems every reviewer just can't get enough of the Ridgeline... Even though sales are subpar (understatement)

How are the sales sub par?

Mar 05 ......... 3875 (first month)

Apr 05 .......... 3365

May 05 ......... 3297

Jun 05 .......... 3585

Jul 05 ........... 3911

Aug 05 .......... 4308

Sep 05 .......... 3313

Oct 05 ........... 4974

Nov 05 .......... 5243

Dec 05 .......... 6589

Jan 06 ........... 3814

Feb 06 ........... 4485

That's 50,759 in the first 12 months.

Flash back to January 2005:

Ridgeline news release following NAIAS

Last paragraph:

The Ridgeline will be available in three well-equipped trim levels, the RT, RT-S and RT-L. Standard features on all models will include a 5-speed automatic transmission; VTM-4WD; Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control; side curtain airbags; ABS with EBD; power windows, mirrors and locks; air conditioning; cruise control; lockable In-Bed Trunk; Dual Action tailgate and towing package. Pricing is not yet finalized, but is expected to be in the range of $27,000 to $32,000. Approximately 50,000 trucks are expected to be sold in the first 12 months.

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ponchoman49    23

What an odd selection of vehicles. The Ridgeline was expected to win by default like it did in Motor Trends Truck of the Year but the Avalon and Charger! No way. The S80 is hardly world class in any way and the Jag was not expected for the price as there are several better choices in that range.

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Intrepidation    846

Nice to see the Charger in there. Some people like to gripe about it, for stupid things like the number of doors on it or it being too boxy. But it's a great car that can appeal to everyone from the average car driver who wants something bolder than a lame ass Camry to the car enthusiest who wants a fire breathing 425 horsepower Hemi. It's big and roomy, you can get plenty of options for it, it's modern, has a gearboxc more advanced than a 4-speed (GM take note), and can be had with performance packages to change the ride from touring to more sporty. Something for everyone. go Dodge ^_^

As for the Ridgeline...I hate it something fierce. It's ugly as sin. The interior isn't that pretty looking either. Honda should learn how to design decent looking vehicles, cuz the only thing they have the looks nice is the Civic Si coupe, S2000, and uh...that's it. It has some cool features, but if I was in the market for a truck I'd look at the Nissan Frontier, that looks pretty sweet and has lotsa cool features. I've seen probably 4 Ridgelines on the road since it came out...I've seen more than 20 revised PT Cruisers. So if it sells well, it doesn't where I live.

The Avalon is ugly outside, but looks nice to spend time in, like a budget Lexus.

The S80 surprises me...a lot, especially since it's not the redesigned version they named.

Everything else seems right, though hopefully the redesigned Caravan will steal the spot back from the Odyessy.

Edited by Dodgefan

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