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They could have been Car to Be Seen in ’09


March 19, 2009/9.17

We are a bit late this year announcing our Car to Be Seen in finalists. But I can tell you which new models have been taken off the final shortlist. Our honourable mentions are, for 2009, the following.

Audi A4, photographed by Jack Yan
Audi A4
   The Quattro models are fine but the front-wheel-drive model struggles with grip. We like the eight-speed gearbox and the fuel efficency.

Audi Q5
   A good effort from Audi—a poshed-up Volkswagen Tiguan. In 2000 we said the SUV was passé. Nine years on our feelings haven’t changed; in fact, global opinion seems to be catching up.

BMW 7er Reihe
   Adrian van Hooydonk has toned down the Siebener, but it’s still a big sedan. BMW has introduced more fuel-efficient engines and we are impressed, but you still look like a Eurocrat in one of these.

Ford Fusion Hybrid
   A noble effort from the beleaguered American firm, but mating a hybrid system to the modern idea of a Telstar isn’t that novel.

Mazda Atenza
   We applaud how Mazda was able to create a new Atenza that looks fresher than the lovely original. That model had hardly dated, something rare among Japanese cars. But it still doesn’t stir the soul.

Nissan Maxima
   A new model for the US, but it’s plain too fussy compared to the boulevard cruiser looks of its predecessor.

Škoda Superb
   The TwinDoor is clever but this really isn’t the year for big sedans. Though the 1·4 twin-charged engine gets a tick.

Toyota iQ
   A Smart 10 years after the fact.

Toyota Avensis
   Love the styling. But that’s not enough to win.

Volkswagen Golf VI
   The Volkswagen Golf VI exists because the old model was too costly to build. It still gives a quality feeling, but it just doesn’t inspire.

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Filed by Jack Yan

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