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Awards & Advice - Truck of the Year
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2008 North American Truck of the Year - Mazda CX-9

North American Truck

The Mazda CX-9 was named 2008 North American Truck of the Year by a panel of nearly 50 automotive journalists.

All-new for 2008, the CX-9 was chosen by journalists for being stylish and fun to drive while performing duties associated with minivans and sport-utility vehicles. In spite of winning the truck award, the CX-9 is considered a crossover utility vehicle because its structure and attributes straddle the line between car and truck.

"The CX-9 is the best expression of an emerging vehicle class, the reduced-fat full-size SUV," wrote Car and Driver's Tony Swan. "Passenger car underpinnings make it lighter and more fuel efficient than traditional big SUVs, and Mazda's emphasis on 'Zoom Zoom' spirit make it more fun to drive."

Jayne O'Donnell cited its "impressive power, sleek styling, room for seven and more safety than most people would think to ask for."

"Futuristic style and interior flexibility give the CX-9 user-friendliness with a flair," said John Gilbert who writes for Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine.

"Mazda has injected its 'soul of a sports car' philosophy into a stylish, great handling, no excuses, full-size crossover that will get more than soccer moms back in the game," said Ken Gross who writes for Playboy and other publications.

USA Today's Jim Healey called the CX-9 "a sweet combination of utility, sportiness and thoughtful design."

"It offers space and comfort, precise driving, passenger and cargo flexibility," wrote Matt Nauman.

We found the Mazda CX-9 roomy and practical here at New Car Test Drive. Climbing in and out is easy, yet the seats are high enough to offer that commanding view of the road that many drivers prefer. Its V6 and six-speed automatic deliver spirited performance, and it's loaded with active and passive safety features.

"A lot of automotive awards are given out each year," noted New Car Test Drive editor Mitch McCullough. "But the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards are different. Rather than coming from a single media organization, these two awards are decided by 49 independent automotive journalists. They represent the best automotive journalists from print, radio, television, and the internet."

Among the media represented: Car and Driver, Road & Track, USA Today, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News, the Chicago Tribune, Fortune magazine, AutoWeek, Edmunds.com, Consumer Guide, the Car Connection, and New Car Test Drive.