2022 Family Vehicle and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award Finalists Announced
The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), a press organization that brings together national automotive journalists with automotive manufacturers and related industry personnel, just announced its 2022 MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year Award and 2022 MAMA Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award contenders. The winners of the awards will be announced during the 2022 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 10.
Voting for the FVOTY and LFVOTY award candidates took place during July’s 2021 MAMA Summer Drive program as well as last week’s MAMA Rally, held at Road America, one of the world’s premier road racing tracks in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Over the course of the two-day MAMA Rally, more than 70 automotive and related industry journalists had the opportunity to put a variety of the industry’s latest vehicles through their paces including on-track, scenic street drives and a technical off-road course. Journalists also had the opportunity to evaluate and vote for Family Vehicle and Luxury Family vehicle award contenders.
We’ll have to wait until February to learn the actual winners for each category. Until then, here are a few of our top picks of the 2021 MAMA FVOTY/LFVOTY finalists.
Family Vehicle of the Year Award Finalist Top Picks
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L:
Offered in three rows for the first time, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a solid contender for a family vehicle. The newest iteration is designed and engineered to deliver a combination of more 4x4 capability, superior on-road refinement, premium styling and craftsmanship inside and out, as well as a host of advanced safety and technology features. Seating for six or seven passengers is offered.
Trim levels include Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit, all of which are available with rear- or 4-wheel drive. Buyers have a choice between three 4x4 systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited slip-differential. All three systems are equipped with an active transfer case to improve traction. Engine offerings are familiar with the 290-hosrepower 3.6-liter V6 and 357-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 on hand. Both come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 7,200 pounds.
The Grand Cherokee L is loaded with tech features including a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, digital rear-view camera, head-up display, massaging front seats, ventilated second-row seats, four-zone automatic climate control, a backseat camera system and an imitation suede headliner. A 10.1-inch touchscreen controls the Uconnect 5 infotainment system that now supports over-the-air updates and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s even a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.
Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear automatic braking and lane-centering assist. Also offered are a night vision camera that can detect pedestrians and animals up to 219 yards away and an intersection collision assist feature will automatically hit the brakes if it detects a vehicle coming across an intersection. Prices for the 2021 Grand Cherokee range from $36,000 to $61,000 and it’s currently available at dealerships.
2022 Kia Carnival:
For people who don’t want the minivan status yet desire all of the convenience features associated with the segment, Kia introduced the 2022 Carnival, what the brand has dubbed a “multi-purpose vehicle” (or MPV). The Carnival replaces the outgoing Kia Sedona minivan with the goal of claiming the space between SUV and family hauler, with similar features to those found in a minivan.
Inside the MPV, three rows are offered to accommodate either seven or eight passengers. Kia claims refinement, savvy tech and flexibility in the new Carnival. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 with a best-in-class 290 horsepower (according to the brand). The powertrain offers up to 3,500 lbs. of towing capacity to accommodate a boat or a camper, for example.
Available convenience features include:
Driver and rear passenger talk system
Driver view of second and third rows with night vision
Smart power sliding doors
Dual power sunroof
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Dual 12-inch displays
Rear seat entertainment with device mirroring
9 USB chargers with front wireless charger
Of course, safety features are crucial for any family vehicle and the Carnival delivers with standard blind-spot monitoring and forward collision avoidance, available blind spot view mirror, available smart cruise control and highway driving assist technology.
The 2022 Carnival is offered in four trim levels: LX, EX, SX and SX-Prestige. The starting MSRP for the Carnival is $32,100 and it’s now available at dealerships.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4:
For those who attended the special edition of the Chicago Auto Show last July, they were able to experience the Volkswagen ID.4 Roadshow which featured an all-new outdoor EV education activation along with consumer test drives. Product specialists from VW were onsite to address any questions, such as range anxiety, to help the general public better understand the reasons owning or leasing an electric vehicle might be advantageous.
ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV as well as the brand’s first global EV. Built on Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle architecture, it marries the strengths of a purpose-built EV with performance, packaging and value, features that have marked the brand for decades.
In a previous press release, Volkswagen of America’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Kimberley Gardiner said, “We're delighted to be able to bring the ID.4 Roadshow to the Chicago Auto Show. We have found that once people experience how well this car drives as well as its spaciousness and high-tech features, the ID.4 has the potential to bring EVs into the mainstream. We are already seeing that the majority of buyers are being conquested from traditional vehicles.”
In fact, according to a 2021 Foresight Research study, Chicago Auto Show visitors cited the show was among the top ways to educate and inform themselves of the latest vehicles and technology. The reported that 86% of attendees learned something new about hybrid and electric vehicles at the show and 76% of attendees said their likelihood to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle increased as a direct result of their attendance.
ID.4 seats 5 and is 4.6 inches shorter and 1.9 inches lower than the VW Tiguan, but rides a similar wheelbase. The vehicle features an 82-kWh battery offered in 201-horsepower rear-wheel drive and 295-hp all-wheel-drive configurations. It has an EPA-estimated range of 260 miles for the ID.4 Pro and 249 miles for the ID.4 AWD Pro. All models are equipped with a Combined Charging System (CCS) socket, which allows for both home and public charging. According to VW, the ID.4 can be DC fast charged from 5% to 80% charged in 40 minutes. Additionally, the ID.4 comes with three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost.
Currently available at VW dealers, ID.4 is offered in Pro, Pro S and 1st Edition trim levels. MSRP starts at $39,995 for ID.4 Pro and offers a potential $7,500 Federal tax credit, depending on individual tax circumstances. Buyers can find the specific amount available on any plug-in vehicle by visiting FuelEconomy.gov.
Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award Finalist Top Picks
2022 Genesis GV70:
The first midsize SUV produced by the brand, the Genesis GV70 pairs a stylish, athletic exterior with all of the practical features found in an SUV making it a great option for a family vehicle. The GV70 offers a new level of driving safety with Highway Driving Assist II, which helps drivers control the steering wheel while changing lanes, integrates a fingerprint authentication system that is connected to the in-car payment service Genesis CarPay and provides advanced rear occupant alert sensors. GV70 is also the first Genesis SUV to apply a launch control system for an optimal driving experience.
Moreover, new infotainment systems and connected car technologies create an optimal driving environment. The interior is also optimized to offer passengers a generous amount of space and comfort including reclining, wide leg room and even ventilated rear seats.
The GV70 is available in three types of engine configurations: gasoline 3.5 turbo, gasoline 2.5 turbo, and a 2.2 diesel engine. Each type is available in the Sport Package as well, which exclusively offers features such as the Electronic Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD) system and includes Sport-exclusive wheels to boost its off-road driving performance. It receives an EPA-estimated 22/28 city/highway mpg with 300 horsepower.
GV70 is available at dealerships now with a starting price of $41,000.
2022 Infiniti QX60:
The all-new 2022 Infiniti QX60 is brand new to dealer showrooms this fall with a starting MSRP of $46,850. It comes standard with seating for seven and is powered by a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission. A five-mode drive selector and idle stop/start system are also standard. Infiniti Intelligent AWD is available on all grades to improve traction.
QX60 comes loaded with convenience and technology features that the brand says help “take the stress out of driving,” including a 12.3-inch Infiniti InTouch Interactive Display with wireless Apple CarPlay and USB-based Android Auto compatibility software, leather-appointed first- and second-row seats, a panoramic moonroof, power liftgate and rear parking sensors.
The 2022 INFINITI QX60 PURE trim also includes 18-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear automatic braking, blind spot warning, six USB ports, LED headlamps and taillamps, and tri-zone automatic climate control with headliner-mounted air vents above the second and third rows for increased comfort. Additional features are included on higher trim levels: LUXE, SENSORY and AUTOGRAPH.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer:
For the first time in 30 years, Jeep brought back the Wagoneer nameplate; the last Wagoneer produced was in 1991. According to Jeep, the all-new 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer mark the rebirth of a premium American icon with legendary capability, exceptional driving dynamics and a new level of technology. For the first time, a spacious third row comes standard with seating for up to eight available. New technologies are available including an advanced Uconnect system, all-new head-up display, 360-degree surround view and night vision cameras, 75 inches of total screen surfaces and a premium McIntosh audio system.
The base Wagoneer trim, Series II Standard (4x2 and 4x4), includes 20-inch wheels, a 10.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen, 9-speaker Alpine audio system, tri-zone climate control, and Nappa leather bench seats. The top trim for Wagoneer, Series III Premium trim (4x2 and 4x4), adds 22-inch wheels, McIntosh 19-speaker MX950 entertainment system, front passenger screen and a rear seat entertainment system with dual 10.1-inch screens and Amazon Fire TV for Auto (for 4x4 only).
The base Grand Wagoneer Series I includes 20-inch wheels, a 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen, a McIntosh 19-speaker MX950 entertainment system, quad-zone control, Nappa leather-trimmed seats, two-tone roof and front passenger display. The trop Grand Wagoneer trim level, Series III (4x4), adds unique 22-inch wheels, Palermo quilted leather-trimmed seats and a rear seat entertainment system with dual 10.1-inch screens with Amazon Fire TV for Auto.
The base Wagoneer starts at $57,995 and the base Grand Wagoneer starts at $86,995. Both are currently available at dealerships.
Additional finalists up for MAMA FVOTY include the 2022 Honda Civic, 2022 Hyundai Tucson and 2021 Toyota Sienna. Additional MAMA LFVOTY finalists include the 2022 Acura MDX, 2022 Lexus NX and 2021 Mercedes-Benz S Class.
For more information on past MAMA Family Vehicle and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award winners, visit MAMAOnline.org
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