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Chicago News Has Announced Five Best Cars of the Year

"With almost 100 cars reviewed in 2016, the nominees for each category were very carefully selected, with a limit of only five cars for each segment," said Dennis Bindarau, the automotive editor at Chicago News and

"We drove so many great performance cars, making this category tough to pick," said Jason Saini, a pro racecar driver and an automotive writer for Chicago News. "In the end, however, our two finalists were from the same company. Between the lighter and more nimble Cadillac ATS-V and the brutish CTS-V, we had to go with the latter because of its seamless combination of luxury, performance and mental acceleration."

"Sports Car of the Year" went to the Dodge Viper in its last year of production.

"It's basically the last of an era, until Dodge tops itself," Saini said. "A throwback combination of muscle car and sports car, it's an icon that demands respect."

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 was named "Crossover of the Year" for its unparalleled combination of luxury, efficiency and value, while the Chrysler Pacifica got the title of "Family Vehicle of the Year" due to its performance, usability and entertainment options.

All the trophies will be presented to the winners on the Chicago Auto Show press day February 9th. For more automotive coverage, as well as other auto news and tips, go to

Best Sports Car of the Year - 2016 Dodge Viper
When the Viper first came out in 1991, it was a clear nod to the AC Cobra - a small sports car from the 60's that Ford stuffed a big V8 into the front of. The idea of the largest possible engine in the smallest possible car made for eye-popping performance, but also a very demanding driving experience. Here we are in 2016, and not too much has changed. The 2016 Viper GTC with its 645hp 8.4-Liter V10 is the automotive equivalent of getting hit in the head with a bat.

Best Performance Car of the Year - 2017 Cadillac CTS-V
Performance always used to come with a whole list of compromises. You either got a car that was practical or fast. Comfortable or fast. Fast in a straight line or handles well. There was a time where it wasn't even conceivable to have as much speed, handling and luxury occupy the same space. Now Cadillac shows us it's not only possible, it's the recipe for one of the best performance cars in the world.

Best Sedan of the Year - 2017 Volvo S90
There are good cars that come along, and even great ones from time to time. But on rare occasions, cars come out that literally change the car market for good. That pivot point is upon us with Volvo's S90 sedan and upcoming V90 wagon. What is so innovative, you ask? It's not just the technology - it's how that technology is integrated. Much like the iPhone changed the smartphone industry, the simplicity, user-friendliness and power of all the technology in the S90 will change how manufacturers design their cars.

Best Crossover of the Year - 2017 Mazda CX-3
It's widely held that the Mazda CX-5 is the standard among small CUV's in the marketplace. Mazda, trying to capitalize on that success, has now offered us an even smaller version with the same ingredients, and by all accounts it should be a smashing success.

Best Family Vehicle of the Year - 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
It is the norm for car enthusiasts and journalists to frown upon the minivan as it was considered the vehicle of choice for the suburban soccer mom. But the suburban soccer mom moved on to the SUV and manufacturers had to revamp the minivan to get them to come back. The Chrysler Pacifica is the culmination of that effort.

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