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Digital Trends 2015 Car of the Year Awards

It’s 2015. Cars have evolved from rudimentary metal boxes with wheels and seats, designed solely to move people from point A to point B, into platforms for technology in which we also transport people. Billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours go into every aspect of modern car creation. And it’s this investment of blood, sweat, and treasure that have turned even the most plebian automobiles into stylish, techy, and reliable runabouts that keep our families safe, keep the air clean, and – in some cases – inspire in us awe and joy.

Just a few decades ago, the job of choosing a best car could simply fall onto the shoulders of gearheads and car nuts, concerned only with cornering and horsepower. Now, though, simply evaluating a car’s performance and drivability misses a whole host of significant other factors. Enter Digital Trends.

Recognizing this gap in consideration for factors that real-world drivers prize most, Digital Trends set out to define the best cars and components on the market. From style, to safety, value, driving dynamics, efficiency, and performance, and of course technology, we looked at everything you want from the ride in your driveway.

With these things in mind, we compiled our three favorite vehicles from five different categories: Car, SUV, Performance, Luxury, and Alternative Energy. We then collected the cars and spent four days in Palm Springs, California comparing them against one another, whittling down each category into one single winner. Though it was easier said than done, we eventually left southern California with five winners, along with our favorite infotainment system and engine.

Without further ado, here are the finalists and winners.

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