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  • 2011 ALV of the Year Winners

    Posted on November 1st, 2010 ninarussin

    By Larry Edsall

    2011 ALV Ride-and-Drive

    Whether transporting bicycles, kayaks, skis, or other athletic gear over varying terrain, athletes need vehicles that accommodate their lifestyle. To help those people identify the cars, trucks, utility vehicles and crossovers that are as fit as themselves, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Awards provide a unique perspective.

    Judging is equally weighted between two groups – a panel of automotive journalists who drive the vehicles as part of their work and a group of athletes, who earlier this year gathered at The Tire Rack campus in South Bend, Indiana, to evaluate all of the entries.

    The results of the 2011 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Awards, presented by, with additional sponsorship from Michelin, are being announced during the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. Those winners are:

    Urban ALV of the YearVolkswagen Golf
    Best Value ALV of the Year, On-RoadGMC Terrain
    Best Value ALV of the Year, Off-RoadNissan Xterra
    Luxury ALV of the Year, On-Road – Porsche Cayenne Turbo
    Luxury ALV of the Year, Off-RoadLand Rover LR4
    Green ALV of the Year – Audi A3 TDI
    Family ALV of the YearToyota Sienna

    ”We started the ALV awards in 2004 as a way to encourage automakers to live up to their promise of building cars for people who live truly active lives,” said Nina Russin, journalist, marathon runner and co-founder of the ALV with Ironman triathlon pioneer and hall of fame member Bob Babbitt and entrepreneur and endurance cyclist Jim Woodman.

    ALV Ride-and-Drive

    “This year’s entrants, more than 50 vehicles in seven categories, were the strongest yet, and in several cases the winners emerged by the smallest of margins in the voting,” she added. “We congratulate the winners but we also salute other entrants for their increasingly serious effort to not only feature athletic lifestyles in their commercials, but for actually listening to and including the needs of athletes in their product planning.”

    “We were very happy to host the ALV of the Year Awards, an opportunity for today’s top vehicle manufacturers to showcase their vehicles and their capabilities as they relate to today’s active lifestyles. As demonstrated by the vehicles selected, function, drivability and design can be had in one package,” said Matt Edmonds, vice-president of, which not only hosted the event but provided expert safe-driving instruction for each of the athletes on the Tire Rack’s purpose-built test track.

    Michelin Welcome Dinner

    Michelin’s sponsorship participation was fitting because it produces tires for four- and two-wheeled vehicles, including bicycles used for recreational and competitive riding. Because of Michelin’s sponsorship, professional auto racer Gunnar Jeannette, also is an accomplished skydiver and BASE jumper, was a celebrity athlete judge at the ALV event.

    Automakers select the vehicles they want to enter for consideration in the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year competition. This year, the Urban category was open to vehicles with base prices of $20,000 or less. The cutoff for the Best Value classes was a base price $30,000 or less; those starting at more than $30,000 populated the Luxury categories. Green vehicles included those with hybrid, clean diesel and flex-fuel powertrains. The Family category was open to any vehicle with three rows of seats.

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