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ROAD & TRAVEL's 2001 International Car of the Year Awards

For five years, we’ve given awards that show what our judges deem the best new vehicles for the new year. The RTM awards are designed to congratulate the tireless efforts of the auto industry for offering consumers safer and more beautiful products. Our awards celebrate the fresh innovation and brilliance that not only marks a new year in the auto business, but that represents advances in the state of the art. So go ahead, bask in the reverie. Here are the best of the best, the ICOTY winners for 2001.

2001 International Car of the Year   
Chrysler PT Cruiser

by Steve Siler

ROAD & TRAVEL's Car of the Year & Most Likely to Succeed -- Chrysler PT CruiserWell, what can we say about the winner of our most prestigious award, other than that it was good enough to take home two of our Top Ten Most Likely to Succeed Awards? No other vehicle so far has done that, save the Nissan Sentra that in different forms, took two this year as well. But the PT Cruiser is tops, and is that good any way you get it. If you can get one, that is. The still-long waiting list, almost a year after its introduction, testifies to how great this retro-sprocket really is.

Oh, the PT, how much do we love it? Let us count the ways….

First, we love its face. It's cute and happy, yet sassy and bold. Its almond eyes hold a gaze of confidence and pride, without arrogance or hostility to scare us away.

Next, we love its body. Subtle curves and graceful details pay homage to the past, while striking the eye as fresh and new. The look is timeless, not trendy, and we could look at it forever.

PT Cruiser also wins
Most Memorable — Class Classic Car!

Ah, and we love everything inside that shapely body. Despite its tidy dimensions, it has vast amounts of space, and is so full of clever features that it could take a lifetime to use them all. Everything that faces the driver is fresh and fun, and controls operate with a very high quality feel that suggests that Chrysler has learned a thing or two about truly how to marry form and function. In fact, some of us on the panel would say that even more than its beauty and versatility, its high quality is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the lovable PT.

Oh, and then there’s the $16,500 base price, load it up for around $20K. All this and affordability too! So consider all it offers and then tell us, how could it not win?

Click here for another writer's perspective on the PT Cruiser.

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
Mercedes-Benz CL500

Most Likely to Change the World
ECO- Friendly Car of the Year
Nissan Sentra CA

Most Likely to Survive Anything
SUV of the Year
Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute